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Old 11-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #1
thederrick106 OP
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New to me KLR650 (gen 1) A few questions for avid owners...

Finally picked up another bike after being bike-less for about two years.



I wasn't planning on buying right away but I always keep an eye on craigslist for the term "dual sport."



Any ways, long story short I picked up a 2003 KLR 650 for $1700.
I feel it was a pretty good deal. It's not mint and need some TLC from someone who can turn a wrench. Fortunately I can muddle my way through most things with nuts and bolts.



It has semi new tires, brakes, fluids, and a battery... Or so I am told. Tires and pads look good and the battery will be brought inside for the winter and charged up (work shop is not heated.) Oil will get changed prior to my first spring ride.

Now for a couple questions. Valves need to be checked and most likely adjusted. I also plan to replace the doohickey and spring. Which should I do first?
Do the valves on the KLR get tappy or make noise when out of adjustment because the engine sounds good with no noticeable out of place noise.

Other then the usual things?
-spark plug -air filter -oil & filter change...
Is there anything else I should be looking at as preventative maintenance, things I should do this winter so the bike is good to go for riding season? I am also considering longevity as I have plans to run as many miles as possible on this bike.

It currently has about 10k on the clock (just broke in IMO.) According to the seller the speedo stopped working a thousand miles or so ago and he didn't bother fixing it as he was going to sell it to move onto something else. Any common things that cause them to stop working other then speedo cable? He paid a shop to do everything that was done to it prior and said he wasn't mechanically inclined so for him to own an older bike, sounds like it was a costly venture.

How many miles per tank does the KLR average?

There are some obvious minor things, like a small bolt missing from the sub frame mount, battery covers not installed properly, everything you would expect for a bike of this nature. Nothing the mechanically inclined can't fix over the winter.

I haven't dove into anything yet as it was 20* today and after a mile or two ride on my seasonal road I was froze!



I am going to take repairs and upgrades one month at a time and try not to spend more then $100 per month on it until spring.

Little things like new levers, matching bolts, paint here or there, just enough to make it a respectable ADV bike over the little bit of the Raggedy-Ann it is now.



Any good suggestions for cleaning up faded plastic? Is there any thing I can do other then paint? A light sanding and some type of rubbing compound? Any one ever try penetrol?

While I am rambling endlessly in this post, does any one have a source for radiator shrouds? They need TLC or replacement. Is an IMS tank the only decent answer?

Is it worth it to just replace wheel bearings while I am at it? The current ones seem solid so I might not mess with them.

Just for some background my last two of six different bikes were a DR650 and a DL1000. Sold the DL1000 because it was more bike then I needed. I was looking for something a touch more touring/ commuting oriented then my DR but ended up with something that wasn't for me... Two years later I now have the KLR project.

That's all I got for now, any suggestions, comments, banter, jokes, please share!

ThankS!

-TheDerrick106-
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:26 PM   #2
simbaboy
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Congrats and enjoy your new bike.
I start looking for a gas station around 180-200 Miles, but that's just me.
Lemon Pledge furniture polish helps a little for faded plastics. Or you could repaint it using spray cans. But I think your bike looks fine.
Just Ride it. Get the Doo done but don't have anxiety attacks.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:49 PM   #3
Sig_Sour
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Sure you probably could just ride it without doing anything. But if you have all winter and want to get the most longevity out of your KLR, preventative maintenance can make a hell of a difference especially when you know other owners are getting 50-100k out of theirs...not without preventative maintenance!

PM: first and foremost, definitely disassemble all pivot points for inspection (steering stem, rear suspension, wheels). Replace worn out bearings, clean and re-grease OK bearings and axles. Lots of needle and sleeve bearings and seals in the whole swing-arm/linkage assembly. Use quality waterproof grease because it will make things easier to disassemble next time; it may be a bear to remove that swing-arm axle if it was not done for a long time or ever, corrosion seems to grab a hold of that pivot the most. While doing the doohickey clean the internal oil screen. Change the fork oil and seals especially if you upgrade the forks at all. Pop the seals, drain, soak and rinse internals with ATF, drain, install new fork seals, fill with quality oil. Clean out the carb while doing the standard carb mods if they have no yet been done (22 cent mod, air mixture screw mod, carb vent t-mod). Check your wheels and tighten spokes, it's a heavy bike and stock wheels are not the greatest.

