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Don't know any Aussies or mechanics down here that install them. Our temps are as extreme as the northern hemisphere, possibly more hotter. From what I have been told and word of the dealerships down here, is that they don't fail down under. Must be how we ride the KLR, look after them and conditions we ride in. There was a old mechanic who worked for Kawasaki in Japan for years now lives in Melbourne who said it was Eagle Mike himself who started the rumour and built up the hype around swapping it out and the doohickey as well. Just making more business for himself. Just my two cents.
No offense but that is a load of BS..... If you know how a thermobob works, you know that it is effective in any ambient temperatures and it does nothing to increase overall cooling effect. There is nothing "to fail"; the absence of a Thermobob is simply that - the bike will run and run fine....perhaps for a long time but the Thermobob is simply an improvement that greatly decreases the delta T between incoming and outgoing coolant in the cylinder (cold shocking).

I've always said that the Thermobob is optional and NO, you don't NEED one......it's just better.

I'll leave the whole "doohickey" "myth" alone for now as that's a separate topic but some people always try to throw shade on the man; sad.


Dave
 

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Nobody would wait until the 12 month warranty is up?
For the doohickey; probably. For the T bob; NO......if the cylinder is going to distort from cold shocking it's worse when the engine is brand new. The sooner the better. If I was going to wait a year or two, I probably wouldn't bother.

Dave
 

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Bingo, the KLR is simple to work on and a very reliable engine. However when people start tinkering with it get it massively wrong and break something then expect warranty to fix it. Huffing and puffing saying it was like that. If you are cracking the engine case to dona doohickey then there is risk. If you are working with cooling and get it wrong then major issues.
Everyone has different opinions about what needs to be done to thier KLR. everyone is different and rides differently and treats there KLR differently. Just voicing my thoughts and experiences from all the Aussie mechanics and dealings I have had with them. Will say that it is definitely a North America dilemma surrounding the KLR.

One member on here, from America, did say this and I agree. Stop spending money on modding the KLR, just ride it. Get to know the bike.

Half the issues with bike owners, especially new ones is, they buy the wrong motorcycle. All motorcycles have thier bugs and issues. Just need to accept some and if you can live with them. But won't know that from on paper, get out and ride the bike. Ride it properly and how you expect to ride it. If it doesn't feel right or can do what you want it too, don't expect to modify it and make it everything you want. Try other bikes first.
Well worded and I agree with the bulk of your post. People SHOULD ride first and modify later and people should also try other bikes. Nobody should modify their bike because people on the internet say they have to........ and there isn't a single modification that is NECESSARY in every case except perhaps the Gen1 Doohickey. That said there is nothing wrong with modifying any bike to be better for you depending on your wants, needs, usage, expectations and budget.......and in my case I like modifying my bikes; keeps me out of the bar, I enjoy it and can afford it. You are also correct in that some people shouldn't touch a wrench......I mean if someone can't install a Thermobob without screwing up.....maybe take up bird watching....or golf. :LOL:

I rode my KLR bone stock for almost 10 years before I started upgrading it. I also have owned 47 motorcycles in my life so far, so I have a pretty good idea what the KLR is and isn't. Some people want it to be a 60hp rocketship or capable of being competitive in a national enduro, or try to get it down to 300lbs......none of those things are really achievable. BUT I view the KLR as a bit of a blank canvass; a 1980's dual purpose bike hampered by budget parts and excess porkage......but with a few well conceived modifications, it can perform surprisingly well and I'll argue to the ends of the earth that there are some changes that are truly transformative for the KLR; like suspension mods, for eg. The KLR really CAN be a decent bike that can compare favorably to much more expensive and modern bikes depending on the mission.....with the right upgrades.



Dave
 

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A Short T bob post;

Short answer: NO you don't NEED one, YES it's much better than the stock system. It's purpose isn't to make warm-ups quicker, it does two main things: 1) it greatly reduces the delta T between incoming and outgoing coolant in the cylinder (from 100+ deg F to 10-15 deg F) which reduces "cold shocking" the cylinder and may reduce heat related bore distortion. 2) it raises the minimum temps the engine sees after warm-up to maintain the oil at a better temperature to boil off condensation, etc. it does not have a significant impact to the maximum temperatures the engine sees which is a function of the coolant flow, capacity, radiator, etc. Read: http://watt-man.com/uploads/TB_Testing.pdf
 

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I'll just leave this here. 😁
Oh thanks for posting THAT again! (Insert sarcastic smiley here).

