Greasing the front wheel - 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 26 Old 10-17-2016, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Greasing the front wheel

I read somewhere that greasing the front wheel is really important and can lead to a catastrophic failure if not addressed. I wanted to take care of this before I ride to Guatemala.

I have 2002 KLR650 with 30,000 miles on it and don't know where to start...I have the bike torn down now doing oil, coolant, new air filter, new battery and adding USB/Cigarette charger.

Are there any particular other grease points I need to know about? Also wondering about changing the chain and what replacement part, difficulty level etc.

Thanks Guys!
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-17-2016, 03:52 PM
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Ok,

- yes there are a number of things you should grease including the axles, swingarm linkage, head bearings, shock bolts and pivot bolts. The pivot bolt can be a real PITA to get out if it hasn't been done. Hint: remove the rear motor mounting bolts before attempting to remove the swingarm.

- I swap the stock bearings for double sealed bearings (-2rs) they do not require greasing as they are pre-greased. You still should grease the axle to prevent corrosion. on an unknown bike with 30,000 miles on it, I'd replace them with good quality double sealed bearings for pce of mind - they will last a long time.

- If the chain/sprockets are worn, I replace them as a set. You can tell if your chain is worn out by pulling it straight back from the sprocket: if you can see daylight between the chain and sprocket, it'd done. The sprockets can be checked visually and also check the chain for kinking and tight spots. ALSO; most people overtighten their KLR chains so be careful: due to the long travel suspension and geometry the KLR needs more slack than other bikes people may be used to. If the chain is too tight you risk damaging the countershaft seal and bearing as well as possibly the wheel bearings along with premature wear of the drive chain and sprockets. Quick check; with the bike on the sidestand, you should be able to touch the chain to the bottom rearmost portion of the chain slipper but not the metal swingarm itself.

- I use only O ring (or X ring, etc.) sealed chains and steel sprockets. These are good quality and inexpensive; http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/...d-X-Ring-Chain

- You can use chain lube if you like but sealed chains are sealed. WD 40 keeps it clean and rust free. 34,000 miles is good enough for me! read: http://watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf


Good luck,

Dave
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-17-2016, 03:55 PM
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Definitely check the counterbalance adjuster lever and spring (the "doohickey"). I would also check the valve clearance as well as go through the bike thoroughly.

This might also help;

1) Oil drain plug overtightening: it is relatively common for people to overtighten the oil drain plug.....usually to stop a leak after the gasket/washer has inadvertently fallen into the used oil or left stuck to the bottom of the engine! best case is stripped threads, worst is a cracked case. Make sure the washer is in place and use a torque wrench Note; my manual says 17 ft lbs, Eaglemike recommends 15 ft lbs with his low profile drain plug which is what I use. Some Gen2 manuals specify 21 ft lbs but there has been no change in the plug or case which would affect the drain plug torque and people have stripped their drain plugs at this setting: beware!

- 2) Chain tension: many owners and some shops overtighten the KLR's drive chain; due to the long travel suspension and geometry the KLR needs more slack than other bikes people may be used to. If the chain is too tight you risk damaging the countershaft seal and bearing as well as possibly the wheel bearings along with premature wear of the drive chain and sprockets. Quick check; with the bike on the sidestand, you should be able to touch the chain to the bottom rearmost portion of the chain slipper but not the metal swingarm itself.

- 3) Speedo drive: it is common for people to post problems with their speedo after they've had the front wheel off. If you don't make sure the drive slots in the hub are aligned with the speedo drive tangs you risk bending the drive tangs and worse, breaking the hub. Time consuming to repair, expensive to replace, easy to avoid!

- 4) Oil Level: the factory KLR oil level sight glass is arguably too low....additionally some KLR's burn oil at various rates so it is imperative that the oil level is constantly checked. Luckily the sight glass makes this very easy to do. My suggestion is to keep the oil level at the very top of the sight glass with the bike level and to check it before every ride and at every fuel stop. The first failure from low oil levels is likely to be the cam bores in the head......and used KLR heads are getting difficult to find and are expensive. Keep an eye on that oil level!

