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Discussion Starter #1
So I have put my 2008 KLR650 through 37,000km (23,000miles) of mountain trails and highway riding and all has been good, bit of normal oil consumption thats it...
Until I started it this spring, once fired up a massive plume of blue smoke filled thee garage and continued around the block. Weird thing is that it got better after a couple rides.
I do alot of multi hour rides way back into the Rockies with no cell service, so I would rather fix the issue before I end up walking 8 hours out of the bush.

Talked to a couple of shops that gave me different options so not sure what route to go. 1st shop quoted me $2,500 bucks for the 685 kit, not to keen to spend that kind of $$$, 2nd shop said just replace the rings $600 and the 3rd shop said valve guide seals.

Any advice is much appreciated, just want to get it fixed asap and hit the trails.
 

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Sounds a lot like valve seals especially if it stops smoking shortly after starting it up and taking off. I also have an 08 it does the same thing I never considered it a huge problem but there is the chance of fouling a plug. When the valve seals are bad any oil left in the top of the motor can seep into the cylinder while it is parked. This all depends on the position of the valves when the motor is stopped that's why my only does it once in awhile.

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The next thing that pops into my head is at 37000 have you done your valve clearances? Has it been getting harder to start it when hot? If so your valves are in need of checking and or adjustment come to think of it I don't think mine has done it since I shimmed my valves I had zero clearance on one of the exhaust valve which means it could have stayed propped open slightly letting the oil down.

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Shop #3 knows what they're doing. Valve guide seals will take care of it. If you want to go to 685, it'd be a good time to do it. The additional work is fairly minimal. However, your blue smoke at start-up that clears fairly quickly is textbook valve guide seal failure and nothing more.
 

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It may be your valve seals (sounds like it from the description) additional thoughts:

- do NOT just do the rings, ever......waste of time and money and it won't fix your problem. When it needs it, do it right and do it once.

- Unless you have zero mechanical abilities, when you do need to rebuild then send your jug into EM for an exchange and do it yourself or have a local mechanic give you a hand.....either way, the cost should be less than half of that $2,500.00 you were quoted. KLR650 2008 and later 685 kit: $295.00, cylinder bore and hone (exchange) $100.00. Not sure how you could add another $2,105.00 as some of the guys that have done it have easily done the kit in a day or less. Cost to do it yourself should be $600.00 max or $850.00 max if you want the head done.


Eaglemike has Viton valve stem seals for $11.95 for the four.

good luck,
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the quick replies, not as scary as I initially thought lol.....Couldnt justify the $2500+ charge. No engine work has been done other then the regular maintence since I have owned it, it seems to start right up, exception after sitting from 5 months of winter.

If its just the valve seals, think it would be okay to ride it out for the summer and do the engine work when the snow starts falling?
 

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If its just the valve seals, think it would be okay to ride it out for the summer and do the engine work when the snow starts falling?
Absolutely! That is exactly what I would do! In the mean time you can research what and how to take on this task. When I bought my KLR it had damaged cam bearings. So when I eventually got around to taking care of the engine I did so with the resale value of the bike in mind.
So:
I put in a new stock (100.0 mm) bore Piston with Rings because the original bore was, well, original. That and because I couldn't find any source for just new stock piston rings. Thought about a 685 Kit, but just didn't see the value when compared to what the entire bike is worth. It almost certainly will wake the bike up a bit, and if the original bore was worn in any significant way . . . then, OK! But otherwise? No.
Sent the Cylinder Head out to have Cam Bearing Inserts installed by Mike (or Jenny) at Engine Dynamics, 2040 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952 707-763-7519
Bought a motorcycle valve spring compressor on eBay for $15 and installed the Valve Guide Seals. It's a pretty simple procedure with the Cylinder Head off the bike.
As long as things were torn apart . . . . replacing the Doohicky was a given.
Also did a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff to the engine, as well as the rest of the bike, that I read about here on this forum and elsewhere.
The end result is an essentially new 2007 KLR650 for a total investment of slightly under $3,500.
FWIW I'm NOT having any noticeable/measurable oil consumption issues over the past few thousand miles. I've kept a really sharp eye on it as I don't want to repeat the error of the previous owner. This is with a 14 Tooth Counter Sprocket. So the engine is really spinning within about 1,000 RPM of red line at the 70-75 MPH that the freeways move here in the L.A. area. (Not in rush hour of course. LOL)
 

