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Old 08-11-2009, 08:55 PM   #16
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Joined: May 2009
Location: NorCo
Oddometer: 734
Out of curiosity, is there any oil build up on the under carriage of the bike at all? How about the tail pipe and the muffler? How much deposit do you have in those? Maybe it's ignorance but the oil had to go somewhere.. wether it leaked out of a bad gasket or burned through the engine there has to be a trace.

I would think about starting a thread with this paticular issue (since it seems your not the only one) and start gathering a list of everyone who has had this issue. Get enough people together and it may be grounds for a class action lawsuit. Or at the least enough to spread the cost of an attorney around so the cost doesn't sting as bad.
Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:07 PM   #17
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Really am sorry about your trip. Honestly. I know when a new bike is purchased everything we believe should be fine.

That said, I check my oil level every single fill up! No matter what bike I have I do this.

If you lost over 1quart in a fill up, then you have to be smoking out the tailpipe. Also you would be able to smell it. I know because my KLR, a couple of years ago with 100,000 miles on it was burning just over a quart for every tank. I took it in that condition on a 4,000 mile trip out west, just carried oil with me. However with that much you can literally see it.

Name your bike and I have seen them fail right off the show room floor. Again so sorry about your trip. You buy a new bike, expect to ride it anywhere, and then it fails you. Bad deal for certain. Cars can go the same way.

Hopefully next bike next time you will have better luck. Check the oil every gas, takes all of one second. Not lecturing, but it can save your butt!

I don't know about legal action. There is rider responsibility also. When I worked for Yamaha, they stated that 1 qt every 1,000 miles on a new bike is acceptable. A few thousand miles and you could be out of oil on a brand new yamaha!!

Also your breakin period extends to 4,500 miles not using much throttle at all. So you will have a tough case in front of you. Coupled with the fact that the bulk of the new KLR's burn no oil at all.

Its up to you. I would be upset too if my new bike was burning oil, especially if I broke it in exactly as Kawasaki suggested.

Whatever you descide to do, I hope it works out for you.
Banned for the truth.

holycaveman screwed with this post 08-11-2009 at 09:14 PM
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:13 AM   #18
My Hardley is a POS
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I have an 08, while it does burn some oil, i would not hesitate to ride it anywhere. I think your bike just had a problem or whoever done the oil change never did it properly.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:26 AM   #19
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Huge bummer, Sorry to hear.

Perhaps Kawasaki will offer some Goodwill assistance for your troubles.
Have you contacted Kawasaki customer relations?

On a side note: How did you break the engine in?
Per Kawasaki? Per the "other" method?

Huge bummer, hope things work out for you!

I ride a 09', broke it in using the "other" method.
Does not burn any oil, but I do keep a close eye on it for good measure.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:07 AM   #20
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The oil burning issue is bad enough for some KLRs...........the electrical shorts and wiring harness problems are another problem that are a major problem with some of the '08s........Kawasaki did issue a recall for the wiring harness fix.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:30 AM   #21
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Southern Newest Mexico
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Sorry to hear about the trip. I can't imagine the frustration. Granted I haven't put thousands of miles on my '09 yet but it's been flawless so far. I haven't used a bit of oil.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:39 AM   #22
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Location: Colorado
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses and also for your empathy...something I have definitely NOT gotten from the people that are involved that are obligated to "help". One positive I wanted to make sure I mentioned is that as soon as I broke down (and I got back to a place that had cell service) I made 4 phone calls.

1) AAA- I paid extra for the motorcycle/ RV coverage and for coverage in Canada. They would only cover a 100 mile tow with no provisions for extenuating circumstances...leaving me to cover an 800 mile tow bill if I wanted my bike back.

2) Kawasaki- Sorry about your luck with our bike. Sucks to be you!

3) The dealer where I bought the bike- You are in the Yukon. What do you expect us to do about it?

