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Old 07-04-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
AndreMaple OP
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Joined: May 2014
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Question Nightmare of purchasing a used bike, what now?

Man, I'm an idiot. I recently got hooked with the adventure aspect of adventure riding and since our two boys are almost out of college, that's when my wife said I can get back into motorcycling, I searched around a bit and bought a used 2003 KLR 650 with 30K miles on it from a guy in my area.

It's seemed like a good way to go. Get a used bike ride it a bit to see if I'm up to it, and upgrade. The bike looked good. Sexy good in fact. It had newer tires, not too scratched up. New skid plate and protective bars around the bike and a pelican case on the rear. The guy tells me the only thing wrong was that the drain plug had been striped out and that it was repaired. Otherwise it ran great.

The guy is a cop who trains motorcycle safety and said he rode it a bit but liked his Harley a lot better. So, it started up good, idled smoothy and since I was not legal to ride it, I though, what the heck he's an honest guy seemed trustworthy. He's in law enforcement. So I got the bike. I got my learners permit and some protective riding gear and started to ride early Sunday mornings. It was a blast. The bike handled great. I even found some gravel to ride on and man was I happy. I got it on the highway and bam, right up to 70 mph. I got a winner. Now, take the motorcycle safety training course and plan a few short rides and the the WABDR this fall and next spring, Baja.

So, being a bit mechanically inclined I torn into the Clymer's guide and decided maybe I should take it to a mechanic to get a baseline on it to see just what's what. BTW after my first ride I came out to the garage to admire my new companion, and to my dismay there's a puddle of oil under the front forks. and then a while later under the bike as well. I saw up under the skid plate was a little drip, not to worry though, I'll keep an eye on it.

So the bike mechanic who says he know the KLR well has if a few days and give me the report. $1300. Full service, replace the doohickey if needed, fix teh shocks, adjust the valves, new chain and sprockets and a few other things. I though, ok not too bad. I got it fairly cheap, it looks great now just a small investment and she'll be good a new. Well, not so fast.

A couple of weeks later-- this time of the year everybody want to ride and so bike mechanics are crazy busy and stacked up. Especially up here in WA where it rains a lot and the nice weather is about 4-5 months. Unless you don't mind riding in the rain and snow.

I get the report back the case was cracked, most likely from bottoming out, but no damage to the skid plate. And then when someone JR welded it back together the drain plug was cross threaded into the JR weld. So, he said he could TIG weld it back and hopefully it would work. He's done a lot of case repairs and was confident he could fix it, or get new case for $800. Anyway, another $1500 to tear it down and do a mild rebuild if needed, and she'd be good to go. At this point I was planning my first ride for July 4th weekend to Eastern WA so I gave him the go ahead.

I hadn't heard back from him, but then I was very busy with work this week, so I popped into the shop to see what's what. "You didn't get my message?"

Yeah, the motor is toast. It looks like it had been run out of oil a couple of times and it's not worth rebuilding. If I did rebuild it, it would cost at least $4500. Crap, now what do I do?

I've been searching for motors, considered rebuilding it myself, buying a bottom end off EBay for $580, I don't know. Any advise? The wife's out of town, I should have been adventure riding, but instead I'm kicking myself for getting ripped off and crying about it here.

It looks like any motor up to and including 2007 would work. 2008 is when they changed.

I'm even considering buying another one and using/parting this one out. But honestly I'm into riding and maintaining, not rebuilding and wrenching

Guess I'll go finish painting the trim in the upstairs bedroom.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
RideFreak
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That sucks, sounds like the PO omitted a "few details". Have you considered contacting him? Unfortunately with a used bike it's buyer beware
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:08 PM   #3
a1fa
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Looks like you picked a wrong mechanic. Call the old owner and ask him if he is aware of this, or if he was aware of any previous issues. Ask the mechanic for some money back. Take the bike, part it out, move on. To me, it reads like the mechanic took you for a ride. First, for $1300 you could've bought a brand new KLR motor. They are all over ebay for that amount... anyway, sorry -- small claims court if the po said those issues were not there before.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #4
Ironwood
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I would be calling Mister Good Cop immediately. And if that didn't get results then I would call his supervisor.
that is a total load of crap. Good luck with it.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:12 PM   #5
a1fa
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and by God, replace the damn motor yourself. It takes no mechanical aptitude to do so. All it takes is two hunks muscling the motor back in place.. Also, when you do so, make sure you FLUSH YOUR RADIATOR and COOLANT + HOSES, and OIL COOLER --- VERY WELL!!!
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:14 PM   #6
Carlisja
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Man that blows. But for the price of the engine rebuild, you could buy another bike. My advice is to disassemble the KLR and sell the individual parts. It may take some time but you will likely recoup most of not all of your investment this way. While you are at it, upgrade early. Most used bike deals don't go south like yours did. Try again. You could even get a BMW 1200 GS for less than $8k.

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Old 07-04-2014, 01:20 PM   #7
ohgood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreMaple View Post
Man, I'm an idiot. I recently got hooked with the adventure aspect of adventure riding and since our two boys are almost out of college, that's when my wife said I can get back into motorcycling, I searched around a bit and bought a used 2003 KLR 650 with 30K miles on it from a guy in my area.

