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All KLRs will burn oil when spun up over 5K. It's a 4-inch-bore thumper thing. @pdwestman's oiling system mods will fix that.

Most '08 and '09 KLRs are oil burners due to ring/piston/bore issues. Not all of them, but most of them. 100% of the '08 and '09 KLRs I have owned have been severely affected by Ring/piston/bore issues. OK, truth be told, while that sounds like I go through a lot of KLRs I have only owned one of each. I am not a smart man. An '08 or '09 can go through 2.5 liters of oil in half a day.

Hindsight is 20/20. Had I known then what I know now I would have bought the best KLR ever made instead of an '08. That would be the '07 black and silver. I probably could have bought one new at the time.

Too soon old, too late smart.
 

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This should put a real scare into anyone looking to purchase a used KLR if you have to check the oil every few hours. It seems one could have a potentially souring motor and not even know it until a few hundred miles down the road.
Dust ingestion will sour any motor quite quickly. It prevents the rings from seating on the ring lands. This microscopic clearance can really rear its ugly head at Interstate speeds.

A once dusted engine can NOT heal itself.
 

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It just really ticks me OFF that none of the manufacturers will put a Warning Label on the air boxes!

CAUTION! Foam Air Filter MUST BE THOROUGHLY OILED after cleaning. (See Owners Manual)

How much might that label cost?

I paid to have my own supply printed!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
That appears to be the RH INTAKE camshaft bearing. No decompressor mechanism on its end.

You got lucky that the damage is not worse.

The melted sheath on the Yellow temp sender wire suggests that possibly this bike has had or does also have a COOLANT Issue also. That air injection pipe really shouldn't have gotten that hot from an oil issue by itself, imo.
Correct on it being the RH Intake camshaft. It’s the only one plugged up with shavings like that.

hmmm, I am starting to see a big ‘ol rabbit hole opening in the near future, full of many replacements/fixes/mods/upgrades. Haha. But I believe I read somewhere that KLR’s actually have an issue of running too cold, and that’s what the Thermo-Bob mod is supposed to fix? Guess I’ll at least check over all my coolant lines and level to make sure that’s at least not a cause. Otherwise imma throw some heat shrink over that melted bit of sheath and call that a fix for now 😅 unless there’s some other quick checks I can do to the coolant system. Might as well do a check on all the systems while the bike is torn down and do any routine maintenance that might be overdue.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
It just really ticks me OFF that none of the manufacturers will put a Warning Label on the air boxes!

CAUTION! Foam Air Filter MUST BE THOROUGHLY OILED after cleaning. (See Owners Manual)

How much might that label cost?

I paid to have my own supply printed!
Hopefully tomorrow I can snag a couple minutes after work to run over to my friends garage where the bike is torn down to take a look at the air box like you suggested. I’m curious if maybe because the previous owner had an aftermarket airbox/filter installed, that maybe it wasn’t done properly and that led to extra dust ingestion, therefore exacerbated piston ring issues and oil consumption. Might also just need to buy one of those labels from you, as a memento from this major moto learning experience. 😂
 

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I’m curious if maybe because the previous owner had an aftermarket airbox/filter installed
IMO, there are different categories of aftermarket filters. UNI filters, for example, are a good replacement (they are foam). K&N is a bad replacement. Others may disagree.
 

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Blasphemy I know but Sheesh I'm glad I got rid of my several KLR'S and bought a DR.


The DR is a great bike too and honestly, I'd buy one before buying a Gen2 KLR......but ALL bikes have their own set of issues and compromises and the DR is no exception. My two Gen1's have yet to let me down and just because some people with early Gen2's have destroyed their motors by failing to keep an eye on their oil levels doesn't mean the KLR is an unreliable bike. ....no offense intended to the OP who has been gracious in accepting his role in the problem he's experienced.
 

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I got very lucky when I bought my 2012 last year. I bought it in New Brunswick and I drove it home (500 km - 300 miles) on the highway to Nova Scotia. I checked the oil before I left because I know they use oil, but I thought they had the problem fixed by 2012. Well, to make a long story short. When I checked the oil the next morning it was down a full litre (only holds 2.1 L). Lesson learned! It doesn't burn a drop around town or on the trails, but above 5000 rpm (approx 115 km/h) it will burn oil. I Just finished a 1500 km trip around the Cabot Trail and interior of Cape Breton and I took 3 litres with me, but because speeds were generally around 100 km/h or lower, I only ended up needing about 1/4 litre.
 

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You really should put the original designed 2.3 - 2.5 L of oil into your engine with oil filter change.
Fricking Thailand factory!!

Should only be the tinyest of bubble at the top of the window, one minute after shut down. Most people do not understand that the KLR oil filter always drains back, unlike most automobiles and many other bikes.
 
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You really should put the original designed 2.3 - 2.5 L of oil into your engine with oil filter change.
Fricking Thailand factory!!

Should only be the tinyest of bubble at the top of the window, one minute after shut down. Most people do not understand that the KLR oil filter always drains back, unlike most automobiles and many other bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I need to ask you to LOOK at the Underside of your air filter box, above & ahead of the muffler joint for a melted hole into the clean side of the air box, which could allow dust entry, which can also cause massive oil consumption.
I just pointed out a melt hole to another new KLR customer today on his 1989, which soon needs a new transmission output shaft.
alright, checked the air box today and didn’t see any visible melt holes. Does look like the air filter is stock though, so might as well upgrade that while I’m at it.
i did notice what looked like metal(shiny) flakes on the air filter though, not sure if that would be related to anything.
26312


Another interesting find was that as I went further with the cylinder head removal and took the exhaust off, I notice it didn’t have a gasket in the head?? Hmmmm, maybe signs of shoddy previous work? 🤔
 

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Discussion Starter #53
They can also refresh your head for you with new valve stem seals, valve guides, and cut new valve seats, grind the valves, and tip them for 270 shims. You should get the price for that as well.
Okay, so just heard back from the Engine Dynamics team with some quote and wondering how necessary this other work to refresh the head is, because the quote for that is about the same as fixing the cooked cam cap/journal. I don’t want to cheap out, but there’s a lot of things that have been thrown out there to do, and once the repair, refresh, 685 kit and bore, and the other oil mods get put together, it definitely tops out my budget...especially since my budget is basically “as low cost as possible to get it running reliably again”. Haha. If this was your bike, what would you put the order of importance on? Should I post up some more pics of the valves/valve guides/etc to get an assessment their condition?
 

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With only 18K miles on it, I would not put it at the top of the list. My head, which has lived on two bikes, had about 50K miles on it when I had it redone. The valve guides were just out of spec. The valves and valve seats were holding up quite well. The valve stem seals were doing their job.

I think you can get by without this work, but there is a simple test you can do. The worst offender would be if your valves are not sealing. This would be a Bad Thing™ because valves that are leaking can become burned. That will result in a loss of compression and reduced performance and the ultimate repair will be a more expensive repair than if you just do it now. The test is outlined in this video.

If the valves are tight, I say forgo the work that isn't in the budget.
 
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The cheap repair is to pull the existing head off and then check the bottom end turns over fine and that there are no obvious issues in the bore. If all looks ok, simply replace the head with either a second hand one or the repaired existing one (whichever is cheaper option). In Australia this would cost about A$500 for a second hand head plus A$100 for genuine head gasket (cheap ones can be a bit hot and miss). So that's about US$400 and from what I've seen of prices it might be a little bit cheaper in the states.

That's literally all I did with my bike described above and it lasted 50,000 km without further work. The advantage of doing it this way is you can save for a period and then in the future when finances allow invest in the big bore kit, full head work etc

The key thing with unmodified KLR ownership is to learn to love riding below 5000rpm. If you can live with this limitation oil consumption is normally manageable - as soon as you go consistently above then the issues occur.

Anyway good luck with the repair.




Sent from my moto g(8) plus using Tapatalk
 

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What Tom said; the rest of the head is likely fine. ....Hey Bill has 186,000 miles on his unrebuilt engine (including head) now. If it was my bike, I'd fix the cam bore and do the 685.......if money it too tight, you could do the cam bore and Paul's oiling mods and then monitor consumption carefully, but you'll probably end up tearing it down for the 685 anyhow.

Dave
 

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alright, checked the air box today and didn’t see any visible melt holes. Does look like the air filter is stock though, so might as well upgrade that while I’m at it.
i did notice what looked like metal(shiny) flakes on the air filter though, not sure if that would be related to anything.
View attachment 26312

Another interesting find was that as I went further with the cylinder head removal and took the exhaust off, I notice it didn’t have a gasket in the head?? Hmmmm, maybe signs of shoddy previous work? 🤔
The fine pored oem foam air filter is the second best flowing air filter tested by previous people and works well with simple engine oil. It doesn't have to have the sticky air filter oil like a Uni-Filter or Twin-Air should have.

In this pic, the allen bolt exhaust pipe clamp appears to still be in-place. The possible burn-thru area is in-front & above the clamp. Also the clean side air box drain hose must have a Cap on it to prevent dust ingestion. Dust ingestion could have caused your oil burning and could cause valve and valve seat wear. Which is why we look & test. I use brake clean, carb clean or gasoiline in the ports to hydro-test valve sealing, rather than water. Usually only takes seconds to see good or bad.

Your valve guides would not have enough wear on them at 18k to even suggest replacement (even is there had been any dust ingestion).

You probably do not have the tools to remove the valves from the cylinder head prior to shipping. But the valves will be removed from the head to decarbon the ports and clean out the machining from re-boring the cam journals and to replace the valve seals, so IMO the valve seats ought to be touched up by the Professional shop the easy way while it is there. A sharp, properly narrowed valve seat flows better, seals better and therefore wears LESS in the future.

They will have the cams to fit bearing clearances, correct? And the valve tappet clearance shims will need to be selected by someone who has the full selection of shims available to them. So this may as well be done by the professional shop also, imo.

As to the head gasket, it is a very thin aluminum gasket with a black elastic coating. So my guess is it is still stuck to either the head or the cylinder. I don't believe that it had ever been left out of your engine.
 

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...Another interesting find was that as I went further with the cylinder head removal and took the exhaust off, I notice it didn’t have a gasket in the head??...
@TaylorW,

I took this to mean that the gasket that goes between the head and the exhaust header was missing. This is unlikely, as it would have hissed and spit and made loud and raucous noises when you closed the throttle. What you would be looking for would be a rounded rectangle of squished copper (that is probably sooted to black) that may be adhered to the head or header.

To Paul's point, a head gasket is certainly not missing.
 
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Typically, we have seen burn through effects on the bottom side of the airbox. The standard exhaust system has the header pipe connecting to the muffler almost directly under the airbox. There is a fiber gasket to seal this junction, and any leakage of hot exhaust gases past the fiber gasket that seals the header to muffler, would allow gases to threaten the integrity of the airbox. If that opens up, then dirty, unfiltered air gets sucked into the engine, and ruins the cylinder/piston sealing process.

Pic here showing the underside of airbox; note how heat has allowed the plastic to be pulled inward due to the vacuum effect from engine suck.

 
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