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Good morning. I purchased the digital camo KLR 650 2017 last weekend. I've already put 1,300 miles on it and did the first oil change midway through the break in. I keep reading about this doohicky and I would like to know if it's still an issue with the 2017 as I am taking this bike on several long trips and wouldn't like to have any failures. Also I have the 4 year Kawasaki warranty. If the doohicky breaks is it covered under this warranty and is it worth keeping the warranty?
 

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Your dealer can answer your questions regarding warranty coverage of a failed doohickey, and of the potentially catastrophic collateral damage from the failure.

Truth be told, your doohickey (idler shaft lever) itself isn't likely to fail; more likely, absence of spring tension. Ask if that shortcoming/malfunction is covered.

WHY isn't the 2017 model of the infamous doohickey likely to fail? Part upgraded in 2008. Don't know of a single, verifiable doohickey component failure since then (though they may exist; even the Space Shuttle failed).

The Eagle Mike "torsion" spring comprises a superior design, compared to the stock spring scheme; doubt the aftermarket part would be provided on a warranty claim.
 

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Your dealer can answer your questions regarding warranty coverage of a failed doohickey, and of the potentially catastrophic collateral damage from the failure.

Truth be told, your doohickey (idler shaft lever) itself isn't likely to fail; more likely, absence of spring tension. Ask if that shortcoming/malfunction is covered.

WHY isn't the 2017 model of the infamous doohickey likely to fail? Part upgraded in 2008. Don't know of a single, verifiable doohickey component failure since then (though they may exist; even the Space Shuttle failed).

The Eagle Mike "torsion" spring comprises a superior design, compared to the stock spring scheme; doubt the aftermarket part would be provided on a warranty claim.
Thanks for the heads up. I had seen a few YouTube videos of people changing them on newer looking KLRs so I wasn't sure if I should worry.
 

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I'm sure you're going to get many different opinions on what you should do with the doohickey. :)

I upgraded the doohickey on my 2013 after my trip to Alaska. The bike had ~15,000 miles on it. The doohickey itself was fine. However, the spring had no tension at all. Whether that made any actual difference, I can't say as I don't have the technical knowledge to know. I chose the torsion spring path from Eagle Mike.

The main reason I'm writing is to say I took a pretty long trip, ~10,000 miles, and put on a few thousand other miles, before I opened up the case and looked at the doohickey. Bike ran fine and has suffered no ill effects from waiting. For me personally, I didn't worry about the doohickey before I took some longer trips. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm sure you're going to get many different opinions on what you should do with the doohickey.


I upgraded the doohickey on my 2013 after my trip to Alaska. The bike had ~15,000 miles on it. The doohickey itself was fine. However, the spring had no tension at all. Whether that made any actual difference, I can't say as I don't have the technical knowledge to know. I chose the torsion spring path from Eagle Mike.

The main reason I'm writing is to say I took a pretty long trip, ~10,000 miles, and put on a few thousand other miles, before I opened up the case and looked at the doohickey. Bike ran fine and has suffered no ill effects from waiting. For me personally, I didn't worry about the doohickey before I took some longer trips. YMMV.
Yea I'm going to order the eagle Mike doohicky and put that on for peace of mind. It looks kind of difficult to install from the two videos I watched and some custom tools were made. What was your experience like?
 

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My 2009 model did 30,000km before the Doo was changed (by the previous owner, a friend of mine). When it was opened up the original Doo wasn't broken and the spring still had some tension in it. Replaced with an Eagle Mike upgrade kit just to be sure.
 

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One of those questions, that isn't even supposed to be answered (a, "rhetorical" question):

Of the entire worldwide production of KLR650s over more than a quarter century, what percentage of these machines have aftermarket doohickeys?

The converse of the question:

What percentage of KLR650 riders, since the dawn of time, somehow muddle through with OEM (stock) doohickeys and balancer chain tensioning mechanisms?

DISCLAIMER: Upgrading doohickeys remains sound maintenance, IMHO.
 

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One of those questions, that isn't even supposed to be answered (a, "rhetorical" question):

Of the entire worldwide production of KLR650s over more than a quarter century, what percentage of these machines have aftermarket doohickeys?

The converse of the question:

What percentage of KLR650 riders, since the dawn of time, somehow muddle through with OEM (stock) doohickeys and balancer chain tensioning mechanisms?

