The Journey to Vermont - 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 52 Old 08-14-2018, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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The Journey to Vermont

Starting a new thread now that I have the KLR650 (last thread, was asking for advice on whether I should get the bike)

Today removed the fairings, seat and tank and went in search of more frame damage and the electrical gremlin that I discovered after unloading the bike at home.

Well, I'm glad I got right into the bike because I needed to sooner or later, and very happy to see the condition is better than I had worried. Some top end noise I noticed at the end of the test ride, but found today that it was 3/4 qt. short of oil. Just barely visible in sight glass. For 2.5 qt total, that seems like a whole lot.

---

When I got the bike home I had meant to go on a victory lap to the beach, but instead upon pressing the starter button, something shorted out with a loud *snap* and the bike lost all power -- no headlight, turn signals, silent relay etc.. Then, an hour later, it had power again, and started fine.

After doing some preliminary looking today, I'm a bit puzzled about the electrical problem -- the sound of an arc directly coincided with all power being lost, but no fuse blew, and power is back now. An arc would be (+) to (-) shorting, but aside from this, I feel like it should be a faulty ground. Maybe multiple problems masquerading as one? The starter sensors are buttoned up now (removed and shunted) so that's not it. Checked the chassis ground, Black/yellow cable coming from harness and grounded on right side of steering head, seems fine. I remember the arc coming from the left side of the bike, apparently under the tank. Hm...

One odd thing I noticed is the Black/yellow bullet connector spliced right next to the battery (-) terminal was disconnected. A Black/yellow also disconnected in the plug box behind the headlight.

Since doing these things, the bike has not arced or lost power, but I'm not convinced. Never had the aha! moment. Haven't been able to replicate the fault state either. Will do some resistance testing, check the ignition switch, and continue the search, replacing connectors as I go.

---

Anyway, happy to have all the plastic off, deciding what color to paint it -- black or white? Cleaning things up and familiarizing myself with every component. It's been nice having TWO bikes to compare between; parts bike is much less mucked with -- good and bad -- and I've noticed a few electrical components absent on the runner I will have to identify.

Now, although it's probably too early, not having spent some time on the engine, I'm trying to decide whether it's worth swapping the 11lk motor in. It sure is purdy. Did a bit of looking into just titling the parts bike frame in VT, and building it up rather than the current bike, but looks like it's one year too young to be registered without a title in good ol' VT. I guess things got stricter there. Seems silly sitting in front of this pile of bikes that the VIN on the frame is what "makes" a bike legally, but I can swap motors no problem. Weird.

Anyway, that one dent in the frame I was worreid about is pretty much it for frame damage, unless it's skewed, which I have yet to measure, and upon closer inspection and cleaning, am please to say has very little rust.





The Honda met in the garage is a friend's I'm working on, waiting for a new carb.

Last edited by porttownsend; 08-14-2018 at 02:41 AM.
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post #2 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 07:05 AM
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What happened to your dog?
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post #3 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 05:16 PM
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DID IT DIE?!?!?!

BTW, that's not a dent,
that's a TROPHY!!!
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post #4 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroy75 View Post
What happened to your dog?
He does a lot of that. Probably tired from chasing chipmunks!

He came to pick up the bike too!
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post #5 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 05:26 PM
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NOW THAR'S A GOOD BOOOOOYYY!!!!!!

Can ya'll tell I'm at work...
{ siiiigh }
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post #6 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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The only video I could find for swapping the engine on KLR 650 was these two randos doing it by hand -- seems easy enough??


Any gotchas?

I guess I'll start by doing it on the parts bike, which I'll be dismantling anyway. Get a feel for the process.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-14-2018 at 06:49 PM. Reason: enable YT link
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post #7 of 52 Old 08-14-2018, 06:40 PM
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No, sorry, but then I wouldn't do an engine schwap.
Tried once (Nighthawk... RIP).
I might now, buuuut after what I've been doing...
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post #8 of 52 Old 08-15-2018, 10:17 AM
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If alone without a partner to aid in the lifting/positioning. I have found the easiest way to get an motorcycle engine in or out is to lay it on the ground on it's side and lift the stripped frame on or off the engine. Much easier on the back.
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post #9 of 52 Old 08-17-2018, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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OK. Going to check valve clearances and see whether doohickey has been done. Electrical is all buttoned up now, and I have extras of everything except the CDI, so I'm going to do the resistance matrix test to be sure things are in spec.

Gremlin, ultimately I think must have been battery terminal, since it was a bit loose. Sanded and greased and tightened, no problems since. I'd say I'm at a level of familiarity with the electrical system at this point that I know that A) everything is working and B) how to diagnose and fix something if it breaks. Nice to be there.

Now! On to evaluating the mechanical health, and finalizing the main order of new parts.

I posted a video on youtube, of what sounds like either valve or cam chain noise, but have been going around listening to "normal" idle sound videos, and I guess it's a pretty noisy engine. A bit concerning is a chain-like noise whose frequency and volume is not a simple function of anything else I hear.

Anyone care to lend an ear? Easiest to hear around 0:20

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-17-2018 at 01:22 AM. Reason: enable YT link
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post #10 of 52 Old 08-17-2018, 05:34 PM
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Sorry to hear you paid the money for TWO big ol piles of junk....
I was hoping to score those for myself!! LOL! I was just reading your posts and man I have been there! Snap and then nothing... Happened to me while out on the trail alone. Took me about a half hour to figure out it was the battery and another half hour to get to it and fix it (I had a swiss army knife and that was about all). I read your description and my head was screaming BATTERY!!! Glad you found it OK. Sounds like you have some fun times ahead! Enjoy the process and dont skimp on the details, you wont regret it. I will try to keep following your progress but the weather is so good out here right now I find myself riding my Big Green Pig more than reading forums! Take care, Good luck, and HAVE FUN! Thats what this is all about!
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