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Old 10-26-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
scooter_kenny OP
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KLR doohickey upgrade-How many have actually been done?

The net and all the forums all full of doom and gloom about the balance chain tensioner and its spring. I know ther is 1000's of KLR's on the road and great many by high milers. I wondering how many high milers and long term owners have actually done the fix?

It's obsivally the "thing" to do if your a rider and a forum reader but I'm wondering how many KLR riders are out there happily thumping along who haven't spent countless hours reading about the "doohickey" and there trusty bikes are no better off?

Just a thought.......
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:08 PM   #2
RandoCommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter_kenny View Post
The net and all the forums all full of doom and gloom about the balance chain tensioner and its spring. I know ther is 1000's of KLR's on the road and great many by high milers. I wondering how many high milers and long term owners have actually done the fix?

It's obsivally the "thing" to do if your a rider and a forum reader but I'm wondering how many KLR riders are out there happily thumping along who haven't spent countless hours reading about the "doohickey" and there trusty bikes are no better off?

Just a thought.......
Then Gen 1 doohickey was susceptible to breaking.
Mine broke in under 4000 miles.
Luckily it only broke in two and stayed in place, and the spring didn't dislodge and bounce around.

The Gen 2 doohickey is stronger, but the spring is no good.
I don't know of any Gen 2 doohickey problems, but I'm sure someone with knowledge will chime in.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:48 PM   #3
larryboy
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I've been into a couple hundred old models, some broken, some broken springs, none functional. Several dozen 2008 and newer, maybe 40 now and none of them were functional.

What's your point? Nonbeliever?
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:31 AM   #4
Shadinsb
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The spring was broken in my 2004. Did the upgrade at around 13k miles to the Eagle Mike setup with torsion spring. The resulting smooth purring sound was evidence to me that the lever hadn't been under tension since I got the bike with 7k miles on it.
While I got the big part of the spring out, I never did find the end that broke off.
And even though my bike ran for thousands of miles like this, things would deteriorate quickly I imagine. Certainly quicker than a balanced system.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:02 AM   #5
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the spring was broken in my 05 when it was a couple months old. I've done mebby 4 dozen... the Gen I version I'd say probably half had a problem. the lowest mile one was an 04 with 1200 miles since new. the Gen II's... as above... the lever is better but it's loose on the shaft & the spring will no longer adjust after about 5k miles. it;s a terrible design with too many parts for a simple task, and the parts have a tendency to fail, so if you don't mind loose bits rattling around in your engine, ignore it & move on. and yes, I have seen a couple engines suffer catastrophic damage when the broken bits get into the cam chain and/or balancer chain.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:37 AM   #6
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Bought a brand new Gen2 in 2010. Replaced balancer tensioner lever and spring with less than 200 miles on them. Original spring had no tension at all. Poor design.
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter_kenny View Post
The net and all the forums all full of doom and gloom about the balance chain tensioner and its spring. I know ther is 1000's of KLR's on the road and great many by high milers. I wondering how many high milers and long term owners have actually done the fix?

It's obsivally the "thing" to do if your a rider and a forum reader but I'm wondering how many KLR riders are out there happily thumping along who haven't spent countless hours reading about the "doohickey" and there trusty bikes are no better off?

Just a thought.......
I'm on my 2nd KLR and have not done the doo on either. I doubt most KLRs have the doo done simply because they are ridden by folks who don't hang out on internet forums.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by VikB View Post
I'm on my 2nd KLR and have not done the doo on either. I doubt most KLRs have the doo done simply because they are ridden by folks who don't hang out on internet forums.
Have you ever cracked the bolt loose to tighten the chain?

I have done 4 doohickeys replacements, one was broken and had a slack spring, one had a missing spring, one had a spring with a broken hook and one was performing as it should...
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:28 AM   #9
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I bought my '02 in Feb '08 with 3600 miles on the odometer. In prep for a trip from the SC Low Country into Canada and AK, I checked the Doo. Spring broken @ 6,000 miles. Good thing I had never tried to adjust it prior to replacing.

Now @ 45K miles and still going....
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:23 AM   #10
VikB
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Originally Posted by gunnerbuck View Post
Have you ever cracked the bolt loose to tighten the chain?
I have adjusted the tensioner on my previous Gen 1 a number of times. My current Gen 2 has been adjusted once by me and it just came back from the dealer after service and is running smoother so they may have adjusted it a 2nd time - although that's not noted on my invoice.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VikB View Post
My current Gen 2 has been adjusted once by me and it just came back from the dealer after service and is running smoother so they may have adjusted it a 2nd time - although that's not noted on my invoice.

You're dreaming, they don't adjust because there isn't any spring tension when new from the factory. I haven't seen a 2008 and newer with any spring tension for any kind of adjustment...the spring just hangs there dooing nothing.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
You're dreaming, they don't adjust because there isn't any spring tension when new from the factory. I haven't seen a 2008 and newer with any spring tension for any kind of adjustment...the spring just hangs there dooing nothing.
The bike is running much smoother. That's what I am observing. I'm pretty sure I am not dreaming, but I'll have another cup of coffee just to be sure.

As I noted above they didn't say they adjusted it, but it's the only thing motor related that might have been done. If they didn't do it I can't explain why the bike went in running a bit rough and came out running smoother since they didn't do any engine work.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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I personally know of two Gen 11's (one a friend of mine) whose motors imploded due to the spring tensioner not taking up the slack on the chain. Both at about 12K miles

Cheap insurance. And as been noted, crack the bolt and let it adjust itself (if you have the proper spring) at every oil change.

And unlike many of the 'tribal lore' stories on forums, this is a real, measured and documented part that does break on older models and a weak spring on newer ones
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:50 AM   #14
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I've personally opened up at least 50 KLR's for Doo check/replacements. I'll continue to do so as it is a common issue...GenI or GenII. Its a cheap upgrade vs potential repairs if not addressed.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
jrs1899
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I changed mine @ 13500. Spring had not tension but otherwise was fine. I got scared seeing on just like mine in flea market that it failed on and I got scared. So thanks internet...
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