2009 running rough/ jerky - 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 33 Old 05-24-2010, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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2009 running rough/ jerky

Greetings all,

What a great site this is, and I know I'll be here often. I have a new, 2009 KLR and I've got a problem that maybe you can help with.

I got my bike last fall... brand new, and now have 500 miles under her. I've noticed in these last 100 or so miles that she is running "jerky", at slower speeds in 3rd and 4th gear. Kinda like the gas is not flowing smoothly? Any ideas on what the problem might be?

Some background on me so you know what you're dealing with :-) I'm brand new to biking, and this KLR is my first, and only bike. So I have no experience in wrenching around at all, nor do I have anything to compair any problems to. I live in a tiny and remote town in SE Alaska, and the nearest Kawi dealer is 1000 miles away, (I bought my bike from a dealer in Seattle, and had it barged up to me in Alaska). So I can't just take it down the street to the dealer to check out. I'm on my own here, with very little, to no experience... so help! ;-)

Many thanks for any ideas,
Mike
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post #2 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic View Post
Greetings all,

What a great site this is, and I know I'll be here often. I have a new, 2009 KLR and I've got a problem that maybe you can help with.

I got my bike last fall... brand new, and now have 500 miles under her. I've noticed in these last 100 or so miles that she is running "jerky", at slower speeds in 3rd and 4th gear. Kinda like the gas is not flowing smoothly? Any ideas on what the problem might be?

Some background on me so you know what you're dealing with :-) I'm brand new to biking, and this KLR is my first, and only bike. So I have no experience in wrenching around at all, nor do I have anything to compair any problems to. I live in a tiny and remote town in SE Alaska, and the nearest Kawi dealer is 1000 miles away, (I bought my bike from a dealer in Seattle, and had it barged up to me in Alaska). So I can't just take it down the street to the dealer to check out. I'm on my own here, with very little, to no experience... so help! ;-)

Many thanks for any ideas,
Mike


What RPM are you at in those gears? If you're <3k you're lugging the motor and it will run rough.

Not that? Check the vacuum line on the back of the petcock. Not that? Did you put fuel stabilizer in it when you parked it for the winter? No? Dump the gas and drain the float bowl. Not that? Try running some Seafoam and see if that clears it up. Not that? Clean the carb...
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post #3 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply,

I don't think I'm lugging it. My shifting has been in line with the manual's instructions. So I'm going from 1st to 2nd at about 10mph, 2nd to 3rd at about 15mph and 3rd to 4th at about 25mph. Usually my rmps are between 2500 and 3000 while cruising at those speeds. When I'm cruising in 3rd and 4th is when it's at its worse. When I'm cruising at say 45 to 50mph in 5th, no sign of the jerking at all.

I did put in stabilizer over the winter, and I only have 500 miles on it, so it seems crazy to think that things could aready be gummed-up, but maybe so. Maybe I got some bad gas? I'll put in some STP Gas Treatment and top off the tank (no Sea Foam near me).
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post #4 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 03:45 PM
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Question: are you saying that you are at 2500-3000 rpms when you shift or when you are cruising?

FYI - Amazon sells seafoam. It is amazing stuff.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #5 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 04:11 PM
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First of all, any Kawasaki dealer HAS to do warranty work on your bike. There's several Kawasaki dealers in Alaska.
http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/alaska.php
http://www.motorcycle.com/dealers/al...i-dealers.html

Secondly, rev that thing!! I never shift below 4000 rpm. Usually between 4000 and 5500.. I think you're lugging the motor, which is one of the worst things you could do to an engine..

Thirdly, Walmart carries SeaFoam, as does most automotive stores.. It's more than available in Alaska..
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post #6 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic View Post
Thanks for the reply,

I don't think I'm lugging it. My shifting has been in line with the manual's instructions. So I'm going from 1st to 2nd at about 10mph, 2nd to 3rd at about 15mph and 3rd to 4th at about 25mph. Usually my rmps are between 2500 and 3000 while cruising at those speeds. When I'm cruising in 3rd and 4th is when it's at its worse. When I'm cruising at say 45 to 50mph in 5th, no sign of the jerking at all.

I did put in stabilizer over the winter, and I only have 500 miles on it, so it seems crazy to think that things could aready be gummed-up, but maybe so. Maybe I got some bad gas? I'll put in some STP Gas Treatment and top off the tank (no Sea Foam near me).

Sounds like you're riding at too low an RPM in 3-4th gear, you should be going faster than 25 mph in those gears. Try keeping your RPM above 3.5 K in every gear. You'll run out of first gear pretty quick so get into second and keep twisting the throttle unitl you're about 5K then shift into third. Let third wind out again to at least 5K then shift. Keep you gears in the 3.5-5.5K range that's where the motor is in the meat of the torque curve.
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post #7 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 04:33 PM
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I agree with Paper and Spec. Here's something to consider. I think it is misleading that manuals give you a proper shift "speed". Ideally, and it will happen, you will KNOW when to shift by feel, sound, etc. You won't even need to look at the RPMs. But until then, look at the RPMs. I think you're lugging the motor, too. It shouldn't sound like it is working too hard.

I generally shift at 4-5K rpms and cruise around 3.5-4. Usually 4.

Get in the habit of pre-loading the shifter, too. Basically, this means that you want to apply upward pressure to the shift lever immediately prior to shifting. You want to get to where it is smooth as silk (or as close as a KLR can get).




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #8 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 04:36 PM
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PS - (and definitely no offense intended) I think you would benefit greatly from taking a MC safety course...they will teach you basic stuff like we're talking about. If there are none around, get reading. Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough is a good start.

Do you have any buddies who ride? Can you drive a manual automobile?




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #9 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for the input.

Sounds like the consensus is that I'm lugging it, so I'll start reving it up. I was just trying to go by the manual's instructions,... and also the manual says for the first 500 miles to NOT rev higher than 4000 rpms. So again... just trying to follow what I thought I was supposed to do.

I do drive a manual car and truck (I have for 30 years... I hate autos), so I am familar to shifting when I should. But granted that MCs are a different machine entirely :-) And I would love to take the saftey course. But again... I am remote and the nearest place to take one requires an airplane ride, and a hotel for the duration. Not a cheap endevor. I have to laugh whenever people say things like, "...just got to a WalMart", or, "... there are lots of Kawi Dealers in Alaska." While that is kinda true, Alaska is almost as big as the lower 48 states, and it has about 600,000 people in it. The nearest Walmart to me would be like communting from NY City to Chicago. Same example for getting to a Kawi Dealer. It would be a 2 day, 1000 mile drive for me to get to Anchorage.

I have been hanging with a couple of locals who ride and getting pointers from them, so that has helped for sure. And I'm really greatly appreciative to all you guys for chiming in and helping out as well. So many thanks.

Cheers again, and keep any ideas coming.

Mike
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post #10 of 33 Old 05-24-2010, 09:39 PM
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No worries. You're gonna have to teach yourself I guess. There are resources that can help, though. And ask away here.




"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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