Not sure about valve noise but I do know it can get hard to start when valves are outta spec. Closely monitor your oil levels. If you burn too much oil buy a 685 kit from Eagle Mike. The speedo could be a few different things. The cable could be loose on the back of the dash or down by the hub. Some part of the cable could be worn out or broken. If the front wheel is installed with the speedo unit incorrectly oriented it could have jacked up the speedo gear and hub interface. Upgrade with something from Trail Tech if you don't like the factory dash anyways (it's fragile) or if your speedo is jacked at the hub. An aftermarket speedo will utilize a magnet on the hub.

Maintenance and upgrade tutorials:
http://www.klr650.marknet.us/techarticles.html

Upgrades: for peace of mind, get the full kit doohickey with torsion spring and subframe bolt upgrade both from Eagle Mike and the thermobob from Wattman. Also, helicoil factory footpeg mounting nuts before they strip out (they are very thin, crap metal) and upgrade footpeg bolts. You need hand guards and an aluminum skid plate if you're going to go offroad. An extra rear master cylinder/rear brake mount is handy even if you do get a guard (drops on the right side can put pressure on the rear brake lever breaking the mount). Bypassing the clutch and side-stand safety switches is personal preference but their malfunction could leave you stranded. Having a petcock rebuild kit on hand is good if you don't upgrade to a manual petcock from Eagle Mike. Sometimes the factory petcock and/or it's diaphragm will leak or just get jacked up somehow and since it's vaccum operated it could cause surging issues or even leave you stranded. A 7 gallon IMS tank (doubles as radiator protection), a good foam air filter, and a better seat a very common upgrades for many as well. A sealed battery is great if you go offroad (won't spill when you drop the bike).

If you want to ride fast offroad you'll eventually want to upgrade with suspension from Cogent or Ricor. A new shock in the back tuned for your weigh is about all you do for the rear. Ricor Intiminators give huge bang for the buck and other than fork springs there's nothing else to do up front. If you ride on the street a lot a fork brace may help precision steering but it may make things worse offroad (all subjective) and may cause fork seal issues.

I know that's a lot of info. Just ask and I can clarify anything I've said here.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
thederrick106 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simbaboy View Post
Congrats and enjoy your new bike.
I start looking for a gas station around 180-200 Miles, but that's just me.
Lemon Pledge furniture polish helps a little for faded plastics. Or you could repaint it using spray cans. But I think your bike looks fine.
Just Ride it. Get the Doo done but don't have anxiety attacks.
Simba
Thanks for the reassurance! When I look at the pics the bike looks good, when I look at it up close in person I feel like I have some work to do. I think I am overly critical of things so good to hear otherwise! I appreciate it! I think I am going to do the doo first.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #5
thederrick106 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sig_Sour View Post
Sure you probably could just ride it without doing anything. But if you have all winter and want to get the most longevity out of your KLR, preventative maintenance can make a hell of a difference especially when you know other owners are getting 50-100k out of theirs...not without preventative maintenance!

PM: first and foremost, definitely disassemble all pivot points for inspection (steering stem, rear suspension, wheels). Replace worn out bearings, clean and re-grease OK bearings and axles. Lots of needle and sleeve bearings and seals in the whole swing-arm/linkage assembly. Use quality waterproof grease because it will make things easier to disassemble next time; it may be a bear to remove that swing-arm axle if it was not done for a long time or ever, corrosion seems to grab a hold of that pivot the most. While doing the doohickey clean the internal oil screen. Change the fork oil and seals especially if you upgrade the forks at all. Pop the seals, drain, soak and rinse internals with ATF, drain, install new fork seals, fill with quality oil. Clean out the carb while doing the standard carb mods if they have no yet been done (22 cent mod, air mixture screw mod, carb vent t-mod). Check your wheels and tighten spokes, it's a heavy bike and stock wheels are not the greatest.

