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Old 01-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
Hannda OP
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KLR 685 longevity question

KLR riders:
I've come to grips with the concept that I'll be poor forever and will never be able to afford a new bike. And I just can't do any distance on my 2004 KLR, it vibrates my hands to sleep within five miles. I rode LaurieD's KLR with the 685 kit and it was fantastic. Rode from Palmer Lake to Sedalia without my hands going to sleep even once. Narry a tingle. That's probably thirty or so miles that would normally see me trying to shake some blood and feeling back into my hands a dozen times on my bike. On her's with the 685 kit it was just a pleasant ride.

So my question is, for those of you who've performed this cc-ectomy to your KLRs, how are they holding up? Burning oil? Seem to be as long lasting as the original brick of an engine?

I never noticed any additional power - let's face it, 35cc on top of a starting point of 650 is only a 5% increace in volume - but the change of vibrations was simply amazing for me. I don't know if the 685 kit eliminates the vibrations or changes them to a frequency that is not detected by my hands and wrists (or feet, ankles, fanny, etc.). All I know is that I can't afford a new bike and this, if it seems to be holding up for everyone, could be a viable option for me.

Your thoughts and opinons eagerly hoped for.

Thanks,
Hannda
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
Beezer
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I've only got 6-7000 on mine but runs better than ever, the quality of the parts is better than OEM, so should be good for a long time. A little bit of head work helps out too. There is a big fin in the exhaust port that can go away. Anybody with time and a die grinder can make it better. I have pix if you like. In any case there are other things that smooth out the KLR: Richen the carb a bit with the pilot screw & do 22 cent mod. Set the valves so that the gaps are equal between pairs. Be sure the "Doo" is working & set correctly (with EM parts).

Also, Murph's Grips....

http://www.murphskits.com/catalog/pr...products_id=35
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
willys
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I have had one in my bike that I bought with 3500kms on it and changed it to a 685 at roughly around the 10,000km mark give or take, can't remember exactly.....doesn't matter.I now have 70,000kms on it. It has carried me across the country, Canada towing a trailer fully loaded 2 summers ago and use 1/2litre of oil. It doesn't burn oil, it uses some at high RPMs when I decide to ring it out from time to time well above 6000RPM, but nothing around the 5000RPM range at all.
I did resleeve it last winter and rering it just because I changed out the stock sleeve(just because I wanted the thicker sleeve, again just because, no need for it or the re-ring). I kept the original 685 piston which was perfect. I have since riden it out east along the trans-labrador highway and around...with out a hick-up. IF...it were to go for a dump, I would install if possible sleeve wise the very same thing in again or the 705 and reuse the same sleeve with a bore job.

I haven't seen a 685 go bad personally yet, I've done many of them myself more than a dozen easily in the past 4 or 5 years.....not a issue with any of them.
Search them out over at .net or the world site and see for yourself....they are rock solid. BUT...the boring must be done slowly as not to warp the sleeve. That and the ring gap are the only big things to watch out for. It is a solid reliable solution for some extra grunt on the highway (not so much speed) and it almost gets rid of all vibes from the big single.

Also for grips I use grip puppies over the stock type grips...more to make them larger. But they also soften the feel greatly too.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
Tsotsie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannda View Post
KLR riders:
So my question is, for those of you who've performed this cc-ectomy to your KLRs, how are they holding up? Burning oil? Seem to be as long lasting as the original brick of an engine?

Thanks,
Hannda
28K miles on the 685. No noticable oil usage (at any speed) and no oil leakage anywhere. Still going strong. All indications are that it will last.


There have been some piston breakages reported on the 685. There is not enough information to accurately determine why and I am not sure if the piston maker JT have been involved in that discussion. Some suggestions include how the cylinder might have been bored and incorrect ring gap tolerances. One at least had the break in the wrist pin area.

If you are having excessive vibrations, ever checked the timing of the counter balancer weights?

Tsotsie screwed with this post 01-30-2012 at 11:56 AM
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
Hannda OP
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Thank you all for your replies. This sounds like a do-able proposition.

Greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
Hannda OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsotsie View Post
If you are having excessive vibrations, ever checked the timing of the counter balancer weights?
I think it's "me" more than the bike. Other's who've ridden my bike say it's the smoothest KLR with the stock 650 they've ever ridden. I've just got wimpy hands. My old Honda Sabre 700 used to put my hands to sleep and that V4 was one of the smoothest engines ever put in a bike.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannda View Post
I think it's "me" more than the bike. Other's who've ridden my bike say it's the smoothest KLR with the stock 650 they've ever ridden. I've just got wimpy hands. My old Honda Sabre 700 used to put my hands to sleep and that V4 was one of the smoothest engines ever put in a bike.
As a V4 owner myself (1985 V65 Sabre) I know what you're talking about. The vibration thing was a big concern to me as I had sustained an injury to my right hand. I opted for the 705 with the lightest piston and aluminum fat bar. The flat out best mod for a KLR. I can ride all day with only a few hand clinches.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
ROYAL COACHMAN
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I always thought my 09 klr was a smooth bike, but the 685 made it even better!!
12,000 miles later and I'm really happy I did the up grade!
I believe my klr is smoother than my two previous bikes, a f800 and a 650 vstrom.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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You can also fill the handle bars with silicon, works pretty good.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
willys
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Usually if your hands go numb you have nerve damage. "C" spine injuries and arthritis which restrict the nerve canals where the nerves travel through will cause numbness. I have 3 herniated discs and a plate and 4 screws in my neck. These result in me getting numbness and pain in my fingers just by the position of my neck or head. Just something to think about, maybe if it's possible have a MRI done on your neck to reveal such damages or restrictions. Up above the border such tests are free for the asking by a Dr., the advantage of a healthcare system. I'm glad to say.
There are specific locations for each finger or locations which is being affected. Maybe it's repairable by a simple posture adjustment or by surgery if bad enough for you to warrant it. I personally believe in the knife and live by it. It has been good to me so far.

Hope this helps someone with the same issues....
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:19 PM   #11
griffo1962
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Done +60,000kms on my 667cc Wossner. Bike has now done ~250,000kms
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffo1962 View Post
Done +60,000kms on my 667cc Wossner. Bike has now done ~250,000kms
Amazing.

That's about 150,000 miles, and you did the upgrade at about 110,000.

I really like high mileage bike stories like yours. Tell us more and show us some pics!
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:18 AM   #13
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I've only got about 2500 miles on my 685 upgrade, so I can't say about longevity. But I'm really happy with the upgrade. Pre-upgrade, it just wasn't that much fun to ride (way better than a cage, but...).

Now it revs much better, much less wheezy, and does have a noticeable increase in power.

For me, it was either trade it or upgrade. Pretty happy that I did the upgrade.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:33 PM   #14
Bigger Al
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I'm one of the guys who had a piston failure with a 685 kit. See pics here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671973

I never did figure out just what happened, and neither could the nice folks at Schnitz Racing. They were good enough to give me a break on a new kit, so I bought it an did another installation.
I've got almost 5K miles since, and I'm very, very pleased with the performance of the bike now. It's no KTM, but it's incredibly smoother, quicker on the throttle, and pulls cleaner all the way to redline. The 685 kit makes it feel like a completely different bike. I could see this being an "only" bike, should that situation ever arise.
I've not had to add a drop of oil in the 5K, which is a marked contrast to the stock top end.

My original reason for installing the 685 kit was a piston that broke it's ring landings on the intake side at 35K miles. The break happened at mile 3,535 of a 3,500-mile trip in the Summer of 2010. My wife and I rode our bikes through Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and the PNW, and were 15 miles from home. The bike quit at a stop sign, and eventually restarted after some effort, and got me the rest of the way home. I had the kit sitting on shelf in the garage and had intended to do the work prior to departure, but life, work, etc., got busy and I left with the stock internals. I do not know whether or not the original 685 kit would have made the entire trip, or if I would have had to drag a bike home from BFE. but I do know that I trust this newer kit to take me anywhere I choose to go.

*edit*

Now that I go back and reread the thread that I started when the first kit failed, I remember thinking that I would just part the bike out and find something else. I'm really glad that I didn't. There are a lot of people on ADV who think that KLR's are simply the biggest steaming piles on the planet, but I love mine, plain and simple.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:02 PM   #15
B.C.Biker
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Also had a 685 fail on me at about 10,000 km. Looked a lot like yours Bigger Al. Not sure off the cause. Went 705 and a bit of porting. Stock sized valves. Loving it.
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