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KLR650 Thread

jqueen

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I did the 685 kit and thought it was relatively easy.. From Eagle Mike's web page the piston kit with all the gaskets needed is $300, and the cylinder work is only $100 if you send your old cylinder in. One gallon of 50/50 antifreeze, and a gallon or two of oil adds up to around $50, so my all-in cost was $450 or so. Not sure how you would get that up to $800 ($300 + $500 on tools, lubes, gaskets and cylinder bore)

The only special tool I used was a torque wrench. I was able to install the wrist pin retainer with no special tools, although I can definitely see why some will find it necessary - it takes patience and a good hand with a screwdriver. I think I spent 5 minutes on it, gave up and took a break and then spent another 5 minutes on it - which doesn't sound like a lot, but when is the last time you spent 10 minutes trying to put one fastener on?

I THINK I noticed a little power increase, but that may just have been from a fresh piston and rings. I definitely noticed reduced/eliminated oil consumption, and reduced vibration at higher RPM.
 

jqueen

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Posted this in a different thread, thought I should put it in the KLR thread as well - I recently had a top end failure due to a couple of things.

Long story short - Make sure the airbox drain on the clean side of the air filter is not open to atmosphere - mine was, and I was sucking dirty air from directly underneath the bike, into the engine. The drain is directly in front of the airbox drain on the dirty side of the filter, but is hard to get to, so mother Kawasaki ran a hose all the way down with a plug in it. My plug was gone and the bottom of the hose torn up, and open.
 

jqueen

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Quick version made long (copy/pasted from Acadiana 400 thread http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118283&page=2):


First off, I again verified spark and fuel - I tried a little starting fluid, new plug, etc just to confirm. Still no go, so I decided it was way past time to do a spring cleaning.. I pulled everything off except the radiators, wiring, and engine so that I could clean up some of the wiring and clean the bike in general before pulling off the valve covers, etc..

It was during this that I discovered what is likely my root cause... The KLR airbox has two drains. One on the dirty side of the airbox, and one on the clean side of the airbox. The purpose is for if the airbox is filled with water, gas or oil, you can get it out. I have never noticed that there was a drain on the clean side.

The drain on the dirty side has a very short rubber piece that will open when you squeeze it to let fluids out. I've seen that on many different bikes.

The drain on the dirty side has a hose that goes down to the bottom of the bike and the hose has a plug in it. Or at least it does when Kawasaki sells it. I have no idea how long mine had been gone, but I just had a hose hanging down under the bike sucking dirt and water into the engine. Yay! Due to this, I also had about 1/8 or so of dirt caking the inside of the airbox, on the clean side of the air filter. No clue how much has gone through the engine.

So - first things first, check valves - both intakes are out of clearance - one is really zero clearance, the other is not touching, but I can't fit any shims in (I could tell it isn't touching because I could rotate the shim underneath it.) I had a couple of shims and was able to rearrange things enough to figure what sizes I needed to put things in spec, so I ordered up some shims.

Got those in, buttoned it back up, and I got it to pop a couple of times, mostly with starter fluid, and not even close to running. Time for some actual diagnostics...

The KLR has an automatic decompressor built into the exhaust cam, so a regular compression test doesn't work very well. So I bought a cheapie Harbor Freight leakdown tester.

Set the piston at top dead center on the compression stroke, hook up the leakdown tester, and pressurize the piston. You get a readout of what % of the air is escaping. If you are losing much, the next thing is to determine where it is going..

In order to tell where it's going, you have to listen/feel (or I've read to strap a rubber glove over the openings). If the air is coming out of the exhaust port, you have an exhaust valve problem, out of the intake port (carburetor), you have an intake valve problem. Mine was all coming out of the oil fill hole, which means I am leaking past the piston.

Turns out the rings were stuck in the grooves on the piston and were not able to expand, therefore not sealing. Unfortunately the cylinder doesn't have any crosshatching and needs to be cleaned up prior to trying to reseat rings. Since I'm in there and need a head and base gasket anyway, I have ordered a full set of rings, exhaust header copper gasket, and a ball hone to clean up the cylinder. There is no damage, just need to cross hatch it again.

Also - I have a simple rubber cap on the airbox drain now. If I need to drain it, I will just pull the cap off. I don't need the convenience of an easily accessible hose hanging under the bike.

