The vatrader Petcock Upgrade - 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 32 Old 06-14-2009, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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The vatrader Petcock Upgrade

I don't like the KLR vacuum-operated petcock. I think it's a problem waiting to happen, and I got in the habit of reaching down and shutting motorcycle petcocks off thirty years ago.

One of the first things I did to mine was remove the vacuum operated stuff and install a blanking plate and gasket. The first time I did it, I have to admit, I did a shoddy, quick job of it and it leaked. The second go-round was better executed, but I still wasn't really happy with it.

vatrader happened to mention (http://www.klrforum.com/showthread.p...atrader&page=2) that there is a petcock available that is stock on a Yamaha 660 Raptor that is a drop-in replacement.

I couldn't resist and, since I had an order brewing with Ayers anyway, I added one to the cart.

I wasn't sure what to call this, as it isn't a farkle, nor is it a mod. Given my distaste for the vacuum-operated petcock, I decided it was an upgrade. I owe vatrader for the 411 on this, hence the name.

Here's a comparison of the two units:



Obviously, the reserve tube is much shorter. Looking at it, it would be easy to extend to the stock KLR length, but I've never relied on reserve to tell me when I need gas, so I left it alone. If you don't modify it, and you go on reserve, GO GET GAS!!

Installing it is as simple as removing the tank, pulling the two bolts out, and installing the Raptor petcock. Torque gently on re-installation. The stock fuel hose works with no modification, but the position is different, which calls for some trimming on the solenoid cover.





The finished view:



Tom

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-29-2018 at 02:43 AM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-14-2009, 06:00 PM
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I don't know what's manlier...those sheets (couch cover?) or your vintage sewing machine.

Have you sewn a flowered cover for your bike yet?

I have the opposite problem. KLR has me spoiled. Now when I ride my Honda I have to check like 8 times if I turned off the gas. Used to be automatic.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

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post #3 of 32 Old 06-14-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, mum's the word on the sheets.

I almost got busted last weekend when I was using her iron to glue some oak shelf edging onto some new shelves. The iron got put away about 10 minutes before she got home.

If she finds out about those sheets... I really did get most of the gas out of the petcock and I wiped it off before I set it down.

See, if we're laying in bed and she says "How come the sheets smell like gas?" I have some plausible deniablilty. I can say "I don't smell nothin'" or "Sorry, honey, too many pickled eggs and beer over here". But if she actually finds out I used the sheets for a photo backdrop, well, that would really harsh her mellow. That would be bad for me.

Tom

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 06-14-2009 at 08:30 PM.
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post #4 of 32 Old 06-14-2009, 08:21 PM
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Allright, then my lips are sealed. But if called to testify, I cannot lie.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #5 of 32 Old 06-15-2009, 10:36 AM
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Glad to have helped! Like you, I don't rely on the reserve feature to remind me to fuel up. There are bad things that live in the last dregs of a fuel tank, kinda like the bottom of the cup of coffee, brewed in a percolator. Eliminating the vacuum actuated fuel delivery was my goal. Where do you start to diagnose an intermittent fuel problem when you are using vacuum powered fuel delivery? This new set up has served me well, and I am sure you will have no regrets.
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post #6 of 32 Old 06-25-2009, 01:19 PM
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Tom, what do you do with the vaccuum line that goes to the carb, just plug it and forget about it ?

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post #7 of 32 Old 06-25-2009, 01:26 PM
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I'm not Tom, so take this advice with a grain of salt. Stuff a bolt, screw, something in the tube end that WAS attached to the tank. Gotta be plugged.
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post #8 of 32 Old 06-25-2009, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yup, you can just plug it off with whatever works that you have handy.

If you go to the auto store you'll find a carded package of general purpose vacuum caps in various sizes; you can use one of those, too. There's a seperate vacuum line that goes to the carb. Just pull it off and put a cap on. They tend to rot and crack a bit, but they don't seem to leak. I find that the rotten rubber look complements the other rubber on my '08.

At a good hardware store you'll find screw protectors. These are small, flexible plastic caps that come in bright colors. They seem to seal pretty well and don't rot like the rubber vacuum caps do.

Tom
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post #9 of 32 Old 05-03-2012, 10:48 PM
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Bump....

I got two questions:

1) Does this work (the Yamaha 660 Raptor model) for the older models of KLRs?
2) What exactly is the problem with vacuum based petcocks? Personally I've noticed that my engine runs smoother when my tank is full (less stumbling). Would there be an advantage for me to do this upgrade?

I'm about to take the tank off in about a week anyways, so I figured I'd just ask away.
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post #10 of 32 Old 05-04-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steferf View Post
Bump....

I got two questions:

1) Does this work (the Yamaha 660 Raptor model) for the older models of KLRs?
2) What exactly is the problem with vacuum based petcocks? Personally I've noticed that my engine runs smoother when my tank is full (less stumbling). Would there be an advantage for me to do this upgrade?

I'm about to take the tank off in about a week anyways, so I figured I'd just ask away.
I THINK the Raptor petcock is universal to KLR's of all generations.

Ain't nothin' wrong with an OPERATIONAL vacuum-actuated petcock; folks disable the vacuum apparatus to avoid an area of possible malfunction.

IMHO, there is NO OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT POSSIBLE from switching to a manually-actuated petcock.

Nor, at least measurably, from a full vs. near-empty fuel tank.

Why not? The carburetor ingests its fuel from the Bernouli Effect, unaffected by the hydrostatic fuel pressure.

Further, a mythological tale exists, claiming hydrostatic fuel pressure can be increased by cutting the height of the "straw" on the petcock, when in fact the fuel pressure at the carburetor is determined solely by the height of the "head," the vertical distance from the carb inlet to the fuel level; straw height is of no consequence.

Cutting straw height WILL decrease reserve fuel supply volume, according to Mr. Archimedes.

So, you don't want no stinkin' vacuum-actuated petcock? Convert to manually-actuated only (remembering it's up to YOU to shut 'er down when you stop). Want to prevent, automatically, fuel spills into the engine/out the dump tube from malfunctioning float valve when engine is OFF? Live with the stock petcock, tolerating its risk of malfunction.
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