25 MPG, goes into gear by itself.Help NEWBIE - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-01-2018, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Las Vegas
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25 MPG, goes into gear by itself.Help NEWBIE

Hi Guys,
I have finally got my $750 KLR 650 running after rebuilding carb, replacing spark plug, replacing wiring loom, cleaning air filter, replacing gas tank, replacing fuel petcock, replacing cdi box and pickup coil, replacing the limiter gear and one way ring gear, and replacing the stator. Long list right? I still have to replace or rebuild the suspension, tires, brakes, and possibly clutch depending on what you think.

I actually have several problems that I need advice on so please help. The first is a MPG issue. I only get 25 miles per gallon. The exhaust is so rich that if your standing next to it when running your eyes will burn and you won't last too long. I have replaced the slider diaphram because it had a tear, but I'm wondering if the needle was set correctly as it is adjustable I think I put it on the middle setting not knowing which one to put it on.

The second problem is when I'm idling sometimes the bike will go into gear not touching the shjift bar at all. I have tipped the bike over and almost ran into a car because of this so kind of serious. One day it did it a whole bunch of times, but since that day only has done it once. But it still does it. I thought maybe the clutch pack needed to be redone, but what do you guys think?

Third question is about tires, sprocket, and chain. The nobbies on the tires look like they are separating from the tire. What is the best tire to get for super heat (Las Vegas 120+ road temp)?

At freeway speed the RPMs are really high possibly causing my 25 MPG problem being I run 75-80 on freeway to not get run over. I do like to go off-road though and need the lower gearing. Is there a combination of tire size-sprocket size-or gearing that can address all these?

lastly, I'm noticing new chains that range from $80-650$ dollars. Is there a huge difference? I'm scared that the chain will break and I go flying when everything locks up at 80 pmh. Better safe than sorry, so I need a chain that wil never break when taken care of.

Thank you all for reading and please help me....
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 11:01 AM
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Iíll start with the chain question. What sprocket combo are you currently running? Stock size is 15/43. Many folks use a 16 front which allows for lower revs on highway and decent performance off road. Others who are more off road oriented use a 14 front. Really depends on your intended use. With your riding at Interstate speeds I would probably go with the 16 front.

As far as what to buy this is about the best buy available in a chain and sprocket set. Used by many KLR owners. Be aware that this set comes with stock gearing, so 15/43 sprockets. If you want the 16 you need to buy that separately.


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post #3 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 11:33 AM
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I'd commend to you the, "Carb Ovehaul" videos on this website, if you've not accessed them (Page 3 of the, "How To," forum if I'm not mistaken).

Maybe you've adjusted the needle incorrectly, maybe your STARTING ENRICHER ("CHOKE") PLUNGER does't seat when OFF, failing to seal fuel flow from its orifice; that is, leak fuel into the venturi. The half-of-expected fuel mileage and smoky exhaust suggest, perhaps, incorrect air/fuel mixture.

Chains and sprockets typically last 20 k miles or so; you might inspect their condition before you replace them, unless you just want another final drive ratio (attainable by a countershaft sprocket switch alone).

As to the phantom shifting, etc.: Too remote to understand details fully to attempt diagnosis, by me. May more learned forum members respond effectively and usefully.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info about the carb rebuild videos. I did buy a new choke cable which broke the plastic end that screws in, so I replaced that and the doohickey from EagleMike. It should be sealing up, but how to you tell if it is or isn't? I know at first this bike wouldn't idle at all, so I had to unscrew the air adjustment out almost as far as it would go and the idle screw all the way in as far as it would go. By doing that and replacing the choke cable, slide diaphram, and rebuild kit, I was able to get it to idle. Now that I've put 1000 miles on it, it has run better and better, so I was able to keep an idle and screw the mixture screw in all the way then out almost 1 1/2 turns and back out the idle screw to a more acceptable setting. Its the needle that I think I got wrong. I'll watch those videos and hopefully that will shed some light.

