I'm fearing the worse........ - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'm fearing the worse........

As some of you may recall, a few weeks ago I took my 650 in to do some general maintenance stuff and have a front tire put on. Well, I won't go through it again but will just say that it ended up costing me way more than the original $400 I was told it would cost.

Because I'd boughten a new car and have been busy with many other things, I hadn't ridden my bike very much at all since I picked it up. But last week I decided to ride it and to my anguish I discovered that the temp needle stays right at the apex when going down the hi-way, and goes clear towards the right whenever I'm in even just a little stop and go traffic.

I went down to talk to them about the situation, thinking it might somehow tie into the fact that they put a new fan motor on and that maybe something simply needs to be adjusted. My appointment to bring it in is this coming Saturday and I've got a real bad feeling that they're going to look at it and not be able to do anything to fix the problem. I suspect what I'm going to ended up with is a bike that can only be ridden in extreme cold. If I ride it the way it is it'll be no time before the fan motor burns out again and that'll be another $394.

Another concern is that they'll tell me that the only thing they can do is to tear the engine completely apart and see what happens. But the thing is, I REALLY don't want to put another dime into it even if they're confident they'll be able to find what's wrong with it and correct the problem. Not to denigrate the good times you folks are having with your Kaws, but speaking for myself, I'll never buy another one again. (I still can't believe that rinky-dink fan motor cost as much as it did. It makes me think the clever boy at Kawasaki deliberately put a crummy fan motor on the bike just so it would go past warrantee and then die, thus basically forcing people to shell-out big bucks for something that maybe cost them $10 to make.)

Man, this has all been sooo strange. All I wanted was to get an expert bike mechanic to service my bike so it would be in great shape for the summer, but it's cost me close to $2,000 and the prospect of riding it after Saturday doesn't look so great. I'd like to sell it and be done with it but there's no way I'd try and stick someone with the problem while BSing them about what a great bike it is. Even if I give it to one of those charity auctions the thing would still only end up being a paper weight for someone that thought he was bidding on a nice bike.

Any friendly thoughts or comments are welcome. Thanks for your time.

P.S. FWIW, I installed the thermo-bob myself a year or so ago and it seemed to work alright, though a bit hotter in the summer (but not like it is now).

Last edited by AlvinTostig; 07-10-2011 at 05:11 PM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 05:41 PM
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From my limited experience, it seems to be something other than a fan motor. Is there any chance something could have gotten into one of the lines when you installed the TOB and is now impeding the flow of coolant? Kinked hose? Just throwing that out there: not a master KLR troubleshooting technician. What kind of temps did it run at before you installed the TOB? I don't know enough about the TOB to know if something obstructing the flow through it would also obstruct the flow through the engine. Just a thought.




Last edited by planalp; 07-10-2011 at 06:16 PM. Reason: asked about temps before TOB
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 06:21 PM
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I agree, the lack of a fan shouldn't make it run that hot, maybe the impeller isn't making the coolant flow properly.

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post #4 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 06:31 PM
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Sorry to hear your still having problems with this bike. If you take the bike to them, I would be adamant about them acknowledging the bike is there NOW as a result of their prior work. Short of that, my bike would never roll through the door again.

My gut gut gut gut feeling is to suggest you seek out an independent Japanese motorcycle shop and get a diagnostic on this issue. If you can, get the diagnosis and bring it back here for suggestions. Maybe something useful might come of it that you can either use with the original dealer you were hornswaggled by, or another option that will let you ride this bike. I suspect bringing the bike back to the dealer is little more than an opportunity for them to make payroll.

This whole issue might be resolved by simply burping the coolant system. Its now a matter of who you can trust to find out.

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Last edited by vatrader; 07-10-2011 at 06:49 PM.
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post #5 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
From my limited experience, it seems to be something other than a fan motor. Is there any chance something could have gotten into one of the lines when you installed the TOB and is now impeding the flow of coolant? Kinked hose? Just throwing that out there: not a master KLR troubleshooting technician. What kind of temps did it run at before you installed the TOB? I don't know enough about the TOB to know if something obstructing the flow through it would also obstruct the flow through the engine. Just a thought.
You guys are great!

When I installed the TOB I was rather proud of how well I got the hoses cut to specs and how there were no kinks. And like I think I mentioned, the bike did seem to run "slightly" cooler before I put the TOB on, though the stock radiator valve did seem not as good due to having more fluctuation when riding the bike.

