85 KLR worth the headache?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by flyingdirty12, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. flyingdirty12

    flyingdirty12 n00b

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    I'm new to advrider and to Motorcycles. I found a KLR 600 on CL. The post says it want start but it will turn over. If I can get it for $250 would it it be worth time and money to get it running and use it as a starter bike. Or should I just keep looking for a KLR that is in my limited budget. I like the idea of building my first bike, but if I can't find parts i don't need the hassle.

    Any thoughts?
    #1
  2. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    It's very possibly a worn out old motorcycle. If you can figure out what's wrong before you buy it and it won't cost much, go for it. Not the most popular KLR due to age. If it needs a battery, tires, rings, cables and a chain you might be better off with a runner that costs a little more. Or go for it and if it's real bad you can part it out and make some of your money back. If you do get it running it could make a good intro bike. You will find it's limitations as you gain experience. Good luck.
    #2
  3. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    How comfortable are you doing the basics like checking for fuel, spark and compression?

    Fuel is easy so is spark, ten minutes with the basic hand tools should get you a quick answer as to whether the owner has no clue.

    For 250 lets assume it has no spark and no fuel

    The spark is usually a simple but sometimes not answer. Often times it's the plug or wire or bad ground. All those are cheap to fix.

    Also assuming it has no fuel, plan on cleaning the carbs. Thats cheap too. Maybe you need a rebuild kit. Also cheap.

    Both those things you can do yourself even with limited knowledge from forum members.

    No compression would be the lsat thing I would check but also easy with a simple compression tester available at any auto parts store.

    If the rest if the bike is shot well maybe thats a different story. Klrs are well loved for good resin, although I have never owned one. If you are on a limited budget I don't see how you can go wrong.

    You should probably post this in thumpers as you will get a better response
    #3
  4. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    There's probably a 90% chance you'll be rebuilding the carb.

    No Spark should be fairly easy to diagnose and fix, there's not many parts.

    Assuming it has compression, and it doesn't have any valve, head, clutch or lower end issues, it's probably fine.

    Batteries are cheap. Tires are cheap. Oil is cheap. Cables are cheap. Carb parts aren't that expensive. Chains and sprockets cost a bit more, but are worth doing.

    It might be more work than a runner, but at that age you ought to change all the wear parts anyways. If it's your first bike, just go ahead and bike it cheap, get it running and squared away as you can, and make it yours. If you gotta buy tools you would have had to buy them anyways.

    Clutch cables break, clutch plates wear out, carbs clog up, sprockets wear, chains stretch, ect ect ect... These are all part of owning a motorcycle, and whether you gotta deal with it now or in 5000-10000 miles, you ought to learn.
    #4
  5. flyingdirty12

    flyingdirty12 n00b

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    Thanks for the response.

    I can handle checking compression. I would need to lone a tool. As for checking fuel and spark. I have no idea how to do that. The engine is my main concern. I have a feeling the seller over paid for something that he can't fix. It is listed at $450 and I am thinking about offering $250. I have not made an offer so I have no problem offering less.

    Thanks again for your input.
    #5
  6. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Checking spark is easy. Take the plug out of the head with a spark plug socket. Plug it back into the plug wire. Hold the threads of the plug against the side of the engine, making sure that you have a metal on metal contact. Either hit the starter or kick it and look for the spark in the electrode. Easier to see indoors but astrong spark outside is easy to see.

    Checking for fuel is a little more subjective. You can first check to see if there is fuel in the bowls by unscrewing the float bowl drain. Might be a good idea to catch the fuel in a glass jar and look at it. Whatever it looks like is what's in the carb.

    If the bike has spark and good compression, I would buy it. A carb rebuild is simple and a good intro into bike maint. Hell even if you had to buy a new carb on ebay it's still worth it.

    You can bypass the carb to check the running condition of the engine by dripping a tsp of fuel into the cylinder when you have the plug out. If you get spark initially, squirt a little fuel right in the plug hole, put the plug back in and reconnect the wire. should fire right up for a few seconds. Don't put too much in there, a little is all you need to at least cough it to life.
    #6
  7. flyingdirty12

    flyingdirty12 n00b

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    Thanks Sailah that was very helpful.
    #7
  8. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    How much mechanical experience do you have? If you are comfortable working on stuff then by all means get a project bike, but IMHO having your first motorcycle and your first mechanical experience also being your first project bike is stacking the deck against yourself. Where do you live? We are getting in to fall here and prices will start dropping. If you have not much experience you'll be better off to buy something that is a reasonable runner in the $650-$1200 range than to be always frustrated by struggling to fix a broken bike that then refuses to stay fixed.

    Additionally, I'd suggest looking for a 250 instead of a 600 or 650 if you are wanting a KLR. Money being equal you'll get a better machine.
    #8