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They have a good top-end.

The problem comes when you run them out of oil. The top end gets starved and the cam journals go bad and are, for all intents and purposes, irreparable.

The 2008 and 2009 bikes were known for having oil burning issues. If you buy one of these bikes, and don't cure the oil burning problem with a big-bore kit, you will need to keep a very close eye on the oil level. Check it every time you get on it.

I would never hesitate to buy a use KLR; they are good, reliable bikes. That said, as the previous owner of a 2008 and current owner of a 2009, I would never buy a 2008 or 2009 again.

Tom
 
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There is always the case of the '08 or '09 that doesn't burn oil. More '09 than '08.

Still, when considering buying one, I think it is a crap shoot. My next KLR won't be one of either year.

I know it grates on people when I advise against buying either one, but I'm not apologetic.

Tom
 

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My '09 is one of the "good" one's too.

Runs like a molested primate w/no oil issues.

The VIN date was Feb, 2009. (Towards the end of the production run.)

Then they re-tool for the next year, which probably takes all of two minutes
to change the color of the plastic in the injection molders. LOL

(It's probably when they do their annual fillup of 6 oz grease in the swingarm shooter too.)
 

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I bought an early 2008 in 2007 and it started using (not leaking) oil at the rate of about 1 liter per 1,000 miles only at higher freeway speeds.

That worked out nice on long trips because as I added oil when it got low I was actually doing a full oil change every 2,500 miles as many suggest should be done anyway. I never had to do an actual oil change. I just changed the oil filter every 5,000 miles.

After about 40k miles I put a 685 piston in it and still have it at 100k miles. So, they are hard to wear out.
 

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...The VIN date was Feb, 2009. (Towards the end of the production run.)...
Dat funny. Mine is 02/09. It was fixed by Kawasaki for oil burning while the previous owner had it. That lasted for a few thousand miles.

What are the last 6 digits of your VIN? Mine is A25970.

Tom
 

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Dat funny. Mine is 02/09. It was fixed by Kawasaki for oil burning while the previous owner had it. That lasted for a few thousand miles.

What are the last 6 digits of your VIN? Mine is A25970.

Tom
This reminds me that my 2008 KLR posted above was honed and re-ringed in warranty at 20k miles. That helped for a while. I put the 685 piston in at 40k miles.
VIN ....A06751
 

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I had 2 Red '09s / 2 Blue '09s and 4 Black '09s come thru my shop in 2009. Two of the Black '09s burned about a Qt per 1000 miles.
The others apparently didn't.

I repaired the two Black oil burners with 685 kits. All four of the Black units were with-in 100 digits of VIN's!
Luck of the draw, I guess.

I may as well say it. A defect in the #2 ring was the primary problem. Reasonably certain that the rings were/are out-sourced.
 

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GoMotor, do you happen to know the build date? It would be interesting to guess at the annual production rate.

Tom
 

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GoMotor, do you happen to know the build date? It would be interesting to guess at the annual production rate.

Tom
Why guess? I think this link is probably 'pretty close' to accurate.
http://www.watt-man.com/uploads/KLR_ID.pdf

I will comment that these numbers are probably for USA models only. It would really be interesting to see world wide production numbers.
But I don't think the KLR will ever come close to the Honda 90 and 110 series bikes.
 

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They have a good top-end.

The problem comes when you run them out of oil. The top end gets starved and the cam journals go bad and are, for all intents and purposes, irreparable.

The 2008 and 2009 bikes were known for having oil burning issues. If you buy one of these bikes, and don't cure the oil burning problem with a big-bore kit, you will need to keep a very close eye on the oil level. Check it every time you get on it.

I would never hesitate to buy a use KLR; they are good, reliable bikes. That said, as the previous owner of a 2008 and current owner of a 2009, I would never buy a 2008 or 2009 again.

Tom
yep....never mind the deep hole issue, wiring harness rub through recall, disintegrating rubber bits...nothing that can't be dealt with but if starting from a clean slate, why bother? I'd only consider a pre-2010 Gen2 at a heavy discount....unless it already has a 685.


Dave
 

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yep....never mind the deep hole issue, wiring harness rub through recall, disintegrating rubber bits...nothing that can't be dealt with but if starting from a clean slate, why bother? I'd only consider a pre-2010 Gen2 at a heavy discount....unless it already has a 685.


Dave
Ha! Yeah, all of those, and more, are easy to deal with. Just minutes to fix them all, really, and not expensive.

In truth, the oil burning issue is easy to deal with, too. You can pour a lot of oil into one for the cost of a big bore kit. Stay on top of it and it's all good.

But to your point, why buy all of that? ;^)

Tom
 

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A 92157

Looks like I messed up on the date? Now I can't find the guide
of each digits' designation. My number is way off from the yours.

Will someone post how to read the VIN or decipher the above numbers?

I was thinking 9 for '2009, 2 for feb, and 157 for the specific bike.
 

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The month of manufacture is in the upper leftish corner.

The last 6 digits are the serial number.

For the rest: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-decode-motorcycle-engine-serial-numbers#b <<can't vouch for the accuracy of this as I find some discrepancies, but there you have it.

edit: this seems better http://www.motorcycleforums.net/forum/tips-training/5800-how-decode-vin-number.html but I haven't gone through it thoroughly.

edit some more: Kawasaki specific, sorta http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/2291273-post12.html

Tom
 

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Ouch. I was way off.

Prod date is 09/08.
Would that be roughly halfway thru the '09 run?
If the new model comes out in summer I'd think so.

That was way stoopid on my part. I wrote the VIN in my SM and was
going by that. I knew the date is on the head tube always (all bikes) and never
thought of it. The timing of my purchase just matched it seemed and
I never thunk it further.
 

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Tom, I stand corrected. You are absolutely right. I just changed my oil 1000 miles ago and after a couple long rides just checked it again and it was just at the lower mark on the sight glass. I guess i will need to carry oil with me on long trips and check it more frequently.....

It was only your thread that made me check it quicker. Thx for the heads up. My other ride 2009 Yamaha Vmax doesnt burn oil so it didnt occur to me. Thx for the headsup!
 

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That's a consumption rate of half a quart per thousand, so it's not really into the official category of 'oil burner' at a quart in a thousand.

Were I you I'd keep a pretty good record of what it is burning for a few hundred more miles by topping off at every gas fill-up to see if that's the burn rate and set a baseline.

There's a very good possibility that you may be able to cure it with Paul's mods to the banjo bolts and to the crank shaft feed port.

Tom
 
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