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Old 10-05-2014, 09:11 PM   #1
drewfuspx OP
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To Tengai or not to Tengai - Info Thread

Well I've been a lurker for a long while now, but it's time to get into a bike, and a bike that is quite different than my old 86 ZX1000R Ninja was. ;)

I've found a motorcycle near me, it's a 1990 Kawasaki KLR 650 Tengai edition. I've been looking to pick up a KLR here in the fall with plans to get riding again once the spring rolls around, but when I saw the 'dakar' looking Tengai I really wanted to have it. From what I understand the Tengai is identical to the KLR regarding power train with differences in suspension, brakes, fairings, and gauges so I'm not to concerned about the fact that it's rare since my understanding is that the KLR didn't really change from 87 to 08, and even then a lot of the 'guts' are still the same. Is that accurate? Should I be worried about getting parts?

The bike has about 25,000 km's on it has an aftermarket set of handlebars on it as the originals were were damaged in a crash. (Also has a replaced OEM Fairing he pulled from a different Tengai) Aside from that he's put in a 'switch on the gooseneck to manually control the fan' but when it's in the off position the cooling system acts normally. A switch for the wires, and he's replaced the Solenoid with an electronic one. I'll be picking up the bike for about $2000 which seems very reasonable.

I've never had a thumper, and I know the KLR has some 'quirks' - Doohickey (This bike has original so will need to check). This bike is also quite old and so I expect to do some wrenching on it, which I'm looking forward to. I want to know the machine inside and out so roadside repairs aren't a scary thing.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, and whether or not you would go for an older bike like this if you were planning on doing some pretty consistent riding. (Commuting, weekend camping, forestry trunk roads and loads of gravel) I don't want to get into a cool old bike that I can't keep running so the experience of older KLR owners would be awesome.

Thanks! Looking forward to picking her up this weekend.

drewfuspx screwed with this post 10-13-2014 at 11:30 AM
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:48 AM   #2
wolftrax
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Nice looking bike, I'd buy it in a NY minute, As far as parts and farkles there is absolutely no problems. I had a 1990 KLR with 30000 miles on it and I'd ride it anywhere, very reliable. Do the doo and ride the whells of of it
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:32 AM   #3
Grinnin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewfuspx View Post
From what I understand the Tengai is identical to the KLR regarding power train with differences in suspension, brakes, fairings, and gauges so I'm not to concerned about the fact that it's rare since my understanding is that the KLR didn't really change from 87 to 08, and even then a lot of the 'guts' are still the same. Is that accurate? Should I be worried about getting parts?
In 1996 the KLR changed to a larger alternator, a larger clutch, a single nut to retain the countershaft sprocket instead of the plate and two small bolts, and some other stuff. Small changes, but you'll be looking for pre-96 parts in many places. I think the parts are commonly available -- many of the countershaft sprockets that I put on my '01 work with the nut but also have the threaded holes for the earlier bolts. Your earlier clutch basket would let you add a kick-start kit that is incompatible with the later clutch.

One big difference from a vanilla pre-08 KLR is the additional bodywork. I challenge myself on trails and I drop my bike. No problem. If I had a Tengai I'd need more crash bars and you may find that not all crash bars will fit around the Tengai bodywork. You may find a limited selection of tall windscreens.

Good find! I rather like the Tengai.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
drewfuspx OP
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Thanks for the Responses! Yeah I'm getting more and more excited about the bike the more I think about it.

Really appreciate the information on the differences in the engines alternators and things like that!

The SWMotech Crash Bars work, but require me to take off that bottom Fairing. I think though it'd be worth it to protect the unreplaceable top fairing.


Re: the Windscreen looks like he's already got one with a bit of a flick so hopefully that'll work, if not I'm thinking the clip on attachments will be my only option.

Just hope it doesn't Snow by Saturday and maybe I can even ride her home. ;)
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:54 AM   #5
L-ucky-S-ix
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Sweet!
Pick my brain if you feel like you need Tengai-specific info. I have a few bits of knowledge along with a couple of others on here.
It took me a couple of years to get mine in presentable shape and it's still not to full prep.

I post these pictures frequently since there really isn't any like it on the road, not to mention I think it's really cool!



