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I read somewhere that greasing the front wheel is really important and can lead to a catastrophic failure if not addressed. I wanted to take care of this before I ride to Guatemala.

I have 2002 KLR650 with 30,000 miles on it and don't know where to start...I have the bike torn down now doing oil, coolant, new air filter, new battery and adding USB/Cigarette charger.

Are there any particular other grease points I need to know about? Also wondering about changing the chain and what replacement part, difficulty level etc.

Thanks Guys!
 

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Ok,

- yes there are a number of things you should grease including the axles, swingarm linkage, head bearings, shock bolts and pivot bolts. The pivot bolt can be a real PITA to get out if it hasn't been done. Hint: remove the rear motor mounting bolts before attempting to remove the swingarm.

- I swap the stock bearings for double sealed bearings (-2rs) they do not require greasing as they are pre-greased. You still should grease the axle to prevent corrosion. on an unknown bike with 30,000 miles on it, I'd replace them with good quality double sealed bearings for pce of mind - they will last a long time.

- If the chain/sprockets are worn, I replace them as a set. You can tell if your chain is worn out by pulling it straight back from the sprocket: if you can see daylight between the chain and sprocket, it'd done. The sprockets can be checked visually and also check the chain for kinking and tight spots. ALSO; most people overtighten their KLR chains so be careful: due to the long travel suspension and geometry the KLR needs more slack than other bikes people may be used to. If the chain is too tight you risk damaging the countershaft seal and bearing as well as possibly the wheel bearings along with premature wear of the drive chain and sprockets. Quick check; with the bike on the sidestand, you should be able to touch the chain to the bottom rearmost portion of the chain slipper but not the metal swingarm itself.

- I use only O ring (or X ring, etc.) sealed chains and steel sprockets. These are good quality and inexpensive; www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/959/2218/Primary-Drive-Steel-Kit-&-Gold-X-Ring-Chain

- You can use chain lube if you like but sealed chains are sealed. WD 40 keeps it clean and rust free. 34,000 miles is good enough for me! read: http://watt-man.com/uploads/WD40experiment.pdf


Good luck,

Dave
 

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Definitely check the counterbalance adjuster lever and spring (the "doohickey"). I would also check the valve clearance as well as go through the bike thoroughly.

This might also help;

1) Oil drain plug overtightening: it is relatively common for people to overtighten the oil drain plug.....usually to stop a leak after the gasket/washer has inadvertently fallen into the used oil or left stuck to the bottom of the engine! best case is stripped threads, worst is a cracked case. Make sure the washer is in place and use a torque wrench Note; my manual says 17 ft lbs, Eaglemike recommends 15 ft lbs with his low profile drain plug which is what I use. Some Gen2 manuals specify 21 ft lbs but there has been no change in the plug or case which would affect the drain plug torque and people have stripped their drain plugs at this setting: beware!

- 2) Chain tension: many owners and some shops overtighten the KLR's drive chain; due to the long travel suspension and geometry the KLR needs more slack than other bikes people may be used to. If the chain is too tight you risk damaging the countershaft seal and bearing as well as possibly the wheel bearings along with premature wear of the drive chain and sprockets. Quick check; with the bike on the sidestand, you should be able to touch the chain to the bottom rearmost portion of the chain slipper but not the metal swingarm itself.

- 3) Speedo drive: it is common for people to post problems with their speedo after they've had the front wheel off. If you don't make sure the drive slots in the hub are aligned with the speedo drive tangs you risk bending the drive tangs and worse, breaking the hub. Time consuming to repair, expensive to replace, easy to avoid!

- 4) Oil Level: the factory KLR oil level sight glass is arguably too low....additionally some KLR's burn oil at various rates so it is imperative that the oil level is constantly checked. Luckily the sight glass makes this very easy to do. My suggestion is to keep the oil level at the very top of the sight glass with the bike level and to check it before every ride and at every fuel stop. The first failure from low oil levels is likely to be the cam bores in the head......and used KLR heads are getting difficult to find and are expensive. Keep an eye on that oil level!