Did you have any thoughts to why the bike would pop itself into gear? Thank you for taking the time again.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 01:30 PM
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There is a shift lever return spring....it holds the shift lever centered. If it’s not broken, a springiness can be felt when moving the shift lever up and down, which holds the shift lever centered. My thought is if that spring is broken, the vibration could make the lever bounce and allowing the shift forks to move when they should not. Usually it’s pretty obvious something isn’t right if that spring is broken but I thought worth mentioning.

Just trying to help if I can.
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Last edited by dan filipi; 09-02-2018 at 01:40 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 01:51 PM
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The "choke" plunger . . . I commend to you, the: Care and Feeding of the CVK40 Carburetor; link posted on this forum, or Google the title.

Check out, "Morning Coffee" section. The choke, aka starting enricher, works like a mini-carburetor. Activating the system, an air passage and a fuel passage open, providing a fuel-rich mixture to the carburetor venturi.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-02-2018, 02:42 PM
4th Gear
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Look here starting at time 14:10 :

You will see a collapsed flat horseshoe shaped spring. When not collapsed it holds a shifter pawl in position. When you shift gears the pawl gets pushed down against the spring and allows the shifting mechanism to move one gear up or down. When you release the shift lever the spring pushes the pawl back up and holds the transmission in the position/gear you have selected. You should feel the spring pressing back against the shift lever as you change gears.

Another possibility is that you shift lever is hitting on something and not getting the transmission fully in gear or in neutral. This could allow the transmission to pop back to its previous position.

Last edited by GoMotor; 09-02-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-03-2018, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have no idea what parts are supposed to be there or not as I am learning as I go. I do have a Service Manual and Parts Diagram, but still learning about bikes on the crash course. Literally, I've tipped this bike over many many times, the last time I did notice the lever did feel less springy. I thought I bent it, which I probably did. But I may have also busted this spring, So thanks for the advice; I will check it.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-06-2018, 12:02 AM
1st Gear
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You say it has tipped over many times. Along with what has already been said about the spring, if a bike falls hard on the shift lever it can bend a shift fork. It does this when it pushes the lever too hard and too fast which tries to force the fork to slide gears together when the dogs on the gears have not had time to properly align. The only way to fix this is pulling the transmission apart. I don’t remember exactly how the shift linkage connects with the shift drum behind the clutch but this can also cause similar problems if it is bent or loose. You can check this when checking the centering spring. Without pulling the motor out of the frame. As has been said often on this forum start with the easy stuff first (before splitting the cases).
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-04-2019, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Update and Lost

Hey guys,
Thanks again for the advice. Since this post I have replaced: the chain, both sprockets, front and rear tire, the shift lever, clutch cable, choke system (with no cable), taken the carb apart again, and rebuilt the rear shock. All was great. The shifting problem seemed to go away, but black smoke and soot along with 25 mpg remained constant even after the carb. relook, although it did run better. Then last week I was running out of gas (with 1 gal. remaining) and the lean condition caused RPM to go up a lot, like almost pegging. I pulled into the nearest gas station and got off the bike with it still running (another long story), but it went into gear by itself again when I was off the bike. I had to grab the bike and dump it so that it didn't run into the store. When it dumped,the kickstand got folded in, which I didn't know and when I was setting it on the kickstand again that wasn't fully extended/locked and it dumped again. Pissed off to no end, I realized that not only was this super embarrassing and dangerous, but the two dumps broke the front brake lever, the throttle and throttle cables, and the petcock just to leave me stranded. I rigged it with a straw from the store, but that only lasted 100 yards before breaking down. I had it towed to my house where I have just replaced all that and the clutch that was wearing out. Now that the clutch cover is off, I can see the gears and stuff. I'm not sure even after looking at the above video if the spring is OK. I'm thinking that it is though because my symptoms went away after the new shifting lever. Now is has returned, so i guess the problem is there. I did notice that the fork looking thing right in the corner of the clutch area is freely moving. It looks like this part could jam or something. I cant imagine they used a free floating fork, but then again, I've never really worked on transmissions before now. All the springs that I saw looked intact and ok, but maybe its completely gone, but it returns the lever since I bought the new one. Any more advice would be very welcome. Thanks

Last edited by coolbronco; 01-04-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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