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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my bike in June and now have approx 7000 km's on it. Bike has never been dropped, off road,passenger etc on it. Stock Seat is all ripped at the right rear corner. Staples are all coming out. There is nothing that has been done to this bike for the seat to be shedding like it is. Anyone else have this problem with the stock seat?
 

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Brand new bike? I've never heard of the seats coming apart before at the staples. Possibly a defect in manufacture, I would take it back and get it fixed under warranty. I've stapled a few new covers on my seat in the past and its an easy job, but if it's still under warranty I would let them fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brand new bike? I've never heard of the seats coming apart before at the staples. Possibly a defect in manufacture, I would take it back and get it fixed under warranty. I've stapled a few new covers on my seat in the past and its an easy job, but if it's still under warranty I would let them fix it.
Yes brand new 2017. Bought it in June. Now has just over 7000 km's. Not abused or dropped. All the staples on the right rear have come off. I will take it to the dealer and see what they say. I just asked in hear to see if this was a common problem but I guess it's not.
 

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Yes brand new 2017. Bought it in June. Now has just over 7000 km's. Not abused or dropped. All the staples on the right rear have come off. I will take it to the dealer and see what they say. I just asked in hear to see if this was a common problem but I guess it's not.
Not common. Let us know what the dealer does for you.
 

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I'm confused by that recommendation.

First, I have no doubt that the Russell would live up to its name.

The one's that I have seen, though, have wings on the seat and a definite tractor-seat shape. I can't help but wonder how they work when off-road. How is it?

I built my own seat by making it wider and stiffer, sort of like a Corbin. It's still not comfortable for much over two hours. I have to do something.
 

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I'm confused by that recommendation.

First, I have no doubt that the Russell would live up to its name.

The one's that I have seen, though, have wings on the seat and a definite tractor-seat shape. I can't help but wonder how they work when off-road. How is it?

I built my own seat by making it wider and stiffer, sort of like a Corbin. It's still not comfortable for much over two hours. I have to do something.
I modified my stock seat, and added a home-made pad. I can ride for hours on it.


See here how I did it.... 2011 KLR650
(Scroll down to 6th image showing the seat mod.)
 

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I think I'm going to have to go back into mine and make the foam even stiffer. That seems to be the direction to go.

Last time I used a re-bond foam which was recommended by many seat-modders. This time I think i'm going to try that exceptionally stiff stuff that they make gardener's kneeling pads out of.
 

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Yes, I bought a 2017 at the end of July...two weeks later (600 miles) the staples came out around the rear edge (about 10/12 of them) and no passengers on the pillion. I took a bunch of photos for warrantee purposes then pulled out my staple gun (manual) and replaced the missing staples. Hasn't been an issue again at 1100 miles. I have a Seat Concepts seat being delivered today so I've moved on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok so here is the outcome. I took my bike back to the dealer to have a new rear tire put on and the Kawasaki Rep just happened to be at their shop that day. Of course I showed him the seat and he immediately called Kawasaki direct and authorized a new seat for me. So I am getting a brand new stock seat. Should be here soon. He said that this is the first time he has seen that happen.

On a side note. While I had the owner and the Kawi Rep right there, I asked them about the DooHickey. The dealer is an older guy and has been selling KLR's for 25 years. He says he has never seen a problem with a Cam Chain tensioner and neither has the Rep from Kawi as long as you do the adjustment regularily. My bike has 7300 kms on it, that is why I was having the Rear tire replaced. They showed me how to do the cam chain adjustment by removing the plug on the lower left side and slacking off the 8mm bolt and retightening it. They said do that every oil change and you will never have a problem. No doohickey upgrade required.
 

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By the by, it is not the cam chain tensioner, it is the balancer chain adjustment. They did show you how to adjust it, so the communication was all OK in the end.

Go back and show them this video:

If they express any interest at all, come back and I'll provide pictures of chewed up cases from bikes on which the spring ran out of tension. We can dig up countless examples of Gen 2 bikes with slack springs. At least the levers don't break anymore.

You wanna talk about Gen 1s? There are almost endless reports of broken doohickeys and engine damage ranging from minor to catastrophic.

Yeah, it's a myth...

And your seat? The first he's seen of it? He must have had training at BMW school. At least you now know when he's lying.

His lips move.
 

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Yep; wrong, wrong, wrong........ as I said, I've heard of a half dozen cases of the same seat problem on late model Gen2's and as far as the doohickey goes.....that's what they ALWAYS say. ;-)

Here's my standard doohickey post:

I have spent significant time reading and researching this issue over the years as have others......my opinion is thus:

- Gen1: failure of the stock lever and/or spring is highly likely.......the people "in the know" guesstimate around 33% though I'd suggest the figure is somewhat mileage dependent with the 33% being around 20,000 miles.....higher mileage = higher percentage of failure.

- Gen2: doohickey lever failure is almost non-existant.......the issues of loose fit on the shaft and loss of spring tension are real and are said to occur around 6,000 miles though some have zero tension from new and some still have tension at 20,000 miles.



So is this all an internet myth? No, it's real enough IMO. There are several reasons that I believe contribute to the lack of even more documented failures:

- A great many people never adjust there counterbalance system. If the adjustment is never attempted, the system doesn't get the huge slack that an attempt with a broken spring or lever would introduce. I always tell new owners NOT to adjust the system without physically checking to see it's intact first.

- Most grenaded doo and spring bits float around harmlessly in the bottom end without causing catastrophic failure. My 2001 was opened up at 15,000 miles to find the typical broken doo (three pces) and spring (two pces). I found all the pces in the bottom end and oil screen and the bike was likely ridden for some time in that condition.

- the "upgrade" in 2008 significantly reduced the likelihood of a broken doo lever.

- a large percentage of bikes die of old age, crashes and neglect long before they can be considered high mileage units.

- many failures are never diagnosed......i.e. bike is "broken" and parted out or otherwise discarded.

- Sometimes other failures (i.e. 2008/2009 low oil level/oil burning) takes out the engine before the counterbalance system has the opportunity to.


At the end of the day, I believe that the stock counterbalance adjustment system is problematic but the vast majority of KLR owners are ignorant of the issue and it doesn't come up on their radar for the aforementioned reasons.

On a Gen1, I believe replacement is critical to longevity. On a Gen2 you could get along fine by just periodically checking the spring to ensure it is intact and has tension. Due to the loose fit on the shaft, the springs are put under significantly increased duty cycles, EM's superior lever with better fitment and the torsion spring design completely eliminate this concern.


A KLR, especially a Gen2 can live for quite awhile without even acknowledging the counterbalance adjuster.....but it's still a weak link that is worth replacing if you want some piece of mind.


2 cents,
Dave
 
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