2012 KLR650 Project Bike Part 3

This time around Motorcycle USA gives their 2012 KLR650 project bike a LeoVince X3 Slip-on exhaust for improved engine performance. The stock suspension is also upgraded in both the front and rear with a Progressive Suspension Monotube Fork Kit and 465 Series Shock. These are worthwhile upgrades, but do you need them?

LeoVince X3 Exhaust: The stock KLR has extra horsepower that is smothered by the slightly modified vintage tractor exhaust that Kawasaki installs. One solution comes from LeoVince, an Italian company (pronounced as Leo Vin-chay) that is big in aftermarket exhaust systems. Their X3 exhaust has been around for a couple of years and has a lot of positive feedback. This exhaust frees your KLR's smothered ponies for a 10% performance increase and snappier throttle response. That is not bad when you consider that no bank will give you a 10% return on your money. The LeoVince also weighs four pounds less than the stock "tractor" muffler. Less weight plus more horsepower equals a happy rider. This happiness lists for $286.99 at Motorcycle Superstore. Then put your stock muffler on a tractor where it belongs, or use it for a boat anchor.

Progressive Suspension Monotube Fork Kit and 465 Series Shock: KLR suspension upgrades are always a hot topic since the stock suspension is inadequate for any serious off road adventures. Progressive Suspension has several solutions to this. The monotube fork kit and new shock are higher end upgrades with higher end price tags; almost $1,000. The project bike's handling was greatly improved, as you would expect for that price. My KLR handles well for my needs, so that $1,000 would be better spent on a few road trips!!

These over-the-top upgrades are interesting, but are probably not for most people and that is just fine. I consider these muffler and suspension upgrades as "nice to have" and not "must have" upgrades. Only you can decide if these aftermarkets are right for you and your bike. A lot depends on how your bike performs for the way you ride it, and how much spare change is in your "KLR Ugrade" cookie jar. What really matters is that you get out and ride!

Click here for the article