KLR650 Engine Rebuild Photos and Questions!

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by rectangular, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. rectangular

    rectangular Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    65
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    I had some spare time tonight to get in and look at the oil pump. It seems to me that it has some signs of wear, but I don't think it's to the point of affecting it's function. The surface feels considerably smooth. I think the photos make it look more scratched that it actually is. It feels completely smooth to the touch. Rotating the gear also seems to be extremely smooth. It doesn't feel like it catches or hangs unequally at any point.

    I think it's fine to use, but I'd love some second opinions. Is this considered scoring? Or would this be borderline? This seems to be in just as good, if not better condition than all the oil pump images on ebay.

    The Clymer manual states: "Visually inspect all parts for obvious wear or damage. Component specifications are not available for the oil pump."

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    (Inadvertent middle finger!)

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    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to completely get the gasket off in perfect condition. So, I'll have to wait until I pick this gasket up before I can re-re-assemble the right side cover. Fortunately, I think it will go pretty quickly. I'm getting a lot more familiar with this engine.

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  2. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    looks like new... run it

    as for the punch marks... just a couple small dimples so the key fits the slot tighter. this can really reduce the frustration level when reinstalling the rotor, the key is very easy to knock out of place
  3. ADW

    ADW 'tard bike restos

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    My day job is with a large auto manufacturer, and I am in the engineering team that sees the results of aftermarket oil filters that can't handle the job. So it's not paranoia, it's actual personal experience in an engineering environment. The KLR may well be an older design, but my statement still stands. I want a filter the manufacturer has signed off on being able to complete the tasks they expect it to. And agreed let's not hijack this thread, the OP's doing a great job of documenting a rebuild.
  4. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Agreed :evil
  5. rectangular

    rectangular Adventurer

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    Glad that everyone agrees the oil pump is good-to-go! Now I'm basically just waiting on gaskets and my refreshed head from Eagle Mike.

    I picked up some 10w40 non-synthetic castrol motorcycle oil for engine break in.

    Also... it has been snowing a lot in Salt Lake City. I won't be able to start it up until the roads clear a little bit so that I can properly complete break in. But, I'm probably getting a little bit ahead of myself. :D
  6. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Once you try to put it back together without the punch mark you'll be wanting to do it...ASAP. Be super careful that you don't push it out the back.




    Most KLR's have the tube that goes in the filter thrown out on their first filter change anyways. :lol3




    Definitely doesn't look like new, but as long as you can't catch a fingernail on any ridges you should be ok. I wish I had taken better pictures when I rebuilt my old KLR, the pristine condition of the new/used oil pump compared to my old one was shocking.

    Back a few pages I recommended checking the screen again later, but I thought you were splitting the cases for a full rebuild...there isn't any reason to check the screen again, those worms don't grow back, you're good to go.
  7. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    as for the oil pump, I'm looking at the working faces of the pump assembly... they all look like a mirror finish in the pix... thats why I said looks like new. the sides have machine marks in them... thats mostly how they were made. some of that may be smears from metal particles though... the thing to look at more closely is the aluminum housing... that should show way more damage than the steel gear & rotor.

    there seems to be no damage to the working faces. the side clearance is worth checking. I would clean it up and run it by what I see
  8. Hillbilly501

    Hillbilly501 Ultra n00b

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    Great work so far. I think I'll be checking the oil screen next week when I change my oil in my drz . Not certain I trust the dealer did it at first service time
  9. Old Kiwi#99

    Old Kiwi#99 Been here awhile

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    Quoting myself - thats not correct. Pulled the cams to do the clearances to day and found the cams are hollow, with passages where the bearings are.(and plugs in the ends) Pressurised oil gets to the left side caps, passes into the centre of the cams then back out the holes at the right side caps. The right exhaust is still the last place to get oil, though.
  10. rectangular

    rectangular Adventurer

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    Interesting! It still seems like they could have designed a better oil system perhaps. Wet sump seems like a bad idea when it comes to something that could end up running on it's side for brief amounts of time. :S That said, they still seem to be pretty durable, even considering their 80s engine design.

    Quick update: Just sitting around waiting on parts. The roads are clear of snow in SLC, and I've been fairly anxious in regards to starting the bike up for the first time. Starting to get a little nervous...

    I got the right side and oil pump back together this weekend. I didn't take too many pictures, since I already documented it a lot on day 4 of the rebuild. But, I'll edit them together real quick tonight and post them. :D
  11. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    is the head back on yet? did we talk about cleaning up the ports?

    the exhaust looks like this

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    even a crude clean up helps

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    heres the intake.... the idea is to fair the area behind the guides so that it has less drag.

