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Kawasaki KLR 250

Information Exchange

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Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a cargo rack available for the KLR250?
Yes, several. Kawasaki sells one, though, oddly,there seems to be some "fit" issues in retaining the rear turn signals. Visit your dealer, or check out BuyKawasaki.com. Dual Star makes a rear rack, and Ventura in Australia makes a very nice rack & pack combo. The USA distributor, Cycle Venture, Inc., does not carry the KLR250 model at this time; you can ask them if they will order one for you, but you may have to order it direct from Ventura.

Where can I get replacement body parts?
At the dealer, or used (ebay), or try aftermarket universal fenders, and while the Sherpa can wear the KLR250's front fender, the KLR can't wear the Sherpa's. The KLR600 shares the same front fender and headlight/nacelle assembly.

Do you have a wiