Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category

Paying the price…

Posted: December 4, 2014 in Maintenance
Checking on my bike...

Checking on my bike…

My KLR is a 2010 model that gets ridden year round on the coast. I do all the easy maintenance like oil changes, lubing the chain and such. Hitting 10,000kms recently I figured it was time for some professional love at the dealer. I got a new chain/counter sprocket, flushed the rad and rebuilt the brake calipers. Apparently they put down corrosive de-icing chemicals on the highways around here [I didn’t know that] and my chain and brakes both suffered pretty badly from regular winter use.

Because the brake parts took forever to come in I lost the bike for over 3 weeks and got a pretty hefty bill once all was said and done.

On the other hand the bike is running great now and aside from my first 1000km service this is the only dealer service it’s had.

I’ll need some new tires next year, but I have the nearly new stock tires and I may throw them on and wear them out since I have no dirt riding plans after the spring in 2015.

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UNI Air Filter and No Toil Oil…

Posted: August 27, 2014 in Maintenance
Tags: ,
Fresh Uni filter and No Toil oil...

Fresh Uni filter and No Toil oil…

I’ve been lazy and ignored my air filter despite riding a bunch of dusty forest service roads. So I knew it was time to get a fresh filter in my bike.

Stock filter...

Stock filter…

Stock filter and plastic frame removed from bike...

Stock filter and plastic frame removed from bike…

I found a brand new Uni filter in my parts box and picked up some No Toil filter oil as well as some rim grease.

Freshly oiled filter and rim grease...

Freshly oiled filter and rim grease…

Oiling the filter was easy and it installed into my bike with no fuss after applying some No Toil rim grease to the bottom of the filter.

Uni filter installed...

Uni filter installed…

I didn’t bother saving the stock filter. I’ll get another Uni filter so I have a spare ready to rock on longer trips.

KLR Commuter

Posted: January 18, 2014 in KLR650 2008+, Maintenance
Another oil change...

Another oil change…

I’ve got a new contract which requires me to drive out to the airport most days – ~50kms round trip. I’m not stoked to put the miles and pay the gas bills on my F150 so my KLR650 gets the call most days. – unless it’s raining fairly hard.

I’m no wet weather hero! ūüėČ

The KLR is ideal for 25kms each way of low speed highway [~90-100kph]. It’s fun to ride and mobile to work through traffic. Weather on Southern Vancouver Island is excellent for riding even in the winter. I can ride 75% of the days in the winter and close to 100% in the summer without being super cold or wet.

Nice! ūüôā

I decided I better do an oil change today as it’s been over 6 months since my last one. With my regular commute I’ll probably be doing oil changes every 3 months now. I’d rather stay on top of the oil than save a couple bucks now and end up with engine hassles later.

 

Oil Leak…

Posted: July 22, 2013 in Maintenance, Uncategorized
Not good!

Not good!

In all my years of riding a KLR I’ve never had an oil leak or an oil burning issue. So when I started to notice my oil level dropping in the sight glass I was not happy. Initially I feared the worst – my bike was an oil burner – which has no easy or cheap fix. Then I noticed some oil on the gravel where I park my bike. I wasn’t sure if it was from the last oil change or if it was a leak so I threw something under the bike to catch any drops and confirmed the bike was leaking quite a bit of oil.

The stock plug...

The stock plug…

I had replaced the stock oil plug with a magnetic unit soon after buying the bike. I tried simply tightening the magnetic plug a bit, but while the leak slowed it didn’t stop. So advice from ADVrider.com told me the crush washer was likely toast. I decided to swap the stock plug back in for now and replace the crush washer on the magnetic plug at my leisure.

No more leak!

No more leak!

The stock plug fixed the oil leak. I’ll buy a new crush washer and try the magnetic plug again when I do my next oil change. I’ve got a magnet in my oil filter anyways so having a magnetic oil plug isn’t really necessary.

Use the same tools on the road and at home...

Use the same tools on the road and at home…

The only way you can be sure you’ll have the tools you need on the road is to use your bike’s tool kit at home. I know that’s a pain because the travelling tools are all nicely bundled up and you’ve got more tools at home that are easier to get to.

