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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I've been a forum lurker for a while, but decided to create an account because I'm having issues with my KLR.

It is a 2013 KLR 650, I bought it used with about 3000 miles on it, generally in good condition, a few things that needed care, but a good deal in the end.

I am a motorcycle noob (mechanically speaking), so be patient with me!


I'll describe the issue:


When I start the KLR, the RPMs are just fine, and I can leave my house without issues, but after riding for a while (over 15 minutes or so), the engine starts dying on me when the revs go under 1 thousand. So I have to keep feathering it so it doesn't die on me while I shift down, also, it starts misfiring when I'm in 1st or second. On higher gears I'm not noticing the problem (although it could be there). And after 1 hour or so, if I turn it off, or it dies on me, it is a bit difficult to turn it back on.

I thought it might be the little duct that sucks air into the tank so it doesn't become a vacuum, I disassembled it and it was fine, air went through no problem. I also played with the screw that limits the minimum RPM, I've messed with it so it's always 2 thousand or higher RPM and it still cuts off.

So I'm at a loss here. Previous owner said that never happened to him. The bike didn't get much use before I bought it from him, could it be a dirty carburetor? or clogged needles? if so, I might need to take it to a shop, because that's beyond my meager mechanic knowledge. I just want to know what it could be so I can point the mechanic in the right direction.

One thing you guys might need to know to diagnose the issue. It has an full FMF q4 exhaust kit, and FMF power up jet kit. The exhaust has a crack midway that lets a bit of smoke out, I have to patch that up. Hope this helps.

Anyway, any insight you can give as to what it could be, or if you have had similar experiences, I'd be thankful! please remember I'm a noob mechanic.

Thanks!
 

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Are you familiar the the operation of the choke/enricher and how to move the lever between on and off?
Do you start it with the choke/enricher on and then move it to off in a couple of minutes when the engine has warmed up a little?

I am wondering if the choke/enricher may be in the on or part way on position all the time. That could make it start fine when the engine is cool, but die at idle when the engine is warmed up and make it difficult to start when warmed up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi GoMotor, thanks for replying.

Yes, I am familiar, and after the motorcycle warms up, I close it off all the way. So that isn't it. Unless there's something wrong with the cable and even though the lever is in the close position, it's still a little open? How would I go about figuring that one out?

Thanks again for taking an interest!
 

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Hi GoMotor, thanks for replying.

Yes, I am familiar, and after the motorcycle warms up, I close it off all the way. So that isn't it. Unless there's something wrong with the cable and even though the lever is in the close position, it's still a little open? How would I go about figuring that one out?

Thanks again for taking an interest!
I wish to Confirm proper enrichner lever operation.
Pull the lever towards the operator for Cold Start up.
Push the lever towards the front wheel for normal run.

The cable adjuster is under the fuel tank, requires fuel tank removal.
The 90 degree cable guide may be dis-located from the plastic choke nut at the top front of the carb, or the plastic nut may be broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But if I can move the lever without issues, and the RPMs change as expected, and I can ride for 15 minutes no issues, why would the RPM start dropping bellow 1 thousand only occasionally? it doesn't happen all the time.

And why would the engine missfire when in 1st and 2nd gear, but on the higher gears, I can't notice anything?

It just seems to me that the choke can not be the problem. I'll be taking it to the mechanic tomorrow, I don't want to do tank removal and carb cleaning myself. Thanks for the thoughts though.
 

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Just fyi my 2016 KLR 650 warm idle will vary between 1500 and 1000 randomly. If that helps any as a reference at least.
 

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I had a problem similar back when I bought my 2011 KLR 650 new.
I took it in under warranty and they fixed the problem.

The written explanation on my repair report was;
"Spring in handlebar switch that loads friction did not have proper tension, re-tentioned spring, resolved problem."

I don't know if this could be related, but thought I'd throw it out as something to have checked.
 

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Sounds like you may have a lean issue with your carb, the RPM's should not drop below 1200-1400 while idling due to oiling concerns anyway, just fyi if your idle adjustment screw needs to be turned up.

