KLR 250 Valve adjust questions

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by davidb21, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. davidb21

    davidb21 Adventurer

    May 6, 2012
    Orange County, California
    Hey i have a 2004 klr 250 with 2,500 miles on it, i bought it at 500 miles so most likely the valves have never been checked.

    The manual says the valves dont need to be adjusted until 15k miles but ive read on a few different websites that it needs it earlier, one site said at 1k miles and then every 3k miles, another site said just every 3k...

    does anyone who has a klr 250 or owned one know about how often they really need to be adjusted?
    is it something i can learn to do myself?
    if not whats a good price to get it done?

    thanks for any advice or info in advance,
  2. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

    Jul 10, 2007
    Way, Way North GA

    I am not sure if I have by manual with the factory specs anymore but here is my take.

    Valves are most likely to move during the first 3000-5000 miles as they break in. After that they don't seem to need as much adjustment. It is an easy task but requires a little bit of a "feel" to get it down. The adjuster has a lock nut and there is a tendancy for the adjuster to move when you lock the lock nut down.

    Here is a tutorial on valve adjustment.


    Tight valves will make the 250 hard to start and could potentially burn a valve. "Happy valves are slappy valves." I always tried to set them on the loose end of the scale. The wear is at the valve seat which allows the valve to seat further down hence "tighten".

    If you can find a tech day in your area that would be the best way to do it. There are usually more of the 650 tech days and the KLR 650 uses bucket shims so it is different, but someone would be able to walk you through it the first time.
  3. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer

    Mar 25, 2009
    Can't comment on unexamined, unseen bike, but . . . my KLR250 at 10,000 miles had all valves within specifications.

    Brief reminder; when you check the valve clearances, there are TWO (2) TDC piston orientations per cycle; check the valves on the one where all valves are totally closed.
  4. Tosh Togo

    Tosh Togo Long timer

    Nov 21, 2010
    As already hinted at... the procedure at 15K miles is an inspection, which may or may not reveal the need to massage the valve clearances. If your karma's flowing the right way, you'll not need to go any deeper than pulling off the valve cover, and then verifying that the valve clearances are still in spec. Loose is always better than right at the low end of clearance spec, and tight valves will eventually lead to expensive results. :cry

    -And if it's not at TDC/compression when you try to check it, the shim won't go into the non-existant clearance. Just roll the engine forward until the nose of both cams point 180 degrees away fron the valve stem, and then try it again.

    This type of valvegear can often go the life of the engine and never need to have most of the valves adjusted. :D

    But you still need to inspect them, just to be sure. :1drink
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Jan 9, 2005
    Über Alles,California
    We've seen a couple at techdays. A 2005 was beyond tight and difficult to start at 1500 miles. Had another really old one with high miles that was in spec.
  6. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

    Nov 22, 2009
    CT exile now in NH
    My 2002 has the same engine as yours and the valve adjustment intervals are:

    At 500, 3000 and then every 3000 miles thereafter.

    You will need a metric 1/4 drive ratchet, sockets, a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter and extensions. You will need some metric wrenches, a flat blade screwdriver and a torque wrench. You will also need some flat feeler gauges. All of these can be bought at Sears. When you read the instructions provided by DirtDabber above, you'll know what sizes to get.

    Follow the instructions EXACTLY. If you discover the clearances are off, DO THE PROCEDURE, PER INSTRUCTIONS, AGAIN. Some guys misread the instructions and adjust valves that were already ok.

    When you're done you'll have piece of mind, some new tools and money left over vs a visit to the stealer.

    If you wish, pm me when you'll be doing this and I'll give you my phone # in case you get stuck.