Can you see the height change>> I adjusted the preload correctly and it changed the sag dramatically.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:54 AM   #6
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Please don't screw with the fairings.There are proper Tengai crashbars out there, you just have to be patient and find them.

Suspension travel can be increased by using upper fork tubes from the A model. Preferably inserting progressive fork springs.
This way you can keep the twin piston caliper.

There are also Givi side racks out there.
Doo is a must and so is tossing the century old rubber brake hoses.
Where are you located at? Since you talk km and not mls I assume it's not the US.



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Old 10-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
drewfuspx OP
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Lucky Six - Your bike looks great, certainly a lot more Modern with that paint job. I'm unsure if I want to try to keep it stock or not. Likely if I do any color work it will be with plastidip so that I can go back without to much work. I like the Blue and Green so I'll probably stick to it.

I will DEFINITELY be hitting you up for information on the Tengai as it's pretty rare and seems like there are enough differences that you can't just 'wing it'

Bell Driver - I didnt' know there was a crash bar available for the fairings and so I will definitely look into that. I do intend to ride the bike and anything to protect the fairings I do want!

Confirmed with the guy that it's not going to dissappear before this weekend so it'll be a road trip from where I live in Calgary AB Canada to Beaumont (Near Edmonton) This Saturday for the test drive and pickup. So long as it turns over I'm pretty much in.

You know looking at your pictures I'm thinking he's changed the front signal lights and the windscreen on this bike as well. Or at least someone did in the last 25 years!

More Pics and condition report to come soon!
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Oh one other quick question. That lower fairing on the Tengai. Is it plastic or Aluminum??

Thanks
Drew~
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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It's all plastique.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
L-ucky-S-ix
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Good luck finding that crash bar. I searched Ebay nearly every day, worldwide, for any one thing related to Tengai and never saw a single set.
The SW will be just fine, not to mention you would want the SW bash guard too for numerous reasons and they fit together.

My plastics were sourced elsewhere so I couldn't stick with an original paint scheme. I would have kept it original if that option was available.

Definitely different turn signals. I have two types and the ones that are currently on the bike are obviously from a different model year. I am going to revert back to the original, American style once I feel like putting some time into painting the plastic mounting pieces.


My racks are not Givi so you will not need to get those per se.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:15 PM   #11
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I've owned mine for about three years and have been very pleased with it, especially in terms of reliability. As others have said, do the doo and enjoy owning the rarest of the KLR breed.

Here's a pic of mine from the Trans Arkansas Trail Ride we did last year.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:49 PM   #12
drewfuspx OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-ucky-S-ix View Post
currently on the bike are obviously from a different model year. I am going to revert back to the original, American style once I feel like putting some time into painting the plastic mounting pieces.

My racks are not Givi so you will not need to get those per se.
The more I look at the signals that are on the bike i'm picking up the more that I'm convinced they are: http://www.amazon.ca/Teardrop-Amber-.../dp/B00GDIKXTQ - Definitely going to be asking about it, though I have to say I don't really mind the look so much, so long as there good and bright.

King Gidorah that is awesome to hear that you've been putting on miles, and it is pretty cool knowing that this is not a bike that people have really seen or know exists. Yours is very nicely farkled, and rocks the original colour scheme very well!

Sounds like to do a Tengai meet we'd have to call together all of North America. perhaps sometime in the future! :)
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:49 PM   #13
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Nice! Do you have a picture of the front with that fender?
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:42 AM   #14
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Think of the Tengai as a "soft roader" more than an offroader, the suspension is more designed for road use, than a standard KLR.

The bike in the photo appears to have had a total repaint and incorrect blinkers (mine are round rubber cased - Australian model). Check it closely for crash damage.

Replacement plastics are hard and expensive to source. I remember somebody here modified Honda Transalp crash Bars to fit a Tengai. You might have to search the old posts for reference to that.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:17 AM   #15
L-ucky-S-ix
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You can see that there is damage from the handlebar on the upper right fairing. Not to mention the replacement handlebar as well as the signals. The tank looks dented too. Just be happy that the fairings are still there. You can tell, too, that the rear side plastics are from a regular KLR. The slot should be further back on the plastic for them to be Tengai.

My front fairings were chopped off so I had to go the expensive route and find them from other countries! They didn't match so I repainted everything.
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