The following items I can highly recommend for use Dual Sport riding into the sometimes difficult and isolated offroad riding areas that I have presented on this web site.

The recommendation comes from my personal use, not hearsay or speculation.


Garmin GPS from CycoActive

Here is the future today! The real usefulness of a GPS goes way beyond the "Where I'm I now?" question. These amazing little units will save you huge amounts of time, gas and distance picking your way through mazes of unsigned backroads. Positively locate that imperative gas drop, hidden cabins, scenic wilderness campsite... From now on (Sept.2001) all my routes will be accompanied with "Waypoints" that can easily be located by anyone with a GPS.

My Garmin GPS III Plus is the toughest piece of electronic hardware I have ever used. I just came back from a month long ride into the Yukon & Northwest Territories where it rained almost everyday, that along with a handful of spills, my III Plus never skipped a beat. It even became the only reference for mileage after all 4 bikes speedo cables were broken smashing through thick bush. (Take cables off next time!) I had the GPS mounted to the handlebar using the Ram Mount, (VIEW IT HERE) great system! The guys at CycoActive have years of experience in the use, fitting, loading of software to all types of motorcycle applications, they are the experts.

UP DATE - Sept. 2006 - I have been using the Garmin Quest and 276 for the last year or so.
-I choose the Quest for its small size while being tucked in out of harms-way and yet to be as unobtrusive as possible in and around the instruments and idiot lights. Great improvement over the old III+ but its proccesser is a little to slow for the amount of data it is capable of holding - scrolling is almost painful.
- The 276 is a larger unit that at first looks like it would be likely to damage when mounted out of the sight lines of the gauges and idiot lights. This has not been the case, just leave the RAM mount a little loose so if the GPS does get knocked in a spill it will swivel out of harms-way. Two years and its not missed a beat! Lightning fast processor, long life battery, huge memory storage, and all the great features. CHECK OUT THE GARMIN 276C

Continental Tire -TKC 80 - I have used these aggressive dual-sport tires for over 50,000 km through 2004, 2005 and 2006 with results that I would have called unbelievable - unless I had experienced them myself. The large block knobs work better than any dual sport tire I have ever used in sand and mud, yet have been as tenacious as any dual sport tire I have ever used on the paved road. They can provide about 10,000 km for a rear and about 12,000 km for a front even with much of its life spent on the dirt. These are the new standard all other D/S tires have to shoot for in all terrain conditions.

Dual Star Adventure Gear

Dual Star is making a - Tank Bag - that is custom shaped to tightly secure to the KLR tank. On my Baja trips the Dual Star - Tank Panniers - works perfectly, increasing the needed water carrying capacity by over 1.5 gallons. Small and light weight. - Sawvivor - a strong foldable pack saw, I use mostly to clear trees blocking trails. - Quick Steel - got'a have this epoxy putty at all times! It saved my trip through the Black Rock Desert when I crashed and the fan blade broke off, a little Quick Steel and she's still good 30,000 KM. later. The one tube of Quick Steel has repaired 3 separate broken fan blade incidents on 3 different bikes! - Radguard - maximum strength available for side impact damage control to radiator and fan. Rear Brake Bracket - = confidence when smashing through the bush. Also added the rear brake - Master Cylinder Guard - to cover up the dainty stuff. The replacement of my shattered old OEM mirrors with - Low Vibration Mirrors - are the answer to the single cylinder blurs. Welded on - Side Stand Bigfoot - which helps a great deal to keep the bike upright when parked on soft ground. Lastly the Dual Star - Mirror Mount - should'a been around when I busted the left hand switch gear - $$$ - now I got one - kind'a like closing the gate after the cows got out, eh!!

Happy Trails Motorcycle Products

Aluminum Skid Plate - If you smash a hole through the engine cases it could ruin your whole day! - Fork Brace - This is one of the most impressive mods you can make to the KLR!! The whole front end becomes more sure footed, staying where you point it under braking and cornering as well as in rutted conditions in the dirt and on steel grated bridge decks. This little upgrade will transform the whole front end into a much more precise unit. - Side Panel Guards - Very Strong, light weight, with full coverage protection.

Bark Buster Hand Guards

Don't settle for less! These high quality items not only protect the hands but also because of their incredible strength will actually increase the strength of the handlebars! Which in the event of a crash will prevent damage to the rest of the bike because the wide stock handlebar acts like a crashbar. Believe Me - I Have Crash Tested These Many, Many Times!! There are cheaper ones on the market that will not stand up to even minor impact and will bend to the point of preventing the use of the clutch and brake levers, not a good situation on the trail in the middle of nowhere!

