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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone have issues with the new KLR's dropping a valve (valve completely frozen)?

My 10 month old KLR has just died on me and the dealership just got back to let me know a valve has dropped. I will admit, I beat on this thing and treat it like garbage, but I could not imagine something like this happening so soon. Curious if others have seen this. The maintenance gets done, but it's my daily commuter so the conditions are far from perfect. I've racked up 8,500 miles and gone on a couple long distance road trips. This could just be my bad luck because the other motorcycle I bought around the same time has spent more time at the dealer than with the key in my hand.

Bike is under warranty and the dealership is tearing into it today, I will keep this updated if anyone else is interested.

Update 1: Dealership just called and said it was the camshaft bolt backing out. It didn't have enough room to fall completely out and mangle the engine, but it did stop the camshaft from turning. Not the first bolt to back out by far, and not even the first major one. Parts are ordered.
 

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Hi - sorry to hear of your troubles, but I'm glad it's under warranty. Let me ask for clarification - what does "dropping a valve" mean in this case? It sounds unusual after so few miles, so please keep us updated on what the folks working on your bike have to say. Good luck!
 

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2008 KLR650/685 tricked out / 2008 XR650L / 1988 XLV750R
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I'll hazard a guess. The valve play was way out of spec. Very tight, so they didn't close properly and burned.
The service manual has the interval of 15k miles wrong and the quality control in the factory is poor.
Y'all need to check your valves at the 600 miles inspection. :mad:
 

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I have 10k miles on mine. Not a single issue. Well, besides losing a few body panel screws.

I don't beat on mine, but I ride it regularly and sometimes I'll ride it sort of hard. Like 80-90 mph on the highway. Usually 80 sustained. When I go off road, it putters around at slow speed for long periods during summer, with revs going up and down in 1st and 2nd gears, cooling fan running. However, oil/filter changed every 3k miles. Air filter cleaned at every oil change. Never inspected the valves. It starts right up, revs quickly, runs smoothly, gets consistently 45 mpg combined, has great power. I didn't take it easy on break in but I never beat it up. I changed the oil and filter at 600 miles. So far so good.
 

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2022 KLR650
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I’m betting a tight exhaust valve gave up the ghost & took the rest of the top end with it.
Let’s see what the stealership says is the root cause.

Overly tight valve shim clearances will cause valves (especially exhaust) to burn. Once their burned, they can no longer dissipate heat. It’ll eventually cause the valve to overheat and the rest is history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have 10k miles on mine. Not a single issue. Well, besides losing a few body panel screws.

I don't beat on mine, but I ride it regularly and sometimes I'll ride it sort of hard. Like 80-90 mph on the highway. Usually 80 sustained. When I go off road, it putters around at slow speed for long periods during summer, with revs going up and down in 1st and 2nd gears, cooling fan running. However, oil/filter changed every 3k miles. Air filter cleaned at every oil change. Never inspected the valves. It starts right up, revs quickly, runs smoothly, gets consistently 45 mpg combined, has great power. I didn't take it easy on break in but I never beat it up. I changed the oil and filter at 600 miles. So far so good.
My body panel screws tend to find there way out as well. My fist service was done at the dealer. The last one was done by me and little maintenance too.
 

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On a couple of Kawasaki KVF750 atv's we sold (about 2006 models), the owners had the head of a valve break-off. Jamming the engine.
One of them was even being operated at crawling speeds when it happened!

May I ask at about what road speed & transmission gear you were in when your 2022 KLR650 failed?

Many valve stems are actually welded to the valve heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On a couple of Kawasaki KVF750 atv's we sold (about 2006 models), the owners had the head of a valve break-off. Jamming the engine.
One of them was even being operated at crawling speeds when it happened!

May I ask at about what road speed & transmission gear you were in when your 2022 KLR650 failed?

Many valve stems are actually welded to the valve heads.
Was 27-35 in second gear. Stood the bike up after a 90 degree turn and it lost all power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Did you notice any degradation in power prior to the failure? Hard starts (meaning it takes a few spins of the starter before it starts)? Drop in fuel efficiency? Rougher running engine?
Nope. I calculate fuel mileage at every fillup (always between 42-52mpg) and no lose in power that I could feel
 

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Nope. I calculate fuel mileage at every fillup (always between 42-52mpg) and no lose in power that I could feel
That would suggest whatever happened wasn't gradual due to a tight exhaust valve. But I am not an expert at this so I'm not 100% sure. It would make sense that if your valves were tight, especially since there's only one cylinder, you'd have felt the usual symptoms. I figured if one exhaust valve is tight the other must not have been far behind, and your performance would have been deteriorating as the miles piled on.
 

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Was 27-35 in second gear. Stood the bike up after a 90 degree turn and it lost all power.
I can only guess that the rear wheel locked-up & skidded to a stop if the engine actually 'dropped' a valve.

Glad that it didn't happen in mid-corner! Might have gotten ugly if near guard rail, trees, fence, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can only guess that the rear wheel locked-up & skidded to a stop if the engine actually 'dropped' a valve.

Glad that it didn't happen in mid-corner! Might have gotten ugly if near guard rail, trees, fence, etc.
It went gently thankfully. I lost power and it became unresponsive and had the presence of mind to pull the clutch in and assess what had happened. Lucky I had only gotten about 300 yards uphill from my work and had a spare vehicle to go back and get.

Update! : Dealership just called and said it was the camshaft bolt backing out. It didn't have enough room to fall completely out and mangle the engine, but it did stop the camshaft from turning. Not the first bolt to back out by far, and not even the first major one. Parts are ordered. (updated above)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What was your break-in procedure?
Ride it how I plan to ride it. Can't have the motor thinking it's going to have an easy life lol. But honestly the first 600 miles I took it easy. The bike just likes shaking it's bolts out. I have silly luck and combined with heavy and frequent miles, the little thumper just eject bolts: bodywork, valve cover, chain tensioner, and now the camshaft. This is the first time I've had to take it somewhere without using it's own power.
 

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Update! : Dealership just called and said it was the camshaft bolt backing out. It didn't have enough room to fall completely out and mangle the engine, but it did stop the camshaft from turning. Not the first bolt to back out by far, and not even the first major one. Parts are ordered. (updated above)
This explains why you didn't feel a gradual degradation of performance. Because tight valves happens over time and you SHOULD feel the harder cold starts, loss of performance, and so on. Still, I would think there are more than a few screws holding that camshaft in place via the Holder "bracket". So strange and begs so many other questions. But I'm glad you didn't burn a valve.
 

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This explains why you didn't feel a gradual degradation of performance. Because tight valves happens over time and you SHOULD feel the harder cold starts, loss of performance, and so on. Still, I would think there are more than a few screws holding that camshaft in place via the Holder "bracket". So strange and begs so many other questions. But I'm glad you didn't burn a valve.
My gen 3 valves were well out of spec (too tight) when I checked them at 3,000mi.
Didn’t have any starting issues and/or loss of performance that I could feel, and I’m pretty “in tune” with my machines.
Having said that, it does seem to start a tick quicker now that they are properly adjusted. Performance is the same.

In most cases, a burnt valve will slowly fester before wiping out the top end…but not all the time.
There’s a member on here that burnt a valve with less than 10,000mi on the odometer IIRC.
Check your valves!
 
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