There are so many threads about stripped drain plugs and cracked cases due to over-torquing of drain plugs that something must be done. I, mean, think of the whales and children here. It's a travesty.
Unfortunately, the new KLR owner and inexperienced wrench is going to learn of these precautions when he does a web search loosely related to "I've stripped my case, what the **** do I do now?".
The torque spec on the Gen1 drain plug was 17 ft-lb. The Gen2 was upped to 21 ft-lb for reasons that remain in the hallowed halls of KHI.
The drain plug is an M12 X 1.5 with a 17mm head on it, and the normal torque for a bolt that big is on the order of 65 ft-lb. It's a big-ass bolt! People look at that thing and figure "it needs to be 'friggentite'". Or they rely on an inaccurate torque wrench (that is two feet long) to do the job.
At best, the threads strip out of the hole. At worst, the case gets cracked. It seems that thread stripping is cumulative damage while case cracking comes from over torquing a case with good, solid threads in it.
We wouldn't have these problems if the head of the bolt was a wee 8mm thing, now would we?
All that is needed to torque the bolt so it won't leak is an eighth of a turn past finger tight. That's about 10 to 12 ft-lb. The Gen1 spec was pretty good; it added a bit of ooomph to make sure it wouldn't vibrate out.
The use of a steel/neoprene washer would probably permit even less torque being used, but there's always that specter of the bolt falling out.
The idea that the bolt is going to come out if not set in quite tight is easy to overcome with about a half-hour's worth of work and an extra 15 minutes (tops!) work at each oil change. (By the by, I've always done the '1/8 turn past finger tight' and my plug has never become loose. Take it for what it's worth)
At your next oil change, drop your skid plate so that you have access to the oil pan and drain the oil.
At the case bolt, just aft of the drain plug, look for a head face that would be easy to thread safety wire through and mark it:
Remove that bolt and cross drill the head through that face with a 1/16" / 1.6mm drill and de-burr the hole with a drill bit that is about twice as large as the hole.
Cross drill the drain plug in the same manner:
Re-install the drain bolt and install safety wire:
Safety wire pliers make this easy and inexpensive ones are available from Horrid Fright and work just fine. Get the larger ones, though, as the small set is a bit harder to work with.
Using a pair of pliers or Vise-Grips to do the safety wire is fine, too. What's important is that the wire be pulling in the right direction and that it be taut enough so the bolt can't possibly back out. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if it's ugly just don't show nobody.
You want to have a bit of wrap of the safety wire around the bolt. If you are an air frame mechanic you have a spec for how much. Let's just say that less than half a wrap and more than an eighth of a wrap will do. You don't want it coming straight off the bolt.
Unless you're very nimble, you'll need to drop the skid plate at each oil change.
I think another couple of good items is the steel/neoprene washer and a low-profile drain plug. If you can find one that is already drilled, so much the better.
"Yeah, I'm all wired up now", Tom said nervously.