The Doohickey got fixed on the Gen2 bikes, right? Ah, but the spring, the spring.... - Page 8 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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 #71 of 76 Old 10-01-2014, 09:05 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 202
You missed my whole message. I love my bike and plan to keep it for years.
I really thought I was telling other KLR owners about a great experience I had with Eagle Mike.
I did watch a YouTube video where the guy poured out a large number of doohickeys that he changed out. He showed half a dozen that were broken.
I just know that the replacement I got from Mike was outstanding.
Take it or leave it. Change yours or not.
I did mine and am learning to do all my own maintenance and upgrades.
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post #72 of 76 Old 10-01-2014, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lac La Biche Alberta Canada
Posts: 3,206
+10 Jack!
pay no attention to Damocles. He has a "thing" about defending the Gen2 doohickey!! He's CONTRARY!!
The KLR is a great bike and thousands of happy customers have made it one of the longest running models ever! ENJOY!!

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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post #73 of 76 Old 10-02-2014, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,717
"What we've got here is FAILURE to communicate," justjeff!

First, I tried to CLARIFY these "later models" of doohickeys, "fracturing and failing."

If Generation 2, I welcomed evidence of this revised part's failure. Apparenlty, there is none (the failed doohickeys on the proferred video, I assume, are Generation 1s).

Fact: SOME Generation 1 doohickeys failed, resulting in catastrophic collateral engine damage.

Myth: ALL doohickeys must be replaced immediately, regardless of vintage, or their host engines will turn into pumpkins at the stroke of midnight.

Further, in my own defense, I clearly satated I had a geniune Eagl;e Mike doohickey and torsion spring in my GENERATION 1. I also saluted Eagle Mike's competence and integrity.

That said, I do not find Internet-fueled tribal knowledge myths useful.



Nonsense aside, the doohickey (idler shaft lever) was upgraded with release of the 2008 models, SEVEN inclusive model years ago. Any incidents of Generation 2 doohickey failures over this interval? If so, let's see the images and read the details! "Inquiring minds want to know!"

Last edited by Damocles; 10-02-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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post #74 of 76 Old 11-12-2014, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 411
Whether this guy has a point or not, he is a troll. I personally have done several doohickeys, I know that is not a lot but every one but one had an issue. Mostly broken/missing springs on the Gen1's, 2 with actual fractured levers (most of these I attribute to over torqueing) and the 2 Gen2's I opened had useless springs. Is there an issue? I think so. Could you run these bikes for 50K or more without catastrophic failure? Possibly, maybe even probably but in the mean time that slack chain is causing excessive wear on related components. We could beat this issue to death with long winded jargon for a few more decades, or, we could just forget about it and let owners make up their own minds on how to deal with this "issue".
All of these self proclaimed experts with way too much time on their hands that must microscopically nit-pick shit apart make me ill....

Just sayin'
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post #75 of 76 Old 11-12-2014, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lac La Biche Alberta Canada
Posts: 3,206
Previously in this thread I posted that I had done the doo on my 2003 with 3200km on and found no issues. I also posted that I would report the results when I did the doo on my 2011 with 10000km on it. I forgot to do the follow up. When I removed the case I measured the spring length(in place) as it looked to have very little tension left. After removing the spring I again measured the spring length and found the difference to be o.032" I don't believe that that amount of tension would be adequate tension the adjuster for the remaining life of the engine or even one time more. I was happy to replace the whole assembly and have great peace of mind knowing I never have to worry about it again. I now have an other 6000km on the bike and am sure it will last 100000km more.

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!

Last edited by justjeff; 11-12-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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post #76 of 76 Old 11-12-2014, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
Posts: 8,105
Well, golly, I think this thread has run it's course and maybe it's time to wrap it up with a few thoughts.

The balancer lever and the idea of replacing it as a bit of preventative maintenance can be a controversial one. Some beleive it is a "must doo", others a "should doo", and others that it's "doo-doo, an urban myth". Then there's the cost, which some perceive to be pretty high for what it is.

On the side of those who do believe are plenty of reports of slack springs happening early on with the Gen 2 bikes and reports of lever failures on the Gen 1s. Failed levers can allow the chain to go completely slack if the top of the lever breaks off, and slack springs allow the same to happen, just more slowly. And then there is the issue of broken bits running around in the side case before they drop into the sump. The problem is seen to be common enough that many feel it is prudent to go in and take care of what they perceive to be a potential problem. The video in the first post in this thread is but one example of the issue with the Gen 2 spring. Pictures of broken levers and chewed cases aren't hard too find, either. We've got a few on this forum.

On the side that doesn't believe it is a problem with the balancer adjustment lever is the following, and I'm making up numbers but I believe them to be pretty true.

95% of the KLR650s ever made have never had an engine get damaged by the balancer system, or at least that damage is either not reported or insignificant. That is, in part, because a great many of them never see any significant mileage, like like a lot of motorcycles. How many times have you seen a cherry 10 or 15 year old bike for sale with less miles than you ride in a year?

It's due in part because even a slack balancer system can operate for many miles without causing damage. It may make a grinding noise, but it develops gradually and the KLR is such a rattle trap anyway that the noise go unnoticed.

It's also due in part because it happens and we don't hear about it. There are a couple hundred thousand KLRs that have been made over the past 25 years. There a but a few hundred active KLR owners on these forums. When the forum guys' balancer causes problems, we hear about it. When their springs are slack, we hear about it. That is the internet magnifying the perception that all levers blow, it's only a matter of time..

And many KLRs are maintained by factory mechanics or good home mechanics who don't tighten the crap out of the adjustment bolt, thus deforming and eventually breaking the lever. I honestly believe that, on the Gen 1 bikes, one of the common failure modes is breaking the bottom of the lever by over tightening. The top breaks off from vibration and causes great grief quite quickly. Breaking the bottom often causes the lever to be stick and be stubborn to adjust.

So, you see, there are reasonable positions to be taken on both sides of the argument. However, like guns, religion, and politics, people believe what they believe and an argument on an internet forum is not really going to move them into another camp.

As to the expense, most don't feel that $140 is too great a price to pay for the peace of mind it offers. The problem, if one perceives a problem, cannot be solved on the Gen 2 bikes for $6. In order to replace the spring the rotor needs to come off, and that requires tools. The tools make up the vast majority of the $130. Many people borrow the tools or get the job done at a tech day and avoid that cost. The lever kit is about $40. The issue is that, once you're in far enough to remove the spring, you might as well replace the lever and install the torsion spring, as it will never run out of pull as a linear spring can. Here's a video about the balancer chain tensioner, and in it there is a bit about why the aftermarket lever and the torsion spring may be beneficial.

Each owner needs to do what he believes right for his own machine and should let others do the same. After all, none of these forums are called KLRDoohickeyForum, are they?


Tom [email protected]

“On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn't do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 11-13-2014 at 12:21 PM.
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