Full Coverage Plastic Hand Guards

These are the one's that go all the way around the Bark Busters completely covering the hands. Excellent weather protection, keeping hands warmer and drier besides protecting from tree limbs and cactus needles. And as a bonus they keep the major amounts of crud out of the lever pivot points = smooth lever operation = little wear = longer cable life = confident rides. - 65,000 km from my last clutch cable!


Carrying a one tooth smaller engine sprocket will give a 8% increase in torque and allow the rider to go through difficult terrain and water crossings slower at a higher RPM. On the PRE-1996 KLR, the sprocket can be changed easily by removing 2 small keeper bolts on the sprocket, after 1996 the sprocket has to be removed by removing a large nut. (be sure to remove and replace the nut before leaving on a trip to be sure you can loosen it by hand (socket & torque arm rather than air impact), then tighten it by hand and use the locking tab to secure it.

Chain Lube - 90 wt Gear Oil

READ THIS - The KLR like all single cylinder dual sport bikes, all have similar drive line characteristics that come together to destroy chains and sprockets in a relatively short distance of 16,000 - 18,000km. I had gotten tired of such poor performance using the popular aerosol chain lubricants and decided to try what is written on all RK chain boxes " lube with 90 weight gear oil", doing that every 150 - 200 km has produced almost TRIPLE the normal chain and sprocket life, I put 52,256 km (32,660 miles) on this last set before replacement - even then the chain was running smooth with no tight spots, the rear sprocket was still in great shape, but it was the engine sprocket that was hooking that made me do the change. (UPDATE- Oct. 2005: I have gotten into the rhythm of replacing the engine sprocket half way through the life of the chain - about 25,000 km - and replacing the all sprockets with the chain at about 50,000 km).

Bardahl Motorcycle Oil

Not only does Bardahl Oil have all the usual meets and exceeds that motorcycle oils must have for the unique needs for clutch and transmission but I can also say that since I started using it 200,000 Km. ago my old 94 KLR with over 140,000 Km. on the clock, burns about 1/2 a much oil. The rate came down from about 1 liter/3000 km. to 1 liter/5000. I have checked with some buddies that have been road racing singles and they say they have been using Bardahl and found the same thing - the conclusion is that Bardahl has a higher flash point then most oils. When you have a high mileage bike it is best to use their regular mineral based oil rather than the synthetic because the extra slickness of the synthetic will just allow it to burn quicker through leakage past the rings and valve guides.




Metal Headlight Guard (click for image and how-to)

These can be bought at an auto supply shop for about $12 CDN for two. To install on a KLR click on heading.

File Shifter Lever (click for image and how-to)

Round off all edges at the end of the shifter lever, so when the bike is dropped on that side it will be able to take a harder whack before punching a hole through the engine cover!

Re-Weld The Shifter Lever

It seems the factory philosophy is to have a weak point at the weld on the shifter lever at the point were it attaches to the spline on the shifter shaft. Being a built-in weak point so in the event of an impact it would break away (bad) rather than bending or snapping the shifter shaft (VERY BAD). I believe the weld to be too weak, - re-weld it. If you worry too much, drill a hole in the shift lever so it will bend when struck. NOTE: some aftermarket suppliers offer beautifully built extra stout gear shift levers, I would advise riders to steer clear of these because of their heavy duty construction transferring heavy impacts into the shift shaft which goes into the transmission, there by causing it to break or bend which could stop you in the middle of nowhere. One of the two spare parts I carry on the trail is a spare STOCK (wimpy) shift lever.

Raise Licence Plate

Use 2 short 1 inch banning lengths to raise the license plate 2-3 inches to avoid contact with the rear wheel when the rear suspension is fully compressed.

Bypass Side Stand and Clutch Ignition Cut Out Switch
 IMPORTANT NOTICE! The following modification should only be made if the rider is willing to assume complete responsibility for the effect of this modification!

Use a jumper to bypass these switches to relieve the headaches of them cutting out unexpectedly or getting jammed up with dirt and mud.

Raise The Carburetor Breather Hose

By rerouting the carb breather hose higher on the bike, you will prevent a gas starvation situation when riding through deep water - the end of the vent hose must be free of all obstruction or the engine will behave like it has just run out of gas. Tuck the end of the vent hose under the battery vent hose just below the left hand side cover for a temporary fix. For a more permanent fix, put a plastic "T" in the vent hose and route the added line up under the seat. CHECK OUT ARROWHEAD'S KLR T-VENT CARB KIT

Shock Protection - Mud Flap (click for image and how-to)

A simple little attachment to the inner fender could save the rear shock from sudden death.