- 5) Overtightening of other fasteners; similar to the oil drain plug there are a few other fasteners that cause significant problems if overtightened; the valve cover bolts are one such fastener - the manual calls up 69 inch lbs (NOT ft. lbs!) but Eaglemike suggests 55 in lbs which is a safer value. Another problem fastener is the footpeg mounting bolts; the factory nuts welded in the frame box are very thin with only 3 or 4 threads catching......these often strip out necessitating a repair. To avoid the problem, consider not using accessories that bolt to the bike using these bolts (i.e. centerstands) and torque them properly. I've heard that some manuals show 45NM (33 ft lbs) and some versions show 25 Nm (18 ft lbs)......I will suggest that the 33 ft lbs is a mistake and too much; I go with the 18 to avoid stripping the nuts and because this value falls in line with the recommended torque for generic 8mm fasteners in the manual. Safety wiring the bolt heads is also a wise precaution as loose bolts take the threads out quickly.

- 6) Throwing away the tube when changing the oil filter. People often mistakenly toss the metal tube that is inserted in the oil filter when they throw the old filter in the trash....make sure it's there and put it back in the right way.
 

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remove the cotter pin, remove the axle nut, pull out the axle, remove the wheel, check/replace/grease the wheel bearings as necessary, apply grease to the axle shaft and re-install making sure all the spacers are in the right order and that the speedo drive tangs are lined up. Torque using a torque wrench.

Dave
 

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I read somewhere that greasing the front wheel is really important and can lead to a catastrophic failure if not addressed. I wanted to take care of this before I ride to Guatemala.

Thanks Guys!
RR,
I'm gonna' take a wild a** guess about what you are referring to.
The Speedometer drive assembly!

Take the front wheel off, pull the drive mechanism off the hub, turn the drive unit up-side down in your hands and the drive gear usually falls out in your hand.
I do Not recommend attempting to wash any of the old grease out of the unit body. It is too hard to re-grease the little pinion gear shaft.
Re-grease the teeth on the pinion gear and the center tower of the body and the internal bore of the ring gear and its teeth. Slip the gear back into the body.
Align the drive tabs into the drive slots as you install onto the wheel hub.

The wheel bearings should technically be replaced with new double sealed bearings if the old ones are removed. As in one should never drive on the opposing race, neither when installing or re-using!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! So is this the Speedometer Drive Assembly "the Thing" people are talking about when they talk about KLR weaknesses? Or are we talking about replacing the bearings?
 

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Thanks! So is this the Speedometer Drive Assembly "the Thing" people are talking about when they talk about KLR weaknesses? Or are we talking about replacing the bearings?
There is nothing inherently weak or problematic with the KLR wheel bearings compared to any other bike so they may be referring to the speedo drive as per my item #3 above.


Dave
 

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Hello,

This may be coming out of left field, as this thread is 6 years old, but I'm new to KLR, and having had reasonable success with Clymer and the rest of my "new bike" maintenance and upgrades, what puzzles me is the front wheel. When put together according to the book, it hardly will turn. Seems the torque recommendation squeezes the two forks against the wheel and restricts it turning freely. Am I missing something. I've checked the schematic, and no parts are missing ...?!

Thanks in advance,

DJ
 

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Just asking, DJ:

Are you comfortable with the meaning of DPellitier's comment, "Align the drive tabs into the drive slots as you install onto the wheel hub?"

A clear grasp of this concept is necessary for correct front wheel assembly. A "winged washer" is involved; its wings must fit in hub slots for proper speedometer operation and prevention of damage.

If I can find a convenient image I'll post it; if you have access to a Service Manual, I'd recommend you research this element.

EDIT: Here 'tis:

 

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Thank you for your response. Just yesterday I discovered the very mistake you pointed out, corrected it, then cleaned all the old grease out, put new waterproof grease in and reassembled ...correctly. The wheel barely turns when torqued to the recommended spec. I presume something else is wrong, so I'll try again.

BTW, reassembled the rear and it turns easily, but there appears to be spacers that keep the axle nut from affecting the bearing turning ...?!

