Author Topic: Kawasaki KLR 650 Doohickey or DooHickie Modification  (Read 2883 times)

smallengineshop

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Kawasaki KLR 650 Doohickey or DooHickie Modification
« on: May 09, 2015, 04:34:51 PM »
The "DooHickey" refers to a problem, repair and replacement parts for the Balancer Chain tensioning system used on all 1987 through 2018 Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycles. I have owned a  KLR since 2009, so I have done some research about the chain tensioning problem and Doohickey repair, and I will share that information with you in this post. Not everyone does this modification to their KLR and their motorcycle seems to function just fine, while other KLR riders swear that not addressing the doohickey problem will result in sudden doom. Kawasaki does not recognize or admit there is a problem with the KLR balancer chain tensioner system even though they did upgrade the lever and spring in 2008 and later KLR 650's.

The DooHickey is a repair that replaces the idler shaft lever and idler shaft lever spring (see photos). These parts belong to the balancer chain tensioning system found on all Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycles. If these parts fail, tension will no longer be applied to the balancer chain, which could cause premature balancer chain and sprocket wear as well as severe engine damage if the parts break. The idler shaft lever and idler shaft lever spring on 1987-2007 KLR's are known to the KLR online community to lose tension and sometimes break. If the parts do break there is a risk of broken metal parts ending up in the wrong place and causing severe engine damage. Even though Kawasaki refuses to admit this problem exists, Kawasaki upgraded the idler shaft lever and spring on 2008 and later KLR's with a more robust lever and longer spring. The new lever and spring are stronger and less prone to breakage, but it has been reported that the longer springs seem to lose tension after approximately 6000 miles. A stretched spring will cause the lever to lose tension and result in a lose chain, which can lead to more problems. Most riders in the KLR community recommend replacing both the idler shaft lever and idler shaft lever spring on 1987-2007 KLR 650 motorcycles. This is also recommended for 2008 and later KLR's, since the aftermarket idler shaft lever is said to be stronger and better fitting than the stock part. However, since Kawasaki improved the idler shaft lever in 2008, the KLR community is not seeing as many broken levers.

Not everyone who who owns a KLR does the Doohickey modification. I for one have not modified my 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650, and I have not experienced any problems after 8 years and 26,000 miles. There is a fellow rider who tours extensively on a KLR 650 and writes articles about his experiences for several motorcycle publications. He owned a 2001 Kawasaki KLR 650, which he rode around the world and donated to the National Motorcycle Museum. The bike had over 40,000 miles at the time he donated the motorcycle, and he never did the Doohickey modification or experienced any problems with the balancer chain tensioning system. However, on his 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 he did replace the idler shaft lever spring (maybe the lever also. not sure)  after the modification was recommended by an adventure touring company who sells the parts.

I have read several testimonials about idler shaft levers and springs breaking, and springs losing tension on pre 2008 KLR's. I have read several testimonials about idler shaft lever springs losing tension on 2008 and later KLR's. I have also seen several photographs of broken levers and springs on pre 2008 KLR 650's. I have not been able to find any hard evidence that lose springs on 2008 and later KLR 650's are causing severe engine damage or severe balancer chain and sprocket wear.



Where to buy aftermarket "DooHickey" parts:

Eagle Mike
Happy Trail



The following are Kawasaki part numbers for the idler shaft lever and idler shaft lever spring:

Year: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Idler Shaft Lever part#13168-0046 (microfiche displays part number(s) 13168A)
Spring part #92144-1445

Year: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Idler Shaft Lever part #13168-0046 (microfiche displays part number(s) 13168A)
Spring part #92145-0529 (92144)

Year: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Idler Shaft Lever part #13168-0046
Spring part #92145-0529 (microfiche displays part number(s) 92144)

Year: 2006, 2007
Idler Shaft Lever part #13168-0046
Spring part #92145-0529 (microfiche displays part number(s) 92145 and 92144)

Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Idler Shaft Lever part #13168-0184
Spring part #92145-0529





Aftermarket idler shaft lever and idler shafter lever spring. Showing the "new and improved" torsion spring.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 06:10:28 PM by adminjoe »
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The Small Engine Shop

Kawasaki KLR 650 Doohickey or DooHickie Modification
« on: May 09, 2015, 04:34:51 PM »