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It has been about 5000 miles and one year on my 2009 KLR and I have to say, I am happy with the bike and disappointed in Kawasaki. I thought I’d share my experience with my dealer and Kawasaki customer service for those considering buying a new bike.
A couple of months ago, I hosted a KLR tech day at my house and performed some maintenance and other work on my bike. I originally set out to replace the Doohickey and change the oil. One of the more experienced owners suggested that I check the valve clearances while we did the same on some of the other bikes.
The valve adjustment procedure was fairly straightforward except for the potentially tricky removal of the valve cover. Once it was off, I checked the valves and was glad that I did as they were all tight. This is where the trouble started. Then I pulled the right side cam cap off, I noticed that it was gouged down the center in line with the oil passage. It was clear that there was an oiling issue.
I didn’t sweat it too much because the local dealer was supporting the tech day and my bike was under warranty. I reassembled the bike and had it towed into the dealer. They inspected the damage and told me that it would not be covered. They implied that I should have not been doing a valve adjustment at that mileage (3500) and that the problem could be a result. I called Kawasaki in disbelief and their response was even more troubling. The rep at Kawasaki told me that it was not considered a problem and to go ahead and ride it until something fails. At that time, they would see if it was covered. I confirmed with him that they were basically passing the problem along to me until the warranty would be void. He basically agreed.
This is what the dealer (Northbay Motorsports) wrote:
“Inspect cams/cam towers and head at cam turning areas. RT intake cam tower has “gouge” that correlates with oil passage hole in cam. Head at that area has similar minor gouge in same area. Spoke with Kawasaki and they consider this a regular condition that will not affect the runability or reliability of the motorcycle. Condition is noted with Kawasaki.” They charged me $90 for this bit of information.
 

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Dave, you got a shitty deal man. But you have a good attitude. It's Kawasaki's fault in every way. But that doesn't mean you have to hate the bike. You've dealt with all this a whole lot better than I would have. (I know, super helpful). ;)
 

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Man sorry to hear about your luck. I really like my bike but sometimes with all the problems people talk about and Kawi not stepping to the plate to do the right thing I feel like sometimes I am riding around on a problem waiting to happen.
I have not had any problems with the bike and have been very happy with it. I have found a several we shall say quality control issues but overall it has been a great bike so far but can't help but to worry sometimes.

The Mrs has been trying to talk me into getting rid of the KLR and buying a cruiser but I just can't bring myself to do it. I would feel like I'm selling out. lol. Oh well sorry didn't mean to go off on a tangent. I hope you get your bike fixed and everything works out for you. I just think they should do whats right. It just seems to me that good customer service translates into sales and bad experiences means I will go somewhere else next time. Sorry just my 2 cents
 

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Yep, raw deal. Keep your documentation and you may still have a claim after your warranty is up if it becomes a problem. Was there any damage to the camshaft itself apart from the cap?

I'm not defending Kawasaki's actions on this at all but bearing materials are designed to be sacrificial whether it be babbitt, bronze, or in this case aluminum. That is to say the bearing takes the damage and is somewhat self healing in that it will smear and conform because it is softer, protecting the cam journal. I see a lot of bearings in my line of work (Industrial engines / Compressors) and you would be surprised how often it is that the bearings look awful but are still serviceable. Not saying it's right, just saying it is.

Kawasaki doesn't want to step up to the plate because it would not simply be to replace the cap, it would be a whole cylinder head as the cam bores are machined as an assembly and not interchangeable.
 

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My 09 has 2800 miles on it and every oil change it has metal shavings in the oil. They say its normal. Its had a bad tick from day 1, the KACR broke off so a new cam was installed. Its now starting to knock on start up they say its normal. Alittle info on me. Master ASE Tech, Engine builder gas and diesel. We are going to butt heads soon.
 

