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Old 10 Jan 2011
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KLE Oil pump failure with 20.000 km on the clock

I have KLE that is nicely looked after (at ~21000km). By looking after, I mean an oil (and filter) change every 5000 km, and nothing more really. Spark plugs were changed at some point (~13000 km) and brake pads are replaced twice so far, but these have nothing to do with my story. I am the second owner and I bought this bike with ~5000km on the clock. It is a 2006, registered at 2007, it had been sitting in a shed for a whole year when I bought it at 2009.

I have used the original overpriced oil filter for the first change, the K&N standard (from M&P) for the second, and HiFlo from WeMoto for the last change.

The oil lamp went on suddenly when cruising at 70 kmh or so.

No noise, engine running perfectly, but both lights (temp and oil) on.

So I pulled over, checked the oil, checked the fan, and waited for a while.

The lights did not go off.

So I rode home, very slowly, not revving more than 3000 rpm.

Next day I came back with the authorized Kawasaki guy, he says its probably the sensor, so I rode all the way to his garage, slowly, not revving more than 5000 rpm.

Turns out its not the sensor but the pump itself, the rotor is scratched and its not pushing oil as it should. No oil pressure. Nada.

Now, this is a sh*tload of money that I have to pay for an oil pump and new gaskets and all sorts of things that I was convinced that I wouldn't have to worry about until I hit 75000 km or something. So I am wondering if there is anyone here that has encountered anything like this before?

The Kawasaki guy says he never saw a KLE come back before 75.000, but they don't replace my oil pump out of warranty neither. Do you think it could have been because of the HiFlo oil filter? The Kawasaki guy says it is sh*t, but it should not cause such a failure. After all, there is another filter before the oil pump.

Repairs cost about 300€ with original parts, and 200€ with used spares. I think it is ridiculous that they ask for 100€ for a used oil pump. I found some oil pumps in eBay from England and Germany, they are cheap (~30€) but they won't ship to Turkey.

Would anyone be willing to help me out with this one? A spare oil pump lying around or something? I only need the rotor, the 2 parts that grind against each other, part no 16154 according to this catalog. I believe it is the same in every model of KLE.

OEM Motorparts - Kawasaki - KLE 500 - 2006 - Oil pump
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Old 14 Jan 2011
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just read your post .. bummer on the oil pump going

my guess would be a manufacturing defect but being out of warranty kawasaki won't be of any use

do you still need one as i may have one spare from an early gpz500s
i could send out to you ( i think i'm right believing it's the same pump )

EDIT : just a thought it's not the roll pin that's sheared (part no 92043)

let me know either way.
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Old 14 Jan 2011
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I know it wont be much consolation to you but I had an early oil pump failure on my Enfield on the way back from Poland ( I think, will know for sure in a week).
Sadly there is no pressure warning available so the first thing I heard was a slight rattle from the engine (believed to be big end) on restarting when hot.

It will cost me well over £1,000 to repair one way and another. I think the drive to the oil pump may have failed but will know for sure next Friday evening.

I have to say this has severely dented my faith in the Bullet as this level of performanace is not up to the old Brit bikes that I always had before. Although it is a lovely bike to ride. I enjoy it much more than I did teh BMW but not quite as much as any of my old Triumphs on which I did well over 100K miles.
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Old 14 Jan 2011
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If the rotor is scratched there is a reason, be sure to fix both!
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Old 25 Jan 2011
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hello there.. sorry I have not checked back in a while. I have found a used oil pump from uk, fairly cheap too, like 20 pounds. I have not put it in the bike yet, though.

but you are right, the rotor is scratched, what do you think might be the problem there?

I know that there are bits of metal that are floating around that should not have been there but what could be the source? or is it just my cheap oil filter that should have picked them out but did not?

the kawasaki guy seems like he knows what he is doing, but he did not give me any hints, besides the cheap oil filter, what do you think?
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Old 10 Feb 2011
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I am only writing this to be above 5 post limit to be able to send private messages..
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Old 14 Feb 2011
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If it helps I have used HiFlow filters on performance bikes for "years" - no issues whatever! Many others give em a good rap too. A bike shop will always blame an aftermarket part...

But seriously I have had OEM filters fail in the past (not with your results - usually just mass oil starvation and very hard to start due to pressure) so failure is always possible. Usually its just paper that clogs/jam. Just look into the filter and if it still looks OK no problem as it must be mangled bad to have done what you said.
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Old 14 Feb 2011
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that being said, I will put on another hiflo oil filter that I already have instead of buying the overpriced kawasaki filter. Thanks for saving me 15€..

But come to think of it, the one I had on when I had the failure did not have the protective plastic-foil thingy on the bottom, it was open when it came out of the box. I am sure it was not used, but maybe someone tried to install it to a bike but it did not fit so they returned it to the shop or something like that.

Now I am wondering if the metal filaments actually came from the filter.. Man that sounds messed up! Maybe wemoto should cover the costs!?
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Old 16 Feb 2011
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Can´t be 100% sure, that the aftermarket filter is the culprit. But I think there is a fairly good chance, that it has something to do with it. And personally, I would use only the original. There´s really nothing to gain there by switching, and the few bucks you might save, simply aren´t worth any kind of risk, no matter how small. Original oil filters may also be made in China these days just like most aftermarket parts, but at least they are approved to the specific vehicle, by its manufacturer.

If it was still under warranty, the factory would now happily steer away from any issues that have anything to do with oil filtering, circulation, and lubrication in general.

(Just my 0,02 of course...)
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Old 23 Apr 2011
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I should really know better than to Jinx myself by responding to this thread.....

Was out on a about a 2000km ride with my mate. Before the ride I bought a stock OEM Kawa oil filter - usually I always use HiFlow ones.....

Anyway 700km later (an thankfully near a town) and my bike was lacking power and minutes later died out..... started it up again only to hear a horrendous rattle/clanking in the engine and 90% of power gone... managed to ride it at like 10km/h back into town...couldnt care about what extra damage was occurring because it was either tolerable (broken rocker arm or I suspected big end failure)

Was hoping it may be a broken rocker arm, but after I got it back home (involving a 12 hour epic being doubled on the back of a GS800 and then immediately driving back with trailer to finally arrive at midnight) no valve train issues - looks to me like I had an oil pump failure and big end failure........ no the oil filter was not a culprit but I find it funny that the first I use a OEM filter I have this happen!

No more kle...... all this with a immaculately maintained 25,00km engine... think I got a dud...
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