Where does YOUR engine temperature needle live? - 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 16 Old 07-13-2019, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Where does YOUR engine temperature needle live?

Hi all. I did a search on engine temperature and read those posts about Thermobob etc without seeing this specific thing mentioned anywhere. I've had numerous bikes of all sorts over the years but have just acquired a 2011 model KLR and today took it out for its first time - over 200 km of high speed highway, deep bush bashing and mountain road twistys. All ok but my temperature needle hardly moved off "C"old the whole day (although it was a coolish 27C here in sunny Queensland). So if that's normal GREAT (certainly better than sitting on "H"ot all day). But if the engine is actually running at the indicated well-below-mid-range temperature that's not ideal either. For one thing the fuel won't be atomising properly which is inefficient AND can wash the oil off the bore leading to premature failure.

It also has a barely perceptible hesitancy as if it's running lean and on the verge of seizing the whole time, but it's got basically a straight through open pipe on it (STUPIDLY loud!) and probably not matched with an oversized main jet to compensate, so I've ordered an OEM muffler which will go on ASAP and might just cure that. Otherwise I'll then look into careful tuning of the carb' - but pointless to fiddle with that until/unless the engine is breathing the way Mr Kawasaki intended in the first place. Main thing I'm anxious to know though, is how my guage compares with the rest of you lucky KLR-ers. Anyone?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 06:46 AM
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That's the normal needle position. It will warm up if left to idle but will cool off again once underway.

Many folks will install a ThermoBob, which is a system that includes a radiator bypass line and a warmer thermostat. With that installed the engine temps will be at mid-gauge, or about 90*C.

I'm not sure about the availability of such stuff in Australia, but Watt-Man may ship there.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 10:40 AM
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As Tom said, yes just above the "C" mark is normal for a stock & standard Gen 2 KLR, when in-motion. But higher is better. 190 - 220 F is great.

Have a look at the Thermo-Bob gauge overlays.
https://shop.watt-man.com/Coolant-Te...verlays_c5.htm

1 or 2 .5mm shim washers on the mid-range carb needle might eliminate your 'lean running' sensation.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, appreciate the answers. So my temperature needle living in the guage's basement is NOT unusual? That's a relief. Still, installing the Thermobob seems a bit dramatic. Has anyone tried just changing the thermostat? Growing up in a frigid part of Canada we used to change the car's thermostat twice a year (and grade of oil and tyres...) to cope with the weather. Now you know why I live in Queensland
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 06:59 PM
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You can just change the thermostat. I think Watt-man is the only one who has them up here. That will raise the temperature some, but it won't stabilize it. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, though.

Tom [email protected]

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 07:18 PM
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I believe that Normk out of Chilliwack, BC Canada found that Chinese 'Sego' built scooters used a 180F thremostat of the same size as the KLR. One may need to drill the air bleed hole in the upper perimeter.

Felix888, does your Gen 2 Australian KLR650 still have the carburetor Anti-Icing plumbing on it?

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-13-2019, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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How would I recognise it? Or is this a funny one, inasmuch as I come from the land of ice and snow (the bike doesn't though)?

On inspection, there's a plastic tube running from the water pump to a T fitting underneath the intake manifold side of the carb' and thence to the cylinder head with two sight glasses interposed (green contents suggestive of coolant). If this is to warm the induction tract I'd expect to see an EXIT for said coolant, otherwise it will only say "hello" as it travelled around the cooling system rather than flowing through that casting?!?!?!

Last edited by Felix888; 07-14-2019 at 01:41 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-14-2019, 10:34 PM
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I don't have the fancy scale on my gauge, but after installing the Thermobob, the needle stays right in the middle of the bottom screw in the gauge.on hot days and just in the lower half of that screw on cold days. It keeps the engine at a very stable temp. Prior to installing it the only time it would get above the cold area was when sitting at a red light. As soon as I left the intersection it was right back down at the bottom. In my opinion, it is an add on well worth the $125 and the Kawasaki engineers should have their asses kicked for not including it in their design. Same for the torsion spring in the doohicky.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix888 View Post
How would I recognise it? Or is this a funny one, inasmuch as I come from the land of ice and snow (the bike doesn't though)?

On inspection, there's a plastic tube running from the water pump to a T fitting underneath the intake manifold side of the carb' and thence to the cylinder head with two sight glasses interposed (green contents suggestive of coolant). If this is to warm the induction tract I'd expect to see an EXIT for said coolant, otherwise it will only say "hello" as it travelled around the cooling system rather than flowing through that casting?!?!?!
Ok Felix888, your bikes coolant flows From the cylinder head thrermostat to the up-side down tee fitting In The Carb. The leg of the tee is hollow & divided, so the coolant touches the carb throat and goes down and out the left hand side thru a thermostatic valve and returns In To the coolant pump.

Ya' might say its a miniature thermobob in its own right. But you probably don't need an anti-iceing carb!

One can install larger fittings into the thermostat housing & coolant pump, connect with 1/4 or 5/16" hose.
Then install a 'Sego?' 180F or Wattman 195F thermostat and have a better functioning radiator by-pass system.

pdwestman
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-16-2019, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks for these details. I'm always looking for the simplest solution, so will try to find a warmer thermostat before doing anything more drastic. Felix.
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