Not sure about valve noise but I do know it can get hard to start when valves are outta spec. Closely monitor your oil levels. If you burn too much oil buy a 685 kit from Eagle Mike. The speedo could be a few different things. The cable could be loose on the back of the dash or down by the hub. Some part of the cable could be worn out or broken. If the front wheel is installed with the speedo unit incorrectly oriented it could have jacked up the speedo gear and hub interface. Upgrade with something from Trail Tech if you don't like the factory dash anyways (it's fragile) or if your speedo is jacked at the hub. An aftermarket speedo will utilize a magnet on the hub.

Maintenance and upgrade tutorials:
http://www.klr650.marknet.us/techarticles.html

Upgrades: for peace of mind, get the full kit doohickey with torsion spring and subframe bolt upgrade both from Eagle Mike and the thermobob from Wattman. Also, helicoil factory footpeg mounting nuts before they strip out (they are very thin, crap metal) and upgrade footpeg bolts. You need hand guards and an aluminum skid plate if you're going to go offroad. An extra rear master cylinder/rear brake mount is handy even if you do get a guard (drops on the right side can put pressure on the rear brake lever breaking the mount). Bypassing the clutch and side-stand safety switches is personal preference but their malfunction could leave you stranded. Having a petcock rebuild kit on hand is good if you don't upgrade to a manual petcock from Eagle Mike. Sometimes the factory petcock and/or it's diaphragm will leak or just get jacked up somehow and since it's vaccum operated it could cause surging issues or even leave you stranded. A 7 gallon IMS tank (doubles as radiator protection), a good foam air filter, and a better seat a very common upgrades for many as well. A sealed battery is great if you go offroad (won't spill when you drop the bike).

If you want to ride fast offroad you'll eventually want to upgrade with suspension from Cogent or Ricor. A new shock in the back tuned for your weigh is about all you do for the rear. Ricor Intiminators give huge bang for the buck and other than fork springs there's nothing else to do up front. If you ride on the street a lot a fork brace may help precision steering but it may make things worse offroad (all subjective) and may cause fork seal issues.

I know that's a lot of info. Just ask and I can clarify anything I've said here.
A lot of good info! Exactly what I was looking for and while I probably won't go that in-depth this year, it gets me a good working list of things to get to. I am going to try and do them one at a time so my OCD doesn't get to bad- ... ...

After another look at the steering stem, swing arm area and wheel bearings everything seems pretty solid with no movement. If I do any bearings this year it will be the wheels. Others would follow. I don't want to go sinking to much money right of the bat, because should an engine or other issue arise I don't want to have sunk a bunch in other stuff that wasn't needed that point in time to ride.
Doo, valves and speedo are on my short list.
Chain and sprockets appear to have 5k or so left in them, after those are replaced I think I will start chipping away at bearings and other up keep items. I am not going to go to crazy off road, I have no issue running seasonal/ fire roads but don't really have plans to go full endure with it. More ADV touring while hitting up every dirt/ seasonal road I can find.
Sub frame bolts will need to be done as one is missing!

Thanks again for the info/ help. I really appreciate it being a new KLR cult member.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:11 PM   #6
EmBeeZedEx
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the valves wear tighter as they go. A little clacker, a little more when cold is A-OK. No noise is bad noise. Check em.

Tips for plastic? tip it a few times and don't worry about the plastic.

Bolts? when they fall out spend the extra money for stainless at whatever hardware store is in the town you are in when you notice it fell out.
Look in the tool kit and take note of the wrench sizes, many places around the bike if you replaces nuts n bolts you'll have to go out of your way to avoid adding say, a 13mm to your kit.

I'll go ahead and say "Do the doo" too. like top of the list.

