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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster. Long time lurker. Have been poking around on the forum but can't seem to find a thread that deals with this.

2004 KLR650 with about 15,000 miles.

Bought the bike and it wouldn't shift into 4th gear. Like running into a wall with the shifter when trying to get into 4th gear. After riding around the neighborhood for 5 or 6 miles, now it won't shift into 3rd gear.

Yes, I understand you need to really hit the shifter but to no avail.

Here is what I have done so far to remedy:

- Fresh oil change
- Removed shifter - inspected - looked fine - not loose and nothing obviously amiss
- Removed clutch cover to inspect pawl spring. No problems there. Did replace the spring for the hell of it.
- Found some small chunks of metal in the oil screen. Figured the previous owner hadn't done the doohickey and was seeing results of failure.
- Pulled left side cover - spring for idler shaft lever was disintegrated (source of metal in oil screen?). Installed Eagle Mike's doohickey.
- Still won't shift into 3rd.

I am leaning towards a broken or bent shift fork. Any other ideas? Appreciate the help.
 

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soulstealer36,
Being as no-one else has offered any suggestions, I will.
Are you 100% certain that the shifter is not 'cracked' at the weld to the splined clevis??

I had my OEM shifter develop a crack between the 'shank' and the clevis, at the weld. Bike would down-shift fine, but Up-shifts were randomly intermittent!

Turned out that the 'shank' of the gear shifter would allow the 'tip' of the pedal to DIG-Into the alternator/flywheel cover and feel like a completed shift, 'firm-feel', but it had not stroked 'far-enough'!

Took me about 5 miles and 50 shifts to figure out 'sort of' what was wrong. Luckily, I was packing a Moose gear pedal as a spare!
Now the OEM pedal, after re-welding is the spare!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks pdwestman. Already put a Moose Racing 3/4" longer shifter on it. To no avail.

It's a truly odd sensation. When shifting from 2nd to 3rd, just feels like you are at the end of the gears. Clicks up about halfway but doesn't do anything. And won't go any further than 2nd.

Has anyone run into broken or bent shift forks on their KLR? If so, can you list any symptoms you ran into?
 

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It's very rare but there have been reports of a broken shift pawl so that may be the case.

Have you checked the range of movement and tried to turn the shift drum while the rear tire is being turned? Linkage range of movement, as in faulty shift lever as Paul noted, or shift ratchet, are most likely problems. Being lazy, I like to eliminate the easier things before cracking the transmission.

I haven't gotten around to trying one of my inspection cameras to look inside the transmission.....anyone?

For $20.00, if you don't have one it might be worth trying to have a look. I have the larger USB type for my laptop and recently got a 7 mm micro USB for my Android phone. The larger one gives better results with its mirror but the smaller one goes into a bit smaller areas.

You could look at the condition of 3rd and 4th.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NormK -

Thanks for your reply. I did inspect the shift pawl and it was fine (assuming that's the forked shape assembly that is attached to the opposite end of shifter shaft).

That's a good idea on the shift drum. I will check that out tomorrow.

One of the six or seven pieces of metal I found in the oil screen was a rather shiny, machined piece that looked broken off. About 1/8' of an inch long. Using a camera to poke around inside might be the trick to verify where that came from.
 

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Sorry, I was referring to the protrusion on the side of a transmission as a "pawl".

I wish that I had spent some time to poke around with an inspection camera when had the opportunity but owner was pressing to get the job done, so now I'm sorry that I didn't.

Those little inspection cameras are amazing although, like most tools, requires some practice/experience. Playing around with additional light, light from different angles, often helps quite a lot.

Any chance of photos of the metal shards?

Do any of the pieces appear to be very hard material, evidenced by sharp edges?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NormK -

As far as the "pawl" you are referencing, are you speaking of the left or right side of the bike?

Tossed the metal shards. Several of the small ones looked like the broken end to the black spring for the idler balancer lever that was disintegrated. The one that caused me concerned was shiny, machined metal that did have a sharp edge to it indicating shear force. Looked a bit like a cone with the sharp edge on the wide base of the cone.

Put the bike back together last night and readjusted the shift lever. Going to take it out for a ride when it stops raining (Seattle) and see where we are at. Stay tuned.
 

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The pawls protrude from the sliding gears which are splined to the shaft. These engage into the holes in the adjacent (free turning) gear to lock it to the shaft. They are the type seem protruding from the gear at lower left.

1998 Kawasaki KLR650 (KL650-A12) Transmission (KL650AE032210∼) | Babbitts Kawasaki Partshouse

One or more can snap off and jam the gear so it can't engage, or go adrift and cause mayhem. Very rare for KLR but does happen. If can't get it to engage manually while turning the shift drum, that's where I'd look next. Wish you were closer as would like to play with my cameras in there. For $20.00 + $2.00 for mirrors (best have more than one & don't ask)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NormK -

Apologies for going dark. Was out of town.

I am leaning towards your idea about the pawls. Been all over this bike and am not finding anything else that could be the cause of the shifting problem.

Took it out today with the new extended shift lever. Definitely shifts better from 1 to 2. Still no go on getting into 3.

Do you have to crack the case to get into the gears that were pictured in your pawl diagram?
 

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The cases have to be separated to get into the transmission because the transmission shafts are supported between the two case halves. At times like this the cassette transmissions on bikes like Honda ST1100 look quite attractive.

I'd order a flexible USB inspection camera to see if you can spot the problem before pulling it down. Broken parts = certain disassembly but otherwise one might assume wrong diagnosis and look a bit more. I've pulled some things down only to find the problem wasn't there......not ideal.

For $20.00 they are a great toy regardless.






NormK -

Apologies for going dark. Was out of town.

I am leaning towards your idea about the pawls. Been all over this bike and am not finding anything else that could be the cause of the shifting problem.

Took it out today with the new extended shift lever. Definitely shifts better from 1 to 2. Still no go on getting into 3.

Do you have to crack the case to get into the gears that were pictured in your pawl diagram?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, after throwing my hands up in the air on the shifting problem, I took it to Seattle Used Bikes (SUB) for them to play with it.

Diagnosis: Bent shift fork which in turn cracked the case. Mechanic believes the KLR was dropped hard on the shifter which in turn bent the shift fork. PO continued to ride it and over time, shift fork cracked the case. Mechanic says he has been working on bikes for 43 years and has never seen this on a KLR before.

So....time for a new motor. Anyone have a good resource for used KLR engines?

Thanks to everyone for the advice.
 
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