loss of power then stalling - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-04-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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loss of power then stalling

2009 650 KLR. Two blocks from work after running for about ten minutes and the engine starts sputtering, losing power, and wanted to stall. I feathered the throttle and got the rpm's up enough to make it to my parking spot. The ride home, the bike started normally, warmed up, and ran fine for about five blocks, and then same thing.....loses power, sputters and powers up a bit, seems to clear itself, but then sputters and eventually stalls. After a couple tries on the starter to no avail, I waited a minute, applied full choke and it started up and rpm is back to normal, engine responding normally to throttle. I put it in gear and everything seems fine for a couple more blocks, and then same thing. Power kicking in and out, sputtering and then stall. Wait a couple minutes, full choke starts it, rpm picks up and able to drive for another couple blocks, then repeat problem. I pushed the bike up a slight hill the last two blocks home....not recommended for anyone 60 or over.....took me a while to catch my breath. I'm thinking fuel supply issues, but something's sure wonky. There's a couple similar threads in here, but I need advice. This is likely one of the last rides of the year at any rate. Minus 2 C this morning when i left the house.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-04-2017, 07:12 PM
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Sure sounds like a plugged vent in the gas cap.
If you have a spare key, leave it in the gas gap and unlock it so it opens when it starts to do this.

2016 KLR 650
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Last edited by dan filipi; 10-05-2017 at 07:50 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-04-2017, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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I went to start the bike and it complained a bit after firing up, but reacted to blipping the throttle a couple times, and then ran smooth. I wanted to warm up the engine to see if i could replicate the problem with the bike in my driveway. Motor ran smooth for five minutes and never sputtered once. There's really no way I'm going to run the thing down the road until i can absolutely determine what's going on, and i don't think i can replicate the problem without actually riding the machine. The gas cap vent not venting makes sense and i inspected it although I'm unsure what exactly could get plugged and how to check it. I do have a spare key and could theoretically try the suggestion of unlocking the cap while driving when the problem occurs, and if it remedied things that would solve the problem......but I HATE PUSHING MOTORBIKES....especially up hills, so am nervous.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-05-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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gas cap not bad...air filter filthy

Followed an excellent step by step set of instructions which included hi resolution pictures of each step to disassemble and clean/inspect the gas cap vents/umbrella valves and didn't find anything out of sorts or plugged/stuck. All good. Pulled the air filter out and it was covered with about 3/16th of an inch of solid caked-on krud. I've never serviced the filter since buying the bike second-hand - really bad me! Cleaned up the filter with solvent and lots of paper towels and then soap and hot water and then hot water rinse and dried it out as good as new. I've read a couple suggestions on re-oiling the filter but would appreciate any suggestions on how to do that and what to use. I reinstalled the dried filter and gas cap and started the bike to test....motor fired right up after 2 or 3 turns, and then ran like a clock on the kickstand for 15 minutes. Throttle response was excellent every time i checked. Everything just working great sitting there in neutral. Next I guess I'll inspect the pet-cock and hoses/connections, and if nothing found, pull the carb and inspect/clean- maybe give it a sonic bath. Ultimately i'll need to go for an actual test drive. I'll get the wife to follow me pulling a small trailer just in case.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-05-2017, 10:36 PM
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DO NOT RUN YOUR ENGINE WITH A DRY FILTER! I think you know that, but wanted to elaborate that it is not optional.

Foam filters need oil to trap the minute particles that can cause damage to the engine. The foam itself is only capable of keeping sand out. That's a bit of exaggeration, but you get the idea.

What oil to use can be debated all day long and the one that I use is the best. All others will cause your girlfriend to leave you and your dog to pee in your shoe, so don't use them. ;^)

All I will say on oil is that, years ago, bikes had foam filters and all we had was engine oil to put on the filter. It worked.