My short answer on the peg bolts is not to bother until after you rip one out.

bolt thru sub-frame is a worthy one. I used a piece of all-thread and nuts but Eagle Mike more than deserves the money if you wanna just get a kit.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:34 AM   #7
East Coast Rider
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Definitely upgrade the doohickey with EM's torsion spring kit if there is any doubt as to whether or not the doo has been replaced.

The Thermo-bob is a good piece of kit. Evens out engine temps, gives a quicker warm up time & even gives a little bump in mpg.

The drill thru subframe bolt kit is another good one (I have it, just have installed it yet).

I set my valves to max loose spec @ 22K miles. They hadn't moved when I checked them @ 32K & all four valves had moved exactly .01mm when I checked them @ 42K. 52K miles will be here shortly.

Slappy valves are happy valves!!

As for oil, don't waste money on moto specific stuff. Just buy Rotella or Mobil Delvac HDEO. Cheap and very good protection for the engine.


You've got yourself a good bike!
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
Sig_Sour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thederrick106 View Post
After another look at the steering stem, swing arm area and wheel bearings everything seems pretty solid with no movement. If I do any bearings this year it will be the wheels. Others would follow.
Did you at least disassemble these areas and regrease? The factory lube for the stem and especially the swing arm pivots is notoriously minimal so if more grease was never applied by someone after the initial purchase ( you won't know until you get in there) you should definitely do it as it's just labor and some grease...unless you get in there and a bearing totally falls apart to the point where you have to replace it just to reassemble. Individual bearings are cheap, the real cost is in replacing all of them at once and having a shop do all the press-fit work.

There's two kinds of bearings quality: Chinese and Japanese. Japanese costs way more but they last way longer. Depending on how much abuse you throw their way they may last the entire bike's life, versus the Chinese crap that you'll end up replacing every other season. Chinese is usually aftermarket manufacturers and Japanese is always OEM/factory parts.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #9
XDragRacer
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Speedometer operational check: Disconnect cable at hub; chuck cable core in electric drill; run drill in REVERSE direction; speedometer should register "speed" and "mileage." If it does, problem is not in the speedometer or cable, but in the speedometer cable drive.

Most common malfunction with speedometer drive is . . . the "wings" of the winged washer engaging the hub are bent from improper assembly after wheel removal; as bent they do not mesh with their slots; and thus do not transfer rotation to the speedometer cable. Solution: Bash the winged washer flat and reassemble hub with wings in their proper slots.



Here's hoping that's all that's wrong with your speedometer!

XDragRacer screwed with this post 11-24-2014 at 04:30 PM
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
larryboy
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Location: On a set of 50,000 mile tires.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thederrick106 View Post
Is there anything else I should be looking at as preventative maintenance, things I should do this winter so the bike is good to go for riding season? I am also considering longevity as I have plans to run as many miles as possible on this bike.



ThankS!

-TheDerrick106-

Spend your first $100 on the balancer lever upgrade from Eagle Mike, get his subframe bolts and drill through kit for the upper mount.

Check your valve clearance, decide which shims you need next(thinner) and PM me, I'll mail them to you(if I have those sizes in stock), then you send me the old ones.

Read up on how to do the right side cleanout, many owners seem to be skipping that these days and can't figure out why it runs a bit warm...the oil pickup screen gets plugged up and it'll run a little hotter without proper oil flow.

Wheel bearings seem to be a lifetime item on a KLR as long as you don't throw the wheel down in the dirt to change a tube.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:22 PM   #11
thederrick106 OP
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Great reply's and the exact info I was looking for...
I think I will take a quick look at the speedo to make sure that's working but as far as any other work, I am going to hold off. I will quote myself from another post in the regional forums:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thederrick106 View Post
Any one upstate ever deal with NY salvage inspection?

