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Old 07-07-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
Helikoptermann OP
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KLR-Noises

Hello everyone!

A little while ago, my KLR started to make a rattle-noise. So far she still runs fine, and Im kinda reluctant to open up the working engine of my only bike in the midst of the riding season. But of course, there is paranoia involved.

So , all you experts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4kb...ature=youtu.be

The KLR is a '96 650 (European model), 38000kms/24000mls, Eagle-Doo and no milk crate.

Will this thing leave me stranded within no-time? Am i just being over-sensitive? Do they all do that?

Appreciate all your help
Tim
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
markk53
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I do not know if the "doohicky" (balancer chain tensioner) makes that kind of noise when it goes bad or not. I'm sure someone will say something.

I do know if the cam chain tensioner starts to fail it will make noise like that. If you put a mechanic's stethoscope or a screwdriver tip (handle against ear) around the area and you find the noise is loudest around the cam drive/tensioner you need to replace the cam chain tensioner. I had to on my KLX650, Zephyr 550 and KLX250. I also make them so I do have some background in this.

There is no good short cut to deal with the tensioner other than either a new one or (best choice) a manual one. All the shortcuts can put the chain under tension causing premature wear to the chain and sliders, with the possibility of pulling the cams hard enough to break the oil film in the cam bearing area of the head causing siezure damage.

If you want to consider a manual tensioner, there is a rider in the Netherlands that sells the one I make. Contact Rob at Exhausist or email him at info@exhausist.com to get a price quote. He does not show the KLR650, but it is the same as the KLX650.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #3
Helikoptermann OP
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Whew, this community sure is fast...

As I mentioned the Doohickey shouldn't be part of the issue. But the cam chain tensioner sounds like a hot ticket. The noise always remembered me of the one that a chain makes, when it's sliding over something.

I won't be around the bike all week, but i will check as soon as i can. I already tried turning the motor by hand and listening, but i didn't think of the screwdriver idea.

Thanks so far
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:53 PM   #4
PlatedDirtBike
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Wicked Ouch

I would suggest that you remove the side cover(s) and see what you can find. You can tear it down pretty well without removing the engine from the bike and splitting the case. I owned a 2004 KLR 650 put 70,000 miles on it without a rebuild of any kind. And I never had it sound anything like that. I did the "doohickey" with torsion spring and such. It sounds to me like a balancer chain guide or cam chain guide has gone bad. Do you have shavings or metal particles in the oil? Pull the side covers off and I'm guessing you'll find the culprit.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:23 AM   #5
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ya.... take the cover off and see whats happening. also check the oil filter for metal. sound can travel funny in the klr engine. might be good to take the valve cover off too & have a look
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:35 AM   #6
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If you dont have access to a mechanics stethescope, get a long handled screwdriver. Place the handle against your ear and the tip on various parts of the crankcase and cyliner and try to locate where the noise is coming from.

Several questions;
1. When last did you adjust the 'Doo'? That little 8mm bolt just below the gear shifter? 3/4 turn loose, then tighten it. The spring should adjust the chain.
2. Have you ever checked the cam chain tensioner? There is a specific assembly process. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=692436

If the noise is still there after the 2 above, then it is time to take the side cover off.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:12 AM   #7
Helikoptermann OP
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I did the doo-procedure you mentioned around 1000klms ago, along with the rest of a service. It didn't change anything about the noise.

As far as I had seen, there was no unusual junk in the oil filter then, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
markk53
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I'm betting since everything else has been eliminated, you have a failed cam chain tensioner. I do get contacted and sell them to KLR guys on occasion. I do more of the 250s and have done several hundred for KLX series bikes. The KLX guys are finally realizing the noise is not normal, is not harmless, and can be resolved quite easily without engine disassembly. No more replacing cam chains that should last the life of the engine.

If so, the noise is the symptom of a cam chain tensioner pushing in and springing out over and over. Of course this means variable cam timing as the chain goes loose and tight. The rattle of the loose chain can eventually damage the chain, the sliders and if it gets bad enough it can possibly jump teeth on the crank and damage some valves. It's not just the noise.
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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You should just replace the stock unit with one of the Krieger manual tensioner. It's cheap insurance.
He's my brother and I know he doesn't make much off these. He makes them just to help out riders with a solution he devised that is simple, elegant and works well.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:11 AM   #10
Helikoptermann OP
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As soon as i will get to the bike, i will check for all that. But unfortunately it will be another week until I can get home. Currently its finals season for me, so all study, no bikey...

I HOPE it is just the cam chain tensioner, because it would be the easiest fix. But of course, as the thoughts travel, what if I DIDN'T get all the bits and pieces of the old doohickey? There were so many of them that I wasnt able to puzzle it together anymore.

Lets hope for the best. If it turns out to be the tensioner, I'll be all over the new manual one.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:02 AM   #11
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You hear a lot of complaints from the KLX owners, but rarely from a KLR owner. It is always the Doo. Strange because it is the same tensioner.

Pull it out and look for rounded off teeth on the serrated square locking mechanism. That is caused by trying to adjust for chain stretch. Not enough to quite reach the next tooth, so the little pivoting triangular lock wears a tooth down as it rubs over it. Rub 2 down and there is enough chain slack to potentially skip several of them.

Check the automatic decompression weights on the exhaust cam. See that the spring is still in place or not stretched.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:59 AM   #12
Helikoptermann OP
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So...

I managed to look at least a little bit further into that matter today, and I've got good and bad news.

The bad news is, it's not the cam chain tensioner. I pulled it, and it looked pretty pristine to me.

The GOOD news is, that I played around with the screwdriver-method you guys told me about and I seem to have found the source of the noise. It's located on the left side of the motor, towards the front. So I guess that means essentially, doing the whole doohickey operation again...
Any ideas about moving parts in that location?

Cheers
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #13
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front balancer shaft is up there. it also turns the water pump. the bearing could be going bad. it is possible to change that bearing with the engine in the bike. I have never done it, but Eldon Carl used to have a "how to" on the process. he claimed that was a weak spot & made worse by extended periods over 5000 RPM. anyway, he and his stuff are gone off the net now and Top Gun is the new owner/name of his old operation since he retired. the other possibility is the balancer weights themselves.... up to 1996 the weights had cushioning springs. the springs wear and fall out. good news is the weights can be replaced with the new style... should be lots on fleabay. I would replace them anyway even if thats not the problem because they wear

I just checked flea.... lots for under $20.... even a couple buy it nows under 10
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helikoptermann View Post
So...

I managed to look at least a little bit further into that matter today, and I've got good and bad news.

The bad news is, it's not the cam chain tensioner. I pulled it, and it looked pretty pristine to me.

The GOOD news is, that I played around with the screwdriver-method you guys told me about and I seem to have found the source of the noise. It's located on the left side of the motor, towards the front. So I guess that means essentially, doing the whole doohickey operation again...
Any ideas about moving parts in that location?

Cheers
Check here http://www.bikebandit.com/2009-kawas...8857#sch579440 for an idea of the parts relating to the cam chain. And you may be aware so here's just a reminder, there is a process to resetting the cam chain tensioner. If it's installed incorrectly, noises that you describe may happen. If you don't know it, check your manual or the net.
Opps, I just noticed that you have a '90's bike. Play with the BikeBandit website and you'll find your parts.
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Old Today, 01:52 AM   #15
luisnomata
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hi, what was the problem? I have the same noise on my klr but whith less volume
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