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Old 11-28-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
RestlessRider OP
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Preparing the KLX250 for a long trip

Hello inmates,

What sort of racks and soft luggage do you run with your KLX250S?
Do your setups allow room for a pillion? I researched a bit on the KLX thread and found only two pannier systems "dirtbagz" and "Happy Trails SU and SL". Users of either panniers can you give me pros and cons of each system? Are there any other vendors offering pannier systems? Have you guys tried fitting a Kriega platform on the above racks? I am interested n the Kriega since it provides a platform to attach a Rotopax fuel can. Sorry I am asking too many questions. Am just trying hard to get to a decision.

Danke,
RestlessRider
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:09 AM   #2
jtw000
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With a small bike you need to keep your luggage load as light as possible. I used Dirtbagz on my BMW 650 to save weight/cost on a big trip and they held up very well indeed. A month touring Europe, 2-up and around 6 weeks crossing from London to SE Asia, the bags were fine, no leaks and no damage. The metal rails even protected the exhaust nicely in two separate drops so I give them a thumbs up.
The best way to prep a bike is to examine your budget and think very carefully about what you need. In general the best thing to go for is to make sensible improvements that will protect the bike and make it work better for your needs. It's best to avoid anything exotic that will be difficult to repair or replace on the road. Simplify everything. Change bolts to hex heads to save the weight of various different tools and so the standard ones don't snap at the worst possible time. Adding the weight of your gear might mean extra stress on the suspension, consider upgrades here. Think about a tougher chain and sprockets. I would avoid power increases but most bikes can benefit from removing the emission controls (your opinion may vary.) Do some homework, I removed my Cat-equipped pipe and went with a K&N washable filter and enjoyed a better breathing bike with a bit more power and range and saved a fair bit of weight. Add protection to the belly with a top class sump-guard. If you buy a good, strong one it will support you tools, fuel packs or other heavy gear down low.
This is a drop in the ocean (I literally wrote a book on this). Basically, make the bike more rugged and more reliable, save weight where you can and make it as simple as you can to repair.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
Pauls2ndblessing
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I do know that some people prefer a particular rack for the KLX250s because of the back support frame not being the strongest and some racks have a support brace that distributes the weight better than others. Outback system (from TCI) I have heard does this.

I don't currently have a KLX but I am picking one up on the 8th, so I've been looking into a few things and have decided that I'll be buying or building a mount that does distribute the weight to other areas.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
RestlessRider OP
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jtw200:

Agreed, with a small bike I need to keep my load less which is why I am looking for a soft luggage system. One could argue that I wouldn't need a rack for mounting soft luggage but I am riding with a pillion and hence need a rack. I looked at the Dirtbagz system and liked it because it is cheaper than any of the other options out there but it requires removal of the pillion's foot peg.

A wise old ex-rally racer friend of mine said that the most important modifications that can be made are changing the tires, beefing up the suspension and the chassis. Coming back to your point on weight management, how do I keep fuel packs and heavy gear down low? I can see myself keeping a tool tube down low by the skid plate. Btw I need a copy of your book :-). Anyway it is a significant chalenge to carry less weight for two person touring on a small bike. I intend to carry a tent, 2 sleeping bags,2 sleeping pads, bike tools, a stove, 2 sets of clothing each. Apart from weight I also need to keep volume down for better packing.

Paul:

Congratulations on getting the KLX, you will love it. I haven't heard of TCI thanks for the information. It would be nice if the loop bar across the rear tyre ties to the underside of the rear frame. The aforementioned friend of mine has that kind of a custom setup on his DR350. By the way do you happen to know what is the max load the bike can handle and rear frame loads? Once I know the worst case load, I can subtract body weight and figure out what room I have for luggage etc.

Cheers,
Restless
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #5
XDragRacer
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Ain't a KLX250, but what might be considered its predecessor, a KLR250. Shown is Cyclerack (available for both KLR250 and for KLX250, I understand) and full pannier and top case set, with auxiliary fuel container:





Soft panniers and top case are advertised for KLR650, but fit the 250 Cyclerack the same. Luggage mounts seamlessly between Cycleracks (have 'em on both KLR250 and 650); easily removable on overnight stops.

Fear not about breaking the subframe with a Cyclerack; built to haul a moose quarter; lifetime-guaranteed, no breakage ever in service, according to vendor.
Product details and applications at manufacturer's website; http://www.cycleracks.com
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
8gv
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On my KLR250 I have Dirtbagz metal frames and Dirtbagz Ranger Paniers on them.

My riding buddy has a KLX250. He runs Wolfman Rolie bags. He carries a lot less than I do.

