KLR250 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Bad Company, May 10, 2008.

  1. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thank you for this information. You're right, no use hypothesizing if I haven't done the basic tests like checking for spark yet.
    Any and all information is valuable to me, as I'm brand new to this bike and not very experienced in small motors otherwise.

    Are spark plugs known to suddenly and catastrophically give out? The bike didn't sputter or choke up or otherwise show any signs of it's impending doom. It was working great one second and then completely gone the next second.

    I've experienced what happens to small motors when it's a mechanical issue, I've ran a couple sticks of hot glue through my 200cc 2-stroke Blaster engine, it ran like a champ for a couple weeks after but gradually died off.
    The issue with the KLR came on as sudden as possible and was very final. No amount of kicking was going to get that thing going again. It's something else.
  2. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Is your kill switch still available?
    Unfortunately, I might need to purchase it from you if so.
    laylow3down likes this.
  3. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Anything can. You're over-thinking this. Just do some simple diagnostics to narrow the possibilities, and then track down the problem.

    You already have a plausible hypothesis, so run the experiment.

    As a Chief Petty Officer once helpfully explained: "I guess if a frog had a glass ass it could just hop once."
    SpaceApePaulus and greasyfatman like this.
  4. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,246
    Posted on a redundant inquiry on another thread , before I saw the question repeated here:
    ----------------------
    Forget the battery; KLR250 ignition systems are powered directly (AC) from alternator exciter coils.
    As psych-o says above, spark can be verified . . . don't think you need to pull the spark plug, but the spark plug wire can be pulled and the spark (if any) can be observed between a conductor inserted in the connector and the motorcycle frame (pick unpainted metal). Or, you can try the, "self-electrocution" method, with your hand on the plug wire.

    Checking for combustible mixture, you can give the bike a whiff of STARTING FLUID (handy fire extinguisher might not be a bad idea); if it runs on starting fluid, but not on its own gasoline, you have a fuel delivery or mixture (plumbing or carburetor) problem; excellent videos exist on the 'net illustrating how to clean and adjust a Keihin CV carburetor.

    As to service manuals, the Kawasaki path involves two books, the KLR600 "base" manual, and the KLR250 supplement. Or, . . . you could get a Clymer Generation 1 (pre-2008) KLR650 manual and pretty much wing it from there.

    Again, as above [psych-o's post on the other thread], compression/spark/combustible mixture remain essential.
    --------------------------------------
    SpaceApePaulus and greasyfatman like this.
  5. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thanks, lol.
    I think my problem here, being a very novice mechanic, is that I don't know where to even begin. The bike was running perfectly fine and then it was as if the key got turned off while riding. In the least, this situation gives me hope that something catastrophic didn't happen to the engine.
    Can't wait to get it back to my garage tomorrow and have a look. I've read solutions as simple as "uncap the gas tank, sometimes negative pressure could cause a bike to not run".
  6. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thanks for this.
    You're probably right about the battery, I think I've read that a KLR will still run with no battery.
    I really like this thing and plan to fix it up proper, a new battery will be purchased regardless.
    Same goes for a new spark plug, I'm going to replace it regardless. If I have to have the kawasaki tool to do it, I'll try and check for spark while waiting for the tool to be delivered.

    Anything about combustible mixture is daunting to me. My starter bike was a very cheap 125cc chinese pit bike. I upgraded the carb and air filter and at a certain RPM it would bog down for a couple seconds before resuming to accelerate, was odd. Those things are made so cheaply I literally used a hammer and screwdriver to "cut" my way into the stock carb.
    Edit: Originally I was thinking the battery was bad because the horn is very weak, could just be broken. The lights are fairly dim, they are about on par with my 2000 Yamaha blaster, which has no battery.
  7. bullship

    bullship n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Mars hill NC
    Got out on some gravel and a little doubletrack this morning. Kept her upright all day, which is ever my only goal. The rear tire is done and made that challenging in the few holdout mud holes. Hope everybody is handling the weirdness ok.

    Attached Files:

  8. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,246
    Any thin-walled 18 mm socket will do; replacing the spark plug may be sound maintenance, but . . . doubt the plug's the source of your problem.

    EDIT: As mentioned, you need compression/spark/combustible mixture to run. You can feel the compression, you know how to test for spark, and how to confirm/deny presence of combustible mixture (with starting fluid). You might look into these areas before you involve an on-the-scene knowledgeable motorcycle wrencher or an ethical shop.

    If unsure about correct air/fuel ratio producing a combustible mixture; might glance here:

    https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tech-guides/19026-carb-overhaul.html
    SpaceApePaulus and greasyfatman like this.
  9. laylow3down

    laylow3down dirt bike mike

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    715
    Location:
    all over the DMV
  10. enumclaw

    enumclaw I just....don't know

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    949
    Location:
    Outer fringes of the Puget Sound Region
    Your issue sounds exactly like what happened when riding mine once. Turns out the main jet in the carb had become plugged with some debris. The bike started right up after I discovered that and cleaned it up. And the tank also, by the way. It's not hard to check it out. Removing the carb is pretty easy when you loosen the subframe bolts and rotate it out of the way. A couple of electrical connectors need to be disconnected when doing that.

