Products available for the KLR650 balancer system:
Basic lever(doohickey) and 2 extension spring $39.95 (US)
Torsion spring (a better and totally different spring design) $13.95
Rotor puller $12.95
Rotor holder wrench $24.95
Gaskets, inner and/or outer $16.95 each
Rotor bolt (one time use, set 130 to 144 ft-lbs torque) $13.95
Prices do not include shipping. Usual shipping method at this time is USPS priority mail.
I've now personally wrenched on or helped wrench on more than 350 KLR650 engines - so I think I have a pretty good handle on what's goingon in the balancer system.
The KLR650 engine
balancer system has been a weak point in the bike, as far back as the KL600,
in 1984. Sometimes the adjustment parts fail (early and later model).
Sometimes the sprocket parts of the early system fail.
There are several
failure modes. The most common one - the system simply will no longer adjust
(and maybe it never did). It can fail to adjust even without any parts
breaking. The more serious failures are when the parts break. The most
serious is when the parts break, bounce around inside the engine, and
destroy the left side case, balancer system, and sometimes even the entire
engine. The forward balancer shaft goes through to the right side of the
engine, where it also drives the water pump. A few cases of early sprockets
failing, but not destroying the engine immediately have occurred. It took a
little longer, just until the engine overheated.......
little balancer system history:
The early system (up
to and including 1995 KLR650) has several parts that have been known to be a
problem. The sprockets for the balancer chain are made of multiple parts,
some of which have been missing, when the engine was opened for the first
time. The early adjustment lever is a soft, stamped, one piece design. It
can take a while to fail, but can still fracture in several pieces. It also
fails to adjust fairly early in life. It often fails to adjust for three
reasons: the adjustment tensioning spring is weak, the lever is soft and
distorts easily, and the early adjustment bolt has a small diameter head
where it clamps the adjustment lever (sometimes the adjustment bolt in
crimped into the soft lever so much there is no chance it will ever adjust.)
The adjustment lever was changed to the later welded up 2 piece lever, circa
1990. The multi-piece sprockets stayed with the KLR650 until 1996.
The later system has
solid balancer sprockets, so the problem of the sprockets failing, or pieces
going missing, is no longer an issue. The balancer adjustment lever and
spring are still failing. I've personally seen broken spring and/or lever in
every year of bike through 2006. At the time this is written I haven't
upgraded a 2007 model. The part number is still the same for the lever in
the 2007 model parts fiche.
little more detail...........
Many times the
broken piece of collar stays on the eccentric shaft, and that's where it is
found when we go in there to upgrade the parts. Sometimes the broken parts
fall into the sump, or wind up in the oil intake cavity, against the intake
screen. I know of a few lever pieces that have ruined the engine. Sometimes
the broken springs stay more or less in place, hooked on one end. Sometimes
they travel through the engine. I know of at least one where the spring went
between the cam chain and sprockets, causing the cam chain to slip, and lose
timing. The owner opened up the engine to replace the lever before this
occurred, and found the spring missing from where is should be. He fished
around in the engine and found the spring - it was twisted and distorted.
The engine was running poorly, though, down on power and using a lot of
fuel. After some detective work, he checked the cam timing, and it was off 2
teeth. He was fortunate the valves did not hit the piston.
can I tell if my parts are broken?
Often you can't tell
until you get in there. If you have a bike with a properly working balancer
system next to another that isn't, usually it's obvious. The bike that is
working properly is quieter and smoother. I've worked on a few bikes that
sounded like a paint mixer with nuts and bolts in it. The broken off piece
of the lever was bouncing on the rotor, making a horrible racket. Even if
your parts are intact, the system often doesn't adjust, resulting in an
engine that vibrates more than it should.
Something I hear from time to time.....
"I replaced the
parts in my engine, and the factory parts were fine." Or "I opened up my
engine, everything looked fine, so I just closed it up." As to the
first quote, most times the owner or mechanic didn't check to see if the
system was working, just installed the upgrade parts. I always suggest
leaving the adjustment bolt tight (when doing the upgrade) until after the
rotor and big starter gear are removed. Then loosen the adjustment bolt,
watching the lever to see if it moves. It usually won't! Then rap on the
case close to the lever with a tool, and usually it still won't move. Then
tap the right side of the lever itself pushing it clockwise. It often jumps
over 1/4 inch or more, showing you how much slack there was in the chain.
This is why the engine is so much quieter and smoother after the upgrade,
even if the parts weren't broken. Often the collar on the lever has started
to spread, allowing extra play in the rotation of the eccentric lever. This
also results in excess wear in the hole in the case where the shaft fits. If
you're sure the factory parts are good enough for you, and won't be an
issue, then that's ok. You can always go in and change them later, you'll
just have to repeat the process.