KL 600 gearset in to a KLR 650 - 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 21 Old 08-11-2016, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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KL 600 gearset in to a KLR 650

Has anyone here done it? Or have any info on it?

Googling had told me it's possible, but I'm not 100% sure of all of the parts I'll need to collect. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

*Edit: I guess I should add that I'm wanting to put these parts in to an '03 model.

Last edited by shinyribs; 08-11-2016 at 03:06 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 04:28 PM
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Just askin'; why?

Kick starter in your future, or . . . is some optimization of gear ratios (beyond the effect of sprocket teeth number change) worth the effort?

Or . . . other?

Last edited by Damocles; 08-11-2016 at 04:30 PM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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The kick-starting feature is a non-issue. I wouldn't mind the option, but doubt I'd ever need it.

My understanding is the the KL gearset has a deeper first thru third gear, while maintaining ( to the best of my knowledge) the same ratios for fourth and fifth.

So it would basically give the effect of running ( approximated for the sake of discussion) a 14t front sprocket, yet retain the same higway rpms that I have now with my stock final drive gearing. Seems the best of both worlds, to me.

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post #4 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 06:49 PM
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I have considered doing this and did some research quite a while back.

This site has some information, though I believe there are also some typos.

The Kawasaki KLR650 Projects to A17 Transmission Swap

Since the input shaft is supposed to be the same you would have your choice of kick-start/non-kickstart and the lower primary gearing of the KLR600 if that was of interest. Kickstart and/or lowering the primary would require an earlier clutch basket to go along with the primary gear on the crankshaft. There are a couple of choices there; KLR600 or early 650 before they omitted the big gear on the basket.

To do what you want to do would require a complete transmission swap, as I don't believe it is possible to just swap the first two gear sets due to the output shaft change. The downside there is that you will require the earlier counter shaft sprocket with it's slotted sprocket retainer. That part is no longer available so you'd have to hunt one down. I think the counter shaft sprockets are readily available, though not from all brands. I could look in my stash of sprockets and see which brand is drilled and tapped for attaching the retainer. In short, you'd need the transmission, a counter shaft sprocket, and a sprocket retainer. Of course, you'd also want to refresh bearings and seals and whatnot.

Another potential downside, depending on how you ride, is that the later transmissions have more dogs. More dogs should mean stronger, but if you dn't thrash the thing...

It is rumored that you can swap only the first gear set onto a later transmission, but I have not verified that. The input shaft is supposed to be the same across the years, but the output shaft has changed. The upside is that you keep the counter shaft sprocket, but the downside is that the large jump between 1st and 2nd gets even bigger.

This is a spreadsheet I made when I was considering this:


I have a KLR600 transmission and can provide pictures and info if you need, but I don't have (yet) a 650 transmission to play with to see what is truly possible as far as mixing and matching between the two transmissions.

There may be some details I've forgotten; as I said, it's been quite a while and I suffer from CRS...

Tom
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-11-2016 at 06:54 PM.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch, Tom!

Looking at your chart I think I'd just go with the full KL600 gearset and not worry about mixing parts.

I'm curious if you HAVE to use the clutch hub with the kicker gear, or if I could retain my stock clutch , since I don't really care about the kick-starting.

If it's simply just a case of flopping the 600 gears in my 650, then I'm all over this! Would make for a nice Saturday, snowed-in project this winter.

Already got some stuff saved on eBay. lol.

Thanks for the info, Tom. Much appreciated!

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post #6 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I forgot one thing. The primary sprocket. I understand about the retainer, but I thought they both used the same gear, just were retained differently?

I know my JT gear I just put on had holes tapped in it for a retainer. Could be for a totally different application, of course. If I can't find a retainer I'm sure I could whip one up easily enough.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 08:07 PM
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With the higher gear ratio, KLR600 to KLR650, along cam 50 additional cc displacement; I'd expect the rear-wheel torque to be about the same between the two. Not to say a 600 tranny implant into a 650 won't multiply torque more fully in the lower gears.

If the drive ratio change is worth the effort to you, by all means, go for it! If you must use an earlier clutch basket, you'll lose a couple of clutch disks, if I'm not mistaken.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
With the higher gear ratio, KLR600 to KLR650, along cam 50 additional cc displacement; I'd expect the rear-wheel torque to be about the same between the two. Not to say a 600 tranny implant into a 650 won't multiply torque more fully in the lower gears.

If the drive ratio change is worth the effort to you, by all means, go for it! If you must use an earlier clutch basket, you'll lose a couple of clutch disks, if I'm not mistaken.
The rear wheel power very well may be equal. I don't have a clue of the power differences between the two bikes. I'm not trying to produce KL 600 power output from a KLR 650, but rather like you said, just gain more torque multiplication in the bike I own.

Looking at the changes made over the lifespan of the bikes it's pretty plain to see what happened to the them. They've become less and less "dual" and more and more"street". That's not a bad thing, but I'm here for the dual sport aspect of it all.

