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KawasakiKawasaki 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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Just wondering if it is wise to bring an extra stator(electrical chargy thingy) along with my KLR650. Has anyone had any experience with them failing. Is there any other part(s) that are essential to bring along when on a trip, say in south america? Any first hand experiences where you wished you brought that part or were thankful you brought it?
Can't really think of anything I actually needed in a hurry that would be practical to bring along....except a supply of clutch cables. Certainly not a stator(!). I needed a shock at 80,000 miles, but there's no way anyone would carry a spare. I needed a doohickey repair at 12,000 miles (fortunately this was in Canada, therefore covered by warranty), but again I'm not carrying piston, cam chain, valves and more along for the ride.
Couple of valve shims in likely sizes would have saved me a bit of trouble--I had to have an old one surfaced down in Buenos Aires to make the correct size. I went through quite a number of fork seals, and although these are standard sizes and can be purchased in any major center of civilization it would sometimes be nice to have them on hand when they blow out and contaminate your brake pads. Sprockets can be an issue, and I like to carry spares on any long trip--at least when existing ones are getting worn. Chains are easy almost anywhere, although again when the old one starts getting worn I'll buy a quality replacement when I have the chance, then carry it for a few thousand miles. Brake pads are nice to have, as are bulbs and patches and a few valve cores and fuses and other such--but they're mostly standard parts.
Looking back on more than 90 thousand miles on my KLR, the most trouble I remember having that I might have prevented by carrying parts involved clutch cables, of which I've used maybe a half-dozen. The problem is that some last almost forever (my original went over 50,000 miles), while others barely make it around the block. Since they always seem to break at night in the rain, the tendency is to neglect to buy a replacement right away, and this caused me some trouble. I now carry two spares on a long trip (one zip tied in place for quick changes in the dark and rain), but most people would consider this excessive.
Oh, and lots of spare bolts, nuts, washers, and a supply of locktite.
Hope that helps. Out of curiosity, who suggested carrying a stator?
Other than the clutch cable suggestion and some spare fuses there really is no need, nor is it practical ,to carry spares for a potential,maybe, possibly? breakdown.
If you knew which parts were going to break you should look after them before hand.
As to valve shims - the KLR uses shims which are common to those in Suzuki and Yamaha bikes which used the shim on top of follower piston and they can be used as easy replacements- same number size sequence. I also have heard that several car makers used the same shims, VW comes to mind, so there is another source to look at before going to the trouble of having shims machined down to fit.
I'm planning a trip from Australia across Russia to Europe next year and am asking the same question. Currently whilst the mechanic in me wants to load the bike with "just in case bits" I'm thinking it is more important to keep my bike as light as possible to help compensate for my limited off road skills - so I'll carry as little as I think I can get away with to cope with things that break easily and accept for everything else I'll need to find it locally or at worst get it shipped in. (As an aside, whilst it might be a bit excessive, my insurance policy is that I've just bought a second KLR with a blown top end which I plan to leave in the garage at home - then if my "stator" or something similar should fail unrepairably I'll just get my son to pull the bit off at ship it to me; quicker and cheaper than relying on Kawasaki)
I agree with the clutch cable - I've had the same variable experience on their life as mentioned above.
Bike specific I'd also add:
- Brake and clutch levers
- Throttle cable (pull one only)
- Fork seals
General parts I'd carry:
- some bolts (selection of M6, M8 and M10)
- two spare master links and short length of chain
- decent puncture repair kit.
- spare wire and electrical connectors.
My other comment is most consumables like sprockets, brake pads and the like don't dissappear overnight - so I think it is more important to start with brand new items and then keep an eye on them rather than carry spares expecting to change them early in a trip.
Thanks for starting this thread - I'll be interested to see what else people add / suggest.
It seems all three you guys, Mark, Sjoerd, NA, suggest the clutch cable and fork seals - i will be getting those. Also I'll go to my fastener supplier and get a little goody bag of nuts and bolts.....locktite is essential for klr650's.
List of parts one could call essential so far:
Any more? Is there anything on this list that you could do without with some skill and/or ingenuity in either riding and/or mechanics? Personally if i could get away with only bringing a paper clip and a rubber band i would.
through experience of similar problems a refined list of the most likely things you may need for a particular bike could be made - maybe even prioritized. Maybe a good idea for the hub. For instance, when a part or problem is needed or noticed for a particular bike, it could be tallied and applied to a prioritized list. Just a minute, did i just take all the fun out of Travel "adventure" touring.
