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-   -   Just refinished the overhaul of my '94 KLE500 (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/kawasaki/just-refinished-overhaul-my-94-a-24709)

marlin.45 21 Dec 2006 11:54

Just refinished the overhaul of my '94 KLE500
Thought I'd drop a post up here after 3 months sorting out my 'bargain' KLE500.

Paid 600 GBP on Ebay for this with 25k miles on the clock but it had been dropped a few times and suffered years of minimal maintenance and a life near the sea. Though one of the recent owners had tried to give it some TLC and had fitted a new Hagon monoshock and chain and sprockets.

When I picked it up it looked like this.


Already had a an Arrow stainless system on it and came with a new and unused K&N.

After a new set of Avon Distanzia (recommended by Mutha4..); fluid change;carb rebuild, brakes overhauled and new rear pads; valves regapped and plugs replaced; reprayed the whole lot satin black (had odd panel colours due to drops); recovered seat black (don't do turquoise). Dropped the main fuel tank intake tube by 30mm so reserve cuts in later. Changed most of the fasteners to stainless and cleaned up the outside of the engine a tad.

Now looks like this. Even sold off the Scottoiler and Givi rack that came with the bike to pay for some of the bits ;)


Seat is rippled but I'm leaving that to settle before I retension.

New engine oil is pretty dirty already so I expect to change that again after 500 miles.


marlin.45 10 Jan 2007 12:15


After a few miles under it's belt as it were a couple of items will need attention. Front brake lever needs adjustment so I can easily get 3 gloved fingers on the lever to give it as much force as poss!

Brakes on the KLE have been mentioned on here time and again but after my '99 Triumph's twin disk set-up these are abysmal expecially in the wet. Now as part of the o/h the front calipers were rebuilt with new seals but I left the original pads on as the disks were no longers flat and had loads of meat on pads and disk. If I stick 'better' pads on then the braking will be worse than it is now for a while :(
  • So should I buy a new disk and pads?
  • What are peoples preferences for manufacturer and type?
  • Braided hose really worth the cost over the OEM if it is in good condition?
Now when the wheel was off I attempted to remove the disk from the ally hub and it was seized on solid. Anyone have any suggestions how to get those screws out?

All assistance graefully received :thumbup1:


Pleco 11 Jan 2007 17:33

KLE rebuild
Hello Marlin.

Well done on the rebuild. I always love rebuilding things myself as well. The gratification is nice, and it gives me great pleasure that I have kept my hard earned cash away from some shark in a workshop.:censored: I thought doctors were expensive!

Unfortunately I do not know how much the steel braided line costs, but I hear the guys find it a great improvement. If you are looking for better brakes, I would suggest looking at an oversized disk, and twin piston set. It would cost a bit more, but the brakes will be sorted. Then you would probably not need the steel line anyway. I do not know how tight the bolts are there, but about the only way to get those off, is an impact driver and a big hammer. I rebuild old land rovers for a hobby, and normally if you cannot get something loose, your hammer is simply too small.:biggrin:

Good luck, and safe rolling.


marlin.45 19 Jan 2007 12:27


Land Rovers...........tell me about it I have a '69 SWB sitting on the drive and I have several 'LR reapir tool No.1' hanging in the workshop :biggrin:

Any idea of a source for the oversize disk and is there an adaptor bracket to move the caliper out or use an alternative?


muthaf9cka 20 Jan 2007 07:13

Oooh, I like the satin black look. Looks mean now, like something from a 1980's post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie.

I've given up on sorting the front brake. Instead, I've gotten used to using a lot more rear brake than you would on any other bike. When I get some money, I might try some six-pot calipers or something, but I think it's a losing battle. I did see some images of someone who had swapped the front forks and wheel for a 19" twin disk, but to be honest, it just looked like someone had swapped the front forks and wheel for a 19" twin disk. They reported better braking, so it may be worth it.

Pleco 21 Jan 2007 17:58

KLE brakes

Originally Posted by marlin.45

Land Rovers...........tell me about it I have a '69 SWB sitting on the drive and I have several 'LR reapir tool No.1' hanging in the workshop :biggrin:

Any idea of a source for the oversize disk and is there an adaptor bracket to move the caliper out or use an alternative?


Hello Paul.

Yes, the land rover teaches you to work in circles. Start at the left front wheel, and work around clockwise. When you get back there, you can start again in the same circle. It is just never ending. Sorry guys wrong topic, but if you need any LR ideas, give me an email.

Unfortunately, I do not know of any brakes that will be a straight swap, but I am sure another Kawa set would fit right on there. You will have to do a bit of a swap out with the forks and mountings though.

Honestly though, I find the brakes on my KLE 400 adequate. It is not a superbike, so no SB brakes. I agree that you have to use some rear brakes as well, but that is a good driving habit. You let the bike squat a little with the rear brake, and then apply the front brake gradually and as hard as needed.


marlin.45 23 Jan 2007 15:21


Starting to get the hang of far more rear end braking than I am used to on my last modern Triumph. Trick now seems to be three fingers on the front lever compared to two on the last bike and haul down on the rear as I get close to impact :biggrin:

Yes, I was aiming for the Mad Max effect. And satin washes better than matt :thumbup1:

Unfortuately my LR is moving on after 7 years of 'fettlin'. Too many toys/hobbies.......................


Brian L 13 Feb 2007 18:14

Nice job Marlin...the bike is looking good. You can't beat black!

Caminando 14 Feb 2007 20:40

Lube it!
Good work - but get a Scottoiler back on!

marlin.45 1 Mar 2007 10:50

Noooo.......just taken that off ;)

Easy enough to lube the chain by hand for the milage I do. Just requires a helper or a block of wood.:scooter:

Items I still need to look at:-
  • Front brake (as above) squeals when you apply it hard. But I am getting use to using a tad more rear.
  • Big flat spot around 4k. Probably due to the Arrow system and std jets? Carbs balanced at 2k.
  • I'd like to fit a front high motorcross style fender
  • Probably going to pull that center section from the end can. Tad more fruity probably ;)

Kumuya 1 Mar 2007 13:18

Hi Marlin,

I agree with you on motocross front fender :thumbup1: it looks more enduro, and it fits nicely and easy.

About brakes I agree that is has a long braking distance than other bikes, but if you use both front and rear progressive it stops quite well, but you need to find a good combination between disk and pads.

marlin.45 6 Mar 2007 20:44

Fitted some black handguards over the weekend and trying to locate a suitable moto fender that I can adapt. Mate has a broken Honda XL600 lying around. Have to see whether that is suitable?:thumbup1:

Brakes. Currently have EBC green pads on the rear. Front - whatever someone else fitted before :rolleyes2:


royzx7r 8 Mar 2007 10:49

Paul, Hi

Im interested in your mod to the petrol tank, You say your reseve kicks in later now.

I have a 2006 KLE and thinking of doing the same thing. I would think the tank will still be the same set up on your model as mine.

Wot was involved, can you take us through it?, what range do you get now before resrve?


Luuk 8 Mar 2007 21:56

yes please, im interested two, way to much reserve on such a smal tank.

marlin.45 11 Mar 2007 22:01

Reduced the height of the main fuel tube in the tank by 1". This should allow the main feed to run down around 1 litre later than before. OK, not much different but enough. The only downside is I lost the coarse filter in the main feed tube when I lopped it off. But I have an additional filter on the exit pipework to the carb so what the hey?

Not had a chance to measure the range difference. But obviously it will be further than before ;)


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