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Absolutely! That is exactly what I would do! In the mean time you can research what and how to take on this task. When I bought my KLR it had damaged cam bearings. So when I eventually got around to taking care of the engine I did so with the resale value of the bike in mind.
So:
I put in a new stock (100.0 mm) bore Piston with Rings because the original bore was, well, original. That and because I couldn't find any source for just new stock piston rings. Thought about a 685 Kit, but just didn't see the value when compared to what the entire bike is worth. It almost certainly will wake the bike up a bit, and if the original bore was worn in any significant way . . . then, OK! But otherwise? No.
Sent the Cylinder Head out to have Cam Bearing Inserts installed by Mike (or Jenny) at Engine Dynamics, 2040 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94952 707-763-7519
Bought a motorcycle valve spring compressor on eBay for $15 and installed the Valve Guide Seals. It's a pretty simple procedure with the Cylinder Head off the bike.
As long as things were torn apart . . . . replacing the Doohicky was a given.
Also did a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff to the engine, as well as the rest of the bike, that I read about here on this forum and elsewhere.
The end result is an essentially new 2007 KLR650 for a total investment of slightly under $3,500.
FWIW I'm NOT having any noticeable/measurable oil consumption issues over the past few thousand miles. I've kept a really sharp eye on it as I don't want to repeat the error of the previous owner. This is with a 14 Tooth Counter Sprocket. So the engine is really spinning within about 1,000 RPM of red line at the 70-75 MPH that the freeways move here in the L.A. area. (Not in rush hour of course. LOL)

The difference is that you have an '07 and the OP has an '08. The '08's were known to have bad rings and many have bad bores too...

Cheers,
Dave
 

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So I have put my 2008 KLR650 through 37,000km (23,000miles) of mountain trails and highway riding and all has been good, bit of normal oil consumption thats it...
Until I started it this spring, once fired up a massive plume of blue smoke filled thee garage and continued around the block. Weird thing is that it got better after a couple rides.
I do alot of multi hour rides way back into the Rockies with no cell service, so I would rather fix the issue before I end up walking 8 hours out of the bush.

Talked to a couple of shops that gave me different options so not sure what route to go. 1st shop quoted me $2,500 bucks for the 685 kit, not to keen to spend that kind of $$$, 2nd shop said just replace the rings $600 and the 3rd shop said valve guide seals.

Any advice is much appreciated, just want to get it fixed asap and hit the trails.
I've read the 7 other responses, so now my 2 cents.

The way the KLR shim and bucket valve train is built there isn't really much of a way for oil to puddle around any valve stem and drain thru a bad seal during the winter.

So I'll ask if you have a manual fuel valve, instead of the original OEM vacuum operate/automatic shut-off model which came on the bike?
If a manual fuel valve is left On and everything is not 100% perfect, fuel could have seeped past the float valve and then past the piston rings All Winter Long. Which dries out the cylinder bore/piston & rings. And dilutes the engine oil a bit or possibly a lot!
When we start it up, with dry cylinder walls, piston & rings, which may actually now have some surface rusting from being DRY, we can get a fair bit of smoking, for awhile.

I'll suggest that you ride it, as is. And check your oil level every morning and at every fuel stop, and confirm 'same as last year' or slightly more or grossly excessive oil consumption.

Can you tell us as to whether or not the 2nd starter gear cluster has been checked for "Deep Hole problem" and has anyone installed an EagleMike Doo-Hickey with Torsion Spring into your 2008 KLR?
 
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Yup, so measure the bore when the Cylinder Head is off and proceed accordingly.
Sure if you are capable of analyzing it properly.....most aren't. Unless you are VERY confident in your (or your shops) abilities, I'd suggest it's far safer to spend the nominal bit more for the bore and oversize when dealing with an early Gen2 engine. ....but roll the dice if you like.

Here's an interesting post on the oil burning issue for your reading pleasure:

In low mileage engines (Mostly made in 2008 or later) the oil usage is caused by very poor quality machining of the cylinder bore.
The tell tale sign is clearly visible after disassembly and you can probably also diagnose it through the spark plug hole with a good quality boroscope.

The poor machining does not create a conical or oval cylinder which would very likely get picked up in quality control but rather creates an irregular pattern of ridges and depressions where the cylinder surface deviates from the ideal shape. Although these deviations are only in an order of a few microns they still cause excessive ring movement and excessive ring pressure. This results in excessive ring wear and leaves the ridges in the cylinder wall with a polished appearance.

