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Dont Panic

Things have been moving slowly on the KLR. I am 99% sure I’ve painted all the little pieces and I’ve clea ned all the dirty parts that are not being replaced. Now we just need to wait to get the last few pieces back from the powder coaters……which they said will be done MAY 8TH!? O well…..they are pieces for the rear wheel so I can get everything else built.

This week I have made some pretty good progress. At the moment I would consider the bike 80% reassembled. Other than painting all the little parts I have had 2 issues that took up a lot of time.

First was the Eagle Mfg. drill through subframe bolt upgrade. I didn’t get any pictures of the process because it was so time consuming and annoying. The upgrade is just what it sounds like… drill through the top subframe mounting point so you can use a stronger bolt to address the common problem of those bolts breaking and the subframe coming off. The point you drill through is about 2 1/2 inches of solid steel……it was not fun. The hole is in a place that puts the drill chuck pretty close to the frame so the whole time I was stressing out about scratching the frame with the drill chuck. And of course after all the worry about scratching it and fighting the drill and making sure there was enough oil on the bit I started to get upset and tired. Right as the bit broke though it pulled the drill in and the stupid chuck gouged the frame right down to bare metal……this freaking upgrade bolt better be amazing. I touched up the scratch with some paint and its in a place that will never be seen but I know its there and its going to bug me forever. O well…..just wait till I go to put the engine back in…..that’s definitely going to leave a scratch or two.

My next delay was the steering head bearings. When I sent the frame out to get powder coated I wasn’t worried about the bearing races still in the frame cause I planned to replace them when I got the frame back so if they got some over spray on them it wouldn’t be a big deal. They did get over spray on them so I wanted to replace them this week…..not fun. Trust me when I say that I have a lot of experience in removing stubborn bearings and races and I have an extensive collection of tools just for removing bearings……not one of them worked on these stupid races. I tried every trick in my book and even a few new ones I learned on YouTube but the races were determined to stay right where they were. The next step was to get a torch and start heating the frame and hope that they would fall out and if that didn’t work I would have to start cutting. I was not interested in possibly cooking my nice new powder coating or cutting my frame. After much consideration (and a little panicking) I decided that other than having the over spray on them the races were just fine. I found one of the tools I use to remove gaskets without scratching metal and used it to remove all the over spray. It worked great! I packed the bearings with fresh grease and installed the fork clamps.

With those two delays out of the way I’m getting it slapped back together pretty quick! Right now I’m in the middle of installing the wire harness…..luckily I took a bunch of pictures when I removed the harness cause this is the easiest part to mess up.


I lost the rear tire in the last picture cause I took the last parts to get powder coated. I am already regretting my decision to not get the fork bodies powder coated too……I thought I would just leave it and have a project for next winter but now it just looks unfinished. I may tear the forks apart again and get them coated since it will be a while before the engine work is done anyway….we’ll see.

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