Pinging / Detonation Issue... Common? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 10-31-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Pinging / Detonation Issue... Common?

Background:
I have a 2013 KLR650 with 13,300 miles. I purchased this bike used at 9309 miles. I cleaned the spark arrester at 9839 miles. I changed the oil and filter at 9973 miles. I use Rotella T6 and K&N filters. I'm located in Virginia, USA (mild - humid/subtropical climate).

Problem:
While commuting between 65 and 70 mph and the engine running between 5k and 6k rpm in 5th gear I'll occasionally hear a crackling type sound when opening the throttle further. I'll have been running a while (at least 20 seconds) at that constant throttle and speed before opening up to hear this sound, and my engine will have long been at temperature during my commute. It only happens occasionally and for a short time when it does. I've never known what ping or detonation would sound like in all the years I've been motoring, but I've heard others say it would sound like BBs rattling around in a cylinder. To me it sounds like tin foil being ripped multiple times in short succession - high pitched, airy, and not necessarily synched with timing gear...

Questions:
Is this common with KLRs? Has anyone else experienced this?
What could be causing it if the oil has always been changed timely?
The user manual says I should change my plug and adjust the balancer chain tension every 7.5k miles. If not done could either of these be causing the problem?
Ethanol in the fuel gumming up the carb?


I searched but didn't come up with much. The links I found weren't very applicable (I can't post links...):

klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/8976-rattle-ping.html#post64407
klrforum.com/off-topic-lounge/26665-fuel-octane-vs-engine-performance.html
klrforum.com/1987-2007-wrenching-mods/11358-my-doo-story.html

Thanks.
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post #2 of 46 Old 10-31-2016, 05:49 PM
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Pinging (detonation) unlikely with the relatively low-compression KLR650 engine . . . assuming plausible air/fuel ratio.

Guess I could just say, "They all do that!" (Dealership refrain.)

Sorry, can't help; ignition timing remains essentially geometrically (and electrically) fixed; balancer chain doesn't affect ignition timing.

May wiser and more knowledgeable heads contribute probable causes and cures!
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post #3 of 46 Old 10-31-2016, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Damocles.
When you say, "'They all do that!'" is this just a joke or do you experience the same thing with your KLR?
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post #4 of 46 Old 10-31-2016, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorMuffn View Post
Thanks, Damocles.
When you say, "'They all do that!'" is this just a joke or do you experience the same thing with your KLR?
Basically a joke. Seriously, I don't have enough info to perceive what's happening with your bike; I'd ask: What, if any, are the performance implications of this noise? Does the bike continue to deliver smooth power when the noise occurs?
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post #5 of 46 Old 10-31-2016, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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I don't believe there were any performance issues when this would happen. It would continue to deliver smooth power in spite of the noise. It's been a couple months since I've ridden it, so it's hard to remember precisely. I stopped as soon as I confirmed the noise; I didn't want to do any damage.
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post #6 of 46 Old 11-01-2016, 09:00 AM
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Since performance appears unaffected, I doubt damage is imminent.

On the possibility of detonation, you might run high-octane fuel for a change and observe whether the pinging reoccurs.
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post #7 of 46 Old 11-01-2016, 10:00 AM
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I would try higher octane fuel. I would also see if your spark plug is the one recommended by Kawasaki. If someone installed too hot a plug, then you can get preignition under load as the fuel mixture richens, because the plug becomes essentially a glow plug. Lastly, run some Chevron Techron in it. It will clean out any deposits in the engine after a tank or two of fuel.
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post #8 of 46 Old 11-01-2016, 10:16 AM
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Was also reminded that some Seafoam in the tank works wonders for cleaning out the combustion chamber and carb. I will be heading out to get some today.
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post #9 of 46 Old 11-01-2016, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Cool! Thanks, Sarguy and Damocles.

I'll look at the plug and I'll up the octane to see if anything changes. Then I'll try some Seafoam or BG. We don't have Chevron out here... When I lived in Cali it was the only gasoline I'd buy. This bike has never seen it unfortunately. I'll let you know if any of your suggestions work. And thanks for your responses.
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post #10 of 46 Old 11-01-2016, 08:41 PM
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I live in VA as well, and my bike pings a fair amount, too. I've been all over the carburetor, but never thought to check out the heat range on the plug. Good call, Sarguy!
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