Never Ending Fix It Quest - Part Rear Suspension - 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 18 Old 09-25-2018, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Never Ending Fix It Quest - Part Rear Suspension

I swear I've never had a bike before this one that has needed so much maintenance. What is it this time? Oh the rear spring preload broke somehow and won't preload anything. Seems to sit a little low and the bolt just turns and clicks without moving anything. I mean yeah, why not. It's its turn, sure. Just the next chapter in the never ending "something's broken on the KLR" story.

1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex
2002 Ducati Monster 750S < -- For Sale
2005 Kawi KLR 650
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-25-2018, 01:11 PM
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Though I've performed many modifications to my KLR's I've never actually had a failure that I can recall (other than the "doo" lever and spring on my 2001), it's frustrating when you have problems - I empathize.

The shock is, frankly, a pce of crap. The cheezy preload adjuster is prone to failure - this may help; https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-w...ear-shock.html

....best fix is to remove the upper and lower shock mounting bolts and deposit the shock in the garbage and replace it with a decent one.

cheers,
Dave
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-25-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Good link, sounds exactly like the problem. Whenever I find a free hour or two I'll pull it apart. If I had a jack here at work I might try it on the company dime. Though I would love to buy a whole new aftermarket assembly, a $500 shock isn't on the list right now. I am commuting on a KLR, after all.
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1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex
2002 Ducati Monster 750S < -- For Sale
2005 Kawi KLR 650

Last edited by shaky6; 09-25-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-26-2018, 07:58 PM
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Now that I'm working through my 'Maiden Voyage' (STILL) after 3 month re-assembly of my 2003, I'm really, Really, REALLY learning my May 2018 Purchase better!
Though easy(ier) to work on, I'm telling you Shaky6, this thing might be a real bucket. DPelletier has me convinced with his KLR experience, investment and continued riding that this thing, for the money, is 'da bomb! And I see that! Buuuuu…

She's certainly tighter 'n when I first got her, but she ain't no Honda (nor did she EVER promise to be).

I've had a coupla Kaws and I'm a fan... but this thing is QuittaBitDifferent! Granted, it's my first Adventure Bike (I’ve had some 30 bikes or so). And granted (again), she was NOT well cared for bless her lil-650 heart. She's a THUMPER to be sure, but I discover after 150m now that it's the 15/43 and not just the Motor!!! So I'll get a 16 tooth CounterShcprocket soon enough to chill her out for my 75% riding which is 'round town and Freeway (50/50).
I've not yet done the DOO or Valves (18K, dudn't look like case is cracked though not for sure on this). I'm gaining confidence in this Bike with each mile, but not at the speed that I usually 'learn a Bike'.
I melted Rear Fender as I 'Ass-U-Me d' that the missing Fender I was replacing didn't have issues with the DG tip... WRONG! I can mod it though it'll look more like a Gen2 RearF than the DarthVadarGen1 Rear! FINE! Moving on!l! It’s just as well… The DG tip was JBWelded on BOTH SIDES of the can so there was no more re-packing or changing the rear tip or ANYTHING! I did paint it black though… looks a LOT better but melts OEM Fenders…. GRRRR!!!!
Coupla times pulling in driveway after working hard on Freeway at 75/80-ish the WaterTemp gauge went to ‘Hot’. I’m not yet familiar with the WaterTempGauge Range yet, so hopefully it’s just that as there’ve been no other indications of over-heating… yet. BTW, I’m AZ where I’ve been riding in 100dgree+ days, but STILL!!!
FrontWheelLockUp is achievable, but the Lever is on the Throttle. And it feels like the Forks just wanna twist into a ‘Mall Pretzel’, not inspiring my confidence, ESPECIALLY since it doesn’t even have RearLuggage/Gear yet!!!
I’m not happy with my ‘new’ LED turns though they aren’t terrible. Rest of lighting is DOPE, including LED Blues in dash… TRICK! yeh, okay…. whatever.
Carb/Fuel/Engine seem strong except above. Not quite used to the sound and expect an almost completely different one after the Valves and Doo job.
I’m still in (whether by Budget and/or choice), but I’m a tiny bit disenchanted. I have faith, am a Kaw believer, and see that with a little bitta stick-tuitiv-ness… she can be a real Peach. I bet I’ll get there, too… But it’s gonna cost me a pretty penny in addition to the ones I’ve already blown on this Girl. Rear Shock, Bars, Luggage (sidesNback), Doo Kit, New Can, New Rear Fender (and reassemble that whole f’n back end… AGAIN!!!), and WindScreen replacement. After all that I’ve written off the ‘Black Rims’ that I had such a hankering for earlier…
I’ve got WAY TOO MUCH to do to get this thing ‘Race-Ready’ so I can drive it ‘Daily’ and go ‘Camping’ if’n I want to. That’s looking a long way off right now…
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-26-2018, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Last week it was the front brake microswitch went out. Week before that the rear turn signals. Week before that the drive chain shat the bed. I also started to do the doo but discovered it had already been done. (I have a whole doo kit available consequently, minus the outer case gasket.) It's just one thing after the other.

