Author Topic: 2009 Kawaski KLR 650 with 30,000 miles Review / Update  (Read 149 times)

smallengineshop

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2009 Kawaski KLR 650 with 30,000 miles Review / Update
« on: September 06, 2018, 06:49:07 PM »

A 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 photo taken in Japan approximately one year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Truth? You decide.....

This is a 2009 Kawasaki KLR650 with 30,000 miles. I use the bike for short trips in town/city and I don't do much freeway riding. The bike is pretty close to stock and there are no engine modifications such as the Doo Hickey fix. I did change the final drive gear ratio and added a few things, which I will explain below.

Problems and changes I've made to the bike:
  • The voltage regulator/rectifier stopped working around 20,000 miles and I replaced it. DO NOT go to the Kawasaki dealership to get a replacement voltage regulator/rectifier because they are $269.03. No, that is not a typo! Save your money and buy it on ebay for around $30. The $30 replacement from ebay looked identical to the original regulator/rectifier. It looked like they were both from the same casting or form. It wouldn't surprise me if they came from the same factory.
  • The rear sub-frame support bracket came loose one time and I simply tightened it back up and it hasn't come loose since.
  • Had a problem with the key and ignition lock binding when turning the ignition lock ON. This is an indication of wear and having a new key duplicated from the new and unused original key fixed the problem. If you don't have a new key to duplicate from, then you can have a new key cut from your bikes key code. The key code for a KLR is not written or stamped on the bikes locks, but it is included on a tag that comes with the original key. You should always write the code down in the owners manual in case you lose the key code tag.
  • I've replaced the low beam and high beam bulbs several times. You don't need the Kawasaki dealership for replacement bulbs and you can find them at your local auto parts or even Walmart stores.
  • I'm now on my forth set of final drive sprockets and chain. Every time I replaced the sprockets and chain I always used a different ratio to improve freeway riding, but I'm now back to using a front sprocket that is one tooth larger than the stock sprocket and a stock rear sprocket.
  • I've replaced the battery several times and you can get a replacement battery at Walmart.
  • I don't know how many times I've replaced the front and rear tire. I have ordered tires online before, but I prefer to get the stock tires from the Kawasaki dealership because they always have them in stock and there is no wait. However, the stock tires do wear pretty quick. If you live in a state that requires vehicle inspections every year and you ride your KLR often, then plan on replacing the rear stock tire every year.
  • I replaced the front and rear brake pads one time. At around 20,000 and approximately 6 or more years of riding year round through snow and rain, the front and rear brake calipers started sticking and caused the bike to not roll freely. I was ab;e to take the front and rear brake caliper completely apart and clean and lube everything. The ends of the caliper pistons get corroded and it causes them to not move back into the housing far enough to completely release all pressure on the brake pads. This causes the resistance you feel when rolling the bike back and forth. It can get so bad that you feel the resistance while riding. Also the two pin hangers in each caliper get corroded so you should clean them and put high temp anti seize lubricant on them before installing them back into the caliper.
  • I always use Kawasaki oil filters and either Valvoline or Mobil full synthetic motorcycle motor oil.
  • I added metal guards for both side panels and they have been very good for protecting the panels and attaching bungy cords to, but if I had to do it over again I would get crash guards for the radiator, engine and plastic shrouds. Some guy backed into the bike when it was parked and broke the left plastic shroud. Each shroud is $206.83 to replace and they are vulnerable anytime the bike goes down.
  • I think Kawasaki had problems with 2008 KLR's using motor oil, but it was fixed in later models. I do have to periodically add motor oil to the bike, but its not so often that its a hassle. However, the bike does seem to use more oil than other motorcycles I have owned.
  • At one point I added the Kawasaki soft top case, tank bag and saddle bags, and I recommend all three. I removed the saddle bags and continue to use the soft top case and tank bag. I just don't need the extra room provided by the saddle bags and I did tear one saddle bag when I crashed. The soft top case has been a great help when using the KLR for grocery shopping.

Best KLR 650 feature:

  • I would have to say the 6 gallon gas tank is the best feature and sets the KLR 650 apart from other dual sport motorcycles in its class. The small fairing is right up there with the large gas tank. The fairing does a good job at keeping air off your chest during freeway riding, and several companies offer replacement wind screens of various sizes.

Worst KLR 650 feature:
  • The worst feature is the popping and sputtering when you decelerate. Kawasaki jets the KLR 650 very lean to pass EPA standards and this causes the popping and sputtering. The good news is its very easy to fix. I would also have to say the low amp alternator is another downside to the KLR. If you power several heated accessories during winter riding you will probably want to upgrade the stock KLR 650 alternator.

The bottom line is the 2009 KLR 650 was well worth what I paid for it. If it blew up tomorrow I would have no regrets and would consider getting another one. Its been a very durable and reliable motorcycle, and I like the tall seat height, long travel suspension and big gas tank. Its very easy to work on and there are more accessories for it than you will ever need. The large number of parts and accessories for this motorcycle makes it very easy to improve the KLR to perform better at whatever type of riding you prefer. I believe the KLR 650 was voted the best motorcycle to have during the Apocalypse by Motorcyclist magazine and I often hear people describe the KLR as not being great at anything, but being able to do everything; being able to ride on dirt, street, around town or across country makes the KLR a great motorcycle.

If I think of anything else in the next few weeks I will add it to this post.




« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 05:27:22 PM by adminjoe »
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