I've heard nothing but good things about the thermo-bob (save for one fellow that PMed me a bit ago), but if I had to do it over again I would just stick with the stock set-up. But that's easy for me to say now that I have a car and don't have to ride my KLR in the winter anymore (when snowless and iceless roads would permit, of course).
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post #6 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Savage View Post
I agree, the lack of a fan shouldn't make it run that hot, maybe the impeller isn't making the coolant flow properly.
Someone PMed me a little bit ago and was nice enough to explain how to "burp" the bike and rid the system of air bubbles. So I'll do that within the next couple of days and see if that cures it.
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post #7 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
Sorry to hear your still having problems with this bike. If you take the bike to them, I would be adamant about them acknowledging the bike is there NOW as a result of their prior work. Short of that, my bike would never roll through the door again.

*** I'm trying to work with them ... but they do know how I feel about things at this point. For the most part they're a pretty good bunch of people ... and whether or not they really have in fact been giving me the shaft this whole time is something only they and God know. In any case I just want to have my bike in good operational condition soon without there being anymore problems or costing me anymore dough.

My gut gut gut gut feeling is to suggest you seek out an independent Japanese motorcycle shop and get a diagnostic on this issue. If you can, get the diagnosis and bring it back here for suggestions. Maybe something useful might come of it that you can either use with the original dealer you were hornswaggled by, or another option that will let you ride this bike. I suspect bringing the bike back to the dealer is little more than an opportunity for them to make payroll.

****If it's more than simply fixing the problem by getting air bubbles out of the system, I'll let it be known here in this Forum.

This whole issue might be resolved by simply burping the coolant system. Its now a matter of who you can trust to find out.
**** Trust. It's one amazing word.
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 09:03 PM
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Hope this works out for you. I was just throwing the T-Bob out there as it was a change you had made, then the overheating seemed to show up after it was installed and the system was opened: just would have been one of the first things I would have suspected since it was a known change to the system where something possibly could have gone wrong. I may very well be way off-base.

As noted, there are many things that could be suspected as the culprit. Whatever it turns out to be, let us know if you're so inclined. Again, hope you're able to find out what it is and fix it so you can ride in peace.



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post #9 of 32 Old 07-10-2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Hope this works out for you. I was just throwing the T-Bob out there as it was a change you had made, then the overheating seemed to show up after it was installed and the system was opened: just would have been one of the first things I would have suspected since it was a known change to the system where something possibly could have gone wrong. I may very well be way off-base.

As noted, there are many things that could be suspected as the culprit. Whatever it turns out to be, let us know if you're so inclined. Again, hope you're able to find out what it is and fix it so you can ride in peace.
Thanks, I will certainly report back with what happens.

Btw, even when I had to stock thermo in it the bike it would get well up there when riding around in first or second gear off the road. For that reason I never did take it off the beaten path too much. But I'd be curious what you folks have done in that regard, as I'm guessing your bikes would also not do so well in those types of slow, off-road driving conditions either.

I gather that with the newer model KLRs they've redone the cooling system so it works a little better, and that would certainly make sense Methinks.
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-11-2011, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlvinTostig View Post
Btw, even when I had to stock thermo in it the bike it would get well up there when riding around in first or second gear off the road. For that reason I never did take it off the beaten path too much. But I'd be curious what you folks have done in that regard, as I'm guessing your bikes would also not do so well in those types of slow, off-road driving conditions either.

That sounds perfectly normal to me. Driving anything in low gear with no air flow, it's going to heat up. Happens to my KLR, pre and post Thermo-Bob. Your location is indicated as Reno. That's a hot place to my knowledge so it doesn't surprise me that your engine is running hot.

Some people wire in a switch to the rad fan that allows them to turn it on before the temperature gets to the point where it activates it. I don't have that so I can't say how well that works. I figure eventually you will get to the hot point anyway. Worst case is you pull off and let the engine cool.

From what I have read I don't think your problem is a difficult one. As was suggested you need to be sure that the cooling system doesn't have an air blockage in it. "Burping" it should solve that problem. Next make sure the fan works by jumpering across it. Then possibly replace the temp sending unit.

If you are not confident doing the work yourself you need to find someone close to you that is not a dealer or in it for the money. Possibly another forum user in your area.

Good luck.

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