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Old 07-06-2013, 06:48 AM   #196
Creaks When Walks...
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: South Texas
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Talking Good Luck & Have FUN!!!

Originally Posted by KLRsys View Post
We may ride to the store to get some tie downs but that's it. Willy's heading back to McKinney today, he wants to be on the road by 11am at the latest. I'll be in the shop prepping the 09 bike for the trip. It still needs a skid plate, cruise control, panniers and trunk. I'm hoping I can get all that done by the end of tomorrow because I still need to get all my gear together, I haven't started packing at all.

Sounds like you guys have a full plate then, and you don't need me there in the middle of it slowing you down. I really wanted to see this latest build up close, especially since it's my favorite KLR color-combo (just like my '03), but alas it looks like it was not to be.

I'll just have to get down there to see your '09 after you get back.

Again, as always, kudos to you for building one of the most amazing bikes on the planet, and especially for making it look so *factory*. Nobody does it better.

Have a great trip, take care, and ride safe!!!



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Old 07-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #197
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excellent build. travel safe and make more!
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #198
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Report from the KLRsys Garage

Well the latest masterpiece out of the KRLsys garage has made it back to my place in North Texas. I thought I'd post an update for those that have been following this build.

First off, I can never find the words to express my gratitude to KLRsys for the amount time, dedication, and general TLC he put into building this bike. So to Fritz (aka, KLRsys) my friend, a huge, huge Thank You! I don't know how this one ever gets repaid.

For those that have been thinking of visiting the KLRsys garage, I recommend it. You just can't appreciate the level of effort it takes to build one until you've been there and seen it yourself. The number of custom fabricated parts is significant, and each one requires care and attention to detail to get it right.

Speaking of getting it right. Here's the most impressive thing. I went to test ride the bike for the first time. ... and when I say "first time" I mean the very first time. No one had ridden the bike at all. It fired right up, then ran and rode perfectly. On this first ride I just wanted to stay close to the garage so I rode a few miles within the confines of the neighborhood. If something were to go wrong, I didn't want to have to push it too far to get it home. ... but nothing went wrong. Nothing! Zilch! Nada! No problems at all! No clacks, clinks or grinds. No wobbles or weird feelings. No electrical issues. No leaks. It worked perfectly right out of the box! I rode back to the garage and WE ADJUSTED NOTHING!!! It was perfect the way it was.

... again, I was mighty impressed!

After the test ride KLRsys and I went back to work finishing up the last few items on the list. Adding new grips, taller windshield, mounting the cruise control panel, and the most difficult... fabricating a skid plate.

It was working with KLRsys on the skid plate that I started to fully understand and appreciate the amount of time and attention to detail that goes into the custom fabrication on this bike. ... and there is a lot of it (did I say that already?). We finished up working on it just after midnight on Saturday morning. 42 days from start to finish.

Now I've got to get the bike packed up, prepped and ready for what is the shake down trip of a lifetime. The Barely Alaska Ride. I was really hoping to have more time in the saddle before we left on this trip, but as it stands, I've only put about 8 miles on the bike since build completion.

You know, I was just goofin when I said the shake down cruise would be the 350 mile section of the Barely Alaska Ride from my house to Amarillo, but it's looking like that may be the case.

... One last note, and surely the most important!
I want to extent a very special thank you to Mrs. KLRsys. Without her support and encouragement none of this would have been possible. I want to thank her for all the evenings she gave up with her husband while he worked on a bike for me. I want to thank her for the times she was running errands for KLRsys while he worked on a bike for me. Mrs KLRsys your sacrifice is recognized and deeply appreciated.

vtwinwilly screwed with this post 07-08-2013 at 07:50 PM
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:53 AM   #199
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Aah....8 mile shakedown? Good to go. No leaks. No vibrations. Hey. It's not like you are going to Alaska. Oh, wait. You are. My bad. ;)

Y'all have a great time and enjoy! Fritz. As always I am in awe of your dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:59 AM   #200
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Truly amazing!
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:12 PM   #201
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The shake down run is done! We've made it to Amarillo with no issues other than its hotter than he!!
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:24 PM   #202
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sweet. if this can be done by guys in their garage why can't Kawi figure it out to make one???
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #203
blame Reaver...
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+1! I'd be all over that like a fat kid in a candy store! Kawasaki would probably sell a boat load of them. But I don't have a degree in marketing, so what do I know?!

