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Old 06-12-2012, 07:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bought a Diesel KLR

I have been doing some tweaking on a Diesel KLR for a friend and have it running fairly well.
Here's some pictures Sparky took of it right after it's build.




Here's the videos Sparky made of it running
Diesel KLR 650 - YouTube

As I said, it was originally built by Sparky, a Texas Local, who sold it to another Diesel Bike Board Member here in Texas. Sparky was limited to what he could fabricate in his garage, so some things he wanted to make for it he couldn't do. Stuff I make all the time!
TXRanger, the second owner, put it up for sale last month after using it a few years on his ranch and I went over to see if it was something I wanted. I was disappointed when I rode it because of the problems with the original build issues and it's disrepair. So I offered to clean it up and fix those problems that would help it sell better.
I took it home with the agreement that if I could make it run like I wanted, I'd buy it myself.

Well, I worked on it a few hours and realized how much potential this bike has. For example!

It now can cruise at 55 mph, but I think it's got more in it.
I think I can get another solid 10 mph out of it with the CV transmission it has in it now. The engine is a 420 cc DID single cylinder diesel engine. The transmission, for now, is a Comet CV belt drive. Like what's found on 4 Wheelers and big Off Road Go Karts. Sparky tells me he got a consistant 120 mpg out of it. I have no reason to doubt him. He rode the thing for several years. Even rode it to Colorado once I hear.

I remade the exhaust into a proper mandrel bent tubular exhaust and rerouted the intake to the stock KLR air box. So it breaths a lot better!
Made a proper remote lever for the decompression lever on top of the engine, which makes starting a lot easier.
Turn on key, pull decompression lever and hit starter. Putt, putt, putt it goes.
Reworked the fuel throttle and shut off lever and it now idles like a purring kitten. It will turn 4300 rpm on the stand now that it can breathes better.
(Don't worry, I know it won't live long at that RPM) (It's torque curve falls out at about 3800 according to the data plate on the engine.)

Shut down is a no brainer now. EASY!
(when I got it, it wouldn't stay running or idle.)
And I made a few other odds and ends improvements for the fitment for me.

Left to do:
Fix the flat on the rear tire, and clean the contacts on the starter solenoid.
It needs a new headlight bulb and a bath. It's got Bio Fuel gunk all over it.
I'm going to tinker with the timing, injector and gearing to see if I can get it up to a consistent 65 mph with the CV.
And get rid of that last bit flex tubing in the exhaust. ( I remade the header you can't see in the pictures)

Worked on it so much I fell in love with it and had to have it!
So, for now, it stays in Texas and on this board!!!!

Now I need to do some research about the Enfield transmissions. Not real crazy about the performance of the CV. And there is not a lot of room for a big transmission. Besides, I like to row my own. I honestly think this thing has the ability to run 70 mph all day long if it has a real gearbox in it.

The best part is I've gotten to be good friends with both TXRanger and Sparky because of this bike, so it's a big trifecta win for me.

I've been a fan of diesel powered bikes for several years. Been gathering parts to build a Diesel powered Triumph Tiger with a Ultima Transmission and Diahatsu engine. The only parts I need before I can get started on it is a primary drive and clutch of the Ultima transmision. Already have a Titled Tiger!
So soon I'll have two diesel bikes!!!
The Tiger I'll be building is like the one Heiko in Germany builds.
Here's his video.
triumph diesel tiger - YouTube

That is all!

Curtis
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome! ...and I've never said that about a KLR before. Won't be giving up my 450XCW any time soon, but would love to have something like that to get around on.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So.... you've removed an engine that made roughly 40hp, that got roughly 50mpg and had a top speed of just under 100mph and replaced it with an automatic diesel that goes 55mph? esplain me
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So.... you've removed an engine that made roughly 40hp, that got roughly 50mpg and had a top speed of just under 100mph and replaced it with an automatic diesel that goes 55mph? esplain me
Read the story again more s l o w ly!
Then ask about what you don't understand.

