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Discussion Starter #1
Do I need to put a new doohickey on a 2016 KLR?
The salesman looked at me like I was an idiot. And had never heard of a doohickey.
 

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Latter-day doohickeys appear rather robust; however . . . spring tension issues have surfaced.

I'd think you needn't worry about a doohickey upgrade through your factory warranty period (not that a doohickey upgrade would void your warranty).

Nowadays, doohickey anxiety appears directly proportional to Internet access and activity. Or, ALL stock doohickeys are, "ticking time bombs!"
 

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Powersports salesmen spend a lot of time researching and keeping on top of most models of the three, four or more brands their dealership offers; mostly on their own time I can tell you because I was one. However, the reality is that they sell about 20 sport bikes and 15 cruisers to every dually or pureplay dirt bike, so you can see where their time naturally goes. Unless they’re a dual sport or off-road enthusiast, they probably never heard of the klr doohickey. If they are, they know it as a beaten topic to stay clear of on AdvRider … until they buy one. :serious:

I've had dirt and dual sports but what I’ve learned about the KLR650 is that it requires more operational and functionality mods/corrections than any bike I’ve ever seen in almost 5 decades of riding and ‘renching bikes. I wont go through the whole list of funny names (doohickey, spongebob, 22 cent mod) as it’s been done many times in many threads on many forums. What I will say is that I have a long list of “things” I both need to do and want to do to my 5 week old 2016 KLR, but I’ve staged the work over time so that I can actually fit a ride in on the damn thing once and awhile between all the freaking ‘renching.

As for the doohickey, I plan to replace the tensioner lever and spring at somewhere around 4,000--5,000 miles. After culling all the threads and vids on this topic, many of which seem to get contentious, I finally found a vid that visually showed exactly what the problem is so I could make my own decision.

Plus, how can you not trust a motorcycle mechanic with a German accent and named Jorgen? :wink2:

Of the 16:45 minute video, the meat of the problems with the GEN2 KLR tensioner are covered at 4:20 – 7:10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsYTaI1vL08

Essentially, Jorgen points out in the video that the tensioner lever itself continues to be flawed because (i) it’s not firmly mounted with too much play and (ii) it’s design limits the adjustment range to only a small portion of the slot implying that it's not enough for proper operation of the lever. The other issue is that the tensioner spring becomes sprung and all but useless in a very short amount of time. The spring in the vid had sprung by 6500 kilometers or 4000 miles. Apparently, once sprung they also have a tendency to break.

Jorgen replaces the lever and spring with the Eagle Mike doohickey and torsion spring, which is my plan as well. The parts and tools for the doohickey/spring mod are individually $157.65 from Eagle Mikes, but he sells the whole package bundled up for $138. There may be some ops to fab some of the tools and save even some more.

That’s my story and I’m sticking by it. :smile2:
 

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Sounds like that salesman knows very little about the KLR.
Or, perhaps . . . the Internet! :)

The OP is in Australia; however . . . the reaction from the dealership is not unlike that of US dealerships . . . I think most aftermarket doohickey implants are performed by KLR owners, not shops, thus . . . dealership personnel remain largely unaware of the horrors of doohickeydom . . .
 

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I've had dirt and dual sports but what I’ve learned about the KLR650 is that it requires more operational and functionality mods/corrections than any bike I’ve ever seen in almost 5 decades of riding and ‘renching bikes. I wont go through the whole list of funny names (doohickey, spongebob, 22 cent mod) as it’s been done many times in many threads on many forums. What I will say is that I have a long list of “things” I both need to do and want to do to my 5 week old 2016 KLR, but I’ve staged the work over time so that I can actually fit a ride in on the damn thing once and awhile between all the freaking ‘renching.
I've had 38 motorcycles (that I can recall) and while the KLR (as a budget dual purpose bike) benefits greatly from some upgrades, it doesn't REQUIRE any of them. The "doohickey" is the only one that could be considered somewhat critical......and with the Gen2 it's far less critical than it was on the Gen1. EVERY other upgrade IMO, may make the bike better but they don't NEED to be done.