Typically you would see two oval areas with this polished appearance in a high mileage engine. The areas are located halfway down the stroke and face forwards and backwards and would only occur in an engine which is well worn, I would say very well beyond 50,000km.

In case of the KLR oil burner you find an irregular pattern of polished ridges. The ridges run perpendicular to the bore and usually only occupy a sector (a quarter to half) of the cylinder wall, they are some 2cm wide and not located symmetrical or perpendicular to the crank pin. You typically have two or three distinguished ridges over the height of the stroke and in different sectors of the cylinder wall.

The polished ridges will appear after 5,000km or less, together with excessive oil consumption of 1l per 1,000km and more. This oil consumption is NOT related to the KLR's tendency to blow oil out of the crank case breather if you ride it continuously at high revs.

You will not be able to pick up the problem by doing a compression test. The two compression rings of the piston are build much stronger than the delicate side rails of the oil ring. It's the side rails which wear down and allow oil into the combustion chamber.

Why don't you see smoke?
At 5,000rpm your engine burns more than 40 fills per second. Taking (estimated) pumping losses into account you are probably looking at almost 21 litres of air / fuel mix per second. Seventy five thousand litres per hour. And you will have to ride for ten hours to make your 1,000km.
Means you burn one litre of oil in 750 cubic metres of air fuel mix.
You are not going to see that smoke.

How to fix it?
Early attempts by KMSA to sort out the problem were failures since no one seemed to actually look at the problematic cylinders and recognise the problem.
Cylinders were honed, new piston rings were fitted, sometimes the pistons were replaced too.
The effect is zip, after a few thousand kilometres you are back at square one and burning oil.
The reason is the honing tool is a flexible tool and replicates the existing shape of the bore. It only gives the surface a certain and desired amount of roughness and pattern.

There are only two ways to fix the problem: You can replace the cylinder with a good one and fit new piston rings or you can bore the cylinder to oversize and fit an oversize piston and rings.


Cheers,
Dave
 

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Jürgen should be given proper attribution. He makes most of the Northern Hemisphere look weak.

Where does the oil go?????
If you are a member on that site Tom, would you mind asking Jurgen if he has taken a good look at the working face of the #2 ring in the 2008-2009 oil burning models?
 

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If I were to ask that question it would suggest that I am ready, willing, and able to discuss it in detail, which I am not.

I will say that my '08 cylinder didn't look like what he describes and my '09 +.5mm rings were screwed up like Hogan's goat. But what does either of those prove, as a sample of one? They certainly don't put me in a position to intelligently discuss the issue.

I will be blunt. I'm long past caring what the cause of the '08/'09 oil burning is/was. I take the following position(s):

1) Never buy an '08 or '09 KLR.
2) If you have an oil burner, consider keeping a close eye on the oil and keep pouring oil in it. Oil is cheap.
3) If that's a pain and you have the time/money, put an aftermarket piston in it. Doesn't matter which one, there is no magic to any one person's kit (the last straw that got me kicked off of the FaceBook Wrencher's Group).
 

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Whether the early Gen2 bore issues are a result of "an irregular pattern of ridges and depressions where the cylinder surface deviates from the ideal shape. " or a simple taper or out of round condition, the fix remains the same; bore it and use an aftermarket setup with better rings.

I'm with Tom, just avoid a 2008 or 2009.....which is easy for me 'cause I prefer Gen1's anyhow. If I ended up with an '08-'09 I'd have gotten it cheap enough to do the 685 which I'd then go ahead and do - even though you can buy alot of oil for the cost of the BB kit, I'm far to anal to leave anything I own in a "less than optimum" running condition....it's a character flaw. ;-)

Dave
 

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If I were to ask that question it would suggest that I am ready, willing, and able to discuss it in detail, which I am not.

3) If that's a pain and you have the time/money, put an aftermarket piston in it. Doesn't matter which one, there is no magic to any one person's kit (the last straw that got me kicked off of the FaceBook Wrencher's Group).
I totally understand where you are coming from. Your bike had been messed with in a totally in-appropriate manner many miles before you took it apart.

In my opinion, S.A.R. is ten times worse than Glenn.
We are in "good company", here. Even if we aren't the most popular kids on the block!
 
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