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My 09 has 2800 miles on it and every oil change it has metal shavings in the oil. They say its normal. Its had a bad tick from day 1, the KACR broke off so a new cam was installed. Its now starting to knock on start up they say its normal. Alittle info on me. Master ASE Tech, Engine builder gas and diesel. We are going to but heads soon.
I have about the same amount of miles on my 09 and the same thing with mine metal shavings every oil change.
 

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Amazing. How many KLR forums are there? How many folks who advertise for Kawi for FREE? And actively support their product?
 

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Take it to another dealer and complain until kawasaki fixes it. Call corporate offices and complain.
 

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The metal shards in the oil would do it for me, I have an 06 with 12K and change and never any metal at all in the filter or the oil. As for the cam stripe / gouge, if it runs fine I would drive it. I would not be happy at what I found but rather than obsessing on it I would just drive.

I have been very lucky with many of my motorcycles over the years. I do basic maintenance Chain, tires, oil, check for loose stuff, but as far as elective surgery I am a subscriber to the old "If it aint broke don't fix it" mentality.

Why does that make me lucky? I don't worry about anything, I just drive the bikes. If they start acting funny, at that point I get out the wrench's.

Ard
 

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My biggest issue is that my 07 KLR had an oil leak they could not fix, My 08 used oil like crazy (at highway speeds) Then went to a 09 KLX 250 which I loved that was stolen. Traded my old truck for a KLX 400r which is a beast then bought a 09 thats been a ticker from day one. But I will say that no Yamaha or Suzuki would have held up this long. Kawai needs to confess that there engineers are asshats and listen to people like Eagle Mike and others on hear on the real problems
 

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Kawai needs to confess that there engineers are asshats and listen to people like Eagle Mike and others on hear on the real problems
The problem is that three seconds after they confess, they're liable for all the repairs that they confessed to..

It's not going to happen..

My 02' drinks a bit of oil, but doesn't leak.. I'll ride it until it's worn out and then see what else is on the market.

I've been riding this bike since I bought it with 1200 miles on it in 2004. I've added stuff, but the only internal modification I've done was the Doo. I seriously thought about the new KLR when it came out, but it seems like a constant stream of complaints about the bike which has held me back from seriously thinking about replacement. :(

I have a hunch that when it's time for replacement, I'll look for a low mile pre-08' as my new ride.:ashamed0001:
 

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I would like to plate my KLX so that I could have a choice on which one to take, I love the KLR but right now I fear it may leave me stranded somewhere. The mechanic at the Kawi shop said if I blow it up make sure parts go flying
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to all for the feedback. As much as it irritates me and as much as I agree with the asshat assessment, I do like the bike. I just promised myself that I'd post it after I spoke with the Kawasaki rep. I suppose that I hope that someone reads it and understands their asshattedness for just a moment. I will keep posting it on all of the forums that I can find, and then send them links to all of the posts.
 

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Its expensive and time consuming but folks should file a civil suits. Hit them where it hurts. The wallet. Eventually they will figure out its cheaper to correct some of these issues at the factory. I wonder if Kawasaki people read any of these forums.
 

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Not sure all states work the same but in Ohio I'd tell you to contact the atorney general. File a complaint with photos and documentation. In Ohio it costs nothing to do and often results in better results than a law suite.

As for dealers and motorcycle companies I've yet to see where any of them are out to do anything other than sell the bikes. If you have troubles or it does not perform to satisfactory conditions that's just too bad.
I intend to ride my 06' till it litteraly falls to pieces and then part it out. Till then it keeps thumping / tweeting along. :)
 

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what else would you expect

What else would you expect? How do Kawasaki sell this bike so cheap and stay in business? By cutting corners and dodging issues. What else? You can spend two or three times as much, get a beemer, expect to have no cut corners, and when an issue came up, they would step right up to the plate. Or you can buy cheap and enjoy. I have one of each. There's an advantage to each. One is complete; the other is cheap.

In this world, you may not get what you pay for, but you do have to pay for what you get.
 
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