Twisted Steering a Problem? Also Tight Chain? - 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 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Twisted Steering a Problem? Also Tight Chain?

Tonight I looked at a used 2006 with approximately 10,000 miles, for $3,200. It has obviously been garaged, as it didn't show rust on the bolt heads.

It had been dropped on the right side. The throttle grip was torn, the right brush guard was missing, the right plastic panel (front of the tank) was held on by screws instead of pop-ins. The owner stated that he had also replaced a lever, and that the right brush guard was on order.

My only problem with all this was that the bars are turned at about a 5- or 10-degree angle to the right when the bike is going straight down the road. It doesn't appear that the bars are bent, but rather that the forks may be twisted in the clamps. The fork clamps are tight enough that I couldn't change anything by straddling the front wheel and twisting the bars, though. I'm wondering, is it possible for the assembly to be twisted out of line without anything being permanently bent? In other words, if I loosen the clamp bolts and twist everything back in line, is that probably a permanent fix?

Also, the owner had adjusted his chain with zero slack in it at rest, ie taut as a guitar string with the machine unladen. I pointed out to him that this puts a lot of stress on the countershaft bearing. He didn't appear to know how to adjust the chain. This is his first motorcycle (he's now buying a V-Strom). I'm wondering - can I detect a problem with the countershaft, assuming this condtion has actually caused a problem, or is it probably OK?

Another thing that scares me is he said he did the doo hickey himself (with supervision).

Should I move on to a different bike?

thanks!

Last edited by funkychateau; 07-08-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:37 PM
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Yeah, my buddies 05 bars were out of whack.. Loosen the triple tree bolts just enough that the forks won't slide up thru and then like our old Stingray bikes of the 70's straddle the front tire and start twisting till you get it torqued back to proper straightness. Retighten the bolts. The bars could be slightly bent from the drop but doubt they are seriously damaged if you can't see any obvious bends near the bar clamps.

If the front sprocket seal is not leaking oil, you will probably be fine loosening the chain and readjusting it correctly. If there is oil seapage, just replace the seal. Short of sliding the chain off and just doing a hands on feel of the sprocket shaft bearings, feeling for slop and slack, along with smoothness as you rotate the sprocket by hand, I don't know much else to know if they are bad. I think I would try to talk him down on the price due to some of the damage and bad maintenance that is owner inflicted. Mine is covered outside when not in use and has been for the past year, and I have no rust on the bolt heads either, and all my plastic is nice and shiny. Of course I am guilty of washing my KLR regularly and waxing it, a KLR sin if I remember right, LMAO, but I can't help it. You can't always go by looks unfortunately to know how one is kept up.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
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 #3 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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if the bike has a fork brace it makes the problem worse when you lay it down hard in the dirt,(personal exp) so make sure you loosen the fork brace mounting bolts also while aligining it
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:42 PM
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The handlebar direction is fixed in minutes. Just loosen the fork clamps (with the bike on a stand) and it'll go right back to straight, or close to it.. A couple quick slaps of the bars in both directions, and it'll find itself straight. Tighten and go!!

Chain tension.. I have a very slightly slack chain when I'm on the bike. Just adjust..

Doohickey?? If the engine's running correctly, and he had supervision it should be fine. Double A and I have done 5-6 of them now, and we're idiots..

I'd give it another good inspection and use his lack of common sense when it comes to maintenance as a tool to get the price down a bit.. Worst case, the chain might be a smidge (technical term) stretched and need replacement, but you'll find that when you put the bike on a stand and spin the rear wheel in neutral, and listen for anything that sounds goofy. (also a technical term)

And remember, I'm an idiot!!
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:43 PM
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I'm still on the fence about braces. Do you really feel a difference in the steering and stability with one?

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
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 #6 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DXKLR View Post
I'm still on the fence about braces. Do you really feel a difference in the steering and stability with one?
You'll notice the difference before you get out of the driveway.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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from the day i put mine on (Studebaker brace) its never felt better, about as close as you can get to a sportbike and still go offroad
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:46 PM
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scribbles on farkle notepad....ORDER ONE...

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
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 #9 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:48 PM
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scribbles on farkle notepad....ORDER ONE...
The forks are tiny in diameter compared to current fork dimensions.. Since you and I are, umm, larger riders you'll notice more of a difference than smaller guys. Less flex is good!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 10:51 PM
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I have noticed lately, I think due to my using the front brakes much more agggresively now since my MRS course that I can really feel the front end flex to one side real bad. Really adds a pucker factor sometimes that I don't like.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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