Riding the bike the way I like to ride offroad calls for constant clutch slippage on my part. I never leave first gear when I'm offroad, unless shooting across a field. I know the KLR isn't the best choice for someone that wants to putt through virgin woods at 5mph, but I need the road legality and higway capabilities that it offers. Regardless, the clutch slippage and constant lugging is what has brought me to this idea.

You mentioned the weaker clutch, and that caught my eye as well. Nite sure it uses fewer discs, just has a weaker basket? It seems counterproductive to increase torque multiplication and reduce the strength of the clutch at the same time, but I don't think KL 600's ever had the reputation for spitting out clutches. They may not have gotten loaded as heavily as today's KLRs either.

When I go camping I pack light. A weeks worth of camping equipment for me is about 30 lbs. Luggage and all, so not too worried about that aspect of things. I camp with similar equipment as hikers, so it's all very compact and lightweight.

If I can run the KL 600 gears and retain my original clutch I'll be one happy camper. That's my biggest hang up for the time being. I know I need to use the 600 clutch to retain kick-starting, but I'm not positive if I can just use my stock clutch instead, since kicking isn't something I'm worried about.

Thanks for the input guys
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Oh, I forgot one thing. The primary sprocket. I understand about the retainer, but I thought they both used the same gear, just were retained differently?...
We need to get some terms straight.

The primary gear is on the right-side end of the crankshaft. It meshes with the ring gear on the back of the clutch. It is held on to the end of the crank shaft via a nut and a lot of torque.

The kickstarter gear set is made up of a gear that is attached to the kick-starter mechanism, an idler gear that mounts on the end of one of the transmission shafts and the hub gear that was on the back of the clutch basket for the first few years of production.

The counter shaft sprocket is on the left side of the output shaft of the transmission.

I believe you are asking about the counter shaft sprocket.

The early counter shaft sprockets were a 15 tooth chain sprocket held on by a splined retainer that was bolted to the sprocket. It was a slip-on, twist to lock, bolt to secure affair. Later the sprocket was held on by a nut and locking washer. In both cases the internal splines are the same so, as in the case of your JT, the manufacturer can make a sprocket, drill and tap it, and it is good for both versions of output shaft. I'm pretty sure you can buy a drilled and tapped 14 tooth and 16 tooth from JT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
...I'm curious if you HAVE to use the clutch hub with the kicker gear, or if I could retain my stock clutch , since I don't really care about the kick-starting.

If it's simply just a case of flopping the 600 gears in my 650, then I'm all over this! ...
I think it is as simple as installing a 600 transmission. You should look to buy as complete a transmission as possible, even though there may be some redundancy. Get the star wheel, the drum, the fingers, the shifter arm/shaft. In other words, the whole shebang, because I can't say that you could get away with just the two shafts and gear sets.

You can use your current clutch.

Here's a bit of a run-down on the clutch basket and primary drive stuff.

The very first clutches, on the 600, had both the hub gear for the kick starter and a lower primary drive ratio gear set. The 650 clutches had a higher primary ratio gear set but retained the hub gear for quite a few years because the kick starter was available as an optional kit.

At about the time that the kick starter kit was discontinued, the hub gear was omitted from the clutch basket. Interestingly, they continued to bore the kick starter shaft hole in the right side case and the inner case and also drilled and tapped the holes for the kick-starter stops inside the case. I don't know if they are doing it to this day, but I know you could install a kick starter at least up to the 2009 model. All you needed was the kick-starter junk, an early clutch basket and an older right side cover with the shaft hole in it. It all retrofit easily. It wouldn't start the engine no matter how hard you kicked it (please don't ask how I know this), but you could install one. Some years back, even though they were doing all the machine work for the kick starter assembly, they quit boring the kick starter shaft hole in the right cover. It's a mystery.

If you want to build a trail bike, put a KLR600 primary gear set in, a KLR600 transmission, and a 14 tooth front sprocket. I guarantee you can take it out to the desert and bury the rear wheel in a heartbeat.

If you were to decide to go with either the kick-starter, the 600 primary, or both, you'd need one of the earliery clutch baskets. Some worry that it had only 7 plates in it rather than the 8 in the later clutches. Not to worry, it's plenty strong and that basic clutch design and those very fibers and steels have been used on bikes making over 100hp. Further, they've gone back to a 7 plate clutch on the latest models. You can break anything by beating the carp out of it, but who like carp?

I'll wager that's more than you needed, let alone wanted, to know.

If you decide to do it, please do a write up here. It would be good to see a current write up of what's involved in making the idea a reality.

Tom
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-11-2016, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again, Tom.

Yeah, I was typing fast and admittedly not paying attention to my terminology as well as I should have. I'm glad you were able to sift through my ramblings and make sense of it all. lol

I'd be happy to do a write up. I'm pretty sure it'll happen. Especially since I just ordered all the parts.
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