This is a hobby website dedicated to the Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. I make no claim concerning the accuracy of the procedures, nor do I guarantee the success of any work done using them. All users of the material found here are advised that there is no real or implied warranty associated in any way with the website content, and that all content available here is for use at your own risk.
Copyright © 2001 Mark's KLR Pages
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This is the home of all the stuff that didn't really have a home. I believe at least some of this will prove useful...
I'm going to include all the boring details, in case someone else is having trouble and reads something that "fits."
The bike was running poorly in general; it was bad at slower speeds, and a nightmare the faster I tried to go. It was not backfiring, hard to start or anything else. It just had all the speed of an abused moped. As I was riding, if I worked the throttle back and forth a bit, I could feel the briefest moments when it seemed as though it was trying to run the way it should, but it never did. (That fact helped point me in the right direction.) The worst part was that the bike wouldn't go over 55-60mph.
Hoping for the easy way out of this, I dumped a full can of Sea Foam into a full tank of 93 Octane Sunoco gas; unfortunately that didn't help, but my carb is incredibly clean.
Time to look at the carb. I had already done the subframe upgrade, and would highly recommend the procedure to anybody. (The Dual-Star kit is complete with all that you need.) I had the bike on a Craftsman lift. Having done that subframe upgrade, it was super easy to remove the upper main bolt, loosen the two lower bolts and adjust the lift height to allow the subframe to drop down and back. The carb came right out and went right back in with no hassle at all.
I took the carb to my workbench for some quality time together. I first checked the top and found the tear right away, shown in the picture below. Of course, you can't buy just the $2.50 diaphram. You have to buy the whole slide assembly. Here's an important note: I called the local dealer, (Ronnie's Cycle in Pittsfield, MA), who does both Harley and Kawasaki. This part for a Harley 1200 Sportster is around $50. The same Kawasaki part is around $140.00 dollars! Yikes!
From Bradley Darville: A Little Dab (of valve lapping compound) Will Do Ya
I have told my wife about this, but she just doesn't seem to appreciate it. (Grin)
I find that a tiny smear of valve lapping compound can sometimes make all the difference on a stubborn Allen, Phillips or Torx for that matter.I have some Snap-On allen sockets that I was able to twist like a candy cane; the Snap-On guy was very proud. This also works nicely on the flats of an open end wrench...
The above picture shows the inside of the speedometer hub, (located normally on the right side of the front wheel.) The yellow arrows point to the tab ears, and the slots into which they fit.
The picture above shows the worm gear that requires a little grease. Don't overgrease, and don't use anything too heavy. I like Mobil synthetic grease for pretty much everything, including this area.
This is the tube that runs from the oil filter cover to the engine. It must be installed, and can only be correctly installed in this direction - with the reduced end going in first.
Good lighting in a work area is obviously very important, and the addition of spotlights makes valve adjustments so much easier by catching the top of the bike in kind of a cross-fire. These are in addition to the normal fluorescent lamps.
I found that with the bash plate off my bike, the lift brought the bike up securely but very unevenly. I had more things to do, such as a coolant flush, that required the bash plate to be off, so I made this temporary wooden "bash plate."
This is just a square of 3/4" CDX. I put it on the two lift pads, and pumped it up to just touching the oil drain bolt. I circled the bolt head with a pencil, and cut out a larger circle around it for clearance.
The strip of wood at the top of the picture brings the back end of the bike up and level. The two blocks on either edge are for easily positioning the bike. See the bottom picture in this set of three.
The long strip of wood at the top is a piece of 2x4, ripped to 5/16." This was the amount necessary to level the bike on the lift the way I wanted it.
The positioning blocks are just scrap 3/4" plywood. With the bike on the board & up on the lift, I just laid the blocks in place, and marked a pencil line on the bottom for a perfect cut and fit.
The footrests don't need to be off for this. I had them off for photography during the doohickey upgrade, and just haven't put them back into place yet.
Pump the board up close to the frame bottom, position the board/lift so that the footrest bracket is snugged up to the positioning block. This will give you consistent levelling of the bike when lifted. Then, just pump the lift!
Here's a closeup of the ABS tool tube end. I used ABS only because I thought the black color would blend in better with the rest of the bike. I chose 2" (ID) ABS because I didn't need to carry a lot of stuff; I currently just have tire irons, hacksaw blades and a flare. This tool tube also serves as an excellent footrest, giving you a change of seating position on long trips.
The total length of the tube, from end to end, is about 20". I chose this length because that's just inside the measurement from footpeg tip to footpeg tip. Just the tube itself is probably about 18.5"
I got everything at Home Depot; 4 stainless hose clamps to keep it securely in place, a length of 2" ABS pipe, (I think it came in 10' lengths), the two adapters, the two end caps, and small containers of the special ABS cleaner and glue.
The adapter is half smooth where it seals / welds to the pipe, and is threaded on the other half for the caps, or plugs. As you can see from the picture, I used recessed plugs with a large square center which can easily be turned by hand, the pliers of a multi-purpose tool, or whatever.
It's very secure, but I don't know how it would hold up in a crash. I would hope that it would provide at least some kind of protection in the event of a tip over, but that hasn't been tested...
Here's the full tube mounted. In addition to storage, it does work great as a footrest. You can probably use larger pipe if you want to carry more stuff, the 2" did all *I* needed it to.
Thanks to Jonathan, I now have a set of Kawasaki saddle bags for my longer trips. Although I know there may be some scuffing of the side covers, I wasn't worried $180.00 worth about it - which is the pretty much the best price I could find for manufactured side racks. The picture above shows the "rack" that I made to keep the right bag off the muffler.
I beat a piece of 1/4" EMT into submission, and then buffed it with a wire brush on a hand grinder. I removed the single bolt holding the muffler, marked the hole location from the backside with a Sharpie, and drilled the hole. When the Rustoleum paint had dried for a couple days, I installed the "rack" with a longer grade 8 bolt through the muffler-holding bracket using blue loctite and double nuts.
Here's a good alternative from John:
I cut a piece of diamond plate aluminum about the same width and ~ 3 inches longer than the existing heat shield.
Removed the existing heat shield bolts, and bought ~2" replacements and a large stack of washers.
Put the factory shield back in place, then my diamond plate shield, held ~ 3/4" off of the existing shield by the washers, then the replacement bolts running through the diamond plate shield, the washers (used as stand-offs), the factory heat shield, and into the existing bolt holes.
I cut a notch out of my bash plate that allows me to easily remove the protective rubber cap from the balancer adjuster bolt, and use my socket on an extension to loosen & tighten the bolt for adjustment.
To adjust the shock spring preload, turn the adjuster nut, shown above circled in red:
Turn counterclockwise to lower the number for a softer ride
Turn clockwise to raise the number for a stiffer ride
The MSR Brake Saver is shown in the image above. I secured it around the stock bash plate mount, and to the front of the brake pedal, as shown. This will prevent brush, saplings and things like that from sliding in there and breaking off the pedal.
The right rear wheel spacer is shown above. This must be replaced when changing tires or whatever.
The left rear wheel spacer was a stinker to get a good picture of because there's so little space between the swingarm and chain / sprocket. The spacer is indicated in the picture above by the yellow box. You can see the shine of it about in the middle.
This is the IMS shifter mounted on my KLR. (That's not a countershaft seal leak, just a heavy-handed application of WD40)
This is the headlight guard that was made by Jake of Sagebrush Machine Shop. Jake has since passed away, so you'd have to explore other alternatives.
A welding rod keeper can make an inexpensive, yet tough, tool holder. Harbor Freight link: Welding Rod Keeper