4) Progressive Insurance- My Progressive motorcycle insurance covers a tow of up to 15 miles.....but I got this amazing guy named Chris on the other end of the phone that also pointed out that there was a provision with Progressive that obligated them to tow me to the nearest "qualified repair facility". They covered the entire tow! The bill was over $5500! Though I wish they just would have totaled out the bike...I am so thankful! I will never go with another insurance company. These guys totally came thru and kicked ass! They were the only people that I have dealt with that honestly tried to help instead of leaving me hanging or pass the buck. I love these guys and wholeheartedly endorse Progressive as an insurance company.

I have to say that while I would never wish this on anyone else it did make me feel a little better hearing about the guy with the new BMW that also broke down. I was kicking the crap out of myself for not buying a better quality bike. I guess it goes to show that crap can happen anywhere at anytime regardless of how responsible you may be.

Again, I appreciate all the support and advice. I will definitely keep you all posted on how things progress. Right now I am waiting on calls back from Kawasaki USA, Kawasaki Canada, a consumer advocate lawyer, and my original dealer.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:02 AM   #23
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Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
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Just saw your posting and very sorry to hear the story.

I took my Alaska trip in 2006 on a 2003 KLR and ended up back home in a UHaul.

While on the road, my bike would sputter and die out, did all the usual suspect stuff to try and repair. Tore down the carb every couple hundred miles when it would start, drained tank, new vacuum lines, vent tank etc. After carb rebuilds it would run fine for 100-200 miles and then crap out. I cleaned the carb about 8 times on the side of the road before saying, it is time to find a UHaul, which was not an easy task out there. It involved waking the owner of the Uhaul facility from a drunken stupor at 11:00 am, taking her out to breakfast to get her to come in, then sourcing tie downs from a local as the uhaul place had none and on and on.

At the time I was pissed. Now looking back on it I just considered it all part of the adventure and kind of laugh at it. Probably one of the more adventurous trips I've had. I also vow to return and finish my trip.

by the way, the carb issue was due to microscopic paint and coatings from under the petcock flaking off and gumming up the carb.

Chock it up to experience the best you can. And yes, Progressive has been awesome to me in the past as well.

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:38 PM   #24
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Very sorry to hear about your issues.

As with anything, shit happens. Not to be a dick but you put an untested weapon on the road. The bike was a total virgin, you should have broken the bitch in a bit before heading out. I can't imagine that he constant RPMs of the open road are good for a new motor. Don't give up on your KLR, we own an '08 and it has been great but we treated it like a newborn for the first 1500 miles.
Physics, gravity, and law enforcement are the only things that prevent me from operating at my full potential
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #25
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Swellvue, WA
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Sorry for your misfortune.

What exactly are you expecting from Kawaski and your dealer? Are they saying they won't fix your bike?

- Mark
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #26
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Location: Next to Rio Bravo
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Cannot do anything but when you get everything back home, put the 99 motor in the 09 frame.
It is mostly the stinking rings/cylinder issue & will continue to be the same.
Stick w/ your 99 motor.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TravisThumb
I have to say that while I would never wish this on anyone else it did make me feel a little better hearing about the guy with the new BMW that also broke down. I was kicking the crap out of myself for not buying a better quality bike.
You purchased a fine motorcycle, every manufacturer has a few bad bikes slip past QC, they are machines, machines brake. Your number just happened to come up.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by windmill
You purchased a fine motorcycle, every manufacturer has a few bad bikes slip past QC, they are machines, machines brake. Your number just happened to come up.
Not this time. What he is going through is the result of a whole bunch of shit product making it to the showroom floor. Kawi has addressed it, allegedly, but it is what it is now. Many sub-standard motors on the road right now because of it. Very unfortunate. Used to be the only the a KLR owner had to worry about was doin' the doo.
Originally Posted by NWGS
This post has zero to do with civility and more to do with stupidity.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ
Here's a perfect example. Guy A has a beautiful '65 Mustang. He looks it over all the time, does his own work, and has restored it from the ground up. He has become an accomplished mechanic either with this car or by working on previous ones.