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Old 07-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #204
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After leaving Amarillo Willy did have a bike issue. Apparently running 75mph into a strong headwind with the temperature over 100 heated up the fuel in the tank to the point where it was either boiling or percolating air out of the fuel. That caused too much air in the pump housing and it would starve for fuel. It was only a minor problem, we would pull over and open the vent valve for 30 seconds or so and it would fire right up. I think I need to insulate the bottom of the tank. The 09 bike has insulation so I'm thinking Kawasaki recognized it as a problem. So far it hasn't slowed us down, we made it to Durango today, on schedule. Tomorrow we head for Vernal, UT. *
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:23 AM   #205
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beautiful work and good luck to you guys out there. enjoy.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:24 PM   #206
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Barely Alaska Ride - Ride Report

I have started a Ride Report at:

I'm already behind and there will be updates as internet connectivity allows.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #207
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Glad to hear you've started your trip, keep drinking the water!!!
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #208
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Location: Deep south Texas
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Ride results

We've made it to Cranbrook, BC, Canada without any major bike issues, at least related to the build. Willy got run off a gravel road by a trailer towing pickup on the Ashton Flagg ranch road north of the Grand Tetons and scratched up the bike a bit and Rex had a blowout north of Grand Junction and had an exciting get-off that tore the bike up more than we expected, but both guys escaped without a scratch.*
Otherwise the bikes are doing great. We had the fuel boiling issue early on but it hasn't repeated since we got into cooler weather, not that it's been all that cool but it hasn't been 106 like it was getting out of Texas. *The only other issue was fuel mileage on the two newer bikes, Willy was doing low 30's early on and the 09 bike was getting high 30's - low 40's. So we've been tweaking the Powercommander fuel mapping and finally got both of them up into the low 50mpg range.*

I'm really enjoying riding the bike. It's really nice to be able to ride down some not so smooth gravel/rocky roads and then get back on the highway, wind it up to 70 or so and hit the cruise. And even loaded up like I have it now (which is pretty overloaded, i always bring too much stuff) the weight is not a big issue. *The Cogent Dynamics suspension pieces work great, the rear shock keeps the rear end planted very well and the front springs and Racetech pieces have cut down on brake dive quite a bit. *It has a real nice ride to it that doesn't beat you up or wear you out. *The only thing I want to add is a heat shield on the header pipes near my leg. *The heat isn't much of a problem but I did burn my riding pants on them somehow. *One more thing, insulate the bottom of the fuel tanks to keep the fuel cooler.*

One other nice benefit of it still being a KLR, when we were fixing the damage on the 05 bike we went to the Kawasaki dealer in Grand Junction. They didn't have any of the parts we needed in stock but they had an 08 KLR in the shop with a blown engine and they let us rob parts off of it as long as we paid for replacements. *I doubt we would have had that kind of luck had we been riding one of several other brands I can think of. *

Time to go find dinner. More results down the road.*
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #209
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This is a great thread. True craftsmanship. You have a small following at forums where I said this:
"If I happened to be in the market in a few years and Kaw was making this bike, roughly based on a Gen2 framework (metaphorically), I would strongly consider it. I would be able to switch over many of my current farkles and return my '08 to stock."

This is great work, but obviously laborious on a small scale and probably quite expensive to achieve. I really hope Kawasaki catches on to this.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #210
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Love this thread.
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There's roads and there's roads and they call, can't you hear it? Roads of the earth and roads of the spirit. The best roads of all are the ones that aren't certain. One of those is where you'll find me till they drop the big curtain. Bruce Cockburn
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