If it seems to get problematic when it's warm you may be having a vacuum leak somewhere, check your vacuum line to the fuel petcock, and make sure that isn't giving you issues there as well. Also, your Carb hose clamp to the airbox and screws at the base that hold it to the motor.
 

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You can check for air leaks in the carburetor and the connectors and hoses connected to it by spraying a very flammable liquid/gas around the carburetor and the connector to the engine while it is idling. Carburetor cleaner and cold weather starting fluid are good for this and WD40 will work also. If there are vacuum leaks the spray will get sucked in and speed the engine up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I disassembled the motorcycle.

1) Checked tank air intake (so that it doesn't create a vacuum)
2) Checked for fuel in the vacuum line of the petcock, all good
3) Checked the air filter, and cleaned it
4) I did an oil and oil filter change a couple of weeks ago
5) Checked the carburetor, it looks squicky clean, no sediments, no gunk, nothing.
6) Checked the jets, no clogs or anything
7) When I took the carburetor out, I noticed that the metal bands that hold the boot to the carburetor (the rubber tube going in, and the one going out) weren't tight at all, I could remove them with almost no force at all.

So mi diagnosis is that the boot was a bit loose, when the motorcycle got hot, the rubber got malleable and let air into the carburetor. I tightened the quite a bit so that doesn't happen again (if that's the issue)

I didn't notice it before because I did something quite stupid when checking for leaks (with flammable spray), the bike was cold, so the rubber tubes were snug with the carburetor

I'll do a thorough test tomorrow, if that's not it, then I am out of ideas!!
 

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Pdwestman asked if the 90 degree elbow in the choke/enricher might be pulled out of the black plastic fitting on the side of the carburetor. This would cause it to stay partially enriched all the time. I didn't see a reply.

Did you notice if the plug in the opening to the fuel mixture screw on the bottom of the forward carburetor throat had been removed. If so, the idle mixture screw could have been left too rich with the same result of choke/enricher being partly on.

The next time it starts running poorly when warmed up, open the gas tank cap to see if it improves. It is handy if you have two keys to do this. There are some little umbrella valves in the cap that let the tank breath.
 

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The first thing I thought about after reading the first post was an electrical problem.
Not sure if a 2013 model would be eligible though.
I have read about the wiring harness rubbing through at different parts of the frame and
as the bike warmed up rubbing may occur but I hope it was just the hose clamps listed
as number 7 above.

How did your test ride go @JustThaor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pdwestman asked if the 90 degree elbow in the choke/enricher might be pulled out of the black plastic fitting on the side of the carburetor. This would cause it to stay partially enriched all the time. I didn't see a reply.

Did you notice if the plug in the opening to the fuel mixture screw on the bottom of the forward carburetor throat had been removed. If so, the idle mixture screw could have been left too rich with the same result of choke/enricher being partly on.

The next time it starts running poorly when warmed up, open the gas tank cap to see if it improves. It is handy if you have two keys to do this. There are some little umbrella valves in the cap that let the tank breath.
About the enricher elbow, I made sure when I assembled the carburetor again that it was properly installed, not being pulled. I screwed it in as much as i could, and I made sure that any nuts weren't pulling the needle.

About the gas tank cap. I already tried that, I already checked the vent from the tank to the outside. No clogs. The tube works fine, the valves work fine (I also disassembled the gas tank cap)

About the plug in the opening to the fuel mixture screw, do you mean the little tube that goes vertically up from the carburetor? I'm not sure at all what that does and how it should look. But it was indeed plugged. What should I be doing with that?
 

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The mixture screw I referred to is on the bottom of the front throat of the carburetor next to the main body. It is recessed in an opening on the bottom of the throat and not visible without rotating the carburetor. The opening is plugged with a metal press-in plug, so you can't see the screw unless the plug has been drilled and pulled.

If the plug has been removed, then a previous owner may have messed with the screw. It controls some of the fuel flow at idle.
 

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JustThaor,
I learned in the very first year of my forums involvement to never take anything for granted.

Did you Re-Oil the air filter after cleaning?
 
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