600 won't crank. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-21-2008, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
600 won't crank.

OK so like my intro said, I'm here to learn a few things so I can help out my father-in-law. My wife and I decided to fix his bike as a birthday/x-mas present. He has a KLR600 that I think is an '87. Kick start unit with over 45k on the clock. I don't think he has ever done any real maintance to it besides change the oil as he is not very mechanicaly inclined. So here is the problem.

Ride home from work one day, it just died. With a fairly loud thoud I think. He says it will rotate once then the second rotation it gets hung up and has to be forcefully rotated. Now I've never been great at diagnossing engine problems, but this sounds like one of a few problems to me:

1) timing is off and crashing the valve into the piston therefore not allowing it to finish its rotation.
2) piston rings have embeded themselves into the cylinder wall.
3) conrod broke and is getting hung up somewhere.

Any ideas on what the problem could be or how to fix it? The only thing is that I can not get to the engine as he lives in Tacoma, WA and I'm in Atlanta. So, is this a fixable engine or should I start looking to buy a newer one to ship to him? Also, what are the possibilities for using 650 parts with the 600 engine?

Thanks guys,
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-21-2008, 02:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 704
A poorly maintained 87 with 45k miles and a "not very mechanically inclined" owner. I don't think I would be willing to put much $$ or time into it. It might just be something simple (we hope) but ....

edit - I regret being so negative about your first post. That's not the normal style 'round here.

Last edited by BIGIRON; 04-21-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-21-2008, 04:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Richmond, Ky
Posts: 1,980
if it is a KLR600 its not an 87, should be 86 and down. It sounds as if the timing chain slipped and jumped a tooth or two either on the cams or the main gear, allowing the valve to come into contact with the piston. The only true way to know is to disassemble the left side case and check the timing marks and see if they are correct or off. My odds are that they will be off. If so then either you will need to rebuild the engine with a new cylinder and piston and redoe the head, or as you say find another engine and just swap it out. I am not positive on the fit, but I am almost sure the 650 engine will not be a drop in swap. You will probably need to find another 600 engine.
I am sure someone with much better knowledge of the 600's will give better info than what I have given. Good luck with your troubleshooting and keep us posted.

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Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-22-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Good call on the year. I went and did some research and found the years for the engine size produced.

So this puts me into the realm of building a complete engine if I want to make sure it runs correctly. He will never take the time to swap out just the cylinder and head then work on the valves and timing. Does that seam like a correct diagnossis?

As a side question for an engine build, I know the new 650 motor has some improvements for cooling and efficiantcy, but what about combining some of the older 650 parts with the 600? I've seen some where about a 600 trans swap which tells me the cases are very similar. Would it be possible to stick the cylinder and head from a early 90's 650 onto the crank of the 600? I know there would be some issues from clearences, cooling, compression, reliability.... but it would yeild 612cc instead of the stock 564cc. This should boost power a little as well. The only reason I ask this is because doing this kind of swap is becoming fairly common in the FZR community so I know the basis for the swap is sound. It is just a matter of working everything out.
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