    And to add, I've been running my KLR250 without a battery for a couple of years or so.
    SpaceApePaulus likes this.
  11. R3ckless

    R3ckless n00b

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Virginia
    Just acquired my first KLR, I'm obsessed! Lookatit!:lol3

    Attached Files:

    1994klr250 and greasyfatman like this.
  12. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,974
    Welcome to thread and ADVrider. You might have the best first post ever.
    R3ckless likes this.
  13. SpaceApe

    SpaceApe n00b

    Joined:
    May 16, 2020
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    An update on my KLR 250 issues: The engine is now in the hands of millennium technologies, a top cylinder/head shop who just happen to be in my area.
    I took the top off the engine and noticed that the top right valve was out of place and it’s adjustment screw had lost its nut, which had fallen below. Not great.
    I put a snake cam into the cylinder and saw some scratches that were probably from the valve smacking the piston. There was also quite a bit of debris it looked like on top of the piston.
    For a top and bottom rebuild it could easily get into the 4 figures. I was told a lead Kawasaki guy from the 80/90’s works there and could get this thing to breathe fire.
    They did a good job tempting me to want to spend money on it.. hmmm....
    It’s going to cost money regardless on the top end. The bottom end functioned well but made noise when gears were engaged, I’m sure there’s some damage down there as well.
    $1,000 for a complete rebuild might not be that bad? Considering I paid $540 for the bike, not a huge total cost.
  14. greasyfatman

    greasyfatman Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,974
    A few pages back are pics of a rebuild. I lucked out and got a spare bike for 400 a while back.

    just sent my 300 cylinder to millennium. The guy I bought it from didn’t seat the cir clip for the piston.
    SpaceApePaulus likes this.
  15. enumclaw

    enumclaw I just....don't know

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    949
    Location:
    Outer fringes of the Puget Sound Region
    Bummer. That's a little worse than some trash in the carb. :(
  16. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thanks, I appreciate the tips. Especially the part about not necessarily needing a battery to run this bike.

    It's a bummer because it's going to be a 4 figure fix. I'm trying to look at it like this. I purchased the bike for a low price of $540. I have an opportunity to have the motor and tranny rebuilt by one of the most knowledgeable and motivated-to-do-it-right people on the planet (apparently, I'd like to meet the gentleman myself though), for a starting price of $1,000, and the sky is the limit after that. Since I'm local, I might get a discount. Replacing the other parts that wear down, such as bearings, light bulbs, pads, rotors, freshening up the oil shocks, etc... will probably put me in the ballpark of $2,000 for what would be a very fine example of a KLR 250, with a likely better-than-OEM motor.
    I feel as though, if I have buyers remorse after it all, I could probably sell the bike for about what I put into it.
    Perhaps that's just me convincing myself though.

    Edit: I see a refurbished KLR 250 top end on eBay selling for $750. It looks brand new. Another avenue I am considering going. Does not include anything else though. It's just the housing or "block". IDK what the technical term would be.
  17. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thank you, I've been checking out the rebuild.
    That's pretty cool you are having some work done by them. I knew they had a good reputation, but seeing people on here use them of course only bolsters that reputation.
  18. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Just for fun, here's a pic of what I did to my Yamaha Blaster piston. I'm rebuilding this as well as the KLR 250.
    Yikes!

    Attached Files:

  19. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,295
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    I'll try to help you out a bit here on prices since I just rebuilt the top end of my 94 klr 250 with 75,000 miles on the original engine. I found it rather odd that it will be over $1,000 to fix the engine. I know you said one of the rocker arm lock nuts was missing from the threaded adjuster screw. That's quite common when the nut isn't torqued to the correct spec of 18 ft lbs. Other than that was there any damage to the valves, piston, cylinder wall? I put a new wiseco .020 (0.5mm) over sized piston in my bike which was $100, another $30 for a top end gasket kit and $40 for the machine work on boring and honing of the cylinder. I put a new cam chain ($70) and balance chain ($50) both OEM kawasaki and some other misc parts, I rebuilt it for less than $400 total. Why do they want to rebuild the transmission? Was the transmission not shifting correctly. I didn't even split my case halves, I just pulled the top end and the left and right side covers. Heck I didn't even touch the clutch, still have the original clutch at 75k miles. I'm just trying to get my head around a $1,000 repair bill for the klr 250 engine. Maybe it's all labor if your taking them the bike and they are pulling the engine, doing all the work, reassembling it and putting the engine back in the bike?? I know not everyone has mechanical abilities, but I just don't want you to lose money on buying unnecessary parts or work.
    SpaceApePaulus likes this.
  20. SpaceApePaulus

    SpaceApePaulus Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thank you for taking the time to write that, very helpful. I appreciate it.
    The $1,000+ price tag might include(but I have to confirm this) them taking apart and diagnosing the motor/tranny, rebuilding the motor and tranny, putting it back together, making sure the fuel/air mixture is proper, and that anything motor related is running as well as possible. It also includes some time on their dyno. If I could get them to include some kind of warranty(lol) where I can bring the bike in if I am having issues with the motor, I might save myself the headache and go with it.
    My other option is to fix it with the help of my friend who has a little car repair shop. I could probably get his labor and knowledge and tool use to be free, in exchange for time on the dirt bike track I put my blood/sweat/tears into during summer months :)

    Nobody knows yet exactly what work needs to be done. They said it would take 5 business days to take apart both the engine and transmission and diagnose it (usually they only get sent cylinder heads, not the entire motor/tranny like I brought them). Today was business day 2.
    What they told me was that, usually when there was the damage I explained to them, there would also be damage in the transmission. The bike was shifting perfectly fine, never had a problem with that in my 3 days(lol) of riding it. Most of the time, the tranny DID make some sort of "schlicking" or "schucking" noise when engaged. Kind of sounded like a warped rotor but was definitely not coming from the front wheel. The bike would not make the noise when rolling in neutral. Like I said, the clutch/tranny was performing as I thought it should be.

    Apart from seeing debris on the piston head, I do not know what damage has been done. I saw enough with the snake cam that scared me to take it into professionals.
    I'm having thoughts of calling them on monday and halting their progress, and trying to replace the top end myself. I'm not completely simple, I could probably get it running again.
    Just have to put the headache this would cause on one end of the scale and me being poorer than I already am on the other end and see which weighs more before I make my decision.