685 or just the rings or something else? - 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 18 Old 07-07-2017, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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685 or just the rings or something else?

So I have put my 2008 KLR650 through 37,000km (23,000miles) of mountain trails and highway riding and all has been good, bit of normal oil consumption thats it...
Until I started it this spring, once fired up a massive plume of blue smoke filled thee garage and continued around the block. Weird thing is that it got better after a couple rides.
I do alot of multi hour rides way back into the Rockies with no cell service, so I would rather fix the issue before I end up walking 8 hours out of the bush.

Talked to a couple of shops that gave me different options so not sure what route to go. 1st shop quoted me $2,500 bucks for the 685 kit, not to keen to spend that kind of $$$, 2nd shop said just replace the rings $600 and the 3rd shop said valve guide seals.

Any advice is much appreciated, just want to get it fixed asap and hit the trails.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 01:59 AM
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Sounds a lot like valve seals especially if it stops smoking shortly after starting it up and taking off. I also have an 08 it does the same thing I never considered it a huge problem but there is the chance of fouling a plug. When the valve seals are bad any oil left in the top of the motor can seep into the cylinder while it is parked. This all depends on the position of the valves when the motor is stopped that's why my only does it once in awhile.

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Last edited by Ghost Rider; 07-07-2017 at 02:05 AM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 02:07 AM
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The next thing that pops into my head is at 37000 have you done your valve clearances? Has it been getting harder to start it when hot? If so your valves are in need of checking and or adjustment come to think of it I don't think mine has done it since I shimmed my valves I had zero clearance on one of the exhaust valve which means it could have stayed propped open slightly letting the oil down.

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post #4 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 03:09 AM
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Shop #3 knows what they're doing. Valve guide seals will take care of it. If you want to go to 685, it'd be a good time to do it. The additional work is fairly minimal. However, your blue smoke at start-up that clears fairly quickly is textbook valve guide seal failure and nothing more.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 10:03 AM
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It may be your valve seals (sounds like it from the description) additional thoughts:

- do NOT just do the rings, ever......waste of time and money and it won't fix your problem. When it needs it, do it right and do it once.

- Unless you have zero mechanical abilities, when you do need to rebuild then send your jug into EM for an exchange and do it yourself or have a local mechanic give you a hand.....either way, the cost should be less than half of that $2,500.00 you were quoted. KLR650 2008 and later 685 kit: $295.00, cylinder bore and hone (exchange) $100.00. Not sure how you could add another $2,105.00 as some of the guys that have done it have easily done the kit in a day or less. Cost to do it yourself should be $600.00 max or $850.00 max if you want the head done.


Eaglemike has Viton valve stem seals for $11.95 for the four.

good luck,
Dave
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies, not as scary as I initially thought lol.....Couldnt justify the $2500+ charge. No engine work has been done other then the regular maintence since I have owned it, it seems to start right up, exception after sitting from 5 months of winter.

