do-it-yourself klr650 motar INFO pack
frequently asked questions
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which klr650 models will this info pack work on?
This info pack is for the Honda CBR250R three-spoked wheels only (not the six-spoked wheels) and should suit the following models of KL650 and KLR650:
- KL650 A1-A19, A6F, A7F 1987 to 2007 models
- KLR650 A1-A19, A6F, A7F 1987 to 2007 models
- KLR650 C1-C10 1995-2004
- KLR650 B1-B3 1989-1992
- KL650 TENGAI B1-B3 1989-1992.
The simpler way to check this is just measure your front and rear discs. If you have a 280mm front disc and 230mm rear disc then this info pack should be for your bike. The Honda front disc will be 276mm diameter, the rear disc will be 220mm. Please note the very edge of your brake pads will sit just past the edge of the rear disc. We can provide the templates and instructions to get a 230mm disc laser cut and machined cheaply if wanted.
If you have the smaller 260mm front disc then the info pack will still work but you may find it difficult to source the Honda 256mm front disc needed as it is from a less common road bike.
Kawasaki advises that the 2008 models and onward have a 240mm rear disc. This is too great a difference with the Honda 220mm rear disc to be used safely but an Australian company Metal Gear supplies a custom 240mm disc for around $150.
Please note we can't guarantee a fit! This kit was developed on a KLR650 C series 2003 model. All our research and talking to Kawasaki dealers indicates the wheel specs should be okay across the models. If this isn't correct, we'll do what we can to help you work out the correct spacer dimensions then update the info pack accordingly. We haven't had many requests for the KLR and feedback from KLR owners hence this disclaimer.
are the recommended wheels easy to find, and cheap?
In many countries, yes. These three-spoked wheels are from either the Honda CBR250R, Spada 250, or Castel 250 (also referred to as MC19) 1988-1989.
See the home page for a sample list of Australian wreckers, expect to pay between AUD$300 and AUD$450 for your cast wheels. When they come up on Ebay these wheels will be around $150 to $300 each. You can also post a request at www.findapart.com.au and the wreckers email you with their prices; just take your pick! Most wreckers post worldwide if you have trouble finding a particular wheel.
These bikes were 'grey imports' around the world. They are extremely common at bike wreckers in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Less so in Europe and the United Kingdom, and scarce in the USA. Don't confuse the USA-only release of a 2012+ CBR250R with the models above, it definitely has different wheels and being USA only we can't test this new model.
If in the USA, remember that many UK and Australian wreckers post worldwide at reasonable rates. It pays to check on the availability of wheels before getting the info pack.
how much will the conversion cost me in total?
The wheels used are from very common models at the wreckers in Australia and New Zealand, less so in the UK and hard to source in the USA and other countries. . Larger wreckers often have multiple sets and will sell them cheaply. You should be able to complete your wheel set with tyres for under $900 if you got your wheels for a good price, an absolute bargain for motard wheels with a cush drive hub. We have had guys report their complete kit was less than AUD$500 when they bought their wheels from Ebay with tyres already fitted.
why is the optional front disc so cheap?
We thought the KLR650 would be a popular bike to motard but it hasn't been. We bought a pile of these discs secondhand and are now selling them at well below cost price. All of them are used, the least worn go first and we'll give an indication of the wear.
why do you only use honda cast wheels?
Why the Honda wheels? Unlike most cast wheels, the rear hub is quite narrow despite the cush drive, so does not need expensive machining and are much lighter. The axle and disc sizes are much easier to adapt to most bikes too, and there are plenty of cheap aftermarkets parts for these Honda wheels because the CBR250 models were so popular. The CBR models are very popular track racers, so these wheels are designed for 45 horsepower output and a bike weight of 132kg - perfect for the typical motard.
If you decide to use other wheels anyway, our general info pack may be of use. You can google "KLR650 cast wheels" and read up about guys who have adapted EX500 and KZ440 wheels, these definitely take a lot more work than the Honda wheels.
is there much work involved to motard my bike?
Unlike most cast wheel adaptations, no. Compared to other cast wheels these CBR wheels are so easy to adapt it's almost as if they were made for the KLR650. There is no messy expensive machining of the rear hub which is normally needed on the rear hubs. Here's all you need to do:
- buy the specified wheels, rear sprocket & discs from wreckers or Ebay etc
- get the spacers and shims machined as per supplied diagrams
- get an electronic speedo (you'll need this with any set of motard wheels on the KLR).
why is this info pack free?