For your curiosity Mark. My paranoid self suggested it to my uncertain self - i need to get on the road. I got worried about the stator because i will be driving through cold weather and i may be using heated clothing. i also have an auxiliary battery i plan on bringing and keeping charged while riding(might use it often). Consequently, with my limited knowledge of bikes, i rationalized that this would stress the stator and cause damage....? this thought lead me to think about what might be the MOST important things to bring.....short of strapping a bike to my bike.
An extra battery? For godssake why? I am known to carry far more crap than most people, but it never, ever occurred to me to bring a spare stator or battery.
I would suggest changing out the original battery for a maintenance free one, checking your charging system for proper operation, and heading out. Don't forget to leave the spare battery someplace nice and warm while you're in South America, or it might freeze and destroy itself in your unheated garage.
You've probably already noticed that the KLR stator doesn't put out much current--more on 2008+, less on 2007- models. But the upgraded stator which is available has had a lot of problems, so you can't bring heated everything plus set up camp by headlights and then expect to power your satellite tv. But if you wanted to do it this way you'd bring a Goldwing with a trailer, right? Carrying an extra battery won't change this appreciably.
Regarding your question, some folks don't carry bulbs, on the theory that you can always find them just down the road. That's true, but then again it's nice to have a spare h4 when your bulb breaks (therefore no headlite at all) in rush hour in the dark in Panama City, as happened to me. Same with fork seals: you don't need to carry them, but they're nice to have when it's a question of losing your front brakes to oil contamination. Etc. And I met one guy who didn't even carry tire changing tools or patch kit--he pointed out, quite rightly, that there's usually someone not too far away who'll come and patch your tire for you. But that doesn't really work for me, or for most of us....and I noticed he didn't make it past Central America before selling the bike.
Well,It's not an extra battery so much as a very small portable jumper/power pac. the good thing is it has a 12 volt cigarette receptacle on it that i can use when camping or for various power hungry electronic devices i use in the field (I've recently got into Field recording). On cold nights i can bring it in my tent and plug my heated vest in - saving on bedding. I can easily jump start other vehicles. I or another could use it if there was a electrical charging issue - to get to the next or better place.
Maybe a good book and some appropriate beverages would be a better idea than my electronic habits.
Again thanx for the sobering thoughts.
Another thought: repairs of broken bits inside the motor usually involve a cascade of other bits and pieces which you ought also to bring along if you do plan on taking a particular spare. Impractical .Example: the small band spring for the return of the shifter drum detent mechanism. It is small, easily carried. But if it breaks from old age and metal fatigue it requires that the entire right side cover be removed- after draining the cooling system and totally dismantling the water pump. This means that since it is apart you may as well rebuild the waterpump, and you must replace the oil seals and o rings to the oil filter and cranshaft oil galleries, and replace the case cover gasket and waterpump gaskets .
Thus replacing a single $4 spring involves $90 of other parts plus several hours of work. Not something to tackle on the roadside at night, without a full supply of tools and a small torque wrench. These sort of things are best done in a shop with tools .
How do I know? My spring broke in Oaxaca this past winter, but I did not panic.It was great weather and after weighing the alternatives I decided to fix it myself - when I got home. I just left the bike in second gear and rode the 4000+km back to Ontario. Great ride o the megamoped! lovely sring weather in the US and perfect speed for the Natchez Trace which had otherwise always been annoying because of the low speed limit.
gotta like that story. how long did it take? What was the average top speed/rpm? You would think it would take about 100 hrs of driving. Patience is a virtue on the road i guess. Anyway, it shows that a lot of the time riding your bike in less than perfect condition is better than bringing a bunch of extra parts along just in case.
the important spare parts, from what i've deduce from the comments on this thread, are:
Tire tubes or good patch kit
bulbs(headlight, 1 or 2 signals, brake light)
Brake and clutch levers(especially if lots of off road)
Throttle cable (pull one only)
some bolts/nuts (selection of M6, M8 and M10)
two spare master links and short length of chain
spare wire and electrical connectors.
Any ideas for additions to this list would be appreciated. Or any argument for omission of a part.
