Suckers for Punishment. KLR600 Project Bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Daz the Aussie, May 17, 2010.

  1. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    *Edit July 6 2017*

    Hey all. So if you have found this thread via google or whatever and are wanting to take a look at what was an amazing KLR600 build, I'm sorry to say that the thread no longer has any of my photos. Some of you may be aware that Photobucket recently changed their policy about allowing users to post their photos on 3rd party sites like ADVrider and the end result is that they broke all the photo links and with over 760 photos/videos posted to this, I just do not have the time to dedicate to rebuilding the thread with that many photos.




    Hey all. As Shy has been off 2 wheels for way too long it was time to start to look for a new bike for her. As it's her first bike in a while and she will be learning to become a better off road rider, we didn't want to spend a great deal on a bike, better to start her on something older in case she drops it a few times lol.
    At a recent So-Cal bike night event I met Kevan Garret and over the course of the conversation that night he mentioned that he had an old KLR in pieces in his garage that he was letting go pretty cheap, so I was of course interested.
    As an aside, Kevan started on this project a while back and started a thread about it here.
    Kevan eventually bought a nice late model KLR650 so this project got shelved after he bought a whole heap of parts and bits for the bike.
    The story is he bought it from someone who had torn down the engine for some reason (never a good sign), and they had sold it off as is. Kevan got it with good intentions of getting it running but as he admits he is not much of a wrencher. I'm a cheapskate who doesn't mind getting my hands dirty so lets have at it!

    Last Friday Kevan delivered the bike and here's what we got.

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    As well as the bike, we got the original engine (all in pieces..literally!), all the body pieces except the side plastics (M.I.A.), airbox, radiators, a spare engine that is an unknown but turns over so it's not seized, a spare alloy subframe in great condition, 5 new turn signals, a new ignition switch with 2 keys, 2 carbies, a workshop manual, a new folding tip shifter and an assortment of other bits. The bike is also registered in Non-Op status so for $300 the lot we figured if it turned out to not be worth putting together we would get our money back for parts.

    After spending some time looking at it and weighing up various options we decided to pull it apart for a clean up.
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    We discovered an old KLR issue, broken subframe bolt. No big deal as we will be drilling this out to do the subframe bolt upgrade.
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    After a lot of work we finally got the bolt out that held in the swing arm. It was pretty corroded as we figured it would be, total lack of lubrication anywhere. The swing arm bold thread got damaged in the removal process but I'm hoping a machine shop can recut the thread thus saving us the cost of a new one.
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    Its looking a bit sad now!
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    Tomorrow we are going to clean up the spare engine and fit it into the frame, then hook everything up and try to start it and see what we have to work with. Fingers are crossed...
    #1
  2. subybaja

    subybaja Long timer

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    Cool. :lurk

    What the hell is that you're using for a stand? Looks like a giant dowel.
    #2
  3. tdrrally

    tdrrally Long timer

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    there is a place in my heart for a basket case resurrection
    i have a manual for klr600 if you need so info:D
    #3
  4. The Mass

    The Mass Timbuktu or Bust... Both!

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    Wot "He Above" said..........................:lurk
    #4
  5. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

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    Fit some pedals and a chain ring to make it a downhill mountain bike. :lol3


    Seriously though I've noticed the early models have a shorter wheel base. Anyone else notice this?
    #5
  6. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Umm it could be actually. I'm not sure, my wife asked me if I wanted it as she had it in her workshop at the storage company site she manages and said yeah bring it and it ended up being a bike stand. Its a tad too tall, but doing the job.
    #6
  7. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Hey thanks for that. we have some kind of manual but it isn't super informative. I will take a look at what it is tomorrow and get back to you!

    Daz.
    #7
  8. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Ok, after much grunting, swearing, scraped knuckles and in Shy's case a pinched finger, we got the engine into the frame after taking it up to the car wash and cleaning all the old grease of it. It wasn't too bad, just a lot of gunk that the chain had thrown on the rear of the engine.
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    Next was to strip down the old carb. I have a newer one in with all the parts but I thought I might just go ahead and get the old unit cleaned up anyway. Here's what I had to contend with in the float bowl compartment.
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    Cleaned up pretty nice after about an hours work.
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    It was a straightforward job to mount it to the rear of the engine, and we added half the exhaust in readiness for a start in the next day or two.
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    I bought some oil, a new filter and a spark plug as well, but then discovered that I didn't have the right size plug socket for this bike as it takes an 18mm deep wall socket to fit. After a trip to Pep Boys to get a new one it was too late to do anymore by the time I got home. Hopefully tomorrow we will kick this thing into life. Stay tuned folks.
    #8
  9. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    Cool bike. Is it a '85 or '86?

    Mines a '85, with bits from a '86.:D

    Let me know if you run into any specific problems as I've been through mine from stem to stern. It's my daily driver.:lol3

    Edit: unplug that fan and carefully set it aside. They are somewhat fragile.
    #9
  10. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    I had an '85 model with an Acerbis aftermarket tank, a top-drawer Works Performance remote-res rear shock, fork work, and many other mods. That bike was way better off road than the 2 KLR650's I had later on in life. It was lighter, handled better with better geometry, and was just much better when pushed hard off road. Frankly I regretted replacing it with a 650.
    #10
  11. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    It's registered as an '86, but I think it was an '85 manufacture date. Thanks for the tip on the fan, I did as you instructed and put in a safer place :D

    Daz.
    #11
  12. gunz

    gunz Been here awhile

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    I am watching this thread. Very interested to see how well it runs.
    #12
  13. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    K, so I sat down this morning to sift through the wiring and to reconnect connectors and most of that went fairly smoothly. When it came time for the battery leads it was a bit more confusing but after getting a bit of info from the manual I figured it out. There was an extra black lead but eventually I came to the conclusion that it must connect to the starter motor and yep, it did.
    Next, I put oil in the engine and connected up the new ignition switch by just plugging it into the connector located behind the front light cowling.

