A 2008 Lemon? - 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 #1 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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A 2008 Lemon?

I purchased a 2008 KLR about two months ago excited to start a new adventures on the dirt roads, but this excitement has turned to disappointment.
My 2008 KLR is in the shop for its 2nd warranty issue... and I only have 1400 miles logged on the odometer. The first issue was the KACR valve which was not within factory specs and caused difficult starts when cold. The dealership was unaware of any KACR valve issues and was at a loss until I informed them of the issue; I became aware of the KACR Valve problem from reading threads on this forum and others. The dealer adjusted the valve and I was on the way; no sweat.
However, last week I noticed a more serious problem; while starting the engine the starter would smoothly turn over the engine for a split second but violently come to a halt with a loud crack and the bike would lurch forward slightly. This would happen every third or fourth start and only when cold. Puzzled, I would listen carefully for these symptoms on every start and it got worse. At first I thought it might be a one way clutch going bad, but if that was the case the starter would keep spinning. I now believe this to be a transmission issue and the loud crack and sudden lurch forward is a slipping 2nd gear; the transmission being somewhere between 1st gear, neutral and 2nd gear, the starting circuit believes the transmission is in the neutral position, the starter cranks the engine and the transmission slips into 2nd gear causing the lurch forward. My question is: has anyone had problems like this on their KLR's, especially a new 2008?

I am very disappointed in the KLR and surprised with these issues as I have heard nothing but praise and admiration for this venerable bike.
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 08:17 PM
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I don't think the Clank is all the problem you described, but this thread may be a start.

http://www.klrforum.com/showthread.php?t=3901
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Not the problem I was describing... when I hear and feel the "Crack" the engine never ignites and runs. Yesterday when I finally got the bike started, I hopped on, lifted the side-stand, pulled in the clutch and when I shifted into 1st gear the bike stalled.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 08:51 PM
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Beats me. There's a wealth of knowledge and experience here on the forum. Somebody will be along soon.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 09:06 PM
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WOW, that is a first for me on the 08's. I truly do hate that you have experienced these problems. Just out of curiosity, did you change out your doohickey? No, I know this is not the problem, but your starter gears are part of what is removed during the process and am just wondering if something in there might be not right. The stalling part, of when you first put it into gear sounds like a normal thing for some KLR's. The oil drains from the clutch pack, causing them to stick and when the rider puts the bike into gear, it will lurch forward suddenly or the engine will die. Mine has done this a couple of times. All you can do with this problem, is pull the clutch in and roll the bike back and forth a couple of times to break loose the clutch plates. I have just switched over to Rotella T 15w40 oil. The smoothness of the transmission is definately noticable, and I no longer experience the lurching when cold and put into gear.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't change the doohicky... the only thing done to the bike is a couple of Oil Changes. I heard Rotella is good stuff... gonna try it.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-07-2008, 10:25 PM
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Angry I made lemonade with mine...

I had a new 2007 with a bad frame weld (replaced by kawasaki) & MAJOR electrical problems (fixed them my self). Talk about a lemon, I swore I'd never buy another kawasaki...... So I just picked up my new 2008 about 4 days ago (I know, I know) And I too am experiencing hard starting when cold. I'm wondering if there is a kawasaki service bulletin regarding this issue? I've only put 350 mi on this bike so far and have not had any starter/ trany problems (yet?), however, I think that the new motor is using some oil. I've heard a few things about the new piston ring not working so well, you had any problems with yours?
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-08-2008, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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My engine doesn't use any oil, but I keep a close eye on it. As of March there was no service bulletin for the KACR and there is no information on the Kawasaki Website as of now. Adjusting the KACR Valve is a quick job, so you'll be in and out of your dealership in no time. I am optimistic that Kawasaki will do everything they can to fix issues but I'm unsure what I'll do next...
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-08-2008, 06:42 AM
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Now, don't hold this as gospel, but I did read somewhere, I think over on klrworld, that Kawasaki has said that a quart of useage per 800 miles would be considered normal oil useage. It sounds more to me like they are setting themselves up to be not accountable for the sudden oil useage on the new 08's and previous models.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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My '08 uses jsut under 1/4 quart/1000 miles. I've road mine to work with tempuratures at 20 degrees f. I put the choke on full, no throttle. Starts right up every time. It seemed to be hard to start during break-in. I found the loose exaust bolts before the recall. Other than that no other issues. Good luck guys.
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