My doohickey post for the 10,000th time;

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. Loss of tension is 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 their counterbalance system. If the adjustment is never attempted, the system doesn't get the huge slack that an attempt with a broken spring 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.
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As far as the rest, I'll advise everyone to completely IGNORE anyone that says they didn't have a doo problem but never LOOKED to confirm the system was intact and functional....all that really means is that any failure of the counterbalance adjuster system didn't cause catastrophic failure.....yet.

Confirmation bias is a real thing.


Dave
 

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CarlosDJackal and others who don't want to install doos or T-Bobs:

Guys like EM and PDW have collected lots of data through their own experience. They have worked on thousands of KLRs. On Gen1's the lever cracks and breaks far more often than not, and those that have not broken have relatively low miles on them. The spring also breaks. On Gen2's, the lever is a little stronger, so doesn't break as often, but still breaks with more use and mileage. However, the tensioner spring fails almost every time with enough miles.

My own experience reinforces their observations. I've replaced doos on 4 bikes. One of those was a 2013, and the spring was broken and the lever quadrant was cracked, that was around 25Kmi. The others were Gen1's with 17, 20, and 37Kmi. Surprisingly, the one with 20Kmi still had an intact lever, although the spring was broken. The others and broken levers and springs.

If you are a doubter and choose not to replace the Doo by about 15Kmi, then do yourself a big favor, and DO NOT adjust the doo after that mileage, because if you loosen the locking screw to allow it to adjust, and the spring is broken, the balancer chain will LOOSEN instead of tighten. Then the loose chain will cause problems you didn't have.

T-Bob: Plenty has already been said, but if you don't want to install one, then don't. Not having one will not cause the engine to catastrophically fail. But if you want your engine to last a long time, use less oil, and be more efficient, then install a T-Bob. I installed a T-bob after installing the EM 692 kit, since I wanted it to stay round, last a long time, and not use oil.

You've been warned.
Excellent post Pete.

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What to listen too?
Well, I'd suggest post #49! :LOL:

As I said previously, I took mine apart after 15,000 miles and found the lever in 3 pces and the spring in 2....took me a whole weekend with a magnet on a wire to find all the pces. On my other KLR I took it apart at 600 miles (nope, not broken yet!) in order to save me the gigantic PITA I went through on my first one. I didn't just imagine it was broken so I don't know what to tell you; they break. I keep my broken doo lever on my keychain as a reminder to not give in to confirmation bias; I should have checked it much earlier but was convinced it was all an internet myth....


Cheers,
Dave
 

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I think the problem is that the camps are intrenched. One camp says YES otherwise engine failure. The other camp says NO because there is little evidence to suggest all engines will fail without. Can't we just occupy the middle ground and say: Do the Doo + Bob if you want. If you don't want, it's ok. Just enjoy the bike as is. Let's not be so rigid about our positions.

Personally, I do believe the Bob is worthwhile for more even temps in cold weather. But I'm not going to push anyone to install it. It's up to each owner.
I don't think I'm entrenched at all; the last thing I say in my standard doo post is: 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.

I agree; it's up to the Owner. The problem stems from when said Owner comes here to get opinions on whether to "do the doo" or not and here's some information that may be incorrect. Saying the levers or springs don't break is a good example; clearly they do break and many of us here have first hand proof of it.

The T bob is even less imperative from the perspective that not having one won't cause any immediate or catastrophic failure.......I think it makes for a better cooling system and the science/physics behind it is sound but who knows if I'll ever put enough miles on my KLR's for it to matter before I can't ride anymore.


Dave
 

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I don't understand the yellow-shirted mechanic's (Jurgen's?) explanation for why the torsion spring is better than the coil spring. He seems to say that once the doo's adjustment bolt is tightened, there's no longer any pressure on the torsion spring. I just don't see how that can be true. Locking the doo in place with the adjustment bolt does stop either type of spring from being able to move the doo any further, but it doesn't stop them from exerting a force on the doo, even if it is not enough to overcome the bolt pressure on the doo. The only time that isn't the case is when the spring is broken or it is so fatigued that it can no longer apply any force to the doo. And I thought the latter was the real advantage to the torsion spring - it doesn't fatigue in the same manner as the coil spring and will continue to allow for adjustment longer than a coil spring is able to.

...good how-to video otherwise.
Let me try;

On the stock setup, the lever is locked in place by the bolt but the spring is hooked to a separate fitting on the shaft. Due to the fact that the lever fits loosely on the shaft, the shaft can still move (albeit incrementally) and when the shaft moves back and forth a gazillion times, the spring is also moving very slightly and it eventually fatigues and breaks.

With Eaglemike's lever and torsion spring, firstly the EM lever fits much more tightly on the shaft which locks it into place and secondly, the torsion spring is attached to the lever so as long as the lever is locked down the spring can't move at all......it still has tension but it doesn't move.


Dave
 
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