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Luuk 14 Jun 2009 16:27

Mayor technical mystery

I have a technical problem which I can’t seen to figure out. I hope someone here has the answer.

The bike:

A KLE 500, build in 2001. Which has run about 50.000 kilometres. Every year I change the oil, re lube the filter, check and adjust the valve clearance and put in new sparks.
About a year ago I have driven it from Holland to Cape Town without any problem.

The problem:

The bike has been standing idle for two months (outside but under a roof) and when I to it for a ride it felt as if it lacked about 10 to 20 percent of its power. I put that down to the fact it had been standing outside so long and maybe some moisture had gotten in. I finished my ride and didn’t really think about it anymore. Two weeks ago I went for another ride. Again it felt as if it lackt about 10/20 percent of its power and every now and then it just didn’t want to speed up. Not every time I increased speed but every now and then it just seem to lose about 40/50 percent power. It stuttered just as if it was running out of fuel (an yes I did check the fuel tank, it had enough left)

So I thought because it behaved as it it was running out of fuel maybe the fuel filter was clogged up. So I replaced it with a new one, drained al the (two month old) fuel, because maybe it was deteriorated. Checked the spark plug cables, they were ok. Filled up with new fuel. Put some valvoline carburettor cleaning stuff in the fuel. I an a bit sceptic about stuff like that but my dealer insisted it would word. And went for a ride.

The problem had seemed to have gone away. The bike worked fine. I tried it on the highway. Doing 80 tot 120 sprints in high and law gear. I thought if it was I fuel quality or quantity problem it would show op then. But the bike worked fine, so I went home again. But than when I was doing 50 on a country road it again lost about 50 percent of its power. I stopped it, killed the engine, started again and it worked fine again.

So what the *&^% is the problem? I have no idea. I cant, reproduce it, it seems to come and go. Next week I’ll put in new sparks but I don’t really think that is the solution. The fault finding page of the manual didn’t help my either.

Anyone any idea?

Warthog 14 Jun 2009 16:54

Only basic suggestions:
Have you checked the air filter and made sure that a field mouse has not decided to make a nest in there? (no joke: it has happened!)

Have you done a compression check?

Does it sound like the bike is running on a single cylinder when it looses power? It could be that one cyclinder is not firing: an ignition coil one the way to failure, perhaps?

It is also worth checking the valve clearances, although this would be a constant, not intermittent problem... and I would also clean the carburretor internals, if I were you. You might have something blocking the main jets, or moisture in the reservoir, or a split diaphragm.

Good luck: I know how annoying these issues can be.

pottsy 14 Jun 2009 17:58

When the bike seems to lose power, pull over and carefully touch the exhaust downpipe from each of the cylinders - if one is cooler than the other then you can determine which is not firing. If all ok then i'd look toward the coils, and if no problem there then check the air-intake for the field-mice/hamsters/gerbils etc :rofl: (i once had an intermittent blockage here with a rag in the airbox intake, so it certainly does happen...).

farqhuar 15 Jun 2009 06:42

Did you check the fuel bowls in the carbies? I'd say there is a god chance they are half full of water and/or dirt.

Garry from Oz.

Luuk 15 Jun 2009 06:42

thanks guys, i hope its the gerbil thing. ontherwhise i'll do the coils and the carburrators.

wharthog, how do i do a compresion test and what would it tell me?

Warthog 15 Jun 2009 08:21


Originally Posted by Luuk (Post 246234)
thanks guys, i hope its the gerbil thing. ontherwhise i'll do the coils and the carburrators.

wharthog, how do i do a compresion test and what would it tell me?

A compression test requires a compression gauge like this one:


It allows you to see if a cylinder has a healthy level of compression. Compression is the only thing that makes you bike go fowards. Without it everything else can work and your bike will still not run. It can indicate piston ring weat, valve seat wear, etc. I would not say it is essential to finding your problem, but if you did one and noticed that one or both cylinders were down on the compression, it would warn you of future problems and maybe explain why your bike is more likely to loose power.

Have a look here.

Jameseye 15 Jun 2009 12:59

Check the tank breather - if it has a blockage or wasps nest in it, it will create a vacuum over time and use; as soon as you stop the bike the vacuum will normalise and will allow you to continue until the vacuum is again created. Another thing that can happen is pinching the line when you incorrectly route it when replacing the tank.

Just a VERY common complaint with a VERY common solution.

Let me know what you find if its anything different.


TommyT 15 Jun 2009 13:14


Originally Posted by farqhuar (Post 246233)
Did you check the fuel bowls in the carbies? I'd say there is a god chance they are half full of water and/or dirt.

Garry from Oz.

Yeah, I got water in the carb of my F650 and it caused very erratic problems like the ones mentiones here. The little drain hole inside the fuel cap got blocked.

Cinquegrana 15 Jun 2009 17:45

If the gas cap is anything like the KLR gas cap then the little rubber valves might have gone bad. Have you tried riding it with the gas cap off or lose?>

Luuk 4 Jul 2009 11:44

Problem seems to bee solved. Thanks guys.

I checked the breather hoses, no kinks
I checked the air system. No mammals or other stuff inside.
I checked the sparks. Looked good.
Fuelfilter in the fuel tank. Clean
Tanks gap. Mmm breather holes might have been a bit clogged. So I soaked it in water for a day and the gently blowed it clean.
Carbs. Gave the screw a few turns and a stream of clean fuel leaked out. So no problem there, the other carb didn’t though. It dripped verry slowly so it must have been clogged. So I hooked up a hose and inhaled. Bloody hell fuel tastes horibele but after that it worked ok again. Could have been some water inside or some dirt which became lose and flushed out.

So the bike runes ok now :mchappy:. Thanks for the tips.

farqhuar 4 Jul 2009 14:47

Glad I could help Luuk. Seriously though, it's no good just emptying the crap out of the fuel bowls through the drain plug, because you won't get it all out.

Take the carbies off, and remove the fuuel bowls completely and give them a good clean. It's almost certian there will be more water or some grit, dirt and corrosion in there.

Unless you clean them out properly your problem will recur again.

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