Or should I just cut and paste it here all over again!

Your answers you seek are in the first post past the title and pictures.

I wrote it with paragraphs and everything for easy reading.

Even used spell checker!!!!
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm also interested in why one would want a even heavier, even more underpowered KLR, and I did read it twice.

I had a KLR, put 12,000 miles on it in Mexico and Central America, and would buy one again for that application, so I'm not hating on the KLR.

I get that it's different and cool and a challenge, but is there something I'm missing?

Is the 120mpg the best objective quality this thing has?
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm also interested in why one would want a even heavier, even more underpowered KLR, and I did read it twice.

I had a KLR, put 12,000 miles on it in Mexico and Central America, and would buy one again for that application, so I'm not hating on the KLR.

I get that it's different and cool and a challenge, but is there something I'm missing?

Is the 120mpg the best objective quality this thing has?
is there anything else you would want in a long distance expedition bike?
don't foget that you can run a single cylinder diesel motor on just about anything resembling a hydrocarbon as long as it's filtered fine enough to not hose the IP and injector.
besides, all of SSSRodeos things are diesel,
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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is there anything else you would want in a long distance expedition bike?
Yes, I would like to be able to pass semi trucks on mountain roads
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Didn't the army make a bunch of these?

I guess you can't get ahold of one of those and ppl have to build them?
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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is there anything else you would want in a long distance expedition bike?
I would like a long distance expedition bike to have a suspension system that is a little bit more than "Ok by 1980's standards".
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have three KLR's right now. One I've ridden all over the North American Continent. It's well outfitted as an Expedition Bike! The swing arm is still stock on it. Everything else has been, well, massaged!
And I own a 95 Ducati Elefant. Ducati's vesion of the Dual Sport.
A blast to ride, but a ticket magnet.

Not to mention the soon to be diesel converted Triumph Tiger. As to why I'd want one even more underpowered than the KLR already is. Because it's got a cool factor.
Think about it! I can run this engine on diesel, corn, soybean, alcohol, motor oil, cooking grease, whiskey and even transmission fluid. Damn near anything I want. And get 120 mpg doing it. And I have a WVO refinery to make my own fuel too!

There is a big following for Diesel powered motorcycles in Europe. In America there are probably less than two dozen of us. But you guys like Death Machine Fabs builds don't you? He's built several diesel powered bikes and had good sucess with them. If you haven't heard or read about his builds you should look hisThreads up here ion Pirate!

This KLR not for every day transportation. Not yet anyway! It's just fun to do local rides and blow people away at the diesel pump and yes, almost all my vehicles are diesel. My Motorhome, pickup, SUV, Car and now motorcycle are diesel powered. Bring on the TEOTWAWKI .. I'm almost ready

Kinda like buiilding a rock buggy in a neighborhood full of BMWs. They all ask why? Well hell, why not? How about "Because I can"? I didn't build this one, but it was probably going to end up in England or Scotland if I didn't snag it. And the price was right. It's noisey, smelly and not real pretty. Sounds like it fits right in on the Pirate Board!

Fred Hayes of Hayes Diversified did go into the manufacturing of Diesel powered KLR's. But they are 5 speeds and a lot more sofisticated than this KLR. And he's moved his operation to India to keep up with the American way of outsourcing jobs. And it doesn't look good that there will ever be a civilian version offered to the public. He can't keep up with the demand from the military for it. Actually I shouldn't blame him. As I understand it he sold his Company to the highest bidder. The American Way!

I don't care if this diesel KLR isn't so fancy. It's fun to ride. And eventualy I'll find a transmission that fits in the space available and make it a manual transmission bike. That will really make it run well in traffic.
I've got two more if I want to go faster. And if I need warp speed, there is always the Ducati.

So if you don't understand, don't worry about it. You won't have to ride it. And when you are standing in long line at the gas pumps next year, I'll wave as I putt putt on by. Imagine 600 miles on 5 gallons of peanut oil fuel!

And yes, WVO does smell like french fries going down the road!

