KLR650, now with Thermo-bob and LEDs!
atfsgeoff last edited by atfsgeoff
Last night I got the Thermo-bob and LED headlight installed, and it works as advertised, even exceeding my expectations.
These two pics represent the hottest and coldest that the engine coolant gets now, with the top pic being taken after sitting and idling for 20 minutes, and the bottom pic taken right after a 15 minute 60mph highway jaunt in ~40 degree weather. I don't expect even colder temps to significantly affect that.
Before the Thermo-bob install, the coolant temp would dip to just above the C mark on the gauge with any sustained speed at lower ambient temperatures, and when sitting idle in traffic or doing low speed maneuvers in a parking lot (practicing handling, etc), the coolant would heat up to just before the H. Very inconsistent, and probably bad for the engine's longevity. The gentleman who developed the Thermo-bob has a 2004 KLR just like mine, with 180,000 miles on the original engine and no rebuild. He credits this longevity to the more consistent temps and less severe heat cycling made possible by said Thermo-bob. Apparently higher mileage KLRs operating in low ambient temps are known to develop warped cylinders that become slightly out-of-round, causing all kinds of issues with low compression and oil consumption (ring blow-by), because of the uneven heating between the top end and bottom end of the engine provided by the stock cooling system.
As for the new LED headlight, it works great and looks great!
The pattern is nice for the low beam, I can't say the high beam adds much to it. But the low beam pattern is so good I find the high beam isn't necessary, especially for the speeds this bike normally operates at (end of the world at 90mph, unless I'm drafting a car. Then it can just barely break a hundred!). I usually putt around between 35 and 60.
So, $250 worth of upgrades. Worth it? Yes. This bike, though not as fast or powerful as the FJR1300, nor as offroad-capable as my WR250R, is definitely the winner as a city run-about. It has the Goldilocks ratio of just the right amount of weight, power/torque, gearing, suspension travel and flickability to rule the rough, cratered-moon streets of Allentown. Plus it can hop curbs without damaging itself.
jminer last edited by jminer
@atfsgeoff A KLR has been on my wish list of bikes for a long time. Is the thermobob a new thermostat or something else?
I do love all the options of add-ons for the KLR but it can be a bit overwhelming when doing research.
atfsgeoff last edited by atfsgeoff
@jminer The Thermo-bob consists of a new thermostat, thermostat housing, bypass hose, and T-fitting to splice into the existing bottom radiator hose going into the water pump (cooler water going back to water pump, which then goes back into the bottom of the engine). The linked PDF explains the thermodynamics of both the stock cooling system and of the system as-modified with the Thermo-bob. Link to the Thermo-Bob 2 kit for all first-gen (87-07) KLRs: https://shop.watt-man.com/Thermo-Bob-2-for-KLR650-and-KLR600-ALL-MODEL-YEARS-TB2.htm
The other big "must-have" modification for the KLR is the Doohickey, which is a more robust replacement Balancer Chain Adjuster Lever, as the stock one equipped to 1987-2007 KLRs is a known weak point and prone to failure, at which point you have loose metal pieces flying around inside the crankcase (which, sometimes never causes a problem, sometimes causes catastrophic engine damage). I haven't checked to see if the Doohickey has been replaced on mine yet, but that's the next step.
jminer last edited by
@atfsgeoff Thanks for the explanation! I did know about the doohickey, seems the strangest thing that Kawasaki left that unfixed in the factory design for so long. I guess I’m just too used to Honda motorcycles.