Got out for a decent ride - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Got out for a decent ride

Last week I managed to get in a decent ride. We're in the middle of summer and having a heat wave, so it was pretty hot. It ranged from 90° to 110°, at least in fair weather.

The first leg of the trip was a two-day ride up to Sacramento to hook up with my buddy Tim. The objective was to ride all back roads and I managed to ride some of my favorites, CA58, Indian Valley, Peachtree, Mt. Hamilton, and San Antonio Valley. Picked up a couple of new roads, Mines Road and a bunch of stuff in the delta area near Rio Vista, plus most of the levees around Sacramento.

I overnighted at Pinnacles National Park. The campground is so-so, but they get you for an entry fee and a campsite fee, so I can't recommend it unless you just really want to stay there. I stayed because I'd never been there and SLOKLR used to rave about it.


The second leg of the trip was a day ride up over Mormon Immigrant Trail, then south and east on CA 4 to go over Ebbett's Pass. Stopped at Alpine Lake for a late lunch and spent two hours there waiting out a summer thunderstorm. On the way back to Sacramento there were a bunch of new back roads between CA 4 and US 50.

The third leg was a short trip out to Winters for lunch, followed by a ride out and back to Angwin. I had a pinched nerve in my neck from early in the ride, so I wasn't in the best of shape or moods, but it was a good ride.

The fourth leg was the usual blast down I5, up the Grapevine and over Tejon Pass. This is the same ride that tried hard to kill me last year, and this year didn't disappoint. Tejon Pass has it in for me. I had heard that there was a slight chance of rain in the pass, so I knew that, 100%, I was going to see rain. It was torrential. Folks were pulling off the road and waiting it out. Traffic was moving at 30 miles an hour. Most had their four-ways going, including me. Water was running in the road and the rain was hard and felt like hail coming down. Lightning was hitting the hills on both sides of the road quite frequently. Fortunately, I had my heat vest on because I had been running in ambients near 100°, so it soaked up a good bit of the moisture. The temperatures dropped to 70° during the storm, but after about 15 miles the skies cleared and the temps shot back up to about 95°. The rest of the ride was uneventful and cool because the vest got recharged.

Here's what the ride looked like. North is to the left.


I gathered some data on oil temps.


Conclusions, at decent moving speeds and with a Thermo-Bob, coolant doesn't care much what the ambient temperature is nor what the engine load is . Oil cares a lot what ambient conditions and engine load are. Taping off the holes in the engine guard and skid plate doesn't do much, maybe 4°, but, arguably, taping off the holes and the gap between the guard and the plate does more. I'm going to have to wait for winter to see if the taping helps when things are much cooler. As I have noticed before, if you add cold, wet air to the mix the oil temperatures plummet. During the rainstorm on the pass, when I was finally able to look down and see the oil temperature, it was 165° and climbing when it should have been at around 200°, given the ambient of 70°.

And the Wφssner? Nice. Though I rode mostly in the 4000-5000RPM range, it loves to rev and quickly. Power was plentiful. It ran up the Grapevine Hill at 75mph inf 5th as effortlessly as it would run 75mph on the flats. No where near full throttle. Someday I'll get back over to Cholame Valley Road and see what it will do. My current gear is a 16/43 with a KLR600 primary, so about the same as stock KLR650 gearing. Might be fun to put a 17 on it for a speed run.

Problems. My neutral switch seems spotty, so it needs to be swapped out. The Vapor tach is smooth and rock solid, but cuts out somewhere north of 6500RPM. I think that means that the resistor I have in the tach line is too small. That was not much of a problem, as I pretty much kept it under 5000RPM. The USB port died, and I needed it. Piece of cheap Chinese crap.

Things I was concerned about but didn't need to be. The Gen 1 ignition worked flawlessly. The new VRR worked perfectly. The KLR600 bits and the kick start train didn't give any problems. Oil consumption was not measurable.

I have an oil sample with 100 miles on it that I have been saving up to send in with the next sample. I'm going to drop the oil and send off the two samples of Rotella. The new oil will be Kawasaki oil.

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-08-2017 at 12:24 AM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
The new oil will be Kawasaki oil.
Ah, a pdwestman convert!



Most enjoyable and informative ride report; thanks for sharing.

A modest question: During steady-state high ambient temperature operation, would you expect coolant and oil temperatures to be significantly different with a Thermo-Bob and with a stock cooling system?
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 07:46 AM
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Good stuff Tom!

Bike looks killer with the tank vest.