Love it or hate it.
I don't care. I'm having fun with it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Love it...
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think that thing is badass. And will be even more so when you get it tweaked further.

Good job and kudos, man!
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't get it. I guess its cool to have a rare bike that runs on diesel, but the KLR is a dime-a-dozen bike and your diesel motor can only cruise @ 55mph? I own a diesel truck but I bought it for towing, torque, and durability....other than that it's not as fun to drive around as a gasser and there is 1 diesel pump for every 6 gas pumps.

I guess if this diesel KLR is going to be towing a trailer and the motor is even more durable than the gas motor....than that is cool.

Won't an un-corked KLR that runs on gas get 90-100 mph @ 50mph?
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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on gas get 90-100 mph @ 50mph?
I assume you mean MPG? And running a KLR at 90 to 100 MPH if you can get to 100 you will not be getting 50 MPG you would be lucky to get 20 to 25 at wide open throttle..

On my Unkorked DR650 dual sport I get about 45 to 50 running 60 to 65.. Once I open it up over that the Mileage goes way down quick.. Same for a coworkers KLR



I too would not be interested in this particular set up but to be able to get 125 to 130 MPG at highway speed would be freaking awesome
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I like it, not as much as the military version, but it's unique.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hey Curtis,
I totally get it! This is a very cool bike and I'm glad that you ended up with Sparky's bike. Do you have any up dated pictures of it? I'd love to see what it looks like. Those that don't get it, never will! Diesel bikes are cool amd that's all there is to get. I don't care if it only goes just so fast. The fact that you can get wherever you are going, and do it getting over 100mpg. This is the bike that inspired my Diesel KLR project. Seeing it here has re-inspired me. Yes, I want the downtubes that you made for the other bike. Bring them!

Thanks!

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Old 06-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey Curtis,
I totally get it! This is a very cool bike and I'm glad that you ended up with Sparky's bike. Do you have any up dated pictures of it? I'd love to see what it looks like. Those that don't get it, never will! Diesel bikes are cool amd that's all there is to get. I don't care if it only goes just so fast. The fact that you can get wherever you are going, and do it getting over 100mpg. This is the bike that inspired my Diesel KLR project. Seeing it here has re-inspired me. Yes, I want the downtubes that you made for the other bike. Bring them!

Thanks!

SamM

Sam, the bike looks exactly like it does in this picture with one exception. Actually two! It's now in my shop and I found that the rear pulley wouldn't expand all the way. It was hitting the frame. So I spaced both of them out a 1/2 inch and solved that problem. But it meant the pulley cover then hit the drive pulley. So I domed the cover and in the process knocked all the paint and letters off it. I'm going to grind all the welding bumps off the cover bead blast it and give it another hammered silver paint job. Not sure if I'll put the automatic label back on it.

I have a pair of IMS tanks on the shelf and may eventually install one of these so I can ride it all month on one tank of diesel.

I'm told the top speed on this bike use to be 76 mph. I'll keep working on getting it back up to that. But if it will run a consistent 65 mph at 100 mpg, I'll be happy.

And as you guys who don't "Get It" don't worry about it.
Why should I worry about being normal? I'll leave that up to you guys.
You see, I can go farther on fuel I make and have fun doing it.
It's not about being the fastest, strongest or prettiest. It's about having something different and fun, that few others have.

And yes, my gas powered KLR only gets 46 mpg at 70 mph. And the top speed with the tricked out motor is still only 98 mph. But, I don't care how fast it is. It will take me around the world if I ask it to! And that includes paved Interstate, gravel, sand, dirt or muddy roads or trails. I have been able to set in the saddle 900 miles in one day. And still walk afterwards. I would have ridden 1000 like an Iron Butt Roder, but I arrived at my destination. So, I stopped at 900.

This diesel bike will change with time as I tweak it into at least what it was.
Oh and one of the first things I'm going to add is a set of Wheat Wacker Wedges. Can't stand that fairing windscreen angle.

