My KLR left me stranded today - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-24-2016, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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redbond4's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Asheboro NC
Posts: 22
My KLR left me stranded today

Ok any advice would be appreciated.
2009 KLR bought in April with 1000 miles and now she is up to 8000 miles with no serious issues. Today I was running up the interstate at my usual speed of around 60 mph, when all of a sudden engine quit for a millisecond then ran fine, another mile or so it did it again only it did it maybe twice within a couple of seconds. After it had done this several times I decided to pull of the road and as I slowed on the hard shoulder it quit completely. If I hit the starter it would sometimes fire but would die almost immediately. (Ended up trailering the girl home). I also tried cranking with gas cap open to eliminate vent problem.

So far I have checked petcock and it seems to be working fine (pulled hose of and cranked engine and fuel pumped out). Drained bowl and gas looked good. Checked air filter. Checked plug (color looks good and I have spark, but It was dry). Squirted fuel directly into intake with air filter out (does not even fart) Checked plug again and still was dry. Checked main fuse although I did not lose lights etc.
Ran out of time tonight but the carb is coming of tomorrow.
Any Tips, Hints would be very helpful.
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-24-2016, 07:37 PM
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For some reason weak spark comes to mind. There is a lot of controversy out there about this but I have heard that if the spark is weak it will not fire under compression. The idea is that the resistance of the gap is greater under compression than in 1 atmosphere air.
I googled "weak spark under compression". It's a thing.. the forum won't let me post URL's but one that popped up with an explanation was on

It's a long shot, but since you have compression, gas, air, and spark (at the right time?) maybe look at the coil, wires, and/or pug.

good luck
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-24-2016, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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I will suggest that symptom / scenario points to wiring rub thru.
There was a warranty recall on '08s and '09s. You can go to / owner info and check to see if it was supposedly completed or not. If you do find wiring damage, Kawasaki may have to pay for a repeat repair.

The wire bundle that runs from the coolant reservoir bracket to the RH fairing panel can be trapped between the sharp edge of the front edge of the fuel tank and the reservoir bracket.

The recall does not suggest moving the bundle to In Front of the bracket. But that is how I re-route it.
Some other member may have a link to all of the rub points.
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-24-2016, 08:02 PM
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Maybe I state the obvious, but . . . all connections and grounds might want checking; an intermittent open or short circuit could cause the symptom.
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-24-2016, 08:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2016
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I'm sure you already did this, but have you made sure the battery connectors are wrench tight. This was a huge problem when I was on the sportster forums years ago. Just wanted to add to your check list. PDW makes a really good point about the recall. If you bought that bike with only a 1000 miles there might be a good chance that was never done.
EDIT: Brainfart, they were fuel injected that had that issue. The vibrations would rattle the connectors loose and the bikes would cut in and out. Forget I said anything. Lol.

Last edited by Back2Kawi; 10-24-2016 at 09:00 PM.
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 12:27 AM
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I had a CB that suddenly developed an intermittent/brief loss of ignition that sounds similar to your description in your first post.

It was dirty kill switch contacts. Took it apart, showed it some love and all was well again. Good luck dude.

Oh, since KLR's are sorta known for problematic neutral and side stand safety switches, maybe check there?
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 12:26 PM
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Location: Texas
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I agree with pdwestman. It sure sounds like a rub through.

In the future when something like this happens, while the engine is still turning over due to forward momentum, but not firing, take a quick look at the tachometer. If the tach drops to zero while the engine is still turning, you have a spark problem.

With the tank off while you can prove you have spark, turn the petcock off and drain the float bowl, then see oi it will start with a shot of starting fluid in the air intake.
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Asheboro NC
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Thanks for the input guys. Still have not figured this out but will add that a couple of months ago I had a problem were the main light fuse would blow. This happened a couple of days in a row, so I ripped her apart and inspected the wiring loom and found no obvious signs of chaffing. after putting her back together it has not happened since which still plays on my mind as I did not find anything (Note allegedly the harness recall was done according to Kawasaki).Tonight I inspected the wiring harness around the radiator reservoir and wiggled and wobbled it a little. Tried to start her and she fired up, but would idle for a few seconds and then die. It did seem that if I moved the harness I could get her started and on a couple of occasions had her idling for a couple of minutes and she even reved up a couple of times although when giving her quick throttle there was a slight lag plus what seemed like slight backfiring. My guess at this time is that it is a harness problem. I have run the battery flat now so I will have to revisit her tomorrow.
Might be a stupid question but can I rig up a auxiliary fuel tank and just gravity feed it to the carb. This would make it easier to screw with the wiring as the tank would not be in the way?
This is driving me bonkers so please keep the tips or suggestions coming. Also does anyone know the exact reason the recall was put into effect i.e. where was the harness chaffing?
Thanks again
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post #9 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 05:51 PM
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Auxiliary fuel source a doable do; have used funnel connected to carb fuel line for this type of operation.

A regular bottle reservoir is marketed for this purpose, but some creative connection with a funnel will work (might have to TAPE the funnel level and steady).
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 07:16 PM
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Location: Texas
Posts: 1,260
It is easy to rig an auxiliary fuel supply. I just bungeed a little red gas jug on the frame where the seat was and used a 1/4" piece of vinyl tube from a hardware store as a siphon hose and plugged it into the fuel line off the petcock. You could use any container. Just secure it so it doesn't fall off.
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