It's just a hobby that got out of control. Lots of guys were asking us how we motarded our bikes and we started passing the info along. Then friends of friends wanted the info, and on it went. So it's not a business, and we only charge cost price and enough money to pay a graphic designer to keep things updated. If the info helps you and you wanted to make a donation via Paypal, just use the email address on the contact page.
do you have info packs for other kawasakis?
We list the bikes we do have an info pack for. We can't advise on whether other wheels will fit your Kawasaki. PLEASE don't email us about bikes that aren't listed! Use the generic info pack here.
do i need to modify my klr650?
No, but you won't be able to use your standard speedo. We recommend the Trailtech electronic speedo. You would need to get this no matter which motard wheels you used. Trailtechs are around $100 to $165 on Ebay for the Trailtech Vector, Vapor or Endurance. These are getting cheaper each year as the price of electronics drop; check the Trailtech site here for more information.
do i need approval to use these on public roads?
Any vehicle modification is likely to be subject to the need for inspection and approval by the relevant government department in your country. It would be your responsibility to pursue this. Of course this would apply to any set of motard wheels you happened to buy, spoked wheels or cast wheels. Again, it would be your responsibility to check this out. Don't assume you will be able to sell the bike with these wheels on - keep your trail wheels for selling your bike registered. We've never seen anyone raise this as an issue in the motard forums so it would seem that motard wheels are legal in most countries, or the cops don't bother checking this particular vehicle modification. But check it out for yourself!
is the honda 220mm disc safe to use if my klr disc is 230mm?
As mentioned before, most KLR models have the 230mm disc, so the very edge of your brake pads will sit past the edge of the 220mm rear brake disc. First, this would not be legal of course, and you run the tiny risk of the police doing a comprehensive inspection of your brake system and booking you. The main safety issue would be if you left your motard wheels on for thousands of kilometres and eventually you wore your brand new brakes down enough to create a ridge on the outer edge of your brake pads. Eventually these ridges could touch and your rear brakes would progressively lose power.
If however, you change back to your original wheels every few thousand kilometres you would quickly wear away any tiny ridge that developed. Legally, we would have to recommend a custom 230mm rear disc: we can email you the dxf file and instructions to have the disc laser cut then machined flat if there is any curvature in the steel. It shouldn't cost much to have done, but just time-consuming to find a laser cutter who will do a one-off job for you. If you choose to use the undersize Honda 220mm rear disc, you do so at your own risk, and pursuant to the conditions of our disclaimer policy here.
are you a business?
No. A group of us have been trail riding for years but family commitments meant very little time for this any more. Our fitter and turner mate adapted cast wheels for his DRZ and gradually did the same for the rest in our group. We've been flooded with enquiries everywhere we go, and eventually put this site together because we love motarding. It's not about profit; the cost of these info kits helps to maintain this site so we are just sharin' the lurv...
what gearing would you suggest? can i use the same sizes between my motard wheels and trail wheels?
The info pack looks into these issues. If you don't mind some compromise in your road/trail gearing you can use your existing chain.
what tyre sizes are used on these rims?
The standard rear tyre on the rear rim is a 140/70-17. The rim easily takes a 150/60-17 tyre and maintains the correct profile. A 150 tyre will easily fit within the swing arm and does not rub against the chain, but you may find the bolt ends from your chain guide will need to be filed down in order to wriggle the tyre in comfortably. The 140/70-17 is not a common tyre so moving up to the 150 range gives you a much wider choice of tyres.
The standard front tyre on the front rim is usually a 110/70-17. Riders who race the 250s find plenty of grip with this, and the Japanese 250 sports bikes are actually heavier and have at least the same power output (if not more) than all these models, so this tyre is more than up to the task. You'll notice on the forums that some guys go to insane lengths to get wider tyres on their bikes, but in reality this is only cosmetic unless you are doing particularly well on the national motard circuit.
are the wheels properly centred? i've heard wheels can be deliberately off centre?
Your front wheel should always be centred within the front forks, as they are on these kits. Because of the way steering geometry works, it is not so crucial to centre the rear wheel because it is trailing the front. Deliberate off centring does occur in motard competition as the rear tyre often needs to be off centre so that the wider tyres they run don't rub against the chain. The degree of this offset can be quite pronounced as tyres as wide as 170 or more are squeezed into enduro bike swingarms! The rear wheel in our kits will be a few mm off centre and there will not be any chain rub with the 150 tyre you can fit to these rims.
As mentioned, no responsibility is taken for the information, parts or wheel kits. All efforts are taken to describe items accurately, but no responsibility can be taken for any injury or damage arising from using this information. It is your responsibility to ensure your wheels are thoroughly checked by a mechanic or relevant engineer for safe use, and undergo any approvals needed by law for use on public roads. You must read the disclaimer here before purchasing any item or using the information on this website.
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