Yeah, Forman!!! Knew you could do it, knew you'd be thrilled with the results. The XR650R Honda is a beast, and 40 mpg will likely be the best mileage after break-in from what other owners share. You're doing what the KLR is famous for: 50-plus mpg. There's a big replacement fuel tank in my future, the stock 2.6 gallons won't cut it at rural Nevada! It would be great if we were less miles apart and able to share some miles!
I changed the oil filter at 75 miles, just precautionary but comforted that I did. The oil is still spotless, a sign of correct jetting and no oil burning or blowby from the first start-up. Tune and jetting are very important, the Honda is dialed properly and wants to do nothing but start readily and run strongly and smoothly across the entire rpm band!
I, too, am having difficulty keeping the lid on it. I did a test of Michelin T63 tires that will be at the magazine shortly. In demonstrating the tires' performance on- and off-pavement, I found the engine anxious to pull through the gears at what I would estimate was 5,000-5,500 RPM (no tach) per gear. No redline stuff. The torque is so strong that one challenge is preventing rear wheel spin off-pavement. I'm sure the Baja racers discovered this early on, you can steer this bike readily with the throttle! The video footage is quite impressive, it actually looks sped up, and believe me, it isn't! Like I shared, this thing is a beast...
In the process of fulfilling the original goal of toting video gear into the backcountry, I turned to TCI Products (saddle and tail racks) and Nelson-Rigg (bags). The workmanship and design of each product line are very impressive, I filmed the installation and set-up of the racks and bags, will add this to the magazine HD video coverage shortly. Incredible equipment if you need to tote gear for your trips. I also tossed the factory plastic skid plate in favor of a precision fit TCI Products aluminum skid plate with sturdy engine side case guards. That's another installation HD video pending!
I really thought all this add-on weight for racks, gear, bags and the skid plate would affect performance. Without gear, just the skid plate, racks and bags, I would say the weight increase is around 35-40 pounds. This still has the bike under 340 pounds wet. Add video and camping gear for another 40-50 pounds, and I should be under 400 pounds (plus rider weight). This would be more like 380-390 pounds wet, maybe as much as 395 pounds.
Note: Advertised dry weight of the Honda XR650R was 277 pounds in enduro off-road factory trim. With a Baja Designs dual-sport conversion kit, lubricants and fuel, the cycle set around 300 pounds before adding the TCI Products skid plate, racks and bags.
Add my weight for another 188 pounds in riding apparel. (I'm working on this live weight, would like to be around 180 pounds soaked with all riding apparel.) I'll likely put this whole package, including me, the bags and gear, plus a full tank of fuel, on an accurate scale and determine the "real" wet weight for over-the-road.
The moral of the story is that the added weight has minimal impact on this cycle's stellar acceleration, braking and overall performance. As for handling, I do compensate for the cargo, but even that's minimized by the saddle bags, as they ride lower and have less effect on the center-of-gravity.
I am a happy camper, and like you're discovering, Forman, the work applied is more than worth it...I look forward to any and every opportunity to ride this bike!
Again, congratulations on a job well done! I could see your attention to detail and workmanship in the photos you shared with fellow forum members. I would not hesitate to have you join me on a "100 miles from nowhere" ride, traveling where reliability is crucial to getting home.
Ride safely and enjoy every mile with that KLR dual-sport moto, Forman! It's a great machine for your climate and terrain! As the miles and interesting trips unfold, we'll strike up new post topics at the forum travel and dual-sport adventure sections! Keep sharing your tech projects, too...
P.S.: I'll change to either full synthetic or Chevron 'Isosyn' Supreme motor oil soon. I believe the key to engine and piston ring life on these higher revving motorcycle engines is in the motor oil. A friend at Warn Industries has a Honda XR650R. He said switching to Amsoil synthetic made his right leg significantly cooler! If exhaust temp dropped this noticeably, this means the engine friction and wear dropped as well. I'd like to run some exhaust temp tests to validate this phenomenon, before and after running synthetic oil.