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    Then I got my GS and moved it close enough to connect jump cables from it's battery to the battery leads on the KLR. When I turned on the ignition switch I got dash lights! Looking good...

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    I rigged up a fuel line connected to a funnel...

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    I dumped some fuel into the line then had to connect an overflow line into a can after some came out of the bottom of the carby overflow outlet...

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    Ok, time to hit the starter...

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/M5BR-0Kplk0&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/M5BR-0Kplk0&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>​

    As you can see, lots of blue smoke, never a good sign. Had some wicked long flames out the exhaust as well! Now granted, this engine hasn't been started in a long time, but I ran it a couple of times and it was still smoking so it looks as if we might be looking at a top end rebuild. Over lunch we were discussing where to go with this next when I got a PM from one of the inmates here, offering us a whole bike if we were willing to go get it. Never one to look a cadeau equine in the dental orifice, I of course accepted this generous offer so hopefully we will then have another option to ponder. Heck, who knows where this is gonna lead?
    So for now I will continue to tear down this bike and start to clean up the various pieces in readiness for what ever comes next.

    Daz.
    #13
  14. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    You can pop that valve cover off and take a look at the cams and cam journals pretty easy. It takes a bit of wiggling but it'll come off.

    Is that a Yokahama tire on the rear? My parts bike had low miles and had a pair of those on it. I think they might be the originals.:lol3 I don't know for sure, though.

    Very cool of one of the inmates. Hopefully you can make at least one good runner out of what you have.
    #14
  15. LILBIT

    LILBIT Ride you must.

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    I had the exact bike for a do it all in my last two high school years. No car thank you. Mine wore the chrome off of the carb slide early on and it gave me trouble for it. Also had a terrible habit of the airboot coming off the carb. Hence the worn slide and two top end rebuilds. Could well be my heavy handed young mechanical skills but i learned to check the boot regularly.

    I'd love to ride one just for flashback memories. I think 10 minutes would do as i truely appreciate how good modern bikes are.
    #15
  16. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Hey guys, does anyone know if there is a standard aftermarket Petcock that might fit the tank for this bike? My tank didn't come with one and Kawasaki wants about $65 plus tax for one according to a Kawi parts warehouse listing I found. I also need the little stone guards for the radiators if anyone has any laying around.
    Apart from that, as of 6 p.m. today, the bike is now totally stripped down to just a bare frame and a couple of boxes of parts, ready for me to start to go through each piece and strip, clean, replace or whatever it needs. This is actually a fun little project as this thing is just so easy to work on. If I can keep the costs down and I'm sure I can, this should be a reasonable cheap little runner that will be a fun bike to throw around off-road unlike my hugemungous GS beastie which by the way is about to undergo a facelift of it's own in the next few weeks. More on that, and this project soon...
    #16
  17. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    The stone guards could be fabbed up pretty easy from some expanded metal, if you can't locate them.

    I spent a bunch of time messing with the petcock on my Suzuki, I ended up fabbing a threaded plate with a hose barb and using a cheap Briggs & Stratton plastic fuel shut-off. Pros: cheap, easy. Cons: no-reserve.:lol3

    Might check the flea market here or one of the "other sites" classified's section for a used one. I think a 650 PC wouold probably work.
    #17
  18. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Thanks for the info mjydrafter, I also realized that the bits I am after are probably gonna be on the new bike we are picking up this weekend. Fingers crossed. :evil
    I will post some more pics later today.

    Daz.
    #18
  19. Oly

    Oly Deadlines whooshing by

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    The petcock from a Yamaha Raptor will bolt right up, uses an o-ring and bypasses the vacuum system.

    Try this at Bike Bandit:

    FUEL COCK ASSY 1

    696141-001 $25.71
    #19
  20. Daz the Aussie

    Daz the Aussie Mistrusts Squirrels

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    Hey guys. Sorry, been a bit quiet for the past few days, had a few things to get done that took precedent over the project but I guess we all know how that goes huh?
    Late Saturday afternoon after Shy finished work, she and I headed up towards Los Gatos to pick up the new parts donor bike that inmate Lex had so generously offered for the project. We stayed in Gilroy on Saturday night at the local Comfort Inn, then finished the trip to Lex's place on Sunday, arriving mid morning. Lex has some great bikes around his place, most of them client bikes he is working on as he is a mechanical engineer. Bloody funny bloke too, he kept us entertained with some hair raising tales of his exploits with a 3500 PSI dart gun he built just for fun!
    Anyways, here's what we came for:

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    Overall the bike is quite good and has many good parts. The bike has covered only low miles, and as well as what you can see here we got 2 really good radiators with the stone guards, the side plastics, a better headlight plus a box of other useful parts in good order. We have high hopes that this engine will be a good strong runner and we should know soon as the first task is to get it fired up. I need to raid some bolts to replace some missing ones from the engine casings but I have 2 engines to get them from, I need to clean out this gas tank but it is better than the one off the original bike and I need to swap over one of the working carbies as well as the throttle and cables.
    This new engine does not have electric start but in looking at the other engine and from I have been able to find out on the interweb it looks as if it can be retrofitted, albeit with some engine work. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.
    I mentioned in the last post, the bike is now down to a bare frame ready for the clean up, grinding and painting to start.

    [​IMG]

    While I was cleaning up some of the frame and pieces what I really needed was an air compressor so today Shy and I went shopping at Harbor Freight.

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    Also, the large wooden "dowel" we were using as a stand got a replacement:

    [​IMG]

    So tomorrow the real work begins. Can't wait to hear/see how that new engine runs!

    Daz.
    #20