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post #21 of 24 Old 05-05-2020, 02:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,849
Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
Thanks so much for the link references. That superdoo one is excellent. I've heard and read about the doo-hickey issue since I've heard, read about and seen KLRs. In the superdoo, reference, the author brings up the general discussions on whether or not it is a real issue and a necessary or good to have modification. One look at that slack and useless tension spring can make one a believer. With that said, before Cliff, long time owner of Cliff's Powersports in Bremerton and a volume Kawasaki dealer, passed away I once asked him if he thought the upgrade was necessary. His response was that he could not recall ever seeing a KLR damaged by that failure but he understood the issue and many customers either had him do the upgrade or did it themselves.
On the subject; the response from the dealer is typical.....and he's not wrong...not exactly; Catastrophic failure due to a (very common) doohickey malfunction is relatively rare but at the same time it does happen so it becomes an issue of risk management. We can all opine as to the percentage of failures and then the percentage of wholesale damage due to those failures forever without coming to any meaningful data.

Tom's article is a great resource, just like everything he does. I've written my own (mostly to save typing on the Facebook pages) and although the tone may be slightly less conciliatory than Tom's, I think they are largely in agreement and there are certainly some common messages contained in both. FWIW;

I have spent significant time reading and researching this issue over the years as have others......my opinion is thus:

- Gen1: failure of the stock lever and/or spring is highly likely.......the people "in the know" guesstimate around 33% though I'd suggest the figure is somewhat mileage dependent with the 33% being around 20,000 miles.....higher mileage = higher percentage of failure.

- Gen2: doohickey lever failure is almost non-existant.......the issues of loose fit on the shaft and loss of spring tension are real. Loss of tension is said to occur around 6,000 miles though some have zero tension from new and some still have tension at 20,000 miles.

So is this all an internet myth? No, it's real enough IMO. There are several reasons that I believe contribute to the lack of even more documented failures:

- A great many people never adjust their counterbalance system. If the adjustment is never attempted, the system doesn't get the huge slack that an attempt with a broken spring would introduce. I always tell new owners NOT to adjust the system without physically checking to see it's intact first.

- Most grenaded doo and spring bits float around harmlessly in the bottom end without causing catastrophic failure. My 2001 was opened up at 15,000 miles to find the typical broken doo (three pces) and spring (two pces). I found all the pces in the bottom end and oil screen and the bike was likely ridden for some time in that condition.

- the "upgrade" in 2008 significantly reduced the likelihood of a broken doo lever.

- a large percentage of bikes die of old age, crashes and neglect long before they can be considered high mileage units.

- many failures are never diagnosed......i.e. bike is "broken" and parted out or otherwise discarded.

- Sometimes other failures (i.e. 2008/2009 low oil level/oil burning) takes out the engine before the counterbalance system has the opportunity to.

At the end of the day, I believe that the stock counterbalance adjustment system is problematic but the vast majority of KLR owners are ignorant of the issue and it doesn't come up on their radar for the aforementioned reasons.

On a Gen1, I believe replacement is critical to longevity. On a Gen2 you could get along fine by just periodically checking the spring to ensure it is intact and has tension. Due to the loose fit on the shaft, the springs are put under significantly increased duty cycles, EM's superior lever with better fitment and the torsion spring design completely eliminate this concern.

A KLR, especially a Gen2 can live for quite awhile without even acknowledging the counterbalance adjuster.....but it's still a weak link that is worth replacing if you want some piece of mind.

2 cents,

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post #22 of 24 Old 05-05-2020, 02:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
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Originally Posted by Weav View Post
Good Morning.... Just had to chime in here on the Doohickey... If you are going to go to the trouble to open up the cases just to see if you have it, You should have the Eagle Mike stuff ready to install at that time. Once you get in there, it only takes a few minutes to properly install it.
Sutter Creek, CA
Agreed.....the time is more important to me than the cost of the Doo kit ....or to put it in simpler terms; I'm lazy and only want to do things once.

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post #23 of 24 Old 05-05-2020, 02:48 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Saint John NB, Canada
Posts: 120
I just did mine Friday. Definitely something worth doing, Navigator. For the time it takes and the great resources available, such as the superdoo vidéos, I personally would not wait until the fall. I would order up the parts right away. If you live in Canada gnarly parts has them and free shipping. I had my phone set to the super doo page and if I got a little stuck I just pulled up the video and watched it. Took me a little over 2 hrs all said and done. My spring was snapped and there was a ton of slack in the chain. No visible damage so I consider myself lucky.
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post #24 of 24 Old 05-05-2020, 05:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 115
Thanks again for the information and the recommendations, especially that about the Gen 2s, mitigating the issue. I'll take a look at it my next oil change and will have the parts standing by. It's just one less thing to be concerned about. Preventative maintenance.

Show a man a road, and he'll want to travel down it-James Michener
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