....that all said, both my KLR's have benefited from extensive upgrades; I've spent about $3k on each of them.....but it prevented me from spending double my investment for ONE KTM 690....which is what would be in my garage in the KLR's place otherwise. Certainly a KTM 690 doesn't need many mods; KTM's mantra "ready to race" rings true but 90% of dual purpose riders don't need that level of capability and the KLR allows people to chose to spend as much or as little as they want to tailor their bike to their individual needs.



Cheers,
Dave
 

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Bill makes a good point about salesmen and the wide product line they must be (somewhat) knowledgeable about. I often know more about a bike/car/truck or whatever than the salesman when I go to buy something because I've researched one particular model.

Some salesmen have never heard of the "doohickey" and some chose to pretend they haven't heard of it. The term "doohickey" is something that enthusiasts made up; maybe refer to it as the "somewhat problematic counterbalance chain adjustment lever" and see if that gets you anywhere! haha!

Dave
 

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Do I need to put a new doohickey on a 2016 KLR?
The salesman looked at me like I was an idiot. And had never heard of a doohickey.
Darryl2308,
No need to search any farther than this forum for a Good Video about the Doo-Hickey and Spring. Our own Tom Schmitz (screen name 'souperdoo') has a couple.

http://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/14793-doohickey-got-fixed-gen2-bikes-right-ah-but-spring-spring.html

I have a Big Problem with Jorgens doo-hickey video, he is using the Older Original Torsion Spring. The 7:00 mounting hole is No Longer Valid! LeftCoastKLRs instructions are out-dated as well, unless one reads the fine print.

The zip-lock baggie, which EagleMike packages his Torsion Spring in tells the proper location.
The current proper Torsion Spring mounting hole is to be drilled at 5:00-5:30.
I keep the hole in/on the flat surface of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everybody. I'm not good on the tools so I'd have to get the job done by a pro.
Will call by correct name at dealerships from now on.
 

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Thank you everybody. I'm not good on the tools so I'd have to get the job done by a pro.
Will call by correct name at dealerships from now on.
"Idler shaft lever" is Kawasaki nomenclature for the part colloquially known as the "doohickey," Darryl12308!

(Since your avatar shows someone in a military uniform, you must know the meaning of, "nomenclature!")

(I'm reminded of the iconic first lesson to prospective pilots, "This, gentlemen, is an AIRPLANE!" :) )
 

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Thanks, I think the bottom line may be to buy a new bike, that doesn't need repairs before its ever started or ridden. I can't believe that Kawasaki wouldn't fix a problem with the bike after it was first found. I need a trustworthy bike. Worrying is doing my head in. Any suggestions on another brand?
You're clearly NOT KLR material, Darryl2308!

Could refer you to an eloquent post, stating: Modifications to KLRs aren't REQUIRED, but serve to IMPROVE the machine, or "customize" it to the user's preferences.

Otherwise . . . how come Kawasaki has manufactured essentially the same platform (KLR650) for over 25 years? And, truth be told, I'd bet big money the majority of those machines operating today have . . . STOCK doohickeys! (There, I SAID it!) Nothing against aftermarket doohickeys (I have one with torsion spring on my Generation1), just . . . no guarantee your KLR650 engine will turn into a pumpkin at midnight if it has a stock doohickey installed, especially Generation 2s. I know of no Generation 2 doohickey component failures, nor of any catastrophic collateral damage from balancer tension system malfunction since release of the 2008 models.

Now, you asked for recommendations on another brand. For you, Darryl2308, poetic justice demands I refer you to . . . a Ural! Believe me, a Ural is YOU, Darryl2308!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A Ural? Maybe if I wanted a passenger and a role in Kelly's heroes. But I want to ride trails and not have dramas. I love the look and price of a KLR but just want to jump on and ride. With my PTSD I don't want to get stuck somewhere and have a mental breakdown. Ok?
 

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A Ural? Maybe if I wanted a passenger and a role in Kelly's heroes. But I want to ride trails and not have dramas. I love the look and price of a KLR but just want to jump on and ride. With my PTSD I don't want to get stuck somewhere and have a mental breakdown. Ok?
You confirm my diagnosis (i.e., KLR material, you're not), Darryl2308!

KLR650 is probably the most Round-The-World ridden motorcycle, ever (from published ride reports). Here's an example of a 45,000-mile ride through the Americas, with zero KLR650 malfunctions:

Riding through the Americas | Adventure Rider

If not a Ural, then perhaps a Royal Enfield (sari guard optional).
 

