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Old 06-25-2015, 04:30 PM   #1
mallorypaige OP
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On the Road - Need Your KLR650 Minds

This newbie needs your KLR650 minds! Trying to diagnose a new clunking sound and not sure where to start.

On the road to Alaska (in Prince George, BC now) with my KLR650 hack and things have been going great. Unfortunately a new clunking has developed.

I'm fairly new to motorcycles and have only had this bike for a little over a month. Riding the past 1,000 miles I've just been trying to listen and set a baseline - that way I could be concerned if something get's outta whack.

Reading through my clymer, but not exactly sure where to start in figuring out the problem. Know it's hard to diagnose online, but even just ideas about what to examine/listen to would be really helpful.

Here's what started happening just today. When shifting/accelerating it's clunking and kinda physically shaking the bike. Doesn't seem to do it shifting down or coasting downhill. Very noticeable when accelerating and going uphill. Tried shifting faster/slower smoother/jerkier and can't get a consistent result if that makes a difference.

Any thoughts?

Thank you!
Mallory




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Old 06-25-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
XDragRacer
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Have you adjusted balancer chain tension recently?

If not, might start there.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:05 PM   #3
Center-stand
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..

How many miles on the KLR?

At what RPM is the clunking sound?

What gear (s)?

What RPM are you shifting at?

How much does your loaded rig weigh?

Could be as simple as bad gas.

..
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:02 PM   #4
mallorypaige OP
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Did the doohickey adjustment.

After reading this: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...y+noise&page=2
I'm thinking it's the chain. Upon inspection it's loose and on the last edge of the swing arm adjustment (meaning tire is farthest back position). Will have to wait until stores open tomorrow to look for a replacement.

What are your thoughts?
In theory, would this diagnosis make sense? Would a worn out chain cause noise/jerkiness?
And is it okay to ride with chain like this for about 40km roundtrip to get to a camp spot for the night?

Thank you, thank you!
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mallorypaige screwed with this post 06-25-2015 at 07:11 PM
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
timeOday
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mallorypaige View Post
Did the doohickey adjustment.

After reading this: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...y+noise&page=2
I'm thinking it's the chain. Upon inspection it's loose and on the last edge of the swing arm adjustment. Will have to wait until stores open tomorrow to look for a replacement.

What are your thoughts?
In theory, would this diagnosis make sense? Would a worn out/slipping chain cause noise/jerkiness?
And is it okay to ride with chain like this for about 40k roundtrip to get to a camp spot for the night?

Thank you, thank you!
Yes that diagnosis does make sense. I had those symptoms on my first bike when I didn't replace the chain until it was all stiff, stretched out, and kinking up, and again more recently with a sprocket so worn out the chain was actually slipping on it. (They should be replaced well before that happens!) I doubt you'd be in imminent danger but I wouldn't go too fast because if the chain did hop off or snapped it could jam up the rear wheel.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:29 PM   #6
cluster148
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KLR chain

Could very easily be the chain.During my trip to Alaska last summer on my 09 KLR,I kept hearing a clunk.Chain was adjusted,but there was an obvious clunk.
Tried spinning the wheels.Bad wheel bearing? Nope.
Finally realized that the chain outer journals had disintegrated,meaning that most of the outer surface of the chain had loops that had worn off.
Long story(good story!), but once I replaced the chain and sprockets the noise went away.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:14 PM   #7
mallorypaige OP
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Hoping that's the problem and that it's a fairly easy fix in the morning. Will give update once I've got a new chain:)

Thank you so much for your help and input!
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:21 PM   #8
Dusty_Bottoms
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If it were me I would also pick up a new set of sprockets. At least give the current ones a good look to make sure the teeth are not sharp or shark fin shaped. Looks like you have room to carry a set just in case. Best of luck Mallory!
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:11 PM   #9
Scott_PDX
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+1, ideally change both sprockets and chain at the same time. Look really closely at those teeth on both sprockets, are they sharp and pointy? They will wear out your new chain fast if they are. If you put it off a bit, order a 2nd new chain along with sprockets. On a LONG TRIP might not be bad to have a 2nd set, especially on a hack. What are you using to lube your chain? Are you doing it daily? If not, hopefully a couple times a week if you are on dirt. Personally, I like thinner stuff and apply it more often. Best way to keep a chain last long is to have it lubed and properly tensioned.

Other things I'd check would be wheel bearings: Raise the wheel, grab it and 9 and 3 oclock and push/pull/twist etc looking for excessive play.

Might also check your subframe bolts. Take seat and side panels off. There's a couple of big bolts holding the rear subframe to the front of the bike. Those were known to be weak. There is a fix, where they drill in out and put a long Grade 8 bolt in there.

Lastly check take off all the panels and check all parts and pieces for movement. Is everything tight, are there missing bolts etc. Check the wear on the tires also, is everything pretty evenly wearing.

See the Eagle Mike web site for all the above parts. His stuff is not fancy stuff, but parts that work just on the KLR.

Nice looking rig. Good luck on your trip.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:15 PM   #10
Beezer
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shouldn't be hard to spot stiff links and worn sprockets. and I agree with the above.... new sprockets are probably in order. as a sidehack it might also be a good opportunity to consider ratios. I ran one a few years (winter only) & mostly used a 14 front and 43 rear. I also used a 45 but 43 is stock. 15 in front is stock. all those combo's work with the standard 106 link 520 chain.

how far north are you coming?
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mallorypaige View Post
In theory, would this diagnosis make sense? Would a worn out chain cause noise/jerkiness?

. . .

And is it okay to ride with chain like this for about 40km roundtrip to get to a camp spot for the night?
When I read your first description I thought "chain and sprockets". If they're already bad they will get worse faster and faster.

But please tell us the answer to your second question.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:08 AM   #12
mallorypaige OP
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Made it to camp and back. Not fast but it worked:)

Local shop has chain, but not sprockets in stock. Will take them about a week to get them.

Putting a call out to see if there are any local KLR people with spares so we can get back on the road faster.

Also, going over to local shop to try to confirm my chain diagnosis.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:43 AM   #13
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you should post your plans in the AK forum.


http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:25 PM   #14
mallorypaige OP
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Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
you should post your plans in the AK forum.


http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=68

Thanks! Hadn't even realized there was an Alaska forum - this place is so expansive!

I'll definitely post there. It would be great to meet some Alaskan riders while I'm there.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:43 PM   #15
NC Rick
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Mallory, we have a chain and sprocket kit, stock gearing, DID vmx gold chain with AFAM sprockets we could ship today. Our normal price is $155. We need to get some cogent stickers on that rig! You go girl!
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