New KLR Owner needs clarification on a much discussed issue.... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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New KLR Owner needs clarification on a much discussed issue....

Hey All

I am picking up a new 2015 KLR 650 in dark grey on Tuesday in order to get it prepared for a 3500 KM Trans Labrador Hwy adventure in June 2016.

In the past 2 months I have fretted endlessly over the right bike to equip for this trip. I already own a pair of Ducati's so I considered buying a new multistrada. I finally decided to go with the KLR as: a) I didn't want to wreck a $25K bike on 1200 KMS of gravel, b) I don't think anyone, including myself, is qualified to work on a Ducati in Northern Canada, c) The Ducati is way too complex and powerful for real gravel use, and d) You could buy 4 KLR's for the price of the Ducati.

The only issue I haven't been able to settle is whether the new (2015) KLR's still have the oil burning issue that plagued the 08 and 09 bikes. Does anyone know?

Thanks all
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 07:55 PM
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It's kind of hit and miss really... I've heard of all years using oil in different circumstances. The 08's and 09's were supposedly the worst, but I have an 08 and it doesn't use oil unless I'm running it above 5000 rpm for extended periods. I definitely wouldn't lose any sleep over it, just check it at every gas fill up and add a little if needed.

Lol, on a side note, I had a GoldWing that used more oil than my KLR... And they say GoldWings never use oil!
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 09:19 PM
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Oil use

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Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
It's kind of hit and miss really... I've heard of all years using oil in different circumstances. The 08's and 09's were supposedly the worst, but I have an 08 and it doesn't use oil unless I'm running it above 5000 rpm for extended periods. I definitely wouldn't lose any sleep over it, just check it at every gas fill up and add a little if needed.

Lol, on a side note, I had a GoldWing that used more oil than my KLR... And they say GoldWings never use oil!
2011 KLR here. Used a small amount when I first got it. I was doing 70 mph plus for an hour or so on occasion.
I've since kept it below 5,000 rpm, and has yet to show any oil consumption.

BTW: I have a 2002 Gl-1800 Wing. It has NEVER used a drop of oil.

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-18-2015, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry31 View Post
2011 KLR here. Used a small amount when I first got it. I was doing 70 mph plus for an hour or so on occasion.
I've since kept it below 5,000 rpm, and has yet to show any oil consumption.

BTW: I have a 2002 Gl-1800 Wing. It has NEVER used a drop of oil.
Yeah, my GoldWing was an oldy and pretty far past it's prime. I had to add a liter every couple of thousand kilometers. Still surprising though as folks said GW's never used oil.
Edit: Even though it was an oldy though and used a little oil, it still started and ran beautifully and pulled like a freight train!

Last edited by 650Stew; 10-18-2015 at 10:22 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewfoundlandLaw View Post
..........I am picking up a new 2015 KLR 650 in dark grey on Tuesday in order to get it prepared for a 3500 KM Trans Labrador Hwy adventure in June 2016. ...............The only issue I haven't been able to settle is whether the new (2015) KLR's still have the oil burning issue that plagued the 08 and 09 bikes. Does anyone know?................
I recently returned from riding my 2011 KLR on the Manitoba and Saskatchewan prairie portions of the Trans-Canada Adventure Trail (TCAT) of which Newfoundland and Labrador are the eastern portions.

I had 1,000 miles on the oil when I left Houston, TX and changed it at 4,000 miles in Nipawin, Saskatchewan with about 700 of those miles on dirt and 3,300 on asphalt roads. I used 25 ounces of oil in that 4,000 miles.

After the oil change I rode another 700 miles of dirt and 2,300 miles of asphalt back home to Houston. In that 3,000 miles I used only 1 ounce of oil. On the asphalt roads both up and back I normally set my throttle lock at 5,000 rpm which is about 70 mph.

I also have a 2008 which I bought new and now has 105,000 miles on it now. At 20,000 miles it would burn 32 ounces in 800 miles, so I put an aftermarket 685cc piston in it and that solved the oil problem.

Are you going to be riding the TCAT gps tracks for your ride? I rode the eastern part of the TCAT in 2013, but when I got to the ferry at North Sidney, NS to get to Newfoundland they had wrecked on of the ferries and had a ten day waiting list. I didn't have ten days to waist, so I rode back northwest about 600 miles to Matane, QC and got a ferry across the St Lawrence to Baie-Comeau, QC and headed west on the trail from there. I am thinking of going back next year and riding the Newfoundland and Labrador sections.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 04:33 AM
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If you ride at high rpm long enough you can make it into an oil burner. For KLRs that rpm seems to be about 5,000 or higher; 117 kph or higher.

I think there were other ring problems for '08 and early '09 models.

Some of this is stuff I read on the web, but I have an earlier KLR ('01) that didn't burn oil until several fast trips after which it did burn oil. I like the KLR enough that a rebuild was worth it.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-19-2015, 10:15 AM
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The big boys on the playground say, a piston/ring re-design early in the '09 model year solved the systemic oil consumption problem prevalent since release of the '08 models.

At that, some '08 and early '09 models did NOT consume copious quantities of oil.

By next June, you should have an idea of your own bike's oil appetite. I'd think, you can afford to chance it--launch on your ride, keeping watch on the oil level, carrying a spare bottle and topping off as necessary. Should make it back home; if a serious problem exists, you can exercise the 685 solution then.

Bon voyage!
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-20-2015, 12:19 PM
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'08's and '09's were apparently the worst....but I wouldn't expect the new bikes to be completely immune. Suggestions;

- gearing; change the gearing so that you aren't running over 5000 rpms for extended periods of time. 16 or even 17 tooth countershaft sprocket.

- consider a thermobob to better control engine temperature which may help mitigate cylinder distortion which is said to be a potential cause of oil burning.

- pack oil, keep the level at the top of the site glass and never, never let it run low.


2 cents,
Dave
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-29-2015, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Just a quick follow-up to this thread.

I picked up my new bike last week and rode 750KMS home. Mainly 110+ KPH highway riding. Absolutely no oil burned so it looks like I got lucky!
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-31-2015, 01:33 PM
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I have a '14 klr, got it in March have put 7k miles on it, have done a Ironbutt ride on it, tons of interstate riding and I've only added oil once and that was on the Ironbutt ride, I had just changed the oil and may not have got it all the way full, I just added a tiny bit to it, I think it's how you break it in, I followed the break in to the T, I do that on ask my bikes and have no problems.
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