Repairing the KLR Tank Shrouds

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When I bought the KLR back in July Josh included the old tank shrouds with the bike.  The only problem is they had been torn off a few times and were in pretty bad shape.  This weekend I finally got around to mounting them back to the bike.

Read more below.

I’ve always been a bit annoyed about how incomplete the bike looked without the tank shrouds but never actually gotten around to re-attaching them.  One day while riding home an idea struck for a fairly clean way to attach them without having to resort to safety wire or duct tape.

See, it looks incomplete!  Click to enlarge.

The early model KLR tank shrouds are held by a peg that snaps into a rubber grommet on the tank and two tabs, to attach you simply pop the peg into the grommet and thread screws into the tabs.  It’s quite common to tear these tank shrouds off in a crash and this bike was no exception (The original owner wrecked it in the desert).

Left shroud, notice the sheared off peg at the lower right and the mangled tabs.  Click to enlarge.

Right shroud, mangled peg and one missing tab.  Click to enlarge.

I started by cutting off all the surviving protrusions and then smoothing the material.

Click to enlarge.

Then I drilled holes for the new method of attaching the shrouds.

One 3/8″ hole to replace the large peg.  Click to enlarge.

Next a small pilot hole from the inside for the forward brackets.  Click to enlarge.

Then a 3/16″ hole drilled from the outside.  I drilled from the outside to minimize risk to my decals.  Click to enlarge.

I am replacing the peg with a carriage bolt, using jam nuts and washers to space things out properly.  I used a utility knife to square off the 3/8″ holes in the shroud then shortened the square neck of the bolt to the thickness of the shroud, while I was at it I also ground the markings off the carriage bolt heads.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Then it was time to start cutting metal!  Instead of having sheet metal tabs from the radiator and overflow tank bridge a gap over to the tank shroud I decided to make L brackets that attach directly to the tank shroud with rivets and then bolt to the radiator and overflow tank.

Unassembled brackets.  Click to enlarge.

Drilled and ready to cut.  Click to enlarge.

Once all the materials were ready I mocked up a test fit prior to painting.

Back side.  Click to enlarge.

Front side, gotta love the wing nuts.  Click to enlarge.

The KLR being a big single it has a tendency to shed fasteners.  To fight this I used red Lock Tite on both the jam nuts per carriage bolt.  The last nut, the one that actually holds the piece on, is a nylock nut.

Click to enlarge.

The jam nuts simply act as a spacer here while the rubber grommet is sandwiched between two fender washers.  Click to enarge.

It almost looks factory with the black rivets and carriage bolt.  I was a bit impatient to get everything together so the bolt didn’t have enough time to fully dry, I’ll go back and touch the paint up later.  Click to enlarge.

That was the last bit of crash damage to repair on the bike, now that it’s back to 100% it’s time to focus on putting better stuff on it.  To take them off all I need is a 14mm, 8mm, and 10mm wrenches, all of which are tools included in the OEM tool kit I carry on the bike.


Category: KLR, Projects

2 comments on “Repairing the KLR Tank Shrouds

  1. Can you share the measurements you took for making the sheet metal L-brackets and the thickness of the material you used? Had a similar idea for the fix- thanks for posting the steps you took!

    • All four are different sizes, it really varies on your plastics and bike, if the bike has been on its side at all (as this one has) the measurements will differ. The only constant measurement in the Ls was the scoop side, I made that about 1/2″ across the board. I suggest mocking up your scoop in place them taking a measurement from the inside of the scoop to the center of the bolt hole, then add about 3/8″ of an inch to that and you have the overall length of the bracket (and, of course, the hole is centered on that initial measurement).

      Since you’re dealing with plastic you can easily get away with about 1/8″ of wiggle room.

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