I just put a 2013 complete top end on my 2016 Camo.
The process I used to validate fitment was to put a parts schematic for a 2013 (using one of the online OEM Parts Providers) up against a 2016 and compared part numbers. In some cases, complete assemblies are offered for sale on the OEM website. For instance a complete cylinder head of the 2014 and 2017 are the same part. Similarly, the complete crankcase assembly of the 2014 and 2017 are the same part. Even though you're replacing the engine, I would think this may be a useful (if anything "piece-of-mind") process to make the investments in the engine/parts.
Also, you didn't say what the problem with your 17 was but, honestly, I ain't no mechanic and pulled off a top end replacement using the Service Manual. Depending on your issue you may have both an easier and cheaper job ahead of you if the comfort level is there. Just sayin. Either way, good luck, sir.
there are minor changes throughout most years of KLR but all KLR engines are the same from a fitment perspective. I'd avoid pre-1996 engines due to the multi-pce balancers and countershaft sprocket retention system. Sticking with a Gen2 engine eliminates electrical system differences between Gen1 and Gen2.....pistons and rings are different (better) in 2010.5+ KLR vs. earlier years. Clutch change in 2012 (not for the better). I can't think of any engine specific difference between 2014 and 2017 but regardless, it will work and fit fine.
The 2014.5 or "New Edition" changes were limited to the seat and suspension stiffness settings (springrate and dampening).
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