"New 1987 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 33 Old 03-05-2018, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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"New 1987 650

Just got a 1987 KLR 650 with 7,000 miles and pretty much perfect condition. Is there any "upgrades" I need to do before i start really riding it? Any parts i should be interested in changing out? I'm completely new to the KLR but I'm very mechanically inclined. Thank you!
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-05-2018, 12:03 PM
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congratulations; great bike. Has it been run? Low mileage Gen1's are my favorite thing! What you need/should do will depend on if it's been stored properly, if it has been run and if any work has been done lately.

I would go through everything and do a complete service; drain and fill with fresh fuel, complete oil change, service air filter, lube/service suspension, replace tires and tubes as necessary. The carb/fuel system may need work if it's been sitting. Battery?

As far as upgrades, the list is endless and also dependent on wants/needs/expectations/experience and budget. The only mods I'd consider "needs" would be to upgrade the counterbalance adjuster lever (aka. the "doohickey") with an Eaglemike replacement with the torsion spring. The other would be to upgrade the multipce balancer sprockets with later one pce units which are much better. Adding a Thermobob would be next up and is highly recommended. https://eaglemike.com/Basic-lever-ki...ey-kit-blk.htm https://shop.watt-man.com/Thermo-Bob...-YEARS-TB2.htm


Dave
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-05-2018, 12:04 PM
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My "New KLR Owners Mistakes List"

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.
- 7) attempting a counterbalance lever (doohickey) adjusting bolt adjustment without first ensuring the lever and spring are both intact and the spring has tension. Failure to do so can introduce a catastrophic amount of play into the counterbalance chain system.

-8) Not checking fasteners for proper torque at least at every oil change. Especially foot pegs and sub-frame bolts. The fasteners that Kawasaki put in place are adequate, but once torque falls below spec vibration can loosen the fastener. A loose fastener will quickly fail if it is under load.
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-05-2018, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Such great information! Original owner of bike has extreme OCD itís been babied and maintained meticulously. Hasnít been ridden in almost a year but the fuel was drained. Definitely going to slap some new rubbers on it and fresh fluids. Was also going to look for some recommendations on a 50/50 on/off tire. The first thing I noticed was the chain seemed extremely loose compared to my Aprilia. Was glad to get that bit of information! Iíve heard about the ďdoohickeyĒ and Iíll definitely be checking into everything mentioned here! Iím currently out of town away from the bike at the moment. Iíll post up some pictures and a little more information this evening. Thanks for the information!
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-05-2018, 02:54 PM
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That is a heck of a find there, 'rollingstone95'.

I put almost 6,000 miles on mine in its 1st twelve months of life. I guess that means that I'm currently about 100,000 miles behind schedule!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-13-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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so here it is in all of its glory!

So ive discovered somethings about this bike in the last few days. It has been deCaliforniaized, and has had the .22 mod done. Not sure what other "internal" mods have been done to it yet.. But I drained the fuel tank (turns out had about 2 cups of fuel left in it) and the fuel was the same color as you would expect a bottle of Jack Daniels to be... CRINGE. So i drained the fuel and rinsed it out with some clean gas. Then I tore the carb down and done a good cleaning it was pretty yucky but cleaned up nice. I also had to take the ingition apart and temporarily remove the wafers since the PO couldnt find the key. Ill go to my good buddy the lock smith here in a few days with a blank and have him cut me one. So i got every thing back together installed the battery and turned it over and NOTHING. I had a spray bottle with some fuel in it so i gave a little squirt to the breather and she came alive. I let it run for a few minutes and shut it off and picked up all my tools. Got back on it and started it up although i had to give it just a tiny twist of the throttle to get it to start. Rode it up the rode to a buddys house and hung out for a while and i did notice one or two drops of gas coming out of the bowl drain. I figured some gunk was on the float needle so i cracked the drain and that seemed to solve that. Drove the bike back home and put it into the garage. Next morning I come out to start it and it will turn over and try to fire. The motor spins fast like its trying its best to start. But it will never start and back fires a little every once in a while. Ive checked everything. Pet cocks working fine, and i dont believe the float is sticking. Should I just flip the carb up and recheck all the jets and double check the float? I'm a heavy equipment mechanic by trade and im pretty good with small engines, but I'm not a KLR guru. Just wondering if there is something I might be missing!

-Taylor

Last edited by rollingstone95; 03-13-2018 at 08:11 PM.
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post #7 of 33 Old 03-13-2018, 08:22 PM
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wow, she's a beauty! Nice.

yes, you probably need to go through the carb and clean it again. check the float level too.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-13-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what I was thinking. Is there any sort of guide to setting the float level or just the ole clear hose in the drain hole held up to the carb?
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post #9 of 33 Old 03-13-2018, 08:51 PM
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rollingstone95,
The most likely problem IMHO is that the passage way from the pilot jet to the 3 low speed pilot outlet holes under the bottom edge of the throttle plate are restricted or plugged. I use a small wire bent 90 degrees to back-poke them 3 holes and then spray carb cleaner & compressed air back thru the passages. Then with the pilot mixture screw Closed, spray carb cleaner Up Through the pilot jet pocket to confirm Full Round Streams of cleaner ejecting from those 3 holes.

Easily over-looked by a novice and un-seeable with carb still in frame.

There is NO over-flow stand pipe in this carb float bowl, so any leakage from the Drain Nipple is because of either grit on the sealing surface or a loose drain screw!
It will flood the air box and the engine Crankcase oil if there is truly a float/float valve problem if one has an un-used manual fuel valve.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-13-2018, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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It was all pretty gunky when I got into it the first time it is fairly possible i missed somethings in the carb. Supposed to have some warmer weather tomorrow, Ill take the carb back out and follow your advice pdwestman. Thanks!
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