DISCLAIMER: Upgrading doohickeys remains sound maintenance, IMHO.
Devils advocate... How many bikes received damage form a failed doohickey! >:)
 

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Devils advocate... How many bikes received damage form a failed doohickey! >:)
Nothing devilish about the question at all! The probability of failure remains a basis for upgrading the doohickey.

Still, how many KLR650s, percentage-wise, have aftermarket upgraded doohickeys?

(The population of interest INCLUDES KLR650s whose owners do not have access or rarely visit the Internet concerning their machines.)
 

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Nothing devilish about the question at all! The probability of failure remains a basis for upgrading the doohickey.

Still, how many KLR650s, percentage-wise, have aftermarket upgraded doohickeys?

(The population of interest INCLUDES KLR650s whose owners do not have access or rarely visit the Internet concerning their machines.)
I wondered a while back when I installed mine if Mike (Eagle) realized how many he's sold. In my mind that is the only way to find out how many replacements are out there. Not all DMV's categorize bikes by model. If this were true we could cross reference to all the registered ones and get a seriously rough percentage of maybe's!!

I love this forum!!!
 

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Yea I'm going to order the eagle Mike doohicky and put that on for peace of mind. It looks kind of difficult to install from the two videos I watched and some custom tools were made. What was your experience like?
I didn't find the install all that difficult. I purchased the special tools needed for peace of mind. Working slow and careful, it seemed pretty straight forward to me. I was more worried about introducing foreign materials into the case than anything else. Now, doing the valve adjustment, that was much more stressful to me.
 

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I wondered a while back when I installed mine if Mike (Eagle) realized how many he's sold. In my mind that is the only way to find out how many replacements are out there. Not all DMV's categorize bikes by model. If this were true we could cross reference to all the registered ones and get a seriously rough percentage of maybe's!!
Eagle Mike's production figures, versus the total worldwide KLR650 production figures, might offer an approximation (although some KLR650s have been retired, and perhaps other manufacturers produce aftermarket doohickeys).

DMV records may be difficult to source; further, US-only DMV data would exclude the population of KLR650s in non-US countries.

Limiting the population: How about KLR650s currently in service in the US? (US KLR650 sales, vs. Eagle Mike US doohickey sales, should put us in the ballpark.)

DISCLAIMER: I have Eagle Mike doohickey and "torsion spring" on my Generation 1.
 

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Eagle Mike's production figures, versus the total worldwide KLR650 production figures, might offer an approximation (although some KLR650s have been retired, and perhaps other manufacturers produce aftermarket doohickeys).

DMV records may be difficult to source; further, US-only DMV data would exclude the population of KLR650s in non-US countries.

Limiting the population: How about KLR650s currently in service in the US? (US KLR650 sales, vs. Eagle Mike US doohickey sales, should put us in the ballpark.)

DISCLAIMER: I have Eagle Mike doohickey and "torsion spring" on my Generation 1.
The world wide numbers would be hard to do but the percentage or 650s in this forum with doohickey mods should be dooable. So, to start it off, my KLR 650 is in service and has a replacement doohickey (Eagle Mikes) making the count to date 100%.
 

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The world wide numbers would be hard to do but the percentage or 650s in this forum with doohickey mods should be dooable. So, to start it off, my KLR 650 is in service and has a replacement doohickey (Eagle Mikes) making the count to date 100%.
Sample sizes such as in your poll, twinjet, resulted in Hillary Clinton victory poll predictions in the recent election! :)

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In my view, poll responses largely from Internet users might skew the inferences.

Random, man-on-the-KLR polling might produce more valid population estimation data.
 

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Sample sizes such as in your poll, twinjet, resulted in Hillary Clinton victory poll predictions in the recent election! :)

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In my view, poll responses largely from Internet users might skew the inferences.

Random, man-on-the-KLR polling might produce more valid population estimation data.
Do you infer that most have not done the do?
 

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Do you infer that most have not done the do?
I infer nothing. However, I think the possibility exists, somewhat removed from Internet involvement, LOTS of KLR riders never HEARD of the doohickey, much less replaced it.

Unless Eagle Mike's aftermarket doohickey production figures equal over 50 % of Kawasaki's worldwide KLR 650 production, then . . . yes, I'd infer most (worldwide) have not done the doo.