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    also there a couple lumps that can go away in the intake bowls

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    can be done in a couple hours with hand tools. it's easier with the guides out though. another trick is to use intake guides in the exhaust, either that or taper them to give more area. I've done a half a dozen & don't have pix of one thats is polished, but you get the idea. Theres more to a true porting job... like filling in some spaces as well

    also... Eagle Mike has done some dyno stuff & found that moving the exhaust cam 1 tooth advanced gives a small torque boost with no penalties. I intend to try that this spring.
  12. Kaanan

    Kaanan Knee deep in snow.

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    Rectangular, thanks for the posts and pictures. I'm right now tackling an oil leak on my '08 KLR.

    It seems to be coming from the same area as yours. I removed my right side cover thinking the gasket was letting it through but it looks pretty intact. Were you able to determine the banjo bolt was the culprit for your leak?

    If so, is the fix as simple as adding a new washer?

    Thanks again!
  13. Kaanan

    Kaanan Knee deep in snow.

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    It's not the valve cover.
  14. CA Stu

    CA Stu Steer with your face! Super Moderator

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    At the risk of embarrassing myself, I had an oil leak from one of the valve cover bolts.

    Turns out I put the head cover bolt O-ring / rubber washer in upside down last time I checked the valves. :doh

    You might want to check the nuts on the studs under the exhaust port and intake port. They are kind of a pain to get a wrench on...
  15. rectangular

    rectangular Adventurer

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    Hey everyone! I'm finally back at the build. It took almost two months to get a head and some cams, but they arrived last week!

    Time to get to work.

    I think I have everything together to get this build back on track. I picked up a decent Craftsman torque wrench that would read in inch pounds and help with the smaller torque ratings for the various ancillary head bolts and nuts.

    Here's the new head. Eagle Mike said that it probably has less than 2000 miles on it. I believe him. It's incredibly clean out of the box.

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    Just needs a little bit of cleanup.

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    Cams look great too!

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    After a little bit of time cleaning off the leftover gasket residue and carbon build up, it was looking pretty damn good. Eagle Mike suggested just wiping it down with some carb cleaner.

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    Not pictured, I also did a quick and dirty check if it was warped at all with a metal square and a feeler gauge. I also checked the valve lash with my feeler gauge before I took off the cams. They look in spec, but I'll double check again once they're reinstalled and write down the values for future reference.

    Next I took off the cam caps and cams. I'll need these out of the way to get the head installed back on.

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    These cam caps are considerably better looking than the previous ones!

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    I know this is up for a bit of debate in certain communities, but I've used copper head gasket spray before without any issues. I put a light coat on the head gasket. I think the tackiness of the copper spray also helps on placement. I don't think it's an issue on the KLR, but it helps in certain other applications.

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    Here I am sliding the cam chain through the gasket and placing the gasket on the cylinder jug.

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    The head, dowels, and studs are in place with the head gasket!

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    Starting to look engine like.

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    Finger tightening the head bolts in the torque pattern.

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    And then torquing the bolts down! I was incredibly nervous for this phase. I hate torquing down bolts into aluminum! It took awhile to build up an appreciable amount of ft/lbs. The whole time my heart was beating pretty hard. I could visualize the head bolt just ripping apart the threads in the bottom end. But nothing of the sort happened. The resistance finally began building and my torque wrench clicked.

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    Not much of a visual difference, but the bolts are in!

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    I then worked my way around getting the nuts torqued down and the single allen bolt in. The crow's foot was definitely a necessity here.

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    Now, on to resetting the cam chain tensioner.

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    Popping out the bolt, washer and spring.

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    And then resetting it by pushing down the small lever to release the ratcheting mechanism.

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    Unfortunately, this was all I was able to do tonight. I had work today, and I work tomorrow as well. The weekend is coming up, and I'm extremely hopeful that I might be able to start the bike up soon. Knock on woodÂ…

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  16. SkiBumBrian

    SkiBumBrian DualSport Crazy !!

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    Throated, By the master, No Cary is gone, R.I.P. but porting is an art, more is not always better. #s on a flow bench mean everything...
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    Suck,suck,SUCK!!!
  17. rectangular

    rectangular Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Here we are, at the final build day of the KLR650! Let's get right into it…

    Last time I stopped, I just got the head back on. Now, I'll have to finish buttoning that up, and get all the ancillary support systems back on and taken care of.

    It looks like it's from the Ghostbusters, but it's really just assembly lube. Working it onto the cams.

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    Working on getting the exhaust cam timed with the chain.

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    And pulling it taught to check the intake cam.

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    And, here I am working on tightening down the chain cover bolts.

