New Member needs some advise on KLR650 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-09-2008, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
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New Member needs some advise on KLR650

Hi there my name is Jon, I've been riding 40 years now, mostly dual sport enduro types. I work as a network engineer in Sacramento CA. I owned 4 Suzuki DR 650s in a row over the last few years. A very good bike but had a tendency to leak at the base gasket every 10k miles, an annoyance to be sure, but always free under the Suzuki extended maintenance agreement.
The suzukis burn down at about 40k miles, thankfully right before the warrant ends. So I was bale to get them all fixed, and resold before the next new bike.
I bought my 1st KLR650 2007 model, a year ago, and have had problems from day one. 1st the winddcreen fell off after 300 miles of freeway riding, and I had fits about the height of the bike. While the DR was adjustable, the kawi is not without the kit and another kickstand. The fuses kept blowing, so installed the flat blade upgrade kit. The rear brake pads were gone at 4k miles, then at 10k I developed a high speed issue seemed like it was out of gas as soon as the heat gage hit its average center point. In other words as soon a it warmed up it would cough and choke like it was out of gas. I took it to three dealers, spent $800...none of them were able to fix the problem. In the end I read a post about smog kits on Californian bikes. I followed the instructsions, and bypassed the smog stuff, and was running great!
I had been getting the regular tuneups and such to keep my extended warranty frosty, and I thought I had an oil change done at the last dealer about 11k miles, was doing that every 3 or 4k miles, so I got somewhat sloppy about checking the oil, thinking it was done. In any case I ended up going about 6k miles and apparently ran it out of oil. I had scheduled an appointment at the dealer in Folsom to do the oil change, and the week before the appoinment I had noticed a noice when starting the engine cold, which subsided right away. At a glance my oil window was about half bubble, but I can't say I checked it on level ground or was really paying attention.
I just got off the phone with the dealer and he says Kawasaki denied my insurance they might pay off on $150 worth of parts if I proceed with the repair $4500 estimate, I'm out $350 for having him tear it down. I still owe $3000 on this fairly new bike. I guess the only thing I can afford to do is find a manual, and see if I can fix it myself. Or sell the bike as is for parts. I'll get a complete parts shopping list from the dealer when I pick it, am leaving it torn down. I know the cams and head are damaged, the bike was still running at that point, tho sounding a bit odd. Are there engine rebuild kits? Where do I get them? If My mechanical skills are somewhat limited, should I even attempt this? So far my Kawasaki experience has been one bad event after another, and I can't say I think much of the way they treat their customers. I bought the farm on the extended warranty, it worked well with suzuki, but apparently kawasaki is not from the same planet. When and if I'm able to fix this, it will no doubt be my 1st and last Kawi, I would never buy another one of these. Sure I blew it, always gotta check the oil, but where did it go?It should not be burning oil at the rate, its not a freaking caddy. My complacency regarding service contracts and lack of attention to detail is sure gonna cost me. This is a bike that definitely needs an oil gage. I don';t mean to rain on the happy KLR owners but I sure drank from a cup of poison.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-09-2008, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 704
The KLR was obviously not a good choice for you, particularly when you have to depend on someone else - the dealers, etc. - for basic maintence and upkeep.

The KLR is NOT a gas and forget bike no matter what the salesman may have told you. It does require owner attention. It's a very basic, old school machine. That's why most of us on this forum like it.

Something like a V-Strom might be more to your liking. We know some happy VS owners.

Good luck with your next bike.

Last edited by BIGIRON; 10-09-2008 at 03:17 PM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-09-2008, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba
Posts: 160
Hey Skypilot, sorry to hear about your KLR..... As Big Ron said, they are pretty basic bikes to work on.

I might suggest you get on "e bay" and or check through your local motorcycle sale papers to see if there are any "write offs for sale".

You may find a KLR with a good would be much cheaper to change out the motor complete. Even if there is damage to the engine cases on the "write off", this would be relatively easy to switch over.

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