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2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 7 Old 02-01-2012, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
Daves08klr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Parkville MD
Posts: 6
Need a place to start.

Found some bad nwes today. I have fluid in my oil and i'm sure its antifreeze. It just started all of the sudden. Bike has been running fine still is. It's an 08 with 12,000 miles. Where do you think i should start looking for the problem.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-01-2012, 08:55 AM
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Blown headgasket?
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-01-2012, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Murray, UT
Posts: 51
Sounds like it, if the block was cracked you would certainly know about it. Have you had your head off recently?
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-01-2012, 09:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
Posts: 8,098
Daveso8klr -

You live in Maryland, and I'm going to assume that it's not warm and balmy there right now.

Tell us if this is a recent occurrence and what your recent riding habits have been. If you have taken only short rides you may have simply gotten a bit of condensation in the engine and the short rides do not allow the engine to come up to temperature long enough to boil off the condensation.

A bit of condensation on the sight glass,or a white sight glass, indicates the presence of a bit of condensation in the motor.

If you suspect the above is the case then a good long ride may cure it. If a good long ride is not in the cards, simply change the oil and filter.

Or are you seeing what looks like a milkshake in the sight glass? If so, that indicates a fair amount of coolant in the oil. As Lonerider says, that could indicate a blown head gasket.

Are you seeing a fair amount of white smoke coming from the exhaust? That's an indicator of a blown head gasket, as coolant gets into the combustion chamber and gets expelled as steam. If it's not there it doesn't eliminate a blown head gasket (as the head gasket failure can be between the water jacket and an oil gallery) but if it is there it's a pretty sure sign.

I think a well running bike with but 12,000 miles on it should not have a blown head gasket, so let's look at other alternatives. They may waste some time, but they may eliminate a needless tear-down to inspect the head gasket.

One likely place I can think of is the impeller shaft seal. The water pump impeller is driven off of the front counter balance shaft. That shaft has a seal on it. If it goes bad it will allow coolant to enter the engine. It's a fairly simple job to remove and replace that seal. It will cost you about $20 and an hour to replace the parts. There's the oil seal proper, a mechanical seal, an o-ring, and a nylock nut to replace.

Have you ridden the thing through excessively wet conditions? I'm not talking about stream crossing, as I'm sure you'd have gone to that as a likely cause. Rather, long periods in heavy rainfall? If so, there is a possibility that water got in from the top of the case. Unlikely, but possible. If water can get past the seal on the starter motor, for example, it will show up in the oil.

Start with simple and inexpensive things and work your way up. As I say, I would find it surprising that a well running KLR that hasn't been thrashed would have a blown head gasket at 12,000 miles.

Let us know what you find; we'll do our best to keep you supplied with ideas.


Tom [email protected]

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 02-01-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2012, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Parkville MD
Posts: 6
Thanks guys.

What i found is i have not been using the bike much but when i do it's to go to work less then a mile from my house. So i'm thinking its just condinsation from siting and the bike is not getting up to temp to burn it off. I'm changing the oil today so i'll keep an eye on it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-02-2012, 11:54 AM
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SteelB12's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NOVA
Posts: 562
Its pretty warm here in Northern VA, hopefully its the same up there in MD and you take take her out for a long ride.

2003 Bandit 1200S
2009 KLR 650

74 Honda CB360
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-02-2012, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Parkville MD
Posts: 6
Well did the oil change everythings good no water in the oil. It was dirty but clean. I took her out for a ride all seams well.It was still a little chilly up here by B-more but i ride year round any way.Thanks again guys.
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