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Kawasaki Kawasaki Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Kawasaki riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
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  #1  
Old 3 Oct 2004
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Doohickey

Well, I figured after 23,000 miles and reading all the dire warnings of balancer chain tensioner failures, I would change to an aftermarket Doohickey. After digging in there, I found the original to be intact, as well as the spring, BUT, the adjuster locking bolt was finger tight. I have owned the bike since new and I know it has never been apart, nor have I checked it for tightness. I could see where the Doohickey had shined itself up vibrating against the case, and the spring has put a nice round on a sharp case corner where it had been rubbing. The weld quality of the otiginal looked to be quite good, although I don't think I would have designed it with a fillet weld on only one side of the joint. The whole point of this, is that if I were you and had a KLR, I would go out to the garage and pop the little rubber plug out of the left engine case and give a tug on the lock bolt with a wrench. With the bolt loose, the spring is the only thing providing location to the adjuster, when it is only designed to move when the lockbolt is loosened for adjustment.

BTW, I used an Eagle Mfg. Doohickey, and it fit right in, without any trouble. It is also indexed differently than the stocker, I presume to give more adjustment for a worn chain. I don't know if this would cause trouble installing on a new bike, with an unstretched chain, but I assume they thought of that. After 23k mine was nowhere near using up all the adjustment there. I also used the longer of the 2 springs supplied.

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  #2  
Old 13 Oct 2004
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"""BUT, the adjuster locking bolt was finger tight. I have owned the bike since new and I know it has never been apart, nor have I checked it for tightness."""

ummm ok.....BUT.....the balancer lever (aka doohickey) should be adjusted periodically (I did mine every few thousand miles) as per the manual. the proceedure is simple...it calls for taking out the rubber plug, putting your 8 mm wrench on it, loosening the bolt a feew truns to allow the srping to pull the lever into place for best tension, and then retorquing the bolt (I think 69 ft lbs....but check manual). This procedure helps the counterbalancer do it's job properly. Sooo...you are saying in the 22,000 miles, you never adjusted this?...interesting.....BTW even with the eagle new lever, you shoudl do let it adjust occasionally....
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Old 19 Oct 2004
Edd Edd is offline
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i have to wonder.... maybe i was lucky, in my '89 i never heard anything like this back in the first few years of my ridding and now that i have gone more then 100,000km's i have to really wonder is it needed? or just hype?
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  #4  
Old 19 Oct 2004
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I've been told by someone involved in the motorcycle industry that, at some point in the past few years, Kasasaki changed their supplier for the parts involved in the tensioner. I'm not sure which part or parts, but since Kawasaki probably doesn't manufacture their own springs, that would seem a likely piece (Perhaps other parts were also involved in the change). According to this person, the problems began after the change in suppliers.

I also read somewhere that something like 3 - 5% of the tension adjusters fail (don't recall the exact number). But, I really don't know if either of these stories are true.

What I do know for certain is that a friend who replaced the tensioner in his near new 2004 KLR 650 at about 900 miles found that the spring had already broken. So it doesn't seem that this problem is a myth in the later model years. Perhaps it is in the earlier model years.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 20 Oct 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by FREEFLOW:
[B]"""BUT, the adjuster locking bolt was finger tight. I have owned the bike since new and I know it has never been apart, nor have I checked it for tightness."""

ummm ok.....BUT.....the balancer lever (aka doohickey) should be adjusted periodically (I did mine every few thousand miles) as per the manual. the proceedure is simple...[B]
Depending on who you listen too, the adjusting procedure seems to do more harm than good sometimes. The theory is that when you loosen the adjuster bolt, the doohickey can slide outward on the shaft and then when you tighten it back up, it does not always slide back on the shaft, and this puts a side load on the welded joint. At least that's my excuse for not sticking to the recommended service interval. Seriously though, I don't think that at 23,000k it should need an adjustment yet, after all it runs in an ideal environment, and dosen't transmit much power. I will admit that my engine is quieter now, though.

I know a couple of people with high milage KLR's that never heard of a doohickey and are getting along just fine.




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  #6  
Old 19 Nov 2004
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69 FOOT-pounds of torque will probably strip that bolt out... 69 INCH-pounds is more like it.

leaning the bike to the right so that the doohickey can't become cocked on the shaft is reccomended when adjusting it...otherwise it may get crooked and that's not good.

only loosen the adjustment bolt ONE turn, not three when adjusting.

more info on the doohickey is available at www.multisurfacemotorcycling.com and www.klr650.net

they don't all break, but the pix of those that do is strong motivation to upgrade to either the Eagle or Sagebrush doohickies.
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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2005
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It's pretty much just Windbaggery to rationalize or procrastinate about doin the idler replacement!
Just do it, and enjoy your bulletproof KLR!
Mine crashed after 23K and it wasn't pretty!
Rod
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  #8  
Old 6 Jan 2005
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It's worth changing the doohickey. Otherwise you may suffer serious engine damage when the balancer chain snaps, like I did.
http://www.klr650.net/forum/showthre...&threadid=5769
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