Bought my first KLR, what next? - Page 2 - 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 #11 of 25 Old 03-28-2019, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Alright guys, I got to spend a little time with the bike today for the first time. I cleaned it up really nicely and applied Amsoil Mudslinger to all of the plastics and engine and this thing looks like a brand new one! One of the push tabs on one side of the radiator shroud had broken off, so I removed that shroud and tried some JB Weld to get that tab nipple to attach back to the shroud. Probably a long shot, but figured it was worth a try.

Also, the bike has a lowering kit installed and the forks were adjusted also. I certainly don't need it as I'm 6'1" and can easily flat-foot the bike as it currently is. What I don't like is that I have to lean the bike to the right side just to get the kick stand down. Even standing up and taking the pre-load of the rear shock is not enough to get the stand down. So that's mildly annoying. And the previous owner said not to park the bike without turning the bars to the left and locking them or it will fall over easily. On the stand on level ground, with the bars turned all the way to the left the bike is still standing almost but not quite vertical.

Aside from those things, I took the bike for a 15 mile ride tonight just to test it out and was very impressed. Tons of low end torque! You can tell the engine is more comfortable on the lower end of the RPM range that the higher end. Should make a perfect bike after I get all the little things done. Pictures coming soon after I get the radiator shroud back on.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-29-2019, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
..... Tons of low end torque!.....
I'd check the VIN against the title. Doesn't sound like a KLR.

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-29-2019, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympus View Post
Alright guys, I got to spend a little time with the bike today for the first time. I cleaned it up really nicely and applied Amsoil Mudslinger to all of the plastics and engine and this thing looks like a brand new one! One of the push tabs on one side of the radiator shroud had broken off, so I removed that shroud and tried some JB Weld to get that tab nipple to attach back to the shroud. Probably a long shot, but figured it was worth a try.

Also, the bike has a lowering kit installed and the forks were adjusted also. I certainly don't need it as I'm 6'1" and can easily flat-foot the bike as it currently is. What I don't like is that I have to lean the bike to the right side just to get the kick stand down. Even standing up and taking the pre-load of the rear shock is not enough to get the stand down. So that's mildly annoying. And the previous owner said not to park the bike without turning the bars to the left and locking them or it will fall over easily. On the stand on level ground, with the bars turned all the way to the left the bike is still standing almost but not quite vertical.

Aside from those things, I took the bike for a 15 mile ride tonight just to test it out and was very impressed. Tons of low end torque! You can tell the engine is more comfortable on the lower end of the RPM range that the higher end. Should make a perfect bike after I get all the little things done. Pictures coming soon after I get the radiator shroud back on.
1) use a small machine screw to hold on the broken pin....paint the head if you feel the need to hide it. IIRC there was also someone making an aftermarket tab.

2) lowering links are a bad idea IMO; the longer lowering links increase leverage on the stock shock which effectively lowers both springrate and damping - which are already too light if you weigh over 160lbs. put the links back to stock at the very least; at 6'1" you may even want to look at raising links if you are over 180lbs or plan on carrying a load or riding 2 up

Dave
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-29-2019, 11:15 AM
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-29-2019, 03:57 PM
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Q-Bond is a pretty tough plastic repair product for the tabs & stubs on motorcycle panels. It is currently holding 5 of 6 on my Blue un-obtainable early Gen 1 rad. shrouds.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-30-2019, 02:20 PM
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I'll chime in with a suggestion about the kickstand… Do a search on this site for "kickstand shorten" or similar, and you'll find a few threads talking about it. It's arguably on the short end of the "proper" range for a stock bike. Mine's at stock and I have to be very careful about making sure I've got the kickstand all the way down before getting off. If I'm on anything but flat ground, it touches down before it's fully extended and, like you, I have to lean the bike a bit to the right to get it to extend fully.