Best regards,

DJ
 

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Front wheel tight after torque to spec

I've had it apart four times, did actually screw up the speedo assembly once, but wheel bearings, caps and speedo are greased and put back together per spec (Thanks to the internet and the last post). Can hear brake pads slightly, but wheel is not free wheeling like the rear. Only when I loosen the axle nut some, does it roll freely. At a loss for what to do other than ride it a short distance and see what happens. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


DJ
 

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I've had it apart four times, did actually screw up the speedo assembly once, but wheel bearings, caps and speedo are greased and put back together per spec (Thanks to the internet and the last post). Can hear brake pads slightly, but wheel is not free wheeling like the rear. Only when I loosen the axle nut some, does it roll freely. At a loss for what to do other than ride it a short distance and see what happens. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


DJ
DJ,
Did you remove the wheel bearings from the wheel hub so as you could re-grease them from the interior side?
 

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pdwestman,

No I didn't. If I were to remove bearings on a 2001 with 12,500 miles, wouldn't it make sense to replace them with new? I have replaced bearing on my KTM and boat trailer, but as much as the KLR turned freely and made no noise ... with my finger, and were packed well with grease when I took them apart. Besides, all there is between the two bearings is a long spacer. Maybe I should postpone the ride I had planned for tomorrow ...?

The interesting thing is, I rode this bike several years ago for 137 miles, then it sat in the owner's garage until I bought it. I guess I'll change the bearings, and see what happens. It can hurt, but what I'm trying to understand is what about this situation would makes this wheel and the bearings stiff, if there packed in grease, and move freely when not under torque between the two forks. I only rolled the bike into the trailer and out. So I have nothing to compare it to.

Thanks for the input.

DJ
 

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It shouldn't make any difference if the axle nut is torqued or not unless that last bit of deflection causes a momentary interference with a brake pad. Pull the caliper out of the way and check it again.....

The wheel bearings last a loooooong time but I personally like to start with known good bearings......and good quality double sealed bearings.

Here's a link on what a well maintained KLR can expect from some common components; http://watt-man.com/uploads/How_Many_Miles.pdf

On my 2001, I replaced the wheel bearings at 10,000 miles because I bought it used. I check them but have no immediate plan to replace them again.....I have more than one bike and tend not to put on more than 3,000 - 5,000 miles per year.

I purchased my 2000 two years ago with 533 miles on it (currently just over 2,000 miles) and I checked the wheel bearings and again, I have no plan to replace them. If I do some water crossings, I'll check and re-grease because IIRC, they are only sealed on one side.


Dave
 

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To all that have contributed to my KLR education ...,

I've ordered the bearings and seal. Will install them, properly greased, before I ride the bike ... Uugh! Would still appreciate some insight as to why this is happening, based on the history I've described? A purely academic question ...?! If I ever meet up with you all, I owe you each a drink!

DJ
 

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DJ,
I'll suggest that you may still not be properly engaging the speedometer drive tab.
To test my theory remove the ring gear and drive tab from the speedo drive unit and re-install wheel / torque the axle.
(Before you re-install ring gear and drive tab, put some oil on the ends of the small pinion gear and into the socket of the cable drive.)

Is the center spacer between the bearings tightly captured or is it loose fitting? May be use a large socket and hammer to check that the OD of the LH bearing is seated into the wheel hub.
40-50 years ago, one could over tighten the axles and slightly crush the whimpy, thin center spacers. That would cause tight bearings. I've never heard of a crushed KLR650 center spacer, but most of us don't use maximum OEM spec axle torque either.

ps, I have over 78,000 miles on the original 1987 front wheel bearings. Changed the rears last fall and created my own little bearing drama, as read here,
http://www.klrforum.com/klr-other-motorcycle-related-discussion/57914-all-balls-rear-wheel-bearings-problem.html
 

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Often when a wheel binds on tightening the axle nut a spacer has been left out or installed improperly. On the front axle that would be part no. 92152 on the drawing in pose no. 12. Is that spacer installed and orientated properly?
 

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Great information! In the meantime, I've checked the various things mentioned, and guess what ...? It was the brakes. Appears the inner brake pad was slightly askew. Took the caliper off and wheel spins effortlessly. Took caliper apart and after putting everything back and pumping the hand brake lever, the wheel turns hard again. No grinding brake noise, butpads are tight against rotor. Took apart again and pushed piston in, and wheel moves easily. It's the piston that isn't returning far enough ... Will this loosen up when I ride it, or does it suggest the caliper needs to be rebuilt? The action of the piston is very similar (can pry it in easily with a screwdriver or carpenter's pencil) to every other caliper I've touched over the years. We're getting there ... may ride yet today?!

DJ
 
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