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A Ural? Maybe if I wanted a passenger and a role in Kelly's heroes. But I want to ride trails and not have dramas. I love the look and price of a KLR but just want to jump on and ride. With my PTSD I don't want to get stuck somewhere and have a mental breakdown. Ok?
LOL I enjoyed the passenger/Kelly's Heroes line concerning the Ural. If you want to ride trails and not spend much time on the highway, look at the Honda XR650L. They sport a more simplistic, gear-driven engine balancer. Never heard of one failing.

I don't know what kind of balancer arrangement the Suzuki650 is outfitted with.

The Honda depends on your height, tho. They're WAY tall in the seat: make a KLR look like a Honda Mini-Trail: a whopping 2" higher than the KLR seat height (37" vs. 35".)

They might have their own mechanical issues, but I'll be damned if I ever found one when I owned one. They do suck on the highway and they do have a tiny fuel tank.

For the record, I would like to own a Ural, especially with an MG42 pintle-mounted on the sidecar, a few belts of ammo and a couple of cases of beer in the seat..........

When I bought my KLR in 2009, I had done a little looking around and read about the doohickey. When I asked the dealership, I was (of course) offered the opinion "There's nothing wrong with it."

Choosing between the 2 machines (I'd actually like to own 1 of both) I would stick with the KLR, myself. It would be no big deal to get a reputable shop to install the kit, but then you'd always be thinking "Did they do it right?" unless you're allowed to hang out in the shop and oversee their work.........

Ride the Honda or Suzuki 100 miles down the highway and you'll wish you had a Gen2 KLR.
 

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Darryl2308,
I'll suggest that you purchase a KLR650. Get to know it. Get to know us, on any of the forums.
Introduce yourself to other local KLR riders. Talk with them, ride with them. Work with them.
Chances are pretty good that you can ride the totally stock and standard, un-improved 2016 KLR650 for 10-20k (miles or kilometers), with only the OEM recommended proper maintenance done. Of course it never hurts to do some maintenance early, as long as it is done properly.
For instance, foam air filter must be Thoroughly Oiled after cleaning. Oil and oil filter change every 5k or less, careful with drain plug gasket and not Too Tight either.

Next winter or 2 away, one of your new found riding buddies or an older dealership mechanic will probably be able to assist with the doo-hickey and torsion spring.
I've learned to look at the doo-hickey replacement as a maintenance item.
 

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Whatever make and model motorcycle you buy, Darryl2308, you're likely to, "get stuck somewhere," especially if you ride remotely and off-road.

Even the Space Shuttle fails sometime.

Arming yourself with knowledge, tools and spares will help get you going again. I'd add, "preparation" to that list, also. The KLR650 profits from a proper skid plate, crash guards or ABS plastic tank, and hand guards (REAL ones, with metal spines), for trail survivability.

A more reliable bike? The KLR is easily repairable; spare and repair parts ubiquitous, and the support network formidable (look at this forum).

Doesn't fulfill your requirements? Not a problem; best wishes on your selection; hoping you have many happy and carefree miles on whatever bike you choose.

(BTW, men say DR's are prone to third-gear grenading, and throttle position sensor problems, but . . . all machines have their idiosyncrasies).
 

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Whatever make and model motorcycle you buy, Darryl2308, you're likely to, "get stuck somewhere," especially if you ride remotely and off-road.

Even the Space Shuttle fails sometime.

Arming yourself with knowledge, tools and spares will help get you going again. I'd add, "preparation" to that list, also. The KLR650 profits from a proper skid plate, crash guards or ABS plastic tank, and hand guards (REAL ones, with metal spines), for trail survivability.

A more reliable bike? The KLR is easily repairable; spare and repair parts ubiquitous, and the support network formidable (look at this forum).

Doesn't fulfill your requirements? Not a problem; best wishes on your selection; hoping you have many happy and carefree miles on whatever bike you choose.

(BTW, men say DR's are prone to third-gear grenading, and throttle position sensor problems, but . . . all machines have their idiosyncrasies).
Well said, Damocles. There is no "perfect" low-end 650cc dualsport machine. They're all a compromise. I really don't think there's a perfect "high end" one, either......
 
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