Gen II Doohickey Replacement Thoughts - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Gen II Doohickey Replacement Thoughts

I seem to have generated a discussion on this, but it's buried in another thread. Thought I'd exhume it and bring it to light in a dedicated forum.
Perhaps it has been discussed somewhere else, ad nauseum, but I can't find much on it.

I suggested that it was a good idea to replace the doohickey even on GenII KLR's. I did mine at 900 miles after buying my '09. At the time, I knew they had made improvements to the balancer lever, but decided to do it anyway since I wasn't sure how reliable the improved lever was.

These new models have now been out for 4 years now.

Some things I'm curious about are:

-Did you replace the lever and spring on your GenII?

-If so, why did you do it? How many miles did you have when you did it?

-Do you think there's a need to replace the lever?

-Do you think there's a need to replace the spring?

-If you replaced the spring, did you go with the standard coil spring or the torsion spring design? If you used one of the two coil springs that come with the kit, did you think it was superior to the stock spring?

-If you did yours, did you discover any problems with the stock parts when you pulled them out? For the record, at 900 miles I found one of the "hooks" on the end of my spring to be stretched out, but it looked more like it was an assembly error than from wear.

-If you noted any problems with the spring being loose, had you previously adjusted the balancer yourself, or had it been left alone?

-If you think the new lever is just as good as the aftermarket replacements being sold, do you think, perhaps, the doohickey issue has been solved by Kawasaki and vendors are just perpetuating the myth in an attempt to continue to sell doohickey upgrade kits when they're not really needed as the demand/market for the kit in the older bikes fades away?

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. I would like to educate myself in this area and would like to hear what others think.

No, Damocles, I'm not out on a mission to prove you wrong. In fact, I think you may be right about a lack of proof that there's anything wrong with the improved lever and few, if any, instances of failure of the part on the GenII KLR's.




Last edited by planalp; 05-29-2011 at 04:45 PM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 04:27 PM
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I'm Interested in this as well. I'm just not sure If I'll need to perform this mod when I get my 2011. Thanks.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 05:41 PM
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Part's are on order for mine and a friend's bike and they should be here soon. Mine sounds fine but his 08 685 is making quite a bit of noise behind the left hand side case and he figured it was time to do the "doo"
I might just hang onto mine until it either starts making noises or I get up the gumption to change it. We'll see how it goes with the other bike first. Oh, and were getting torsion springs for both.

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post #4 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
...
Some things I'm curious about are:

-Did you replace the lever and spring on your GenII?

Yes.

-If so, why did you do it? How many miles did you have when you did it?

I did it pretty early. At the time (2008) reports were that the lever was fixed but the spring was suspect. Also, reports were that the lever was not a really good fit. I figured that as long as I was that deep, I'd go ahead and replace the lever, too.

-Do you think there's a need to replace the lever?

Not really a need; it seems a decent part. I did notice that the aftermarket lever fit better on the shaft. If memory serves me right, I think the aftermarket lever is clocked differently so that it will adjust through a greater range. That's just my memory, though; someone will have to do a side-by-side to verify. There may be photos of a Gen2 and aftermarket unit.

-Do you think there's a need to replace the spring?

Absolutely. I think everyone has reported that the spring was, at the very least, slack and not capable of further adjustment. Whle it is arguable that a KLR may go many thousands of miles once the initial adjustment has been made it would seem prudent to replace the spring, as slack can go to loose, which can go to 'fell off'.


-If you replaced the spring, did you go with the standard coil spring or the torsion spring design? If you used one of the two coil springs that come with the kit, did you think it was superior to the stock spring?

Torsion.

-If you did yours, did you discover any problems with the stock parts when you pulled them out? For the record, at 900 miles I found one of the "hooks" on the end of my spring to be stretched out, but it looked more like it was an assembly error than from wear.

Aside from the spring being slack, no.

-If you noted any problems with the spring being loose, had you previously adjusted the balancer yourself, or had it been left alone?

Adjusted at every oil change, so perhaps four times.

-If you think the new lever is just as good as the aftermarket replacements being sold, do you think, perhaps, the doohickey issue has been solved by Kawasaki and vendors are just perpetuating the myth in an attempt to continue to sell doohickey upgrade kits when they're not really needed as the demand/market for the kit in the older bikes fades away?

No, not really. In truth, I think the potential for catastrophic failure on the Gen2 is limited to the spring getting loose in the engine. That can cause some havoc. Can't imagine why anyone would invest so much time and effort to get to the spring and not pull the lever out and replace it simply because it would provide some peace of mind for $40. Also don't understand the holy war about doohickeys, other than the riding is poor and the pontificating is good during the winter...

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. I would like to educate myself in this area and would like to hear what others think.

No, Damocles, I'm not out on a mission to prove you wrong. In fact, I think you may be right about a lack of proof that there's anything wrong with the improved lever and few, if any, instances of failure of the part on the GenII KLR's.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

T

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-29-2011 at 06:17 PM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 06:20 PM
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When I did my 08, I went with the whole EM package. Didn't do the torsion spring and regret it. But I didn't want my bike to be the guinea pig and no one at the tech day had done one yet. I think I could have gotten away with just replacing the spring (no tension), but EM does make nice stuff. Economics would guide the decision if I was doing it now and I would just put in a new spring.