- 5) Overtightening of other fasteners; similar to the oil drain plug there are a few other fasteners that cause significant problems if overtightened; the valve cover bolts are one such fastener - the manual calls up 69 inch lbs (NOT ft. lbs!) but Eaglemike suggests 55 in lbs which is a safer value. Another problem fastener is the footpeg mounting bolts; the factory nuts welded in the frame box are very thin with only 3 or 4 threads catching......these often strip out necessitating a repair. To avoid the problem, consider not using accessories that bolt to the bike using these bolts (i.e. centerstands) and torque them properly. I've heard that some manuals show 45NM (33 ft lbs) and some versions show 25 Nm (18 ft lbs)......I will suggest that the 33 ft lbs is a mistake and too much; I go with the 18 to avoid stripping the nuts and because this value falls in line with the recommended torque for generic 8mm fasteners in the manual. Safety wiring the bolt heads is also a wise precaution as loose bolts take the threads out quickly.

- 6) Throwing away the tube when changing the oil filter. People often mistakenly toss the metal tube that is inserted in the oil filter when they throw the old filter in the trash....make sure it's there and put it back in the right way.
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-18-2016, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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How do I grease the front wheel?
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-18-2016, 11:11 AM
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remove the cotter pin, remove the axle nut, pull out the axle, remove the wheel, check/replace/grease the wheel bearings as necessary, apply grease to the axle shaft and re-install making sure all the spacers are in the right order and that the speedo drive tangs are lined up. Torque using a torque wrench.

Dave
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-18-2016, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRHartzler View Post
I read somewhere that greasing the front wheel is really important and can lead to a catastrophic failure if not addressed. I wanted to take care of this before I ride to Guatemala.

Thanks Guys!
RR,
I'm gonna' take a wild a** guess about what you are referring to.
The Speedometer drive assembly!

Take the front wheel off, pull the drive mechanism off the hub, turn the drive unit up-side down in your hands and the drive gear usually falls out in your hand.
I do Not recommend attempting to wash any of the old grease out of the unit body. It is too hard to re-grease the little pinion gear shaft.
Re-grease the teeth on the pinion gear and the center tower of the body and the internal bore of the ring gear and its teeth. Slip the gear back into the body.
Align the drive tabs into the drive slots as you install onto the wheel hub.

The wheel bearings should technically be replaced with new double sealed bearings if the old ones are removed. As in one should never drive on the opposing race, neither when installing or re-using!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-21-2016, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! So is this the Speedometer Drive Assembly "the Thing" people are talking about when they talk about KLR weaknesses? Or are we talking about replacing the bearings?
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-21-2016, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRHartzler View Post
Thanks! So is this the Speedometer Drive Assembly "the Thing" people are talking about when they talk about KLR weaknesses? Or are we talking about replacing the bearings?
There is nothing inherently weak or problematic with the KLR wheel bearings compared to any other bike so they may be referring to the speedo drive as per my item #3 above.


Dave
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-06-2017, 08:01 PM
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Hello,

This may be coming out of left field, as this thread is 6 years old, but I'm new to KLR, and having had reasonable success with Clymer and the rest of my "new bike" maintenance and upgrades, what puzzles me is the front wheel. When put together according to the book, it hardly will turn. Seems the torque recommendation squeezes the two forks against the wheel and restricts it turning freely. Am I missing something. I've checked the schematic, and no parts are missing ...?!

Thanks in advance,

DJ
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-07-2017, 05:39 AM
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Just asking, DJ:

Are you comfortable with the meaning of DPellitier's comment, "Align the drive tabs into the drive slots as you install onto the wheel hub?"

A clear grasp of this concept is necessary for correct front wheel assembly. A "winged washer" is involved; its wings must fit in hub slots for proper speedometer operation and prevention of damage.

If I can find a convenient image I'll post it; if you have access to a Service Manual, I'd recommend you research this element.

EDIT: Here 'tis:


Last edited by Damocles; 04-07-2017 at 06:01 AM.
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