Bought very low mileage KLR - several issues - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 8 Old 05-22-2013, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Bought very low mileage KLR - several issues

Hi there fellow KLR owners,

I was on the market for a nice dual sport (without breaking the bank), and I stumbled across one for sale on craigslist.

Here are the details:
1994 KLR650
1766 original miles
Broken choke cable (no big deal)
PERFECT plastics and tank
seat little bit sun-faded
leaky carb
minor frame surface rust
blown rear shock
When buying it, the seller said "runs very poorly, carb needs to be gone-through" Very typical excuse on craigslist for bikes and small engines, but he proved it started and it even fired up for a revolution or two on residual gas. I figured the bike had been put away with old gas and it had turned to varnish, bit of a headache, but whatever

So I'm here because this bike is giving me some problems. With 1766 miles, I would expect everything to be perfect, almost like off the showroom floor, but it seems to not be the case. I'm really confused about the rear shock. It seems to be totally blown. I can push down on the bike with my hand and make the back end go up and down about 8 inches. And if you sit on it, you can make it bounce like a pogo stick. How could it be so blown with almost zero use?
Does this mean I need a completely new shock? I've seen those cost $400-650. That's a lot of money for such a simple shock absorber...The ones on my truck were $10/piece from rockauto.

As always, I'm having carb problems. I hate carburetors. When I first got the bike, I put some fresh gas in it and tried to fire it up. It lacked some throttle response, but I guess that's a 650 thumper for ya? And it was cold.
The bike idled ok, but it started to slowly die after about 45 seconds. Then I turned it off when I remembered the carb bowl leaks pretty fast.

So I went and bought a carb bowl gasket from the Harley dealer and put that in. Then I got the bike to start up, but ran very poorly. And the gas was now gushing out of the overflow tube!

So then I take the carb apart again and this time inspect the float, needle, and seat. The float looked stained by old gas, but still intact. The needle was dirty, but cleaned up fine. I couldn't remove the seat like I have on other carbs.

Put the carb back together and put it on the bike. CANNOT get the bike to start, no matter what I do.
And then all of the sudden, the bike hemorrhages gas from everywhere. Turns out, the airbox had filled with gas and was draining out through the drain hole in the bottom.

I need some advice on what to do about the carb and rear shock
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-22-2013, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Suggestion: Check out posts by Tom Schmitz on this forum; view his four-part video expose' of the CVK40 carb; follow them in cleaning and adjusting your carb.

Other useful info: Google, "Care and feeding of the Keihin CVK40."

Carburetor soaking/cleaning solvent is your call; inevitably, someone will suggest PineSol!

Also, expecting your bike to be as new because of disuse appears unrealistic, to me: Age hardens and cracks seals and gaskets and I don't know what-all; dis-use being worse than heavy use in some cases. As it says in the Book, "Rust and moth doth corrupt."

Last edited by Damocles; 05-22-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-22-2013, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pefferlaw,Ontario
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Welcome to the site and stay'll be a semi easy fix on the carb front but the shock is possibly another issue.
Research carb cleaning, and get ready for the rest of the jokers to start into me for suggesting to use Pinesol once again to soak the carb in. It works extremely well. Search it out. there are several threads with excellent tutorials here on how to dismantle and rebuild the carb. It's an easy carb to work on. If you haven't bought a Clymer or Haynes Manual yet do so, they are excellent also.
The shock may be blown. Take it off and see for sure. Is it leaking? Any signs of fluids? If so, get on Fleabay and buy a good used one that is perfectly dry. Buy one from 1996 to 2007 and not newer as they changed the suspension in 2008. The shock is slightly different and will not fit from what I understand. You should be able to buy a good used shock for the $200 mark or less if you are lucky. Don't buy the first cheap shock you find for $50 unless you are certain it is better than yours.
As for the fuel in your airbox.....if it was in there it is in your cylinder also and if there it's in your oil. So....take the spark plug out and spin it over to see if gas does come out.......beware of the spark from the spark plug or the sparkplug cap as if it does spark against the frame or something it may ignite the gas as it's shot out of the plug hole. BEWARE!!!! I would also drain your oil to be 100% sure it's not in there also.......nothing worse than diluted oil! KLRs suffer from starved cam bearing when the oil is run low, so diluted oil may just do the same....heads are expensive used. OH, shut the gas off when you do all of these tests etc so as not to make the situation any worse than it is already.
You issues aren't that big, really. Rebuild the carb, check the float valve for cracked rubber or a indent where it has sat against the valve seat. It should have any indented spots or a ring on it. When you do soak the carb completely not soak any rubber or the slider in the Pinesol as the slider will get damaged.
Also I would check the petcock to make certain it is in working condition as in it will shut off when the bike isn't running. It works off vacuum. If it continues to drip or flow gas it needs to be rebuilt also.
These are common issues with bikes that have sat for years........this is why it was cheap. You got a good deal, don't let a few simple issues put a bad taste in your mouth. I'm sure we can get you smiling once again. It's a great bike for riding all over hell's half acre!, even across the country. Once it's maintained it'll carry you anywhere you want.....