It needed it, the spring was doing nothing. But a better, shorter spring would have done the trick.

Edit: did it early, but don't remember how many miles. Probably had not done an adjustment.




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Last edited by Lockjaw; 05-29-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 06:28 PM
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I'll second what Tom has already reported. Did the doo at 14000 miles, no adjustment left on the stock spring.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-29-2011, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post

I seem to have generated a discussion on this, but it's buried in another thread. Thought I'd exhume it and bring it to light in a dedicated forum.

Perhaps it has been discussed somewhere else, ad nauseum, but I can't find much on it...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...

Let me guess, you're a data analyst?

Heard of analysis paralysis?

Change the spring out at least, do the .22 mod, go ride.


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-30-2011, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Let me guess, you're a data analyst?

Heard of analysis paralysis?

Change the spring out at least, do the .22 mod, go ride.

I'm about as far from a data analyst as you can get. Maybe kind of an amateur social psychologist. I went with the EM lever and torsion spring on my '09 two years ago. So, the question remains: If I've already done it, why am I asking about it?

At least a few folks expressed interest in the subject since they were considering what route to take with their own machines. While there are a lot of gurus on this site, there also seem to be quite a few first-time owners and new riders that come here for advice who, if they have even learned the balancer lever can be an issue in the KLR, might not realize there's an "improved" lever in the newer ones. So, that's one reason.

It's interesting to see the "whys" involved when people choose and do their mods. I think a lot of it depends on how long you plan to keep your bike. Mine? It will be the last motorcycle I'll ever own, so I try to plan accordingly based on the best info I can get, or what I believe to be the best info to make it last longer than me. Funny, I don't seem to take the same measures to make sure I last as long as the KLR.

Some people buy, sell and trade bikes on a regular basis. Probably no point in upgrading a doohickey if you're only planning on keeping the bike for a couple of years. There may be a reason to put an aftermarket exhaust and kit on it if you get your money back plus some when you sell it. A lot of people will pay more for a used bike with obvious "performance improvements." Not knocking the exhausts, but they're a change that is readily seen and look good and, I think, suggest to a lot of folks that the bike (or even car with one on it) is "better than stock," thus "worth more."

In the case of elfigalaxie, I believe it was, if you've got a 5-year warranty on the bike, why bother with the doohickey? If you've still got the thing when the warranty is about to expire and you're going to keep it, why not just open it up then and check it out? The only thing with that is, would you have to prove you've kept the balancer adjusted per the manual throughout those five years? Would you need documents from a dealer stating they'd performed the adjustment at the stated intervals? I'm not even sure how often it's supposed to be done. I do mine every other oil change, so about every 2,000 miles.

I also am interested in how "proof" and "facts" steer people. Has anybody seen an instance of a GenII balancer unit failing? If there are no reported failures, aside from people finding springs that apparently are no longer functioning, does that mean there is still a problem? Is it possible they were non-functioning because adjustments weren't made, or improperly made, or no "adjustment" ever occurred because something was bound up inside, even when the "outside procedure" was done correctly? If everything is working as it should, there's no way to tell if an adjustment really worked or not from the outside unless the chain WAS loose and was noted to be much quieter after the adjustment. Then you could assume it worked, I guess.

My opinion, at this point, is that even though the GenII "balancer assembly" is "improved," the spring is still the weak point, even though I've heard no instances of a failure with severe consequences in a GenII KLR, just a few noted instances of people who found springs that seem to be non-functioning and even then, maybe 4-5 reports, tops.

But, even with a spring that stays in place, but offers no adjustment, the assembly could hold up for a lot of miles before resulting problems occur and maybe none of these unmodded GenII bikes have racked up enough miles on an unchanged and non-functioning balancer spring if they happen to have one to where there's a big-time failure.

And then there's the lever. Are the aftermarket levers proven to be any more durable and reliable than the stock GenII lever? There seems to be no denying this in the earlier model KLR's, but how about the new ones? Anybody compared any critical dimensions on the aftermarket lever to see if it "fits" better, which seems to be its biggest attraction rather than strength?

Another reason is that I like to see how people think because I am on the forefront of developing and producing a modification to the KLR (both GenI and GenII bikes) that will make any and all previous modifications to the KLR seem akin to a simple paint job and will raise the machine to the level set by the bar of the most proficient and esteemed motorcycles in the DS/Adventure genre. I predict it will make me a very wealthy man, indeed.




Last edited by planalp; 05-30-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-30-2011, 11:41 AM
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I've been looking into doing the eagle mike package for my 08. It has 36000+ miles on it with the stock doo in it. So I don't know. It probably has a spring that is not doing much. It defiantly sounds loose in there. I've found some good gen 2 doo videos on you tube for before and after. What the stock spring and doo were doing as well as sound before and after. Plus some show how much better the aftermarket products fit than stock. I think i need to just pull the trigger and order the kit and do it.


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post #10 of 22 Old 05-30-2011, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Another reason is that I like to see how people think because I am on the forefront of developing and producing a modification to the KLR (both GenI and GenII bikes) that will make any and all previous modifications to the KLR seem akin to a simple paint job and will raise the machine to the level set by the bar of the most proficient and esteemed motorcycles in the DS/Adventure genre. I predict it will make me a very wealthy man, indeed.
Since I answered your questions should I be expecting a check in the mail?




"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!
-------------------
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RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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