Install of grease Zerks/fittings info - 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 22 Old 02-17-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Install of grease Zerks/fittings info

I read about drilling/tapping/installing grease fittings into KLR suspension components, and a brass 1/16 NPT plug w/hole as a restrictor in the Gen 1engines. Without trying to stir the pot, I read about the cost or availability of the taps. Back in the 70s we had to drill/tap and install greas fittings in many upper ďAĒ frame bushings on some Ford models. We did not use a 1/16 NPT tap. We used a 1/4-28 NF tap and ran the tap in 5/16Ē or more in. The 1/16Ē NPT tap is 27 TPI. The 1/4-28NF is of course 28 TPI. Over the yrs, I have used size 1/4-28 NF on cast aluminum dirt bike suspension components, steel and aluminum swing arms, AG equipment components and other equipment. I have never had a grease fitting blow out, but have messed up some grease gun couplers and hoses, especially on AG equipment after an install of fittings due to heavy grease, or close tolerances. Iím not saying itís 100% right, but I am saying it 100%works. At least it has for me for the last 50 yrs. Just my 2cents.
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-17-2019, 12:45 PM
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You're not stirring the pot, as I have no idea what you're talking about or what your point is. Where did you see something about using a 1/16 NPT tap for grease fittings?

I have never heard of that.

You seem to be putting two things together that don't belong together, i.e. grease fittings on the swing arm and the restrictor in the oil feed to the crank and you've somehow attributed the restrictor to only the Gen 1 engines.

Where and what are you reading?

Tom [email protected]

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-17-2019, 01:16 PM
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I donít see why one would not use a drill and tap that matches the thread. A quick google search returns at least 4 sources in stock for under $10.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-17-2019, 04:04 PM
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rodent64, As others have suggested, we are a little confused by your statements.

Yes, I use the Allen Drive, 1/16th NPT brass pipe plug, drilled to my tested choice Orifice Size, in either the 6:00 oil port of the Oil Filter CAP or the Clutch Cover 6:00 oil port to the crankshaft. I have also used a short 8mm x 1.25p annealed set screw. And others have used short 5/16" x 18t annealed set screws.

But as to grease zerk threads, one needs to use the appropriate thread tap. Metric threaded grease zerks are hard to find, but they do exist.

This is "The Best", most Complete KLR rear suspension grease zerk article that I have Ever Read!
http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/ZerkInstallation.pdf

ps, But it does miss "Those 2 Stupid factory Holes"! As see here, https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff%20th...-zerk-fittings

I just use RTV or common 4mm screws on the 2 stupid holes.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 02-17-2019 at 04:09 PM. Reason: ps added
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-17-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. Schmitz, sorry I kinda ran things together, let me explain. I have read that the KLR 650 does not have grease fittings in the suspension pivot link for the shock/swing arm needle brgs. So when I get a KLR , Iíll be doing that mod. The grease fittings Iíll use are typical 1/16 NPT thread. The other mod is one of the engine mods to restrict the oil flow to the crank brgs & utilizes a brass hex threaded plug with a small hole drilled through the center, installed in the engine case tapped (again it was 1/16 NPT) unless I read wrong-that happens, Iím old, and have Parkinsonís. Maybe add some ADHD (lol). So where as Iím not a tight wad, and could buy a 1/16 NPT tap, what Iíve used in the past (1/4-28 NF) worked well for me. Just sharing info. Never had one loosen or blow out. And just an FYI ,It does take a long time to for me to type/ reply/respond because I make a lot of mistakes (shaking), but I refuse to let words go incorrectly spelled. Iím really liking this forum though, Lots of great guys on here. When I do buy me a KLR, it will be my 31st mc.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-17-2019, 05:03 PM
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Got it!

I will say, though, that installing the zerks on the swing arm is a real pain-in-the-butt job. If you think you will ride the bike 20K miles or more and intend to keep up the maintenance per the schedule the effort will pay off. Otherwise, it might be more time and effort efficient to just pull the stuff down when you need to and re-grease it.

I prefer to drill 1/4-28 for the zerks because there are spots where I think it is better to put a 1/4-28 set screw in place because the zerk is too exposed. When it comes time to shoot grease I remove the set screw and put the zerk in place, shoot grease, then put the set screw back in.

@pdwestman, last week we were doing a full grease job on the suspension and swing arm. After buttoning things up we sprayed a bit of chain lube in on the swing arm axle by shooting it in through the holes, rotated the axle 180 and hit it again, then punched out some 1/2" round pieces of electrical tape and put them over the holes. Then we smeared RTV over the tape. Hopefully, the chain lube will serve to keep any rust at bay and the holes will stay closed up nicely. Let you know in a year or so...