The ability to stay dry is not an option on an extended off road ride, it is known that in the northern Rocky Mountains, Yukon, NWT and Alaska snow can fly on any day of the year. The change can be very rapid from sunny 20C in the morning to near freezing in the afternoon, it is vital to remain dry or hypothermia could set in and then the real danger of death is just around the corner

Viberg Dual-Sport Boot

The most versatile boot for the most versatile motorcycle, they're comfortable enough to hike in all day, stronger and protects better than most MX boots, and you can have them custom built from top to bottom. I had my boots built 2 inches taller so they rise to just below mid-calf, you can get them built higher, but I find for the times I am hiking the calf needs to be free to expand from muscle exertion. I also had a soft rubber insert placed between the heel and sole to get a better bite between the boot and rubber footpeg. If you have metal footpegs Viberg can put in a super hard rubber insert here so the bottoms of the boot will not get chewed up, but when and if they do get damaged from the serrations on metal footpegs, the insert can easily be replaced as a cheap minor repair that can be done at any boot repair shop in the world!

Aerostich Riderwear

Taking the Darien Jacket, Pants and Kanetsu Electric Liner saved the 2004 Yukon - Alaska ride! The weather turned on us at the very worst possible place - the Arctic Circle - from there all the way back home some 3000 miles. we enjoyed snow and or near freezing temps every day. Bad bit of luck for the beginning of Sept. but I'd say if it weren't for the Aerostich gear I would have still been holed up in some motel in northern Yukon! Other items from Aerostich that did the business: Three Digit Rain covers and Emergency Boot covers

Carhartt Pants

The perfect motorcycle jeans, the denim double knee dungaree and the duck double knee dungaree have great protection from Arctic cold to Baja cactus needles.


A waterproof oversock that will keep feet warm and dry even when standing in water!

Polypropylene Underwear and Socks

Ploy creates 1).- insulating pocket of air between you and the first layer of clothing , 2) - allows moisture to be released to keep you dryer, 3) - if immersed in water will dry very quickly. There is such a difference in performance in the ability to keep you warm that the saying "Ploy is King - Cotton Kills" can be very true in a bad situation in the northwest.

Windstop Fleece

A light weight wind proof insulating layer that is the modern day replacement for heavy wool sweaters. Twice the insulating value at half the weight and bulk.




Dual Star Tank Bag - Tank Panniers

The Dual Star Tank Bag is the most securely attached, well thought out design built expressly to fit the KLR tank. The many features and pockets will quickly overcome the task of getting many items stored all with very easy access. The Tank Panniers are secured nicely to the tank without being in the way at any time. For the Baja trip they come in extremely handy carrying extra water in plastic bottles and folding bladders. Both are constructed with 1000 Denier and look as though they'll last longer than you'll own the bike!

CycoActive GloveBox

This small heavy duty bag attaches snugly and securely to the fairing between the bottom of the windshield and the top of the headlight. It will hold a spare tube, plus almost all the "what if" tools and nuts bolts, zip ties, duct tape, and hay wire you could ever need, I put about 5 lbs. of stuff in there. This also helps even out the weight distribution problem by moving weight forward.

Outdoor Research Dry Bags

You got'a have dry bags, the Advanced Hydroseal stuff sack with the roll top is the best, lightest answer to keeping the stuff you need to keep dry, dry! One quarter the weight and bulk of normal dry bags, I use one for clothes and one for the sleeping bag.


Saddle Bags (Click for image and how to)

To remain light and narrow I have converted bicycle saddle bags, which I have used for 7 years with no problems. With handy outside pockets on each side to stow small articles for quick and easy access (rope, camp stove fuel, bug juice, chain lube, folding saw, etc.) the chore of organizing is made easy.

Camp Trails Backpack (Sorry this product is now discontinued, on the search for a similar bag)

Insurance, that's what this bag is all about. The "Traveler" has 3660 capacity, 4 pockets, and a hide away full suspension system, so when it's on the bike all the straps are tucked away. It's large enough to contain the tent, sleeping bag, thermarest sleeping pad plus some clothes and food, if a situation arises where hiking out is the only option. With the Viberg boots and a backpack what could be a disaster is just another tall tale at the bar!!