It's seemed like a good way to go. Get a used bike ride it a bit to see if I'm up to it, and upgrade. The bike looked good. Sexy good in fact. It had newer tires, not too scratched up. New skid plate and protective bars around the bike and a pelican case on the rear. The guy tells me the only thing wrong was that the drain plug had been striped out and that it was repaired. Otherwise it ran great.

The guy is a cop who trains motorcycle safety and said he rode it a bit but liked his Harley a lot better. So, it started up good, idled smoothy and since I was not legal to ride it, I though, what the heck he's an honest guy seemed trustworthy. He's in law enforcement. So I got the bike. I got my learners permit and some protective riding gear and started to ride early Sunday mornings. It was a blast. The bike handled great. I even found some gravel to ride on and man was I happy. I got it on the highway and bam, right up to 70 mph. I got a winner. Now, take the motorcycle safety training course and plan a few short rides and the the WABDR this fall and next spring, Baja.

So, being a bit mechanically inclined I torn into the Clymer's guide and decided maybe I should take it to a mechanic to get a baseline on it to see just what's what. BTW after my first ride I came out to the garage to admire my new companion, and to my dismay there's a puddle of oil under the front forks. and then a while later under the bike as well. I saw up under the skid plate was a little drip, not to worry though, I'll keep an eye on it.

So the bike mechanic who says he know the KLR well has if a few days and give me the report. $1300. Full service, replace the doohickey if needed, fix teh shocks, adjust the valves, new chain and sprockets and a few other things. I though, ok not too bad. I got it fairly cheap, it looks great now just a small investment and she'll be good a new. Well, not so fast.

A couple of weeks later-- this time of the year everybody want to ride and so bike mechanics are crazy busy and stacked up. Especially up here in WA where it rains a lot and the nice weather is about 4-5 months. Unless you don't mind riding in the rain and snow.

I get the report back the case was cracked, most likely from bottoming out, but no damage to the skid plate. And then when someone JR welded it back together the drain plug was cross threaded into the JR weld. So, he said he could TIG weld it back and hopefully it would work. He's done a lot of case repairs and was confident he could fix it, or get new case for $800. Anyway, another $1500 to tear it down and do a mild rebuild if needed, and she'd be good to go. At this point I was planning my first ride for July 4th weekend to Eastern WA so I gave him the go ahead.

I hadn't heard back from him, but then I was very busy with work this week, so I popped into the shop to see what's what. "You didn't get my message?"

Yeah, the motor is toast. It looks like it had been run out of oil a couple of times and it's not worth rebuilding. If I did rebuild it, it would cost at least $4500. Crap, now what do I do?

I've been searching for motors, considered rebuilding it myself, buying a bottom end off EBay for $580, I don't know. Any advise? The wife's out of town, I should have been adventure riding, but instead I'm kicking myself for getting ripped off and crying about it here.

It looks like any motor up to and including 2007 would work. 2008 is when they changed.

I'm even considering buying another one and using/parting this one out. But honestly I'm into riding and maintaining, not rebuilding and wrenching

Guess I'll go finish painting the trim in the upstairs bedroom.
you have a terrible mechanic.

he's ripping you off.

the Klr is dead simple easy to work on, if it EVER needs it.

1 replace your fork seals= $40
2 doohickey AND fix drain plug = $100

literally nothing else is needed to ride it another 70000 miles besides consumables like tires, oil, brake pads
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
Bleemus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
you have a terrible mechanic.

he's ripping you off.

the Klr is dead simple easy to work on, if it EVER needs it.

1 replace your fork seals= $40
2 doohickey AND fix drain plug = $100

literally nothing else is needed to ride it another 70000 miles besides consumables like tires, oil, brake pads

I think you missed the part where the engine was toast and had been run with low or no oil.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:29 PM   #9
Bajaexplorer
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Well, I an't gonna say a word. Wouldn't do no good at this stage of the game.
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:02 PM   #10
ohgood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
I think you missed the part where the engine was toast and had been run with low or no oil.
that first part about $1300 for"full service" on a Klr was my point
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:16 PM   #11
jms78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
I think you missed the part where the engine was toast and had been run with low or no oil.
I'd be asking to see the parts that are supposedly toasted. I've had a motor run out of oil and it ain't pretty. My guess is the mechanic is taking the OP to the cleaners.
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:50 PM   #12
conchscooter
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How does an engine run dry twice then perform as the OP reports it running before his mechanic saw him coming, then suddenly it's toast? Weird.
Easier to blame the cop I guess, but it doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:01 PM   #13
Duken4evr
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I would take it to a welder/machine shop, get the crack and drain plug fixed. You can do fork seals yourself if you try, or have someone do them, then ride it. Hell, the thing was running fine before the JB let go.

Sucks that it has some hack repairs, but it would be knocking and blowing smoke if the motor was that hurt. KLRs are tough, you really have to work at it to destroy one.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:05 PM   #14
Auto-X Fil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchscooter View Post
How does an engine run dry twice then perform as the OP reports it running before his mechanic saw him coming, then suddenly it's toast? Weird.
Easier to blame the cop I guess, but it doesn't make sense to me.
I agree. I've blown up enough motors to know how that goes.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:06 PM   #15
NJ-Brett
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Yes, it sure sounds like someone has a boat payment to make.

Be ready to get bent over if you are paying someone to work on your dirt bike.
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