KLR600/650 Clutch - 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 20 Old 11-28-2016, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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KLR600/650 Clutch

Ain't you giving away a couple of clutch disks with the 600 clutch?

You may NEED stiffer clutch springs, if so.

Or . . . you can SHIM the springs with washers. On Honda CB77s, spark plug washers fit just dandy.
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-28-2016, 03:45 PM
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It has 7 fibers and 6 steels vs the 8/7, though they are back to 7/6 on '11 and up with a slightly different clutch.

I never noticed any clutch slipping the last time around, but am not sure what springs were in the clutch at that time. I thought they were stock, but there's a bag of red KLR600 springs on the shelf.

Tom

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 11-28-2016 at 03:55 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-05-2016, 04:40 PM
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Not on this forum, but elsewhere I have seen the comment that the KLR600 has a weak clutch. These comments have never really said what's weak about it, whether the thing is considered weak because it has one less plate or the basket or hub is weak or the springs are the problem; none of this is ever made clear.

This has been in the back of my mind to ponder over, but I've never done so. Damocles' comment has renewed my curiosity so I set out in pursuit of more useless knowledge.

Frankly, I've always dismissed such a notion based upon what I've noticed and experienced.

First, the clutch pack in the KLR600 is pretty much the same clutch pack used in quite a few bikes that put out a fair bit more torque and a lot more horsepower than the KLR does. Same for the hub. The basket design on the KLR600/650 is nearly identical to the baskets on those bikes, too.

Second, I have had the 'opportunity' to severely abuse the KLR600 clutch to the point where I was sure that I'd ruined it. When I took it apart there was no sign of damage on anything and one couldn't tell that a stupid person had gone to where he shouldn't have been, alone, and had become determined to get back to camp. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Taking it as a given that the mechanical pieces seem plenty strong I got the notion that maybe the springs were the issue. Perhaps they are not strong enough to prevent slipping. Never noticed that, but it seemed a worthy thing to look into.

I grabbed up what I had and put this together:


All of this tinkering lead me to wondering what the changes to the KLR clutch has seen over the years, so I spent some time with the fiches and came up with this:


There was a mid-year change in '11 that I haven't carefully documented.

Tom

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 12-05-2016 at 04:57 PM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-05-2016, 05:25 PM
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Well done Tom.
I have never heard that the KLR had a weak clutch or that there were issues with failures. I don't believe it is one of the KLR's issues at all. I am not concerned with going with the 7/6 configuration if we can get the kick start to work.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-06-2016, 10:16 AM
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Looks like that information took an hour or two to compile Tom.

I've mentioned this before, Why does one suppose that Kawasaki welded the little brake light spring guide onto the main frame of the 2008 and newer Gen 2. If there is no kick shaft installed there is no reason for the curved path of the spring.

Has anyones spring worn thru that little guide tab yet?

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post #6 of 20 Old 12-06-2016, 11:48 PM
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So I dropped by eagle mike the other day to pick up a doo kit, and got to asking him about the kickstarter problem. He mentioned that the klr600 clutch basket was the weak point there, and that he wouldn't want to put one in his bike.

Not sure if this is actually pertinent though...

Last edited by insan3guy; 12-07-2016 at 12:52 AM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-06-2016, 11:53 PM
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Thanks for the info insan3guy. It may be a problem in Tom's high performance bike but I should be OK!
JJ

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post #8 of 20 Old 12-07-2016, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Unsure of the exact nature Eagle Mike's reservations regarding the KLR600 clutch basket, but . . . I don't know how the clutch basket is connected to the kick-starter mechanical scheme. I'd expect an operational KACR would reduce some initial starting stresses. Maybe Tom ain't got no stinkin' KACR; and . . . he's running a high-compression over-bore piston, IIRC.
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-07-2016, 11:57 AM
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Damoclese,
You must use the early clutch basket for a kick starter conversion due to the integrated drive gear on the back. The gear was deleted in later models. I don't believe it is an issue with kicking it over. In your MANY years of experience have you heard of failure issues with KLR clutches?
Let's not get sidetracked. The issue in this thread is how to make Gen2s spark while being kicked over. We can worry about mechanical issues IF they arise.
jj

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post #10 of 20 Old 12-07-2016, 12:12 PM
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Damocles,

I ain't got no stinkin' KACR right now. I have wondered if I should put one back in for this bold experiment.

My next move is to examine the KLR600 basket, making some measurements of the fingers and back plate and comparing them to the 2008 basket. Perhaps there is some dimensional difference. Once again, though, there is no 'how' and 'why' provided, merely the repetition of what might have become an old wive's tale.

snipped some stuff that was pertinent to stuff in another thread...

Tom

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“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 12-07-2016 at 01:56 PM.
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