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Old 06-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
smithchart OP
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Northern CA
Oddometer: 8
KLR 250 project

I'm a long-time lurker on advrider, and have benefited form many of the threads here. I have a KLR250 and my wife has an XT225 that we ride occasionally. I recently found a 97 KLR250 on craigslist for super cheap with engine problems. I initially thought I'd buy it just to have spare parts for my regular KLR (since I'm always unintentionally removing turn signals, plastics, and have a somewhat tweaked triple tree), as the previous owner said that the crankshaft bearing needed replacement, but he couldn't really explain how he knew that.

Overall, here's what I ended up with.
  • 1997 KLR250 with 17K miles
  • Clymer manual and factory service manual
  • Some extra brakes
  • 2 spare spark plugs
  • aftermarket seat in new condition
  • luggage rack
  • A somewhat legitimate pink slip and bill of sale
  • 1 completely obliterated turn signal, which was saved for some reason
  • Original toolbag without tools, oddly not attached to the bike.


Plastics, turn signals, tank, radiators, etc... all in decent shape (good enough for me at least.) Seat is definitely going on my good KLR, as well as the little luggage rack.


Decided to tear down the engine because why not? Immediately found a problem. Not quite sure how a cam lobe gets like this... the top end was getting oil though because the cam journals look good. The intake cam isn't nearly as bad, but still shows some wear. I know that the valves haven't been adjusted recently because the valve cover was caked on. I take meticulous care of the valves on my other KLR, and the valve cover pops right off because I'm in there frequently.



Taking apart the bottom end just to see what's up with it. There was very little debris in the strainer basket, and the oil filter appeared to be brand new. Currently waiting on an M20x1.5 flywheel puller (bolt) to arrive so I can split the cases.


These are the throttle cables. This is no doubt a masterful trail-side repair to be proud of, but why would you leave it like this once you got home? So many oddities about this bike. Everything on the handlebars was routed in a ridiculous fashion, so that basically everything prevented it turning freely from lock to lock.


So, not quite sure what to do with it next. Without removing the crank, it seems OK. I can't really feel any play in it. Possibly the previous owner was just oblivious to what the actual problem is, and the cam was why it wouldn't run well? I think that a cam worn to this extent could make a misleading knocking sound.

If it just required a new cam to be running again, I would definitely repair it and have a running bike. The problem is that KLR250 cams are almost worth their weight in gold, and the cost of a new set of cams + lifters + timing chain is pretty high ($400 on eBay maybe), and I still might have to fix other things... Will wait to see if there are more clues inside.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #2
smithchart OP
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This really boggles the mind. The front brake line was tied to the handlebar on the port side so that it couldn't move and flex when the forks move... Result is that the plastic tube keeping the brake line safe and rigid along the forks broke.

I'm going to say that the previous owner wasn't too good at figuring out how mechanical things work...
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:47 PM   #3
smithchart OP
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Cam journals appear to be in good shape. Not quite sure about the lifters, since I don't know what a good specimen looks like.

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Old 06-20-2015, 07:36 PM   #4
1994klr250
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Hopefully you are able to get it running. Not sure how an exhaust lobe gets like that. When you say to lifters are you talking about the rocker arms or maybe the cam followers? I have a soft spot for the klr250, hope you are able to save this one.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:03 PM   #5
smithchart OP
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Sorry, meant the rocker arm, where it touches the cam. I see that there is a measurement spec for the rocker arm, but this looks like the pivot point of the arm, not where it touches the cam.

Quote:
Rocker Arm Inside Diameter: 12.5-12.518mm (service limit 12.55mm)
Rocker Shaft Diameter: 12.466-12.484mm (service limit 12.44mm)
I would like to save it, although I also don't want it to become a money pit...
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
smithchart OP
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Ok, I think I see what the problem is with the bottom end. If I grab the flywheel I can actually move move the crankshaft up and down while it's still in the case, which definitely indicates bad crankshaft bearing on that side. The rod has no end play that I can feel. Not sure how I missed this during initial tear down.

Going to split the cases next and see what I find. As long as I don't have to rebuild the crank, I think it's fixable.
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:22 PM   #7
barnyard
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Even if you move the best parts to your good KLR and part the rest, you should still come out a head if you part out the rest.

Are the KLR 250 parts the same as the Suzuki DR 250 parts??
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:40 PM   #8
smithchart OP
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Yeah I think so too. I'm more than happy to get the seat, rack, and easily breakable items (plastics, turn signals, mirrors) for the price... Everything else is just gravy.

I doubt that the Suzuki has anything in common with the KLR, but could be wrong...
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:53 PM   #9
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Kaw and Suz shared models for several years. DRZ 400/KLX 400, KX100/RM100 are 2 examples.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:31 PM   #10
smithchart OP
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Ah, didn't know that. I'm pretty sure the KLR250 is a beast of it's own.

So looking at the price to fix, it's about a thousand bucks to get this thing running again, and that's iff nothing goes wrong in the process.



Worth it for a 17k, 18 year old bike? I'm beginning to think no...
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:16 PM   #11
smithchart OP
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Well, it's officially "for parts."

Opened up the case and found that both of the crankshaft bearings are wobbling, and the left side appears to be spun. You can see damage in the bearing seat, and it's not at all snug. Most of the other bearings in the case do not turn very freely. So the engine is officially a goner. Kind of amazing that it still runs with all these problems, although not for long I would think.

At least the transmission will make a sweet paperweight for my otherwise beige and taupe cubicle.

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