If you have any questions just ask.....I'll try and help.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-22-2013, 11:05 AM
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Just provided, beginnerbiker, this link for overhauling your carb:

And this one for how your carb works:

More urgently, if your carb is puking fuel all over the place, chances are your float valve isn't sealing, IMHO. Could be a "dead" float valve point, contamination of the float valve-and-seat interface, punctured float, etc., etc.

Did you DRAIN and inspect the tank? Fill with fresh, "dry," fuel?

Fuel contamination, tank deterioration, is not unknown from long-stored bikes.

And sometimes, starting fluid is your FRIEND! You need compression, spark, and a combustible mixture to run the thing; starting fluid insures a combustible mixture. If it runs on starting fluid alone, chances are you've a fuel condition, delivery, or carburetion problem.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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yeah like willys said, stay calm. these bikes are a breeze to wrench on and parts are cheap comparitively. furthermore they are hard to kill, if your engine is good the rest should be a synch

Never ride faster than your angels can fly
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-01-2013, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Hi everyone. Thanks a lot for the help. Sorry I haven't kept up on the thread before now, but I've been too busy to work on the bike.
But I did put some work into it the other night and found the problem.

Originally Posted by Damocles View Post

More urgently, if your carb is puking fuel all over the place, chances are your float valve isn't sealing, IMHO. Could be a "dead" float valve point, contamination of the float valve-and-seat interface, punctured float, etc., etc.
This is the EXACT problem. At first, it was a bad bowl gasket. So I replaced the gasket and it just gushed fuel from the overflow. It is definitely a needle/seat issue.

From the minor research I've done on these bikes, I've seen this needle/seat issue come up several times. What is the fix? My float still floats. But it is a very...sorry looking float. It is discolored and looks kinda grimy. BUT still floats! The needle looks fine, and the "seat" is clear.

Now, looking at the seat in this carb (KLR650), it just looks like a free opening. Also, I can't remove the seat from the carb. On other motorcycle carbs I've worked on, the seat is removable and the seat had a screen on the bottom. Is my seat defective?

Another observation I made (and I'm a bit concerned about) is that the needle has a spring to it. The little pin on the needle, where the float tab pushed on it, has a spring. So, the little pin can move back and forth in the needle. The pin only moves when the needle is all the way up. Is this supposed to happen?

Trying to think about the issue at hand, it would seem that the issue is BECAUSE the needle is not being pushed far enough upwards (to block the flow of fuel), but this little springy pin works against the float.

One last thing, I promise: the thin metal "chassis" on the needle that hangs on the float tab has a bit of play in it. There is space between the float tab and the needle hanger. I guess this would cause lag in fuel supply?

What do you guys thing the solution is? Would it be as simple as bending the little float tab up a bit?
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-02-2013, 01:31 PM
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So far, your float needle sounds ok. The spring/pin is there to relieve pressure when the float is pushing hard against it. You don't want to unintentionally bend the tab in use.

The 'chassis' you are referring to I imagine is just the bit of wire that holds the needle in place when it is not under pressure. There is quite a bit of play there as it is not a 'functional' piece so much as just a fail safe sort of thing.

Bending the float tab up a bit changes the float level. That adjustment may be required in your case, as you mentioned it is puking fuel.

Harley does not carry the replacement float needle afaik. I did try to get one from them and it was too fat, if you decide to replace yours you may have to go to kawa.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-02-2013, 01:54 PM
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Maybe this will help. Good luck!

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