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1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex
2002 Ducati Monster 750S < -- For Sale
2005 Kawi KLR 650
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-23-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Next installment: fork seals. Yay. I used to work on F-18's and they'd always describe a plane's age by the ratio of flight hours to maintenance hours. With this KLR I think I'm coming up to a break even point.


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1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex
2002 Ducati Monster 750S < -- For Sale
2005 Kawi KLR 650

Last edited by shaky6; 11-23-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-23-2018, 06:20 PM
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Love it or Leave it?

Many people realize just how much they Loved their KLR's after they sold them and couldn't fill the broad aspects of the KLR with any other single bike.

Maybe those owners further North than you tend to appreciate the 'down-time' of this upcoming season to somehow stay involved with their ride.

If I tried to drive my truck in the places that I go, at the speed that I go, on my lowly KLR, the truck would terminate instead of limp home on a leaky suspension seal.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-23-2018, 09:02 PM
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i pick up my used 08 next week. i've been studying the issues this bike has and kind of wondering did i make the right choice. naturally i'll be tackling the doo and oil issues first. my friend rides them and swears by them. we will see.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-23-2018, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'm gonna sell this as soon as I'm done with school. I just need it to last until then. But until then, wrench wrench wrench. I really wanted that Tenere 700 to come out next year, but I've got my sights on an AT.

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1986 Honda TLR 200 Reflex
2002 Ducati Monster 750S < -- For Sale
2005 Kawi KLR 650
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-23-2018, 09:34 PM
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The worst case scenario for a '08 is that it will be a horrific oil burner with a slack doohickey spring.

But ya know what? Even the most awfullest and horribly depressing '08 can't burn through 2 liters in 200 miles, and you'll likely take a break at 100 miles anyway. Check the oil when you get off, when you get on, when you look at it, whenever you see the letter K or the number 8. Be anal about it. If it needs oil, top it off. A quart is easy to carry; I always had a quart strapped to my nerf bars on my '08. Oil is cheap and they sell it wherever gas is sold and in most grocery stores. The cost of a top end rebuild will buy most of the oil the Exxon Valdez leaked out.

The balancer lever adjustment only needs to be done every second oil change. For most people that is going to be once or twice a year. It is easy enough to remove the inspection plug, turn the engine to TDC, remove the stator cover, loosen the adjustment bolt, take a screwdriver and push the lever over to the left to tighten the chain, and cinch the bolt back up, then put the cover back on and the inspection plug back in. The OEM gasket is usually good for a couple of R&Rs and the cost of the complete aftermarket lever kit will buy about 10 gaskets. That sounds like enough miles to last most KLRs several years. If you're worried about leaving a slack spring in there, take it out. It's possible to spread the spring's hook and take it out.

What can I say? I'm feeling contrary today. Screw the 685 and the aftermarket lever. "It's all an internet myth anyway", Tom lied...

Tom [email protected]

“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -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; 11-23-2018 at 09:39 PM.
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