Kurt Grife has passed 125,000 miles on KLR650s. For 70,000 miles he’s had a Jake
Doohickey and spring in his engine and we recently added a Wexman/Carl inspection
Kurt’s engine history includes a stock balancer lever failure and a broken cam chain
both of which caused serious engine problems.
The moral of the story is to inspect and upgrade (if required) your balancer system
every 30 to 35,000 miles, and while your in there, monitor – and if necessary, replace –
the cam chain which stretches over time. Since you have to remove the cams anyway,
go ahead and adjust your valves. Now you again have a safer, better running engine.
“Strainless” Steel Washable Oil Filters
An ad in a recent M/C magazine for a washable stainless steel oil filter alleges that it is
not only washable but freer flowing. We had to chuckle. Could it be that it flows more oil
because it is more porous thereby passing larger particles of dirt.?
As you know, the KLR650 and DR650 among others have ball, roller, and needle
bearings which are more susceptible to wear caused by dirt than are plain bearings.
The DR650 has a great factory oil filter which is all we use in that model. On the other
hand, the KLR650 stock oil filter is sometimes defective.
Webmaster Mark of multisurfacemotorcycling.com found two that were not properly glued
and sealed at the end caps. For the KLR650, we use the K&N oil filter (KN-123)
One manufacturer of washable stainless steel oil filters claims that their unit will remove
particles down to 40 microns; not too good when K&N claims 10-20 microns. Mel Clark
proved that a pre-2008 KLR650 can live a long life, but how long depends on good
clean lubrication, upgraded balancer system (MMPs kit with inspection port tool, high
quality springs and 2008 doohickey is the best), and complete and timely maintenance.
If you gear your well-maintained KLR650 correctly and do not cruise it above 5,000rpm,
it should last to at least 100,000 miles – factory assembly screw-ups not withstanding.
Long Distance Travelers
We heard from Bill Kamps via post card. At present he is traveling all over Japan. He’s
already been around Africa and the world . If he’s not careful, Sheree’s boy Bill might
work himself out of places to go on his pre-2008 KLR650.
We’ve lost track of Melvyn Clark who wore out one KLR650 and then bought a new 2007
when his 2003 hit 90,000 miles (the remains are in my garage). Last we heard he was
near Monterey, CA. and headed north. By the way Mel, you have mail here which we will
forward if you supply an address.