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    Here, I had a little bit of a snag. The bolts were starting to feel like they were torquing down before they were completely seated. So, I had to backtrack a bit. Cams came back out. This is a shot of the cam and the bolt. You can see the shiny threads on the bolt that indicate something isn't quite right.

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    This is as far down as the bolts would go. It seems like the threads were snagging on something. The bolts actually thread into the cylinder jug and just pass through the head. I know my machinist cleaned it out pretty well. I tried flushing it with WD40 and pressurized air. Nothing was working! The bolts still weren't threading in right! I was a little worried that I would have to take the head back off.

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    As a near last resort, I decided to clean up the threads and chase it with a die. On the left is the bolt with the cleaned up threads, and the right has not been taken care of yet.

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    Probably the worst way to do this, but I don't have a good vice. Lots of lubrication from wd40, patience, slow, and constant attention to make sure the bolt is tracking straight.

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    M6 and 1.0 thread pitch. It actually pulled more material from it than I expected.

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    After chasing the bolts with the die, they went in smooth as butter. Time to remove the bolts, and continue on with where I was.

    Now I could go back to reinstalling the cams.

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    Re-timing it with the chain. Not pictured: getting the crank at Top Dead Center (TDC). I had to rotate the engine slowly with the stator/magnet. I put it in with the woodruff key temporarily held in with the rotor bolt put in finger tight. Remember my snafu with the starter clutch/gear and the cam chain? That's why the left side engine case isn't buttoned up yet, and I need to get the cams installed and tension on the chain before I can torque down the rotor bolt. Lesson learned!

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    Here we are again, back to the cam chain cover. The bolts torqued up perfectly this time. No issues. I'm not entirely sure what changed, or why the threads weren't working right. They held the torque that they need to, and thread in as smooth as they should.

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    The left side cam caps are connected with an oil tube. I blew some air through it to clean it out. Some crusty little bits of oil came out. Nice and clean now!

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    Placing the caps on.

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    I wanted to make sure to follow the right sequence! Front to back. Front to back.

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    Now for the individual right side cam caps.

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    Now for the hydraulic tensioner. It was reset on a previous day. New gasket included!

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    It's pretty obvious when you put the gears on wrong (as pictured here). Make sure that when you spin these gears, they're connecting to the starter gear/clutch.

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    After flipping the two starter gears the right direction, I could start buttoning up the left side case.

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    I started to pick up speed here. I can see the end in sight! This motorcycle might run after all!

    Installing the head's oil supply line and banjo bolts. Here's the one that seemed to have been seeping oil before for the previous owner. I'll make sure to keep my eyes on this. New copper washers all around!

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    Cleaning up my old valve cover with some Simple Green real quick. I made sure to remove any of the old RTV silicone from the rubber gasket.

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    But, before I put the cover on, I wanted to double-check the valve lash (distance between cam lobe and valve shims). The only thing that was odd was the rider's right side exhaust gap. It felt extremely tight at .254 on my feeler gauge. Spec for this is .15 to .25mm. Near the loose end of the spectrum. I believe it is JUST barely in spec. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this after break in. I believe that these clearances usually get smaller as the valves wear in.

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    Now applying some RTV silicone to the left side of the head to valve cover surface.

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    This was actually much easier to slide back on than it was to remove.

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    Lining it up and placing the valve cover bolts in.

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    Unfortunately the spine of the bike was just barely in the way so I had to just barely use the wobble extension. I don't think it was enough to really alter the applied torque.

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    The spark plug that came with the head. Practically looks brand new. Cleaned it up real quick, double-checked the gap, applied some anti-seize to the threads and reinstalled it.

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    Installing the front sprocket chain cover. Starting to get to all the random odds and ends.

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    Tada!

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    Dropping the starter motor in!

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    Shifter lever!

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    Getting the coil pack and spark plug connected. At this point, it's really starting to dawn to me how close I am getting. It's around now that I start to feel nervous about the first start up. I made sure to add some dielectric grease around any connectors I had unplugged. Especially when considering this bike might get dropped into rivers in its future adventures.

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    Rubber intake boot to prepare for installation of the carb.

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    Connecting some of the bits to the carb before installation. Pictured here are the throttle cables.

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    Almost all connected…

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    After quite a bit of wiggling and sweating, I manage to get the carb in. Man, that's a tight fit. I'm glad there's just one carb to deal with!

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    The start of reinstalling the cooling system.

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    Getting the exhaust in! Things are really starting to speed up now.

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    It almost looks like a functional motorcycle!

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    Mixing coolant.

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    Filling the bike with said coolant.

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    Here's the oil I decided to go with after a bit of research. Non-synthetic (friction is good for break in), 10w40 motorcycle oil. I don't have any brand affinity, I'm sure Valvoline non-synthetic would work just as well.