Don’t use ’em!

Break out the on bike tool kit and use it for every repair you would want to be able to handle on the road. If you are missing something or your puny wrench won’t break a bolt loose better to find out at home than 50 miles from nowhere.

Service Records…

Posted: June 1, 2013 in How To..., Maintenance
Service details...

Service details…

I keep a basic record of any service I do to my KLR more serious than lubing the chain as well as any farkles I install. Only takes a second to update and a year or two down the road it’s great to have this info when you need make some decisions about your bike or evaluate how something is working.

When I sell the KLR someday a buyer will be stoked to know what I’ve done to keep the bike running well which should result in a higher price.

T63 Tire Install…

Posted: May 31, 2013 in How To..., Maintenance
Tags:
T63 install...

T63 install…

It was sunny finally so I got my ass in gear and swapped the damaged T63 out for a fresh tire.

Fresh rubber...

Fresh rubber…

It’s not hard to do, but when you only mess with your tires once every year or two it’s worth reviewing how to do it so you aren’t so rusty.

Ready to ride...

Ready to ride…

I lubed the chain while I had the bike on the centre stand. Glad to get this maintenance done. I’ve got some trips planned to recon logging roads up north on the island.

Spring Oil Change…

Posted: May 31, 2013 in Maintenance
Fresh oil and filter...

Fresh oil and filter…

My KLR gets used lightly over the winter so the miles don’t rack up, but it still needs fresh oil to start the summer riding season off on the right foot. I feel better knowing the oil and filter are clean.

Fresh knobs...

Fresh knobs…

Picked up a fresh Michelin T63 tire for the front of my KLR to replace the damaged one. Now I just need a break in the rain to put it on.

I’ll probably do an oil change while I am at it.

Hopefully this one will last longer...

Hopefully this one will last longer…

Photo: Mark.net

I found this useful waterpump ovehaul guide for the KLR650 over at Mark.net. Worth a read.

KLR650 stock shock…

Click here to jump to a useful thread over at ADVrider.com explaining how to overhaul your stock KLR650 rear shock.

Use your reserve…

Posted: July 18, 2012 in Maintenance

Petcock in “on” position…

If you are like me you know how many KMs your KLR gets on a tank and rarely run the main tank dry before you fill up again. That’s smart, but it means your petcock rarely gets used and the fuel in your tank’s reserve circuit can get stale.

Reserve selected…

So about once a month I turn the petcock through its full range of motion from “On” to “Off” and then to “Res”. I run the bike on reserve for part of a ride to let the fuel get flushed through that circuit and then I switch the petcock back to “On”.

KLR Wiring Recall…

Posted: July 6, 2012 in How To..., Maintenance
Happy Trail KLR650 centerstand…

I don’t have a motorcycle lift at home and I like being able to work on my bike anywhere I find myself on tour. ¬†A centerstand makes many maintenance jobs much easier – like fixing a flat tire or lubing the chain. I know that the easier I make it to take care of my bike the more likely it is that I’ll do the regular¬†maintenance¬†that she needs.

The stand mounts using the two footpeg bolt holes…

So I ordered up a Happy Trail KLR centerstand. I’ve been pleased with the quality of the other Happy Trail products I’ve bought and they are very easy to deal with when it comes to getting stuff shipped to Canada.

Step 1 – remove footpeg mounting bolts…

The instructions provided were dead easy to follow and the whole process took under 15 minutes.

Don’t forget the Loctite!

The centerstand bolted right on. All the mounting holes lined up without any hassles.

You’ll need:

  • 13mm & 14mm socket
  • 13mm wrench
  • 6mm allen key
  • blue Loctite
  • beer [optional]

Doesn't lift the rear wheel in deep gravel...

Once you bolt the stand on the bike you have two adjustments you can make:
  1. bike height – higher or lower depending on tires and if the suspension has been lowered
  2. side to side adjustment to clear swing arm if needed
I didn’t bother messing with either adjustment as the stand worked fine as setup from the factory. You’ll notice the rear wheel isn’t off the ground in deep gravel, but it does get lifted on a hard surface which is great for lubing the chain.

