Stead Engineering Choke Conversion Kit - 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 10 Old 10-18-2015, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Stead Engineering Choke Conversion Kit

I didn't break my plastic barrel connector at the end of the choke cable, but I did plumb wear the threads off of it. It got to the point of being a regular pain in the butt. I have another one in my spares, but enough is enough.

There are a couple of solutions out there. One is the Kawasaki choke plunger, but it has the same sort of plastic barrel.

Another is the Stead Engineering alloy barrel, but with that there's still the whole choke cable thing going on. I will be putting the oil gauges back on at some point and the cable elbow gets in the way of the fitting and pressure line coming off the banjo bolt at the head.

Then there's the Harley choke, but I didn't have an easy place to mount the bracket for the cable.

Stead has a choke plunger that is all brass that I decided to try.

Here's what you get in the kit:

I've disassembled the unit so you can see the pieces. The kit comes with two grub screws to set the plunger friction.

This is what it looks like coming out of the package:


The first thing you do is take the tip and spring off of the stock cable and install it on the end of the plunger shaft:


Then you have to remove the grub screw, as it runs onto the carb vent when screwing it into the carb body:


Screw it in, snug it down a wee bit, and install the grub screw. You'll need to hold the plunger out a bit to get the first threads engaged in the carb body.:


Snug the grub screw down just a bit and pull the plunger out. Back off on the grub screw until the plunger just slips back in under the spring's pressure, then tighten the grub screw one millionth of a turn; that is just about the right tension on the plunger.

That's all there is to it!

It should be easy to reach with a stock tank and petcock. With the Raptor petcock on my IMS it takes a bit of reaching in, but it's not a huge problem. I will be doing a bit of trimming on the cover to make it easier to get to. The current cut-away was for a fuel line clearance; the second petcock has been moved.


I think that the Stead piece is very solid and quite well made. The only thing I might change is to pull it back out and install something like a small bridle ring to make it easier to pull out.

Tom
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 07:22 PM
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I read about KLRs vibrating their nuts off and I don't typically have that problem. But a screw that's not tight would worry me unless it had a tensioning spring like an idle mixture screw. I'd be concerned about losing that grub screw. Loctite? Or did Mr. Stead manage to tap the hole slightly undersized or oval like a prevailing torque nut?

I was a bit bummed to see this kit. I had already bought the Stead Engineering retainer for the cable. Good piece. Glad to support Mr. Stead. Just wish he produced this earlier. Yes, I was bummed because I want it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Grinnin,

The grub screw has a nylon tip to provide friction against the plunger. I don't know if that will keep it form turning or not.

It would probably be a good idea to drop a bit of LocTite on the grub.

I don't know when they came out with this thing.

Tom

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“If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive. If I couldn't ever be gentle, I wouldn't deserve to be alive.” -Philip Marlowe

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


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post #4 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 07:59 PM
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Before the Stead kit was released, I installed a Drag Specialties "shorty" choke cable (manufactured for Harley application):



I trimmed the knob end of the cable (to reduce projection), threaded the shank, and screwed on a replacement knob. Instead of a bracket, I simply drilled a hole in the kickstand switch cover, installing the cable there, where the knob is easily accessible to the rider (does not interfere with knees/legs, does not hit the ground when bike is dropped):



Cable has friction adjustment (concentric nut).

The Stead system looks elegant; I have a Stead metal choke cable cap, replacing the OEM plastic part. Works fine, except . . . seems like it has a 1/2" or 13 mm hex profile, vs. the 12 mm Kawasaki part. Learned to thread this little goodie into the carb, BEFORE the carb is mounted in the rubber hoses holding it between the engine and the airbox . . . this technique saves much frustration, trying to thread the cap into the carb in the limited space available after the carb is mounted.

Last edited by Damocles; 10-19-2015 at 02:28 AM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 12:22 AM
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In my case I needed some room on the left handle bar of my 2011 to add a second lever to operate the rear brake by hand, so I moved the choke operator down near the choke using the Drag Specialties "shorty" choke cable mentioned by Damocles above.

I shortened it on the carburetor end and soldered a new bulb tip on the cable. The pull knob is out just about even with the petcock and easy to get to.

Carburetor removal in the field is much easier now. I had to do it three times on my last trip, so I am getting pretty quick at it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoMotor View Post
In my case I needed some room on the left handle bar of my 2011 to add a second lever to operate the rear brake by hand, so I moved the choke operator down near the choke using the Drag Specialties "shorty" choke cable mentioned by Damocles above.

I shortened it on the carburetor end and soldered a new bulb tip on the cable. The pull knob is out just about even with the petcock and easy to get to.

Carburetor removal in the field is much easier now. I had to do it three times on my last trip, so I am getting pretty quick at it.
+ 1 on easier carburetor removal/installation!

The choke cable cap now goes straight into the carb; no pesky cable elbow to frustrate threading the connection. (The Stead choke system (the topic of this thread) offers the same advantage.)

Regarding the left-hand rear brake lever (LHRBL); do you have a Rekluse "automatic" clutch? Understand that combination, Rekluse clutch and LHRBL, works well.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 03:13 AM
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I considered the Stead actuator, but thought it was a little short. I like your extender idea.

The Rekluse is next on the list. I wanted to get the levers and cables worked out first. I think I like the Adventure EXP. I would like to see a little more engineering information and a little less marketing hype before I go for it. I understand that you can loosen the cable adjustment and it will allow bump starting. That sounds nice.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 10:05 AM
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Tom,

Thanks for posting the pics. I had purchased the Stead unit but was concerned about clearance with the IMS/Raptor combo based on some other people's observations so I ended up going with just the Stead brass replacement nut. I'm happy with it other than the fact that it uses a different wrench size and I had already modified a 12mm for the stock nut.....

Cheers,
Dave
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
I'm happy with it other than the fact that it uses a different wrench size and I had already modified a 12mm for the stock nut.....
Thanks, Dave, for confirming the fact: It's just not ME, when I found the part to be 13 mm/1/2 ", vs. 12 mm!
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
I'm happy with it other than the fact that it uses a different wrench size and I had already modified a 12mm for the stock nut.....
Thanks, Dave, for confirming the fact: It's not just ME, when I found the part to be:

13 mm/1/2 ", vs. 12 mm!
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