Barn find : Restoring a Kawasaki Tengai? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Question Barn find : Restoring a Kawasaki Tengai?

So my uncle has this old 1989 Kawasaki Tengai with 62.000 km on it, hidden in his workspace. Has been sitting completely still for a few years now. Piston and rings were replaced a few years prior to not running. Front forks make a weird "air escaping sound" when compressed. Both wheels don't turn very fluently. Electronics "should" work, he said. Some rust here and there. I'm thinking of restoring it. I'm quite handy but have no experience in tinkering with motorcycles.
So i'm guessing the work to just get it in a bit of a running condition, i'm looking at is:
  • clean carb and check if engine runs
  • rebuild forks
  • new wheel bearings
  • rebuild brakes and new pads
  • new battery and check electronics

At most, my question is how salvageable is this bike? Would i be in over my head on this?













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post #2 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 06:44 AM
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Wow. Just Wow!

That is the holy grail.

Hopefully, Uncle still has the side panels that go just below the seat.

It should not be too difficult to get it running again if it was running when it was put up. Your plan is sound, it can easily be salvaged, and it is not over your head. The members here can provide a lot of assistance if you run into issues. We can point you to video, articles, threads, and such like that to help you.

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“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -Philip Marlowe

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


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post #3 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Hopefully, Uncle still has the side panels that go just below the seat.
Yeah, he still has the side panels, a top case, and some nobby tires laying around. From the front fender part, the previous owner had sawed off a piece of the plastic on both sides after a fall. (the radiator on the left side has a dent in it).

He ran the engine every once in a while but gave that up a few years ago. So it should still run. He claims the piston was replaced like 6-7 years ago.
I've been deep into youtube videos about KLR maintenance for a week now, and i thought i'd start this weekend by taking it apart, draining everything and getting to the carburator.

I was mainly worried i was way to into this bike and i would start on a loss.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 07:57 AM
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Wow!!! I'm speechless and jealous. You've got a beautiful project there but if you are worried I can relieve you of that. Keep us informed on your progress. Do you have a copy of the shop manual?

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 08:32 AM
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If you are going into the carburetor you may find these videos of some use. there are five in the series:


Tom [email protected]

“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -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 #6 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
Do you have a copy of the shop manual?
Yup, found one on the internet in PDF after digging around!


And thanks for the video's, @Tom Schmitz. Very detailed and extensive! Watching those now, i think i know how i will spend my Saturday tomorrow!
I'll try my best to make a build log of everything, so my case will be documented for future readers.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 09:18 AM
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The bike looks complete. I am sure it will work very well when you finish restoring it. In this forum there are several people who know a lot and go out of their way to help. You have good allies in them. Congratulations for your project.

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post #8 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the support, guys!

I already took the carb out and opened it up. All internal parts look very good. The jets are not clogged up or anything! Gonna give it a good bath tomorrow and reassemble. But all of the tubes (except the choke and throttle) on the carb were not hooked up. My uncle started on it, i guess, and stopped some time ago. And so i'm not completely sure about 2 tubes.. While i'm working on it i'm also trying to understand how everything works, so i'll have a nice learning journey!



On the diagram,there are 3 hoses.
  • Orange (B) comes from the tank to fill the bowl in the bottom
  • Green (A) sits a bit higher than Orange, but what does it supply
  • Red is a mistery to me as it sits right next to the choke. So it's to supply gas for the choke?

If i find a battery, i put the clean carb back and hook it up, remove the old oil and get some new into the engine and see if she starts!
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-25-2017, 06:51 PM
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Green (A), is the vent for the carb bowl. Without it the bowl would not be able to let fuel in through the float valve or out through the main jet. It should have a hose attached to it that runs down in front of the rear tire that fills with water and stalls the engine during stream crossings, causing you to lose forward momentum, topple over with the bike on top of you and leading to your demise via drowning. For future reference, Google "KLR650 T-Mod". You don't need a hose on there to start the engine.

Red is a vacuum port. On the Tengai there should be only one port and it should have a vacuum line going to the tank's petcock. The stock petcock is a vacuum operated affair. Some swear by it, some swear at it. For future reference, search for "vatrader petcock upgrade" on this forum.

The picture you show is for a very late model KLR. There are two vacuum ports, as one runs the Air Injection System (AIS).
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Tom [email protected]

“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -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 20 Old 08-25-2017, 09:24 PM
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Tom, your 1st paragraph is hilarious , but spot on.

If it had not been for the low mounting of the float bowl vent hose attached to the green nipple on my 1987 KLR650-A1, I might not be here today.

I attempted to cross a swollen river, full of COLD Spring melt water, here in the Rocky Mtns.
The bike kept dying when the water got about half way up the engine cylinder. I was extremely disappointed that I had to pull my bike backwards out of the water to re-start it.
I finally gave up and rode back from where I came.

Later that year I discovered that, had the engine continued to run, I might have been gas cap deep in Swift Water. With No hope and No one else around.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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