Underside view from the right...

The KLR rolls up onto the centerstand fairly easily. Happy Trail offers a lifting handle to provide a handy spot for lifting the bike onto the stand. It’s not essential, but I can see that it would be useful and I’ll grab one next time I am ordering from them.

Underside view from the left…

The stand works fine with the Happy Trail skid plate as you’d expect. You have to deploy the sidestand to put the centerstand up or down. The centerstand can handle the weight of the bike and luggage, but don’t do anything goofy like trying to ride your KLR off the stand or jumping up and down like a madman while sitting on the bike on the stand. ALthough Happy Trails doesn’t suggest it’s a good idea I think the centerstand can handle the weight of a rider and bike as long as you are just sitting still.

I’ll report back with a long term review of this stand after my winter trip to Baja.

If you didn’t know how to remove your KLR’s wheels and then reinstall them watch these videos!

For a 2008+ KLR here are the tools you’ll need for pulling/installing the wheels:

  • 19mm & 27mm wrenches for axle nuts
  • 12mm socket for rear brake caliper
  • 6mm allen key for front axle pinch bolts
  • needle nose pliers to remove cotter pins

Happy Trail Sub-Frame Bolt Kit

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Maintenance
Tags:
Some love for your sub-frame…

Both you and your luggage/passenger are hanging off of 4 bolts on a KLR. If you carry a lot of weight way back at the rear of your bike that’s a lot of leverage on those poor bolts. Now throw in some rough roads and/or no roads at all and Huston we have a problem!

The stock KLR hardware…

Kawasaki beefed up the top two sub-frame bolts when they redesigned the KLR650 in 2008 so these top 10mm bolts are up to the job and can be left in place. The two lower 8mm stock bolts still need some love on 2008+ KLRs and for older bikes all 4 stock 8mm bolts need to be upgraded.

New on top – old on the bottom…

The Happy Trail KLR Bolt Upgrade Kit comes with four 8mm bolts and 2 washers. For my 2010 KLR I just used two bolts and both washers for replacing the lower sub-frame hardware.

The new stronger 8mm bolt installed…

I used Loctite when I installed the new bolts and I kept the two stronger 8mm bolts as well as the two stock bolts. I’ll throw all 4 in my tool kit as spares. This isn’t a sexy mod, but it’s cheap and will let me ride with more confidence in my bike. Hopefully this is one of those products that makes for a crappy review since nothing ever happens you can write about…=-)

Squeak Be Gone!

Posted: July 25, 2011 in How To..., KLR650 2008+, Maintenance

The only thing really annoying me about my 2010 KLR650 motorcycle was the crazy loud squeaking noise it made every time I moved the bars left and right.

$0.75 worth of fuzzy velcro...

A member of KLR650.net posted that he solved the same problem with a bit of fuzzy velcro glued to the spot where the clutch cable is rubbing on the metal frame.

I tried the same solution and it worked great. Best 60 seconds I’ve spent working on my bike so far…=-)

 

First Oil Change…

Posted: July 21, 2011 in How To..., Maintenance

Getting ready for my first oil change...

The best thing you can do for anything with a motor is frequent oil changes. I was hoping to get a magnetic oil drain plug in the mail for my KLR so I held off my first oil change as long as I could, but at 300kms I figured I better get on with it.

The old oil she was dirty!

I picked up the supplies I needed before starting:

  • 2L of Kawasaki 10W40 oil
  • a small funnel
  • an oil pan
  • a 17mm socket
Nice clean new oil…

I tried to buy some oil at my local Suzuki/KTM dealer [closest MC shop], but the parts manager¬†recommended¬†I stick with Kawasaki oil until I was out of warranty just in case I had any engine trouble they couldn’t complain. I came back from a 15 minute ride and let the bike sit for 5 minutes before I dumped the oil out.

Full, but not too full…

I didn’t change the oil filter since the mileage was so low. I’ll do a filter change next time I dump the oil – probably at 800kms. The bike took a bit less than 2L of oil. I dumped the old oil into some plastic¬†containers¬†and I’ll find a¬†place¬†locally where I can recycle it. The whole operation took less than 15mins.