Bear in mind the somewhat limited range on the KLX. The 1.9 gallon tank may need a small aux. can on your racks if you're going remote.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:46 AM   #7
Pauls2ndblessing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessRider View Post
Paul:

Congratulations on getting the KLX, you will love it. I haven't heard of TCI thanks for the information. It would be nice if the loop bar across the rear tyre ties to the underside of the rear frame. The aforementioned friend of mine has that kind of a custom setup on his DR350. By the way do you happen to know what is the max load the bike can handle and rear frame loads? Once I know the worst case load, I can subtract body weight and figure out what room I have for luggage etc.

Cheers,
Restless
Thanks man, I'm really excited about the new to me bike as far as the rear subframe weight capacity, I'm not sure of, but if you go with the TCI or the cyclerack systems, your subframe will actually have more support than stock, can't hurt there :)

But max capacity(not sure on year differences) is around: 627 lbs supposedly... not sure until I get my bike and look at the sticker placed near the steering head, should also be in the owners manual.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessRider View Post
Hello inmates,

What sort of racks and soft luggage do you run with your KLX250S?
Do your setups allow room for a pillion? I researched a bit on the KLX thread and found only two pannier systems "dirtbagz" and "Happy Trails SU and SL". Users of either panniers can you give me pros and cons of each system? Are there any other vendors offering pannier systems? Have you guys tried fitting a Kriega platform on the above racks? I am interested n the Kriega since it provides a platform to attach a Rotopax fuel can. Sorry I am asking too many questions. Am just trying hard to get to a decision.

Danke,
RestlessRider
If you have access to a welder and bender, you may want to build a sturdier subframe. Turbocity also offers front racks for many bikes, to help distribute weight better. They look like a good place for tent and a skinny waterproof duffel of mini sleeping bags. I'd look for a bigger tank as well, as I don't like carrying big auxiliary tanks. Consider different types of tankbags and tank panniers, and how they'll fit by your knees when 2up. Zip-tie, hose-clamp, or somehow fasten tire levers and other long tools to your frame or skid. Use a Moose Racing dualsport front fenderpack to carry std tubes and some other items. A comfy seat is important when you don't have much room to move around 2up. I also lowered the rider pegs and passenger pegs on my DR for a little more leg-room, and I added touring pegs to my skid as well, so that we can move our feet around.

Pack light. Versatile, lightweight clothing that dries quickly is important. I use sleeping bags that pack tiny. If you have non-mesh textile gear...Several weeks ahead of your tip, spray all of your riding gear, and hers, with several coats of CampDry Heavy-Duty silicone waterproofing, so that you don't have to carry raingear, and if you do you don't have to pull over right away with the first raindrops to put it on. I use a Givi topcase on a Givi plate. It's nice to be able to lock some things up, and the Givi plate mounts the topcase MUCH better than a hardware kit. PacSafe mesh will also let you secure soft luggage, if you like. A waterproof duffel can be quite versatile. A PacSafe duffel can even be locked.

We put our casual clothes in soft saddlebags. We each get a side. Bad-weather layers go in tankbag, tank panniers, or pockets. Moccasins or similar make decent campshoes that pack small. My mesh touring jacket has big pockets. My wind/rain liner, or a Columbia low-profile wind/rain/insulated jacket, or the insulated liner for my pants, fits in the back pocket or back-armor pocket easily. The chest pockets of the touring jacket are large enough to fit the thin wind/rain liners in each too, and there is another pocket that easily fits my warm neck gaiter. I don't have to use the luggage to stow my bad-weather layers, as my pockets hold so much. I can use the space for food, toiletries, kitchen items, and other things you wouldn't want in your clothes.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #9
lobolator
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Tank panniers

I use Wolfman tank panniers and the small enduro tank bag(permanently on the bike - it holds all my tools and 2 tubes). Things are pretty bomb proof and add some good storage, the panniers will drive your knees out riding two up.
TCI has a complete set-up with saddle bags, tail bag, and rack now IIRC. If you have the cash, I'd do it. It will provide a bomb proof platform and luggage that won't interfere with your passenger.
I use the TCI Borrego and love it. It's the tail only rack. I have a tail bag that zips on or I bolt on a Pelican when I need waterproof/lockable storage(which I would recommend against for two up - it hits my back sometimes and would crunch the passenger against you even more, a bag would be good for passenger back support and because it's moldable). The rack itself is super strong.
I should say I never ride two up, I usually sit on the passenger's spot.
Good luck and have fun!
Keep us posted on your decisions and trips.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
Rob.G
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I have the CycleRacks rack on my KLX250S. I think you can fit DirtBagz racks on with it, which would make for a pretty good combo. I'd suggest a large rolltop dry bag for the top of the rack itself rather than a top case, since it'll mean less weight. I have yet to camp off this bike. I've been slowly reducing my load of crap to bring, and it fits on my DR650 now. I THINK I can fit it on the KLX now, but I'm not sure yet. :)

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #11
JerryH
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I actually consider the KLR250 to be superior to the KLX in most regards. The KLX is a better dirt bike, but the KLR is a better all around dual sport, I'd probably buy one if they still made them.

