New rider, first time KLR owner questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 12
New rider, first time KLR owner questions

Somehow the wife let me get away with buying a motorcycle. Still not sure how I pulled this one off. Anyway I bought a 2007 red KLR 650. After reading some posts and reading the manuel I am left with questions. First off I understand an oil change after 500 miles but the valve seat adjustment kind of boggles me. Is this a design flaw of the bike? Also if I go back to the dealer how much more money is he going to suck out of my pocket for this little clearance check? I am used to buying cars where you buy it and then just drive and enjoy for many many miles. I guess it would void my warranty to do the adjustment myself, correct? Also this will have to be done many times over the life of the bike so what is the best book to buy that shows step buy step instructions for maintenance? I can usually put something I take apart back together, but pictures never hurt.

I have read the opinions on seat height and lowering links and figure I will stick with stock.

After riding around for a while I'm quick to notice I no longer earn the respect I get with a crew cab truck. Does anyone upgrade the lights at all or make any other changes to make sure they stand out?

I bought this as a beginner bike but I've really enjoyed it for the past week. I figured it was cheap enough that I wouldn't cry if I hurt it a little. Everyone seems to mention their purchase price. Mine was $4570 OTD. I still have to pay taxes when the title comes in the mail. this will likely add $200-300. Still from other posts I think I did well. They were moving them out to make room for the 08 models.

For $30 I guess I will also upgrade the doo-hickky at some point. Anyone around southeast Oklahoma with the tools?

Sorry to be so long winded.

Thanks for any responses.

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 206

Welcome. I too just purchased a red '07 and am having too much fun.

About the Valves.
The reason the valves need adjusting after 500 miles is because during that time, and for the rest of the valves lives, the valves and valve seats are basically getting beat into shape by each other. This is normal. As the valves hit the seat it slightly compresses the metal and the clearence becomes less.

I checked mine around 500 miles and they were in spec, two were at the bottom end and I will adjust them soon.

I saw a valve adjustment done at a recent tech day and am totally confident that I can do this myself. I have about 10yrs of wrenching experience on my own vehicles so you'll have to decide if your comfortable with it.

There is a video you can get from that will walk you through the process.

You will not void the warranty if you preform your own maintenece. Look for "Magnum Moss Act" (think that right) in the KLR-FAQ

I feel the best way to not be run over is to be visible and try to anticipate the worst case senario. I have Yellow Saddle bags, which I'll install when my racks get here, and wear my field vest when I ride. See below pic

People make riding versions but you can pick something like this up at probabaly a hardware or construction equipment store. Around here I like Alaska Industrial Hardware, or you can probabaly find them in a Grainger Catalog. i like mine because its got A LOT of pockets. It is actually a Timber Cruiser's vest.

I think that is enough of my too long email and shameless pic post to make Paper even more jelouse

Enjoy the bike,
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 11:18 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Brian!! Look behind you!! There's a guy stuck in the quicksand!!!

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
be careful with adding lights, the klr does not have to much extra voltage
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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i use a gerbing jacket in the winter and as i pulses so does my head light
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-21-2007, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by Paper View Post
Brian!! Look behind you!! There's a guy stuck in the quicksand!!!

where do you think I got my new helmet.

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post #7 of 14 Old 06-22-2007, 05:54 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Riding around the USofA
Posts: 1,429
With the KLR you will want to use a wrench from time to time checking for loose bolts, they vibrate loose a lot. Invest in some blue lock tite.
The dealer will hit you for $100-$500 for the first service and most likly do nothing but change the oil and plug, and say they did the valve check. This is why most KLR owners attend tech days and get their hands dirty once in a while.
The valves, doohickie, or any other maint on the KLR isn
t hard at all. Most of the time there is always someone close by to offer a hand.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-22-2007, 06:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Richmond, Ky
Posts: 1,980
Welcome Haus,
The dealer wanted an extra $200 to check valves at my 500 mile service, phooey on that, I did some searches here and on the net and found some great sites that can step you thru the process. I did my own and found both of the exhaust and intakes close to mid tolerances. My dealer said that they rarely check the valves on the KLR until around 6 - 8 thousand miles. You always have to wonder about their hidden agenda's. OK, yes I am one of those that is leary of dealers and their schemes to garner some green stuff from my wallet. Order you a factory service manual and enjoy wrenching on your own bike. They are not difficult to work on, just set aside a day and take your time. As little as I know about them, I have already done several mods on two of my buddies bikes.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #9 of 14 Old 06-22-2007, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 12
Thanks for the advice. I read part of the moss act but my eyes were getting tired of reading on the screen.

I wore a bright yellow back pack to work which helps with visibility some. I will stay away from the electrical add ons, don't need a melt down. May buy some of that truck driver reflective tape and strategicaly place it here and there.

Also thanks to however came up with this site. Sure is a handy reference. Funny how you can find a forum for just about every hobby your into nowadays.

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-23-2007, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 41
On my last two KLRs I never had to adjust any of the valves ... they were always within spec ... but I didn't run the crap out of it, either. I would rate your maintenance against your riding style to some extent. If you run it hard and want best performance, you are best off doing your own maintenance as I have also witnessed dealers claiming to do it but not even touching the motor (i sprinkled a light layer of dust on the valve cover and it was still there after).

Interestingly, the 08 KLR owners manual does not call for any valve checks until 15k miles which seems more inline with current motorcycle engines. I am not going to bother with mine until then or if I just get curious.
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