If its just the valve seals, think it would be okay to ride it out for the summer and do the engine work when the snow starts falling?
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenbcrider View Post
If its just the valve seals, think it would be okay to ride it out for the summer and do the engine work when the snow starts falling?
Absolutely! That is exactly what I would do! In the mean time you can research what and how to take on this task. When I bought my KLR it had damaged cam bearings. So when I eventually got around to taking care of the engine I did so with the resale value of the bike in mind.
So:
I put in a new stock (100.0 mm) bore Piston with Rings because the original bore was, well, original. That and because I couldn't find any source for just new stock piston rings. Thought about a 685 Kit, but just didn't see the value when compared to what the entire bike is worth. It almost certainly will wake the bike up a bit, and if the original bore was worn in any significant way . . . then, OK! But otherwise? No.
Sent the Cylinder Head out to have Cam Bearing Inserts installed by Mike (or Jenny) at Engine Dynamics, 2040 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952 707-763-7519
Bought a motorcycle valve spring compressor on eBay for $15 and installed the Valve Guide Seals. It's a pretty simple procedure with the Cylinder Head off the bike.
As long as things were torn apart . . . . replacing the Doohicky was a given.
Also did a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff to the engine, as well as the rest of the bike, that I read about here on this forum and elsewhere.
The end result is an essentially new 2007 KLR650 for a total investment of slightly under $3,500.
FWIW I'm NOT having any noticeable/measurable oil consumption issues over the past few thousand miles. I've kept a really sharp eye on it as I don't want to repeat the error of the previous owner. This is with a 14 Tooth Counter Sprocket. So the engine is really spinning within about 1,000 RPM of red line at the 70-75 MPH that the freeways move here in the L.A. area. (Not in rush hour of course. LOL)
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
Absolutely! That is exactly what I would do! In the mean time you can research what and how to take on this task. When I bought my KLR it had damaged cam bearings. So when I eventually got around to taking care of the engine I did so with the resale value of the bike in mind.
So:
I put in a new stock (100.0 mm) bore Piston with Rings because the original bore was, well, original. That and because I couldn't find any source for just new stock piston rings. Thought about a 685 Kit, but just didn't see the value when compared to what the entire bike is worth. It almost certainly will wake the bike up a bit, and if the original bore was worn in any significant way . . . then, OK! But otherwise? No.
Sent the Cylinder Head out to have Cam Bearing Inserts installed by Mike (or Jenny) at Engine Dynamics, 2040 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952 707-763-7519
Bought a motorcycle valve spring compressor on eBay for $15 and installed the Valve Guide Seals. It's a pretty simple procedure with the Cylinder Head off the bike.
As long as things were torn apart . . . . replacing the Doohicky was a given.
Also did a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff to the engine, as well as the rest of the bike, that I read about here on this forum and elsewhere.
The end result is an essentially new 2007 KLR650 for a total investment of slightly under $3,500.
FWIW I'm NOT having any noticeable/measurable oil consumption issues over the past few thousand miles. I've kept a really sharp eye on it as I don't want to repeat the error of the previous owner. This is with a 14 Tooth Counter Sprocket. So the engine is really spinning within about 1,000 RPM of red line at the 70-75 MPH that the freeways move here in the L.A. area. (Not in rush hour of course. LOL)

The difference is that you have an '07 and the OP has an '08. The '08's were known to have bad rings and many have bad bores too...

Cheers,
Dave
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
The difference is that you have an '07 and the OP has an '08. The '08's were known to have bad rings and many have bad bores too...
Yup, so measure the bore when the Cylinder Head is off and proceed accordingly.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-07-2017, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenbcrider View Post
So I have put my 2008 KLR650 through 37,000km (23,000miles) of mountain trails and highway riding and all has been good, bit of normal oil consumption thats it...
Until I started it this spring, once fired up a massive plume of blue smoke filled thee garage and continued around the block. Weird thing is that it got better after a couple rides.
I do alot of multi hour rides way back into the Rockies with no cell service, so I would rather fix the issue before I end up walking 8 hours out of the bush.

Talked to a couple of shops that gave me different options so not sure what route to go. 1st shop quoted me $2,500 bucks for the 685 kit, not to keen to spend that kind of $$$, 2nd shop said just replace the rings $600 and the 3rd shop said valve guide seals.

Any advice is much appreciated, just want to get it fixed asap and hit the trails.
I've read the 7 other responses, so now my 2 cents.

The way the KLR shim and bucket valve train is built there isn't really much of a way for oil to puddle around any valve stem and drain thru a bad seal during the winter.

So I'll ask if you have a manual fuel valve, instead of the original OEM vacuum operate/automatic shut-off model which came on the bike?
If a manual fuel valve is left On and everything is not 100% perfect, fuel could have seeped past the float valve and then past the piston rings All Winter Long. Which dries out the cylinder bore/piston & rings. And dilutes the engine oil a bit or possibly a lot!
When we start it up, with dry cylinder walls, piston & rings, which may actually now have some surface rusting from being DRY, we can get a fair bit of smoking, for awhile.

I'll suggest that you ride it, as is. And check your oil level every morning and at every fuel stop, and confirm 'same as last year' or slightly more or grossly excessive oil consumption.

Can you tell us as to whether or not the 2nd starter gear cluster has been checked for "Deep Hole problem" and has anyone installed an EagleMike Doo-Hickey with Torsion Spring into your 2008 KLR?
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