I don't carry levers. Never have. I have great big beefy bark busters instead (off-the-shelf Acerbis).
I don't know if others carry throttle cables. I did for a while, then lost the one I was carrying. I never needed it. However I did break a choke cable at a time when I didn't particularly need a choke (think: 90+ degrees every day, all day).
I also bring brake pads, a couple of hitch pins for my axles, valve cores, blue locktite, WD40, JB Weld RTV silicone, and whatever other small parts I've ever needed or happen to have lying around at the time. Plus a separator funnel for bad fuel, a spare pre-oiled air filter, and some stuff to clean and re-oil it. As I said, I carry more than most people. You'd probably be better listening to them than to me, but this has worked out for me, mostly.
I think i'm going to change this thread a bit to include anything that can maintain a part(s) or can temporarily fix your bike. For instance: locktite saves you from loosing parts thereby retaining them; Jb weld can replace parts or fix parts temporarily. wd40 maintains parts These items increase the life of parts, limited loss of parts and can replace them. This would minimize the parts you would need on a trip. Also, very small parts could be added to this list.
the important spare parts, listed from the comments on this thread, are:
Tire tubes and good patch kit
bulbs(headlight, 1 or 2 signals, brake light)
Brake and clutch levers - consider bark busters instead (determine importance by time off road?)
Throttle cable - rare to break?? (pull one only)
some bolts/nuts (selection of M6, M8 and M10)
two spare master links and short length of chain
spare wire and electrical connectors.
prepared air filter
Part maintanance, retainment, fixes
JB Weld RTV silicone
separator funnel for bad fuel(depending on where you are going)
Any ideas for additions to this list would be appreciated. any insight for omission, unimportance or importance of a part. Any redundancies? The insights will be used for prioritizing
I don't know how common a problem it is but a 2004 KLR650 I owned had the voltage regulator die. I'm not saying you have to carry a spare (I would but that's only because it happened to me) but I had no warning of any charging problem until I went to start the bike and it was stone dead, when I started it 30 minutes earlier there was no sign of any problem.
As I said earlier you don't have to take a spare but what I would suggest is to fit a small volt meter to your bike. A voltmeter will give you a good indication of the state of the battery and the charging system.
As they say it's not waterproof but with a bit of care you can take it apart and carefully apply some silastic to around all the joins in the case, etc and make it fairly water resistant. On my bike it's reasonably protected from the elements but does get wet in the rain, but it still works after 3 years.
It's a one shot job so you have to be careful, send me a PM if you want some more details. Otherwise I'm sure there are other voltmeters on the market now that are waterproof.
I'm not clear why you think your problem had anything to do with the charging system. I've had similar happen to me several times and it always had to do with a loose battery cable, which is remedied within a minute if you removed the bolts holding the seat in place (Where's the seat going to go while you're sitting on it? A single bungie cord will hold it securely.) and are carrying any sort of multitool handy.
The most interesting time this happened I'd been stopped for bogus reasons by cops in Honduras. After 20 minutes of negotiations about whether or not I'd pay them a mordida (answer: no) I hit the starter to leave but nothing happened. We all found this totally hilarious. They actually had to help me by stopping traffic while I found a safer place to dismount and tighten the clamp on the battery post.
However: maybe you had charging issues. I never have.
As I said in my original post the voltage regulator died. I suspect that one or more rectifier diodes in the regulator went open circuit reducing the voltage output. This stopped the battery from being properly charged. I actually first thought the battery had lost a cell as it failed so suddenly, but after recharging the battery I measured the in circuit terminal voltage and from memory it was around 12.4V @ 2500 rpm and I would expect it to be around 13.8V at that rpm. Replacing the regulator immediately fixed the low charge voltage and it never failed after that.
I just did a quick web search on klr650.net and I saw a number of people talking about failed regulators on low mileage KLR's (around 1000-1500 miles) which is what happened to me. It sounds like if a regulator is going to fail it will be early in the life of the bike. Probably
The point I was trying to make is that a lot of motorcycles have fairly simple electrical/charging systems with not a lot of extra capacity. It's not uncommon for people (me) to want more output from the charging system for things such as heated grips/vests, higher wattage headlights, accessory sockets and find out down the road that it doesn't work very well. A small volt meter mounted on the bike is a useful diagnostic tool to have.
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