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    Pouring it in…

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    Installing the gas tank. Interestingly enough, my manual only showed one vent or overflow tube in it.

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    Getting the rear brake reservoir re-connected to the chassis.

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    Seat! Wow, this is ready to start.

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    How she sat before the first start up. I made sure to cover the basics. The tires were at 40psi, not sure what the previous owner was thinking. I dropped it down into the 20s that the Kawasaki manual recommends (I don't remember the exact numbers off hand as of writing this). And I quickly cleaned and greased the chain. The brakes feel good, all the indicators and lights work… There's only one thing left to do now.

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    I have a video of the first start up that I'll make sure to upload and post in the near future. Honestly, I was surprised how smoothly the first start up went. It took around 5-6 seconds of cranking the bike over to get the vacuum activated petcock flowing to the carb. Once the bike had fuel, it immediately started right up! The bike acted as if it had been running fine for years. After slowly easing the bike off the choke, it idled very smoothly at just over 1k rpm. The bike was smoother than my 750cc twin cylinder Ducati Monster. I was pleasantly surprised!

    While it was running, I ran around a bit checking for any leaks or other issues. Besides some light smoke off the header (I spilled some coolant on it earlier), nothing seemed to be amiss. Unfortunately it was only in the low 50s that day, and it took me a little while to get enough heat in the engine for my quick break-in shakedown.

    I had a couple of minutes to get my motorcycle gear on (always wear your protective gear!) while the bike warmed up. Once it warmed up, I timidly eased the clutch out. Remember, I bought this bike with a blown engine. This was my first time actually riding this bike and I had never ridden a KLR before. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, especially when considering I held this bike's piston in my hand mere days before. Now the piston was traveling up and down in the bike at over two meters per second.

    After I rode the bike out of my driveway, I began the break-in procedure as described here: http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm . The site is hard to read, and fairly ugly, but what it says has shown to be valid for me. It's a hotly debated topic, so I recommend you follow whatever break-in procedure you're most comfortable with.

    I followed a similar break-in when I bought my 2009 Subaru WRX new and it doesn't burn a drop of oil after 30,000 miles. A majority of which it has been modified and used for a handful of full days at the track.

    After about 15 minutes of following the break-in procedure on side streets in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear, I brought the bike back in. I was starting to have trouble keeping enough heat in the engine. Regardless, it seems to have been a success! I'm still a little nervous counting it as a complete success. I'll feel much more confident after the 100 and 1,500 mile marks are passed!

    It idles smooth, it feels great and it pulls strong. Here it is after its first post build ride.

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    Note: the oil stains on the driveway are from my girlfriend's old camry, not the KLR!

    Time to drain the oil after the shakedown ride.

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    Magnetic oil plug is mostly clean. Nothing unusual besides the light metallic sheen typical of a first break-in run.

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    New oil filter.

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    Old oil filter.

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    More fresh non-synthetic oil! I'll switch to synthetic after 1,500 miles.

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    Time to put all the ugly aesthetic bits on.

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    And here's the bike after it's all reassembled! All my plastic bags are empty and accounted for. I think this has been a pretty successful build (so far, knock on wood!).

    Thanks to all the support and help from fellow advrider forum members. Thanks to Eagle Mike for the new engine head, cams, doohickey upgrade kit and various odds and ends. I also have to thank my girlfriend Val. It helps to have a girlfriend that supports these odd hobbies, especially when they're willing to help out and get their hands dirty. There were also a lot of friends that helped take photos, hold bits/bolts/nuts/fire extinguishers, and help me keep my general sanity during this build (Zach, Dane, Chris, et al). Also, a big thanks to my co-workers for dealing with me blathering on and on about my build.

    Wow, am I ever excited to ride this bike this summer!

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  18. Old Kiwi#99

    Old Kiwi#99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    290
    Location:
    Middle Earth, New Zealand
    That must feel very satisfying, successful startup and first ride.

    You mentioned having trouble keeping enough heat in the engine. There is a fix for this, (a fairly contentious fix, at that) Watt-man Thermobob, which converts the real basic KLR cooling into a proper thermostatically controlled bypass system, just like 100 million car and truck motors.
    Have a look at the data on watt-mans site and make up your own mind.

    On my thermobob equipped KLR the temp comes up to normal (about 30-40% of the range) and STAYS there, regardless of load, speed or externql conditions.
  19. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,110
    Location:
    Central Coast, Cal
    Not to be a debby downer, but that oil feed tube does not look original. Did it have the 2 rubber o-rings at each end? If not, you could have oil supply issues to the cams.

    An easy fix before it goes sideways.:norton
  20. divimon2000

    divimon2000 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    628
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    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Nicely done sir.