obligatory new rider post - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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obligatory new rider post

Hello All,

I recently was dragged into adventure biking and have been having a ton of fun on my 'new to me' '08 KLR650.

As I have started to get into making some modifications, someone suggested to me that i go find the forums for this bike as everyone out there will be way more helpful in figuring out the quirks that i may come across.

Looking forward to learning more about this bike and how you all have made your bikes unique!

-bowlofsplenda
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 04:29 PM
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Welcome to our forum!

A caution on the '08. You really need to keep an eye on the oil level. They are prone to consuming it in vast quantities. Run it out of oil and the head gets trashed.

You probably already know all of this, but I'd be remiss in my duty if I didn't mention it.

Check it every time you get on and everytime you get off. Carry oil and keep it filled up to the top of the sight glass.

Enjoy!

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

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


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 04:39 PM
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post

Check it every time you get on and everytime you get off. Carry oil and keep it filled up to the top of the sight glass.
Great to know! I will definitely add this to my list of checks before heading out. Is there a specific oil to use? I am happy to treat the bike to what it needs, but i dont really want to have to buy specialized/expensive oil if i dont have to.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave! Those look like great pages to read through when i have a second
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 06:28 PM
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The most commonly used oil is Rotella 15W-40. It is inexpensive, readily available in 1-gallon jugs, and is JASO compliant. Almost everyone uses it.

I used to use it. @pdwestman and I have been running lab reports on our oils. I had some sad times with my engine and, after rebuilding the top end, changed over to the oil Paul uses. That's the Kawasaki 10W-40. Paul's lab reports were always better than anyone else's and so far my results are better than they were when my engine was healthy and running on Rotella. Still not as good as Paul's but improving. Paul's engine is, um, worn-in.

It is more expensive than the Rotella, but not horribly so. Rotella is usually on sale at one of the stores masquerading as an auto parts store, or at Walmart, for around $12-$13/gallon. The Kawasaki oil, last I bought it, was $23/gallon from Rocky Mountain ATV. Sounds a lot more expensive, but some motorcycle oils run $4-$10/qt.

Really, the only two important things are that it be JASO compliant and any oil is better than no oil. JASO compliant simply means that it has the things that are considered by the Japanese motorcycle industry to be important and doesn't have the things that are considered detrimental. That spec covers all the way up to 170hp/10K rpm Hayabusas. Any oil is better than no oil means that, in a pinch, I'd put anything I could find in it rather than run it low. The lowly KLR with its neck-snapping 35hp and 7500 rpm redline would probably run forever on 30wt Raylube...

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

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


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-15-2018 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Rotella 15W, not 10W
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 07:14 PM
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Even I have added Rotella 20W50 to my Kawasaki engine oil in a pinch.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-15-2018, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @Tom Schmitz

Well now i'm extremely grateful for checking in with you guys and actually posting about my bike!!

Just bought some Rotella and added almost 2 Quarts to get the oil back to the top of the window..... I guess learning my lesson from you guys is wayyyy cheaper than taking it out on a few more rides and learning the hard way.

Thanks again for all the newbie help, and for helping me get that much closer to my 15 initial posts
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-16-2018, 09:20 AM
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Yikes! It only holds 2 5/8 quarts!

I don't know what the absolute lower limit on oil level is. That is, how much oil does it take to not starve the oil pump while the engine is running. On the back of an envelope, I always figured that it was about half a quart but I could never get anyone else to weigh in on that thought.

The failure mechanism with the '08 and '09 bikes is that they get run down on oil to the point where the oil pump pick-up is starved. The last point in the pressurized oil system is the exhaust cam journals. These stop getting oil fed to them and they gall up. End of the head.

If the engine is running well without funny noises it's probably OK, but get some religion about checking the oil level.

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

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


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-16-2018, 09:44 AM
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Ouch......hope it isn't already too late for the exhaust cam bearing surfaces...


Dave
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