The same scale can be used for US KLR650s, comparing US aftermarket doohickey sales with US KLR650 sales figures.

Significance of aftermarket doohickey distribution? Little to none, IMHO. The decision to replace the OEM doohickey or not resides within each KLR owner, for his own reasons.

DISCLAIMER: Eagle Mike torsion spring comprises superior design to stock spring; aftermarket doohickey superior in fit/finish/design compared with stock part.
 

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Doo

Do you infer that most have not done the do?
Before I did my bike, I questioned several dealers in my area. Not one of them admitted to ever having doing one ,or the necessity of doing it. Some never heard of a DooHicky. If that's any indication of an average KLR owner even being aware of the problem, I doubt very many owners ever doing the change. If you don't frequent a club, forum, or other place where KLR's are ridden, you may never know about it at all.
 

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I infer nothing. However, I think the possibility exists, somewhat removed from Internet involvement, LOTS of KLR riders never HEARD of the doohickey, much less replaced it.

Unless Eagle Mike's aftermarket doohickey production figures equal over 50 % of Kawasaki's worldwide KLR 650 production, then . . . yes, I'd infer most (worldwide) have not done the doo.

The same scale can be used for US KLR650s, comparing US aftermarket doohickey sales with US KLR650 sales figures.

Significance of aftermarket doohickey distribution? Little to none, IMHO. The decision to replace the OEM doohickey or not resides within each KLR owner, for his own reasons.

DISCLAIMER: Eagle Mike torsion spring comprises superior design to stock spring; aftermarket doohickey superior in fit/finish/design compared with stock part.


I have spent significant time reading and researching this issue over the years as have others......my opinion is thus:

- Gen1: failure of the stock lever and/or spring is highly likely.......the people "in the know" guesstimate around 33% though I'd suggest the figure is somewhat mileage dependent with the 33% being around 20,000 miles.....higher mileage = higher percentage of failure.

- Gen2: doohickey lever failure is almost non-existant.......the issues of loose fit on the shaft and loss of spring tension are real and are said to occur around 6,000 miles though some have zero tension from new and some still have tension at 20,000 miles.



So is this all an internet myth? No, it's real enough IMO. There are several reasons that I believe contribute to the lack of even more documented failures:

- A great many people never adjust there counterbalance system. If the adjustment is never attempted, the system doesn't get the huge slack that an attempt with a broken spring or lever would introduce. I always tell new owners NOT to adjust the system without physically checking to see it's intact first.

- Most grenaded doo and spring bits float around harmlessly in the bottom end without causing catastrophic failure. My 2001 was opened up at 15,000 miles to find the typical broken doo (three pces) and spring (two pces). I found all the pces in the bottom end and oil screen and the bike was likely ridden for some time in that condition.

- the "upgrade" in 2008 significantly reduced the likelihood of a broken doo lever.

- a large percentage of bikes die of old age, crashes and neglect long before they can be considered high mileage units.

- many failures are never diagnosed......i.e. bike is "broken" and parted out or otherwise discarded.

- Sometimes other failures (i.e. 2008/2009 low oil level/oil burning) takes out the engine before the counterbalance system has the opportunity to.


At the end of the day, I believe that the stock counterbalance adjustment system is problematic but the vast majority of KLR owners are ignorant of the issue and it doesn't come up on their radar for the aforementioned reasons.

On a Gen1, I believe replacement is critical to longevity. On a Gen2 you could get along fine by just periodically checking the spring to ensure it is intact and has tension. Due to the loose fit on the shaft, the springs are put under significantly increased duty cycles, EM's superior lever with better fitment and the torsion spring design completely eliminate this concern.


A KLR, especially a Gen2 can live for quite awhile without even acknowledging the counterbalance adjuster.....but it's still a weak link that is worth replacing if you want some piece of mind.


2 cents,

Dave
 

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The Internet may raise consciousness and awareness of balancer chain tensioning system deficiencies, and the opportunity for upgrades of associated components.

The shortcomings of the doohickey-related KLR650 systems haven't risen to the level of a DOT (Department of Transportation) or NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) recall, so far. A recall should involve a solution to problems, not simply replacement of components with identical parts.

That said, the majority of KLR650s in service may possess stock doohickeys, for the reasons outlined in DPelletier's post above, including KLR650 owners unaware/unwilling, regarding the upgrade.
 
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