Whatever oil you choose, make sure to use enough oil to impregnate the filter such that a bit can be squeezed out when the oil has been thoroughly worked through the filter. I really don't think you can put too much oil on the filter; any amount that is too much will drain out of the filter, into the airbox, and collect in the bottom of the plugged draft tube.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-06-2017, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
DO NOT RUN YOUR ENGINE WITH A DRY FILTER! I think you know that, but wanted to elaborate that it is not optional..
Yes.....clearly understood on the foam filters. I'd read a few suggestions on what other guys were using and how to get the filter properly impregnated and there does seem to be various opinions on appropriate oil...best to use the specially designed stuff if you can get it i suppose.

For the sputtering and stalling issue, i've only got a couple days left before the snow's forecast to fly so if i"m going to test-drive once I've finished trying to troubleshoot, i'd better get er, pitter patter. As you can likely tell, i'm a novice wrench and any help is appreciated.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-06-2017, 08:40 AM
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Let me give you my method of oiling the filter - it's worked well so far and isn't too messy.

I usually take the filter and put it in a heavy Ziploc bag, pour the filter oil over it until it's good and soaked, and then massage the oil into the filter, using the bag so as not to get too messy.

After making sure that the filter's been saturated with oil, I give it a few gentle squeezes to get the extra oil out and then I let it dry on a couple of paper bags until the filter isn't too sticky.

A clean air filter sure makes a world of difference...good luck!
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-06-2017, 03:26 PM
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Your description of the problem is interesting and a bit confusing.
A KLR with a dirty filter may start and run fine at low load/low throttle/low speed because it doesn't need to suck much air through the dirty filter. But, when you try to go faster or up a hill, it will falter.

Needing to use the choke (enricher) to start when warm with a dirty filter is strange because the dirty filter should cause a rich condition if anything.

Still I would clean and oil the filter and, if it runs properly, forget about it.

I have 100,000 miles on one of my KLRs with the original filter still in it. I just clean it in gas, oil it well with motor oil and squeeze (not twist) out as much oil as I can with my fist and go ride.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-06-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GoMotor View Post
Your description of the problem is interesting and a bit confusing.
A KLR with a dirty filter may start and run fine at low load/low throttle/low speed because it doesn't need to suck much air through the dirty filter. But, when you try to go faster or up a hill, it will falter. Needing to use the choke (enricher) to start when warm with a dirty filter is strange because the dirty filter should cause a rich condition if anything..
Thanks for the comments GoMotor. What you say makes sense and now after some testing it does even make more sense that there's still something else. Anyway if you're interested...here's a bit of an update: Newly cleaned and oiled filter installed. I started the cold engine with full enricher and it caught after 2-3 turns but didn't come up to high rpm as it does usually, stayed at 3k and is usually around 4.5k. It's a bit chilly out +40 F. When engine was starting to warm after a minute or so I turned the enricher down slowly and then off. Idle dropped to 1100 and it is usually 1300. I blipped the throttle a couple times and the engine would respond but weakly, and then after it warmed up to about 1/4 it began to hesitate on the throttle blip and ultimately the motor started coughing and sputtering and eventually quit. While it was sputtering i opened the gas cap and made no difference. Engine would not start again without the enricher. I switched the fuel feed to reserve with full enricher and it started and coughed once and then seemed to run smoothly, and so i switched it back to 'on' to see what would happen and it continued to run smoothly at usual idle speed ~ 1300. Blipping the throttle results in a slight hesitation before responding. I think i need to review a couple tutorials on how to remove the tank and then I can look at the petcock system and carb on the bench where it's warm. Maybe I'll try shooting a bit of a video and somehow attach it or a link to it and folks can watch and listen to the beast moaning and sputtering. I'll start it from cold in an hour and record everything on my i-pad and then figure out a way to post it.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-06-2017, 07:42 PM
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Warm engine requires enricher to start makes me wonder it there may be some trash in the idle jet.
Are you familiar with how to rotate the carburetor to remove the idle jet without removing the carburetor?
Here a VIDEO on carb removal:

Last edited by GoMotor; 10-06-2017 at 07:49 PM.
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