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Old 01-13-2008, 06:54 AM   #1
SuperSkids OP
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KLR 650 Front Forks

I just purchased a 98 KLR 650 and there is not air pressure in the front forks. How much air do you run in your forks? I looked in the Clymer manual and can find nothing...
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:29 AM   #2
Boon Booni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSkids
I just purchased a 98 KLR 650 and there is not air pressure in the front forks. How much air do you run in your forks? I looked in the Clymer manual and can find nothing...

Generally you just run the forks with no pressure. Some people will put 5-10 psi in them, but I just would put the bike on the centerstand, and make sure the forks were completely extended, and then let them equalize to outside pressure.
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Boon Booni screwed with this post 01-13-2008 at 08:33 PM
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:38 PM   #3
kdxkawboy
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The forks will work better with 0 lbs. of air pressure. With riding the forks can build up pressure and the valve becomes handy to release that build up. The air pressure will only affect the final inch or two of travel, suddenly increasing the dampening rate - the greater hte air pressure the harsher that last bit of travel will feel. You are better off to tune your front fork by playing with oil wieght, oil height and the preload on the fork springs.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
Bigger Al
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdxkawboy
The forks will work better with 0 lbs. of air pressure. With riding the forks can build up pressure and the valve becomes handy to release that build up. The air pressure will only affect the final inch or two of travel, suddenly increasing the dampening rate - the greater hte air pressure the harsher that last bit of travel will feel. You are better off to tune your front fork by playing with oil wieght, oil height and the preload on the fork springs.

That's sage advice from a wiley veteran KLR guy. Most of the time all the extra air pressure does is introduce you to the procedures for replacing fork seals.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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This question is under more debate than the previous comments would lead you to believe. Do a search. Many people run air in the forks with great success and RARE failure.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:46 PM   #6
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First --- check to see that you have (at least) the stock oil level. Many are low. Remove springs, collapse forks, measure oil level -- stock is 190mm from the top of the tube. I run 165-170mm... really reduces the brake dive. I usually run 10 psi as well... so do many others, and many run higher pressure than that. I've done over a dozen KLRs at tech days and the only ones that had the proper fork oil level were ones that the owner had checked himself. Every KLR I've set to 170 & 10psi has made the owner happy, and the only fork seal I've had problems with in 20,000 miles on my KLR is one that got dirt in it. There are drain holes in the fork boots... be sure to turn them so they face back, not forward.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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You Guys Rock!!

Thanks for the advice guys... I'll pull them this weekend...
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
jgas
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Yep. I have a 2001 model, it had way low oil in the forks. I ran 25 psi until I added oil, now I can get by with 10-15 psi. The KLR forks seem to be made to use air, many bikes in the 70s and 80s were made to use air. I forgot that until HolyCaveman reminded me. I ride pretty hard on and off road, and I think I am going to be happy with 15 wt oil set fairly high, and a little air added and with a fork brace.

Now I have to start on the shock. I think I'm going to try just a stiffer spring first before I do any of the aftermarket shocks. Am I on the right track?
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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just stumbled upon this dead thread. well, in reply to jgas, in my opinion- and i am no hard core klr do-it-yourselfer, built-mine-with-a-toothpick-and-know-it-all, but, i did my bit of research and went with a new spring. dont research too much, opinions are like, well, you know what are they like, and spring can be had reasonably cheap. took me awhile to actually find someone who had one in stock. i went with 500lbs, 9", which takes an inch off the bike height, without me on it. so the bike, when you get off looks lower. shock was acutally designed for a 9 spring.
anyway, try it if you weight more then, ah, 190, and chances are you'll like it, but not by any means does it feel like a new shock. its just a stiffer spring, thats all. so no more bottoming, but as far as response, forget it.
i dont regret doing it at all, but understand that at some point chances are i'll be buying a proper shock.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:11 AM   #10
innathyzit
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was muckin round in the shed on Sunday and was thinkin of how to make the front end better when I spied the valve springs off my Benelli. Soon had the springs outta the forks and the extra valves installed under the spacers.
It seems a bit harder and a little less sag but because I am waiting on a new rear brake bracket I have not tested it in anger yet.
Will keep you posted.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:38 AM   #11
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Holy thread revival

Great info obtained through the much maligned search function that may help others.
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