2017 KLR in black
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-02-2019, 12:09 AM
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I’m another new owner of a slightly used 2014 KLR. 4K miles, all maint has been done, and all it needs is a new rear tire. So I keep reading about this famous Doohickey part. So I went to Youtube and watched 40 mins of video around upgrading the stock part. I haven’t found anything that says what’s wrong with the stock part and what prompts you to change it. I see the aftermarket part has a spring that would nicely pull out the chain slack when loosened on its own. Does the stock part not work? Do you start to hear chain rattle in the engine? Is there a danger? How long is the stock part good for? Appreciate any info you can share. Thanks in advance.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-02-2019, 12:27 AM
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On Gen 1 bikes the lever broke and got caught up in stuff and wreaked havoc. On the Gen 2 bikes, the lever is unbreakable but the spring loses tension quite quickly. Reports range from 5K to 15K miles before the spring goes slack.

Once the spring cannot take up slack, and an adjustment is made, the chain runs loose. It chews up the engine case a bit and generally makes noise.

The lever is necessary mostly due to the way the chain runs over the idler sprockets. The chain rests on a polymer shoulder rather than being nestled into the sprocket. It is the progressive compression of the polymer shoulder that contributes to the loosening of the chain.

This is not the last and best word on the lever, but it gives some background and perspective.
https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff%20th...bout/doohickey

Tom [email protected]

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post #19 of 25 Old 04-02-2019, 09:58 AM
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My doohickey post;

I have spent significant time reading and researching this issue over the years as have others......my opinion is thus:

- Gen1: failure of the stock lever and/or spring is highly likely.......the people "in the know" guesstimate around 33% though I'd suggest the figure is somewhat mileage dependent with the 33% being around 20,000 miles.....higher mileage = higher percentage of failure.

- Gen2: doohickey lever failure is almost non-existant.......the issues of loose fit on the shaft and loss of spring tension are real. Loss of tension is said to occur around 6,000 miles though some have zero tension from new and some still have tension at 20,000 miles.



So is this all an internet myth? No, it's real enough IMO. There are several reasons that I believe contribute to the lack of even more documented failures:

- A great many people never adjust their counterbalance system. If the adjustment is never attempted, the system doesn't get the huge slack that an attempt with a broken spring would introduce. I always tell new owners NOT to adjust the system without physically checking to see it's intact first.

- Most grenaded doo and spring bits float around harmlessly in the bottom end without causing catastrophic failure. My 2001 was opened up at 15,000 miles to find the typical broken doo (three pces) and spring (two pces). I found all the pces in the bottom end and oil screen and the bike was likely ridden for some time in that condition.

- the "upgrade" in 2008 significantly reduced the likelihood of a broken doo lever.

- a large percentage of bikes die of old age, crashes and neglect long before they can be considered high mileage units.

- many failures are never diagnosed......i.e. bike is "broken" and parted out or otherwise discarded.

- Sometimes other failures (i.e. 2008/2009 low oil level/oil burning) takes out the engine before the counterbalance system has the opportunity to.


At the end of the day, I believe that the stock counterbalance adjustment system is problematic but the vast majority of KLR owners are ignorant of the issue and it doesn't come up on their radar for the aforementioned reasons.

On a Gen1, I believe replacement is critical to longevity. On a Gen2 you could get along fine by just periodically checking the spring to ensure it is intact and has tension. Due to the loose fit on the shaft, the springs are put under significantly increased duty cycles, EM's superior lever with better fitment and the torsion spring design completely eliminate this concern.


A KLR, especially a Gen2 can live for quite awhile without even acknowledging the counterbalance adjuster.....but it's still a weak link that is worth replacing if you want some piece of mind.


2 cents,
Dave
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-04-2019, 09:34 PM
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Thanks Tom for the quick reply and link to the same creator who’s 4 part doo replacement video I watched. My first Kawasaki. Bad news after just purchasing. I’ll have to keep an eye on it. Was hoping to keep this bike for a long time. We’ll see. - Mike
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