Project – KLR650 – the workshop

How lovely it is to have your own workshop! Editor ‘arris rejoices and announces the CMG winter project in the process.

The KLR has seen better days but it’s time to fix the wrongs.

There’s something very basic when it comes to setting up a workshop for your bikes. It’s a moment that unleashes the promise of leisurely tinkering, time away from the kids, time to be in your own space when the open road is closed by snow, time to do everything that you’ve been meaning to do … but never got around to it.

It’s a space that promises to get you through the winter.

Now I’ve had workshops before but they’ve always been crammed, cold locations in rented garages. But now that I’ve moved to the east coast, I actually own a small slice of a home (the bank has the rest), which comes with a goodly sized basement which means I can now have my own workshop, my way.

Granted the steep 45 degree concrete staircase dropping in from the back garden proved to be somewhat entertaining trying to get a 500 lb KLR and a 200 lb workbench down, but it’s in there now, in a heated, lighted, spacious (well, there will be once we burn some of the wood pile) locale.

And that KLR is going to be my winter project. After a year of love and attention at the hands of past Assistant Editor Lewis it has had nothing but abuse at my hand. But it has weathered it well. Granted, there’s some dents in the tank, rust on the frame and gouges where once there was just factory-smoothness, but then what kind of project starts with a thing of beauty?

She’s also got to the point where I have to keep the choke slightly on to stop her from stalling and there’s rattles that aren’t just lose bits of bodywork. Yep, the time has come to give the trusty KLR some love and attention.

The first step is to define the scope of the project (what do I want to be pushing out of the basement in the spring?), and then how to get a hold of all the bits to make it happen. But the Toronto show has shown that there is interest in my idea. People were seen, ideas exchanged and hands shaken.

Project KLR650 also now has a home, the rest is a cakewalk.

I hope.


  1. – Do the Doo. Is that whats making the extra rattles?
    – 685 kit from Shintz racing?
    – Eagle Mike fork brace & raising links and for Canadian suppliers for parts etc.

  2. That GS is in my outside garage and may actually make it onto the workbench to be finally completed sometime! What’s it been? 15 years?


    I actually really quite like riding the Konker. Just nail it and skip over the rocks and hope for the best, but I think the KLR will make a really interesting project and I think we have some pretty good ideas of how to do it too.

    Will get the details announced soon but just need a bit more time to do the research on what is available and for how much.

    Cheers, Rob

  3. This project seems reminiscent of the late great GS project in OMG, “Race to the Scrapheap”. Will there be a souvenir pink programs distributed on completion?
    I’ll also take this as your confirmation that an old beat up old Japanese dirt bike is still better value and more entertaining than a new Chinese one.
    Good Luck on the project.

  4. Ah yes. I have yet to finalize the mandate for the project but one will be to not add any more weight to it. Very easy to add so many trinkets and end up with something that can no longer handle dirt .. at all.

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