My guess is that I had a lot of buildup on the piston/rings from sucking dirt in, and when a little water was ingested, it got loosened up and wedged into the ring grooves on the piston, sticking the rings in place. It's probably not a bad thing that we couldn't get it started- eventually it would've done damage to the cylinder, piston, or both.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
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Sugar Land, TX
"... One gallon of 50/50 antifreeze, and a gallon or two of oil …

"....the only special tool I used was a torque wrench." .
The bike takes 1.64 qts. of anti-freeze. The oil, with new filter, is 2.5 qts. A gallon or two of oil must be a typo?


In addition to the EM kit and gaskets you need 1.) the special wrench to hold the flywheel, as well as, 2.) special flywheel puller.

You need 2 torque wrenches. The cover and small bolts need 78" lbs. torque. The flywheel rotor bolt 144 ft. lbs. torque.

There is a handy on-line video for the wristpin installation that makes it easy.

Edit: I was thinking the doo' conversion above for torques!! One needs the small torque for the smaller bolts down to 15" lbs - others up to 78" lbs., Then 48 ft. lbs. for the main cylinder head bolts
 
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jqueen

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The bike takes 1.64 qts. of anti-freeze. The oil, with new filter, is 2.5 qts. A gallon or two of oil must be a typo?


In addition to the EM kit and gaskets you need 1.) the special wrench to hold the flywheel, as well as, 2.) special flywheel puller.

You need 2 torque wrenches. The cover and small bolts need 78" lbs. torque. The flywheel rotor bolt 144 ft. lbs. torque.

There is a handy on-line video for the wristpin installation that makes it easy.

Edit: I was thinking the doo' conversion above for torques!! One needs the small torque for the smaller bolts down to 15" lbs - others up to 78" lbs., Then 48 ft. lbs. for the main cylinder head bolts
Antifreeze comes in gallons...

Multiple oil changes after new piston/ring, at least for me.. and I buy oil in gallons most of the time anyway.

Pulling flywheel and the special wrench are for doohickey, not 685..

I've never used a small torque wrench on the little bolts, I just used one for the head bolts.
 
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mitchntx

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I've never used a small torque wrench on the little bolts, I just used one for the head bolts.
Yes!

If the bolt is threading into alloy, like a case, always use 1/4" drive. Just can't generate the torque needed to pull the threads unless the operator is a gorilla.

My favorite are those who INSIST on using a very specific torque value and have never ever had their torque wrench calibrated.
 
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Joined
Feb 5, 2018
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Yea the flywheel and bottom ends not coming apart unless necessary hahaha, I also learned through a (constructive) experience to use the 1/4 ratchet for alloy. Job doesn't seem too bad, time to start saving my pennies.
 

Baja_Bound

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I am the proud owner of a new-to-me 2011 KLR650. The bike appears to be in terrific shape with many protection upgrades. However, the horn is extremely wimpy and can't be heard over the engine when riding. Any idea if this is normal of the stock horn? Any suggestions for an aftermarket horn that will help wake the dead?



Edited: After some additional research, the general consensus is that the OEM horn is pretty poor. I have seen good reviews for a Denali horn. Any thoughts or experience. https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/denali-soundbomb-compact-air-horn
 
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Joined
Dec 21, 2014
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Houston
Air horn

Hey, the stock horn sucks. I installed an air horn and I can definitely be heard now. I bought this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMX20H4/?tag=twowhetex-20

But the stock wiring doesn't work with it so you have to install a harness that you run directly from your battery and then plug it into your old horn relay and the new air horn. It was pretty easy except you have to take the gas tank off to run the wiring. I installed the new air horn inside the right (throttle side) side cowling, in front of the coolant overflow reservoir, where the old horn was. There was some special mounting bolt you could buy for that but I used some aluminum billet. I can send you pics if you want.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005I4DNP2/?tag=twowhetex-20
 
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Also, I don't recommend the WOLO Bad Boy air horn; I've been through 3 of those, they fall apart with the rough off road stuff. The Stebel is holding up fine after the Hill Country 500.
 
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Also, I don't recommend the WOLO Bad Boy air horn; I've been through 3 of those, they fall apart with the rough off road stuff. The Stebel is holding up fine after the Hill Country 500.
I've had both, Stebel and Wolo sure do look and perform identical. Neither likes dust or water though. Mounting location is key to longer life.
 