Guy B goes and buys a brand-spanking-new Mustang. The dealer changes the oil, but they've got a new guy on staff who is not qualified to rebuild engines, adjust valves. All he does is wash bikes, change oil, and check tire pressure. He doesn't notice when the washer falls into the drain grate (there isn't even a pan, just a grate in the floor sometimes!) He changes the filter, replaces the drain plug, refills it with oil, does a quick check, and sends it on its way. The oil leaks out while the car is at speed, and the engine burns up.

Therefore, old Mustangs are more reliable than new ones.

We know this is not the case. Aside from style preference, the new Mustangs are better cars in every way.
I was once across the road from an Oil Can Henry's and saw a car come out of it's lot. About fifty feet down the street the oil filter dropped off the car. Ooops!

All mechs make mistakes, but yeah, it is more often the newbies. I tried to be real careful, which made me slow, which the bosses didn't like because they charge so much for a certain service. Whatever.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #30
....doin' the math
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Location: Spokanistan, WA
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Originally Posted by TravisThumb
I bought a brand new 09' KLR for my dream trip to Alaska. It had 84 miles on it when we left on 07/17/09. I had the oil and filter changed and the bike gone thru at a dealer on the way at 500 miles. The rear shock failed at 1500 miles and was replaced by the Progressive 420 shock. During its stay to get the shock replaced, the oil and filter was also changed and the bike gone thru again.

I continually checked the oil almost daily as our trip progressed but honestly did not give it much thought seems how I thought along with buying a new bike I had also bought piece of mind that everything was new and I had nothing to worry about.

Along a desolate stretch of the Top of the World Highway after just crossing over into Canada from Alaska, the bike made a whining noise and shut down. The starter worked but the piston did not seem to be moving and there was no compression. The oil had completely disappeared from the crank case.

The motor had apparently seized from lack of oil. I had just checked it the previous day and it was fine. The bike had 5700 miles. We were doing about 250-300 mile days at speeds rarely exceeding 60 @ 4300rpm. So all the oil disappeared within 250-600 miles. I have read 2 other forums on other websites where riders had experienced massive oil loss within 200-300 miles of up to 1qt. No signs of leaks.

My insurance covered the $5500 tow bill to the nearest Kawasaki dealer in Whitehorse, Yukon where I was given a 2 week time frame to even have it looked at. The bike is still there and I spent 3 days on a Greyhound back home.

This trip took over a year to plan. It took an incredible amount of energy to get time off work and prepare. I have a 99' KLR sitting at home that I was nervous about taking because it had 24k miles so I bought a new KLR specifically to take this trip.

I have met so many people on this trip who have had a similar experience with a newer KLR or know people that have. I am considering trying to take legal action if Kawasaki doesn't own up to this obvious flaw in the bikes engine and the once in a lifetime vacation that they have ruined. I am looking for any and all advice that any of you might have to offer. I also would like to get in touch with people that may have had a similar experience with this bike.
Just took my '09 to the shop last week for this EXACT same problem!! Purchased the bike 3 months ago and never used a drop of oil....until 3,000 miles. Took off on a five day trip. Topped off air pressure and oil before I left. Stop for gas ~200 miles later. Just happen to check the oil....nothing in the sight glass. It was over a quart low in 200 miles!! Run for the next 3-4 days on dirt below 40 miles per hour and didn't lose a drop of oil. Get back on the slab to head for home and go through about of quart every fuel up. By time I got home I couldn't make it 60 miles without adding a quart!! no, it's not the drain plug!

of course the guy doing the paperwork at the dealer gives me the whole "well, on something like this it's hard to quote a price". Quote a price?! That's when I went off on him about riding it off the showroom floor 3 months prior and that it had better be covered by the warranty! From what I've heard elsewhere I fully expect to get screwed, but I will keep you all posted and let you know what they find and how it turns out. More later......
'01 Ninja ZX-6
'09 KLR 650 (the BLACK one)

"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?" - Anonymous
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