Apparently a bike that is titled in VT and notates "rebuilt vehicle" is not good to go in NY. Bike was salvaged back in '07 and has been on a rebuilt title ever since. Knowing it road straight, was plated in VT, ran good, no noticeable electrical issues, and looked half way decent for a 10 year old dual sport I didn't worry about the notation on the title, figured a vehicle with a transferable title was good to go. NOT.

I have all the paperwork filled out and will be applying to NYDMV via mail. Any one ever go through an inspection process? Do they just look for stolen bikes/ parts or is it to check its road worthiness? Other then recently non working speedo I believe it would pass the yearly safety inspection... Damn NYS.

At least I have all winter.
That pretty much sums up the current KLR status. So until I get my NYS title I am just going to hold of on to much work, incase I run into other title issues. hopefully in a few months I will be good to go, winter will be on the down turn and my work shop will be at a workable temp since its not heated.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
biggusbikus
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new klr advice

Mine was a 95 and eventually i did everything.
all the advice you got sofar is likely good(i havent the patience to read through all of it though)
Valves and Doohickey can wait. Make sure Air is good, and new plug. Blast a liberal amount of carb cleaner down its throat in Spring and put methyl hydrate in tank to take care of any fuel thats gone off over winter.
Your fork oil is likely nasty looking, heavier oil and new fork seals.
make sure subframe bolts are torqued and locktite.
All of my footpeg bolts needed Heli-coils.
Check wheel bearings by how it rolls on shaft, you can pop the bearing seal off and stuff some in, how does it look?
Speedo issue is broken front hub tabs, a $10 bicycle speedo from REI will suffice.
Now that i said all that, the most important thing to take on is rear shock removal, bones, swingarm.
Most of those bearings will be burnt, siezed, rusted out and worse.
Thats job 1.
Stuff to spend money on (farkles) in order of importance.
Battery Tender
Handguards
Fork Brace
Then you can look at unnecessary upgrades like subframe bolts, doohickey
T-Job.
I did my valves and didnt notice much difference.
I like heated grips and HID headlamps.
Big ticket items like Fork Emulators, and a new rear shock will make the biggest difference in transforming the bike, but find out what its like first.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #13
Grinnin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thederrick106 View Post
After another look at the steering stem, swing arm area and wheel bearings everything seems pretty solid with no movement. If I do any bearings this year it will be the wheels. Others would follow. I don't want to go sinking to much money right of the bat . . .
Most points have been covered by others. I'll second the recommendation to look at the swingarm pivots and linkage. Kawasaki doesn't put enough grease in there and it's a great winter project that should cost about a dollar.

Most of the parts on mine came out OK, but the swingarm bolt itself took over a week of penetrating oil and a daily whack with a hammer and brass drift to get loose. The bearings were OK; it just needed grease.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:13 PM   #14
thederrick106 OP
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I plan to pull all major parts and re-grease come spring. (my shop is not heated.)

I fixed the speedo today, was exactly what was posted, that cam ring was squished/ bent and installed improperly... Took the speedo gear apart cleaned it good, re-greased everything well. Lubed up the speedo cable and after squishing the speedo cam ring flat in my vice everything went back together very nicely and it worked with no issues. Bearings in the front wheel were in good shape. I will start checking other parts and cleaning/ greasing things once I have a title in hand. I just wanted to make sure everything was in working/ functional order for the DMV title inspection.

Again thanks for the all the reply's, great info!

The plastic OD green plastic parts look rough, I think I am going to paint them a flat green color with some plastic paint. Or maybe I will just leave them!
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:39 PM   #15
JerryH
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The valves get tighter as they wear, so they make less noise when they need adjusting. They are shim over bucket and not hard to adjust. Can be done without removing the cams with the right tool.

I would replace all the rear subframe bolts with good ones, do the doohickey thing, put a centerstand on it, change the oil and coolant, and IF it needs it, clean carb, check/replace chain, sprockets, tires, brakes, wheel bearings, swingarm bearings, and steering head bearings. I would also check the plug, since it has an aftermarket pipe, make sure it is not jetted too lean. And if it were mine, I would put a real KLR front fender on it.
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