Baja_Bound

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Thanks Bullet. I decided on the Stebel but have not installed it yet. Unfortunately, I have had limited time in the garage and when I am there, I am putting my CRF250R back together.

I just need to retire. ;)
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
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Memphis, Texas
I am the proud owner of a new-to-me 2011 KLR650. The bike appears to be in terrific shape with many protection upgrades. However, the horn is extremely wimpy and can't be heard over the engine when riding. Any idea if this is normal of the stock horn? Any suggestions for an aftermarket horn that will help wake the dead?

congrats on the new motorbike. It looks sharp!
 
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May 2, 2012
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New Braunfels, TX
If anyone is interested, I am willing to host a tech day for KLR owners. I live in New Braunfels, so I'm centrally located between Austin and San Antonio. I have a doohickey on order from Eagle Mike which should be in by Dec 30. A couple inmates on ADVrider are sending me the tools for the doohickey swap. I've never done the doohickey so I'm not claiming to be an expert. I just will have the tools and location available if anyone else is interested. Also, if there are any KLRistas who do have the experience, I'd be more than happy to have your expertise available. You will be compensated in beer or barbecue, your choice.

Looking at perhaps the middle of January for the maintenance day. Waiting to get the tools (being mailed down from Canada) before setting an actual date.
 
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I would like to ask the experts here, are there any tips, tricks or cautions regarding the change out of the clutch cable on the 2007 model?
 
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I know KLR's are notorious for using oil, but what is normal, 1999 with supposedly about 20,000 miles, used about 1 Qt in about 350 miles, that seems like a lot?
 
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I know KLR's are notorious for using oil, but what is normal, 1999 with supposedly about 20,000 miles, used about 1 Qt in about 350 miles, that seems like a lot?
I had a 2009 that would use a quart in about 1,000 miles and thought that was excessive. I think you're probably looking at a big bore kit or something to fix that. Otherwise you're spending almost as much on oil as gasoline. No way.

My current KLR, a 2018, isn't burning any oil as far as I can tell. None that's perceivable.
 
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Ridged,

That is not normal. Pre 08's have issues with the land between the rings breaking. This usually due to laboring the motor at low RPM's and higher throttle. With that breaking, you will use oil. And, it will get worse. Because of that issue, KAWA changed the design for the 08's. That was a disaster as the ring to wall pressure of that design was too light. That was then corrected again in the later 09's

A great fix is to then go 685. That piston (forged as opposed to cast for stock and properly machined barrel from E-Mike), made by JE pistons is a work of art and will not use oil at any speed.
 
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I think ya'll are right, I didn't realize it was using that much, and this has been a project bike, haven't put that many miles on it. The 685 kit It is currently back ordered at E-Mikes, I sent an email, to possibly find out when they will ship.
 

StromXTc

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I think ya'll are right, I didn't realize it was using that much, and this has been a project bike, haven't put that many miles on it. The 685 kit It is currently back ordered at E-Mikes, I sent an email, to possibly find out when they will ship.

More power!
 
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I would like to ask the experts here, are there any tips, tricks or cautions regarding the change out of the clutch cable on the 2007 model?
It's a quick and painless swap. Just take note of routing and attachment points of the old cable before removing it. Might be good to shoot a little cable lube down the housing before installing the new one. Also, good time to clean and lube the clutch lever and make sure the clutch starter cut out switch is clean.
 
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I can second double checking your routing. I did mine recently and routed the cable over the top of the throttle cables. The clutch cable was a little shorter to every time I would turn left sharply at low speed it would kill the bike. I routed behind and the issue went away. Otherwise not a bad process.
 
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Probably going to be swapping my voyager xii out for a klr this weekend, any suggestions on what to look out for on the Klr? Its an 08 with a replaced engine from a 2011 with about 20k miles on the engine, and 64k on the clock of the main bike
 
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Probably going to be swapping my voyager xii out for a klr this weekend, any suggestions on what to look out for on the Klr? Its an 08 with a replaced engine from a 2011 with about 20k miles on the engine, and 64k on the clock of the main bike
If the doohickey's not been upgraded, you'll want to do that. The '08s and '09s were oil burners, but yours has been upgraded to a '11 engine, so you're probably good to go. Still, might be a good idea to really monitor the oil consumption closely for a while. Finally, no matter the year, KLR really means Keep Loctite Ready.
 
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