The bike had less than 600 miles on it. Nobody has ever seen a non-rusted axle in the wild, so I took a picture:

Tom [email protected]

ďSome days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.Ē -Philip Marlowe

ď'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.Ē -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 02-17-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-18-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Agree with installing the grease fitting and r&r some plugs. Less apt to break one off if underneath on trails, but I live in an area of very fine sand and salty conditions-so these suspension areas get greased often, if nothing else to keep the grit out. I consider the modification work as therapy now-a-days more than a PITA anymore. Happens after your retired for a while and limited in some areas physically.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-18-2019, 07:46 AM
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I have not yet had my suspension part or tried to climb under the KLR for a close look so I am not sure where these holes are of what they look like. Does anyone have any pictures of the holes close up and clean? I am asking as I wonder if these are meant to be grease holes for a needle nose grease fitting. My BMW has the same thing on the side stand. It is just a hole with a chamfer on it. I learned it was designed as a grease port, but without the Zerk which could not be used in that location. It greases fine with a needle tip on the grease gun. You just have to be sure to clean it out well first to avoid pushing grease into the bushing.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-18-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodent64 View Post
Mr. Schmitz, sorry I kinda ran things together, let me explain. I have read that the KLR 650 does not have grease fittings in the suspension pivot link for the shock/swing arm needle brgs. So when I get a KLR , Iíll be doing that mod. The grease fittings Iíll use are typical 1/16 NPT thread.

The other mod is one of the engine mods to restrict the oil flow to the crank brgs & utilizes a brass hex threaded plug with a small hole drilled through the center, installed in the engine case tapped (again it was 1/16 NPT) unless I read wrong

-that happens, Iím old, and have Parkinsonís. Maybe add some ADHD (lol). So where as Iím not a tight wad, and could buy a 1/16 NPT tap, what Iíve used in the past (1/4-28 NF) worked well for me. Just sharing info. Never had one loosen or blow out. And just an FYI ,It does take a long time to for me to type/ reply/respond because I make a lot of mistakes (shaking), but I refuse to let words go incorrectly spelled. Iím really liking this forum though, Lots of great guys on here. When I do buy me a KLR, it will be my 31st mc.
rodent64,
I feel the need to clarify a detail about the bolded portion of your statement, if I may? At least for other readers benefit, not solely for you.

The purpose of the restrictor orifice is to reduce excessive over-oiling of the cylinder wall, piston & rings.
Excessive over-oiling of those parts tends to cause these and other larger engines to consume engine oil when revved to 5000 rpm and above for sustained periods.

While it is true that the oil in question does flow thru the bottom rod bearing, that bearing is of rolling element design, like a two stroke crankshaft. Not a precision plain bearing, like an automobile engine.
The oil is simply diverted to other portions of the engine which can benefit to some extra volume & pressure.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-18-2019, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
rodent64, As others have suggested, we are a little confused by your statements.

Yes, I use the Allen Drive, 1/16th NPT brass pipe plug, drilled to my tested choice Orifice Size, in either the 6:00 oil port of the Oil Filter CAP or the Clutch Cover 6:00 oil port to the crankshaft. I have also used a short 8mm x 1.25p annealed set screw. And others have used short 5/16" x 18t annealed set screws.

But as to grease zerk threads, one needs to use the appropriate thread tap. Metric threaded grease zerks are hard to find, but they do exist.

This is "The Best", most Complete KLR rear suspension grease zerk article that I have Ever Read!
http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/ZerkInstallation.pdf

ps, But it does miss "Those 2 Stupid factory Holes"! As see here, https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff%20th...-zerk-fittings

I just use RTV or common 4mm screws on the 2 stupid holes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I have not yet had my suspension part or tried to climb under the KLR for a close look so I am not sure where these holes are of what they look like. Does anyone have any pictures of the holes close up and clean? I am asking as I wonder if these are meant to be grease holes for a needle nose grease fitting. My BMW has the same thing on the side stand. It is just a hole with a chamfer on it. I learned it was designed as a grease port, but without the Zerk which could not be used in that location. It greases fine with a needle tip on the grease gun. You just have to be sure to clean it out well first to avoid pushing grease into the bushing.
Voyager,
Please click on the 2nd link in my posting.

To see the 2 Stupid Holes that allow the rusting/corrosion of the large suspension pivot shaft into bearing pivot sleeve. Kawasaki used the RH side hole for a plug-in hose hanger zip-tie. Between the suspension rocker & the brake pedal.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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