You are inspiring me to keep the KLR and get it fixed. (I semi retired it last week due to excessive oil burning)

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Ah, a pdwestman convert!...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
...A modest question: During steady-state high ambient temperature operation, would you expect coolant and oil temperatures to be significantly different with a Thermo-Bob and with a stock cooling system?
That's a stumper. I've never really had a KLR without a Thermo-Bob, so I don't know what temperature the coolant would settle down to if the ambients were between 90° and 100°.

I do know that if ambient conditions work to cool the engine, such as riding in cool, moist air, that the oil temperatures can literally plummet. It seems that the basic oil temperature is partly a function of engine case temperature. If the stock KLR cooling system runs at significantly less than 210° when the ambients are ~95°, then I'd expect the oil temperatures to be lower as well.

I'd like to know the answer to that from someone with first hand experience!

Don't know if you noticed it in the data, but the TB has always locked down the coolant temperatures at 212° at the head and 178° at the TB. Halfway through the ride the coolant temp at the head changed to 208°, though the TB stayed at 178°. Odd.

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-08-2017 at 10:55 AM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cabrito View Post
Good stuff Tom!

Bike looks killer with the tank vest.

You are inspiring me to keep the KLR and get it fixed. (I semi retired it last week due to excessive oil burning)
I wish you were closer. We'd take an afternoon and put a new set of banjo bolts in and restrict the oil passage to the crank and see if that didn't help with the oil burning.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could try it. Won't cost you but $20 and an afternoon of wrenching.
http://www.souperdoo.com/stuff%20tha...ht-oil-burning

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 08-08-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I wish you were closer. We'd take an afternoon and put a new set of banjo bolts in and restrict the oil passage to the crank and see if that didn't help with the oil burning.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could try it. Won't cost you but $20 and an afternoon of wrenching.
Paul Westman's Mods to Fight Oil Burning
Is that mod for high RPM oil burning? Mine is smoking at idle now...

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------------------------------------------------------------
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ah! That is a bit worse. And it must be quite bad if you've retired the bike.

The pre-arranged 685 kit is about as painless as it gets, but it's not painless.

How many miles did you rack up on that thing, anyway?

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 07:53 PM
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Is that mod for high RPM oil burning? Mine is smoking at idle now...
Cabrito, Any rough idea as to miles per pint / quart of engine oil?
As Tom said, my PDW mods are quite cheap. An exhaust header gasket ($7) only if you drill your original banjo bolts and anneal the 6 banjo gaskets.
It would be interesting to see if it might make a 5 or 25 % or '0' difference in oil consumption. ???
Of course you would have to ride it a 1000 or so miles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Ah! That is a bit worse. And it must be quite bad if you've retired the bike.

The pre-arranged 685 kit is about as painless as it gets, but it's not painless.

How many miles did you rack up on that thing, anyway?
Agreed!

The most painful part of a 685 piston kit is getting the second piston pin circlip installed into the piston, on the bike! The left one is fairly well done on the work bench. But the second one, RH side while on the bike, Hurts the fingers!!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-08-2017, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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The secret to the second circlip is a cheap chopstick from the Chinese takeout place. Plenty strong enough to move the circlip around, but it won't booger things up.

Tom [email protected]

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-09-2017, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Cabrito, Any rough idea as to miles per pint / quart of engine oil?
As Tom said, my PDW mods are quite cheap. An exhaust header gasket ($7) only if you drill your original banjo bolts and anneal the 6 banjo gaskets.
It would be interesting to see if it might make a 5 or 25 % or '0' difference in oil consumption. ???
Of course you would have to ride it a 1000 or so miles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Ah! That is a bit worse. And it must be quite bad if you've retired the bike.

The pre-arranged 685 kit is about as painless as it gets, but it's not painless.

How many miles did you rack up on that thing, anyway?
Sight glass goes from full all the way to the top of the glass - to not registering anything in three commute days or 120 miles. Of my 20 mile one way commute it's 1/2 city, 1/4 secondary highway 55-60mph, and 1/4 Freeway but most of that is a low speed splitting lanes with a one or two mile burst of 60-85mph when and if traffic opens up. Stock gearing gets me a little over 6k RPM's but just for a minute.. It's been using oil since I got the thing with 11k on the clock (add every 500 miles depending on driving), and now at 41k it's much worse.

I'm still thinking of doing the 685 kit at home...

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Michael G in SF | 2018 KTM 1090R Adventure | 02 XR400R (Plated) | 2011 FJ Cruiser Army Green |
------------------------------------------------------------
"If you have the will and not the way, you wont get very far."
Snakeboy66

Last edited by Cabrito; 08-09-2017 at 08:16 AM.
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