I am not familiar with the KLX except what I have read. The limited fuel capacity would be my biggest worry. I have a Clarke 4 gallon tank on my XT225. One thing I do recommend taking is something to prop the bike up on, tools to remove the wheels and tires, spare tubes, and a compressor or pump. You WILL have flat tires. I have a centerstand on my XT, but I also have a milk crate bolted to the Immix Racing rack, which is easily removed, and found it is also good for supporting the bike, as well as being an excellent starting point for a great luggage system. You can not only fill it up, but you can attach things all over the outside of it. I also recommend getting the 4mm thick "monster tubes" from Dual Star. They cut my number of flats by over half. I had 3 flats (all in the back) on a one day trail ride.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:11 PM   #12
RestlessRider OP
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XDragRacer:
Very nice luggage setup on the KLR250. I am seriously considering getting the Cycleracks setup. What bag is that on your handlebar? That is pretty cool.

8gv:
True, the range on the stock tank is limited but with the killer stock seat I have to get off the bike very often anyway :-). I would like a larger gas tank like the IMS 3 gallon tank but I am a bit wary with how it mounts (I had leakage from my earlier aftermarket tank at the mounting points, scary!). Also too much weight sitting up top can change the handling significantly.

Paul,
Keep me posted on what changes you do to the bike. We can exchange notes:-). The maximum load on the bike cannot exceed 181kg or 399lb, from the manual.

Kommando,
Agreed, tank panniers will most likely get in the way when I am riding with a pillion. A front rack would be superb! I didn't see anything specifically regarding that on Turbocity's web page but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. I want to move my foot pegs a little lower and to the front as well since I have to move a little forward on the seat when I have a pillion. Did you do a custom job to lower and move your foot pegs or is there a vendor somewhere?

Lobolator:
Yeah, tank panniers would get in the way of my knees when riding with a pillion. I want to keep all my luggage soft and am considering a waterproof duffel bag to keep my pillion comfortable with a backrest.

RobG:
You sure can fit on the bike if you are going to go solo when I am trying to do this with a pillion:-). By the way I read your posts regarding BMS seats and I am planning to get one done. They quoted $509.0 for a dual seat. I am not sure if they offer ADVrider discounts. It is expensive but it is probably money well spent for touring long distances. Happy wife happy life!

JerryH:
You probably hit the nail on the head with the KLR-KLX comparison. At the moment a 1 gallon Rotopax is what I am considering for better range. I am trying to see if a center stand is available for the KLX250 couldn't find anything off the bat online. The Endurostar trail side repair stand seems to be nice. Milk crate seems to be a good option. But being a noob to dual sporting, I always wonder how people get the bike on milk crate, brute force? Also the milk crate can double up as a camp chair:-). I will add thicker inner tubes to my list.

Cheers,
Restless
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #13
sealsam
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Get that breeze off you! TCI windscreen is the answer.

https://tciproductsusa.com/index.php...roducts_id=630

I'm not associated with TCI, just a satisfied customer.



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Old 12-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
Rob.G
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I've never felt the need for a windscreen on my KLX. Frankly, it's too slow. I never go over 60-65 mph on it, and at those slow speeds, it just hasn't been an issue. But that's just me. :)

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Old 12-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #15
ntm1973
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Restlessrider,

How long is a long trip? What kind of conditions are you expecting (hard trails, dirt roads, all roads, etc?) I am running wolfman enduro panniers with a small camelback on the back of the seat/rack. It is enough for summer camping if I want to travel light but I would need a little more space if I was going to be gone for months at a time. As others have mentioned, I would keep heavy weight off the rear rack. You might want to check out giantloop stuff, I have not used it but a lot of guys seam to like it and I would go that route if/when I take my klx for a long trip, exspecially if your trip included harder offroad riding.

Also, why not go with a bigger gas tank rather than carry an extra gas can? I have an acerbis 3.7gal tank and love the range. It would be an extra expense but you will appreciate it everytime you ride.

If flat tires are a big concern, you might want to check out a nuetech tubliss system. It lets you make MOST flat repairs using a simple plug kit and allows you to run low tire pressure without having to worry about a pinch flat. Ride on tire sealant also works much better on a tubliss tire. I would still carry a 21 inch tube just in case but the nuetech setup is pretty slick.
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