I'll be sure and bring you the lower replacement frame tubing Sam. Glad you want them. Let me know when if you decide to build your Diesel KLR and I'll take all the frame pictures of this one you want.

Later guys.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I am actually thinking KLR again when I get another dual sport in a year or two. I really enjoyed mine and put almost 20K on it before giving it away....errr selling it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I like it. It seems useful, depending on what you want to use it for. Going fast on canyon roads or tearing up dirt trails, no.

Long distance exploring it would probably be great for, even with the auto. No stalling in the dirt, instant power when stopped on hills, long fuel range. Sounds like a winner for me.

The KLR for me is a bike that I want but will probably never buy. It's fun to ride, but the trails I normally ride are a bit much for it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It's nice to hear all the positive comments about this Odd Duck.
Your my kinds of folks!
I'm enjoying it for what it is.
Yea, slow and smokey.?
What better base than the KLR to build something so silly and practicle?

If you old guys ever rode the Cushman's back in the 50's and 60's you know what I'm talking about. The old Cushman Scooters were nothing more than mini bikes for grown men. They had almost no suspension, handled like something from the Flintstone's Movies and were embarrassingly simple.

This one is a lot like the Old Scooters. It'll get me there cheaply and will be fun.

My only regret will be having to answer all the questions about it when ever I park it somewhere in public. I'm told by both the builder and the second owner that they had to plan extra time on every trip to answer questions from gawkers.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:19 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Perfect remote bike for Mexico and Central America.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:01 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Im currently working on a similar build as time allows. Started with a 79 gs550 roller started hacking and chopping, got about 8 inches in the swingarm and a bunch of other stuff that has no impact on getting it ridable but i couldnt resist. Its either a 6 or 6.5 horse yanmar, same engine basically as that klr and cv transmission too. Seeing the klr really makes me want to hurry up and finish the damn project. SSSRODEO how bad does it shake? thats one of my only concerns, is it solid or rubber mounted in some way?
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Im currently working on a similar build as time allows. Started with a 79 gs550 roller started hacking and chopping, got about 8 inches in the swingarm and a bunch of other stuff that has no impact on getting it ridable but i couldnt resist. Its either a 6 or 6.5 horse yanmar, same engine basically as that klr and cv transmission too. Seeing the klr really makes me want to hurry up and finish the damn project. SSSRODEO how bad does it shake? thats one of my only concerns, is it solid or rubber mounted in some way?
I have a friend here locally that built one with a 6.5 horse Yanmar in a GS Suzuki frame. The GS was a drive shaft bike and he swapped in a chain drive swing arm he found from another Suzuki. He runs a CV also and is very dissapointed on how it performs. It does OK in town, but is not capable of any highway speeds with that small of a motor.
That and his GS is way too heavy a bike for 6.5 horses.

My engine is sold mounted to the frame and doesn't shake that much more a stock KLR. It does shake at idle, enough that you can't look through the mirrors, but not more than a Harley does.

Let me know if I can help you with any questions. Also I have a JD2 tubing bender and can bend anything from 1/2 inch to 1 5/8th should yuo not already have the lower frame modified.

I'm not a big fan of the angle iron lower frame replacements that seem so popular in many of the back yard builds I've seen. And I can bend 1 inch square too if that would be easier for you.

On my KLR it's lower frame mod is round tubing with angle iron re enforcements at the engine bolts.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:59 AM   #24 (permalink)
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This is the coolest bike ever..... I remember the military had some of these and you could buy a kit to convert the KLR over to diesel but the kit was expensive about as much as the bike.... I always wanted one of these.... I got to play with the military version and could not tell any difference in performance between the petrol one and the diesel powered ones... but diesel has it's advantages.... I do not own a dieselanything but I am trying to decide about buying one... advantages and dis advantages....

very cool bike I have totally subscribed to this thread, are there other threads on diesel bikes here?

thank you,
kev
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:47 AM   #25 (permalink)
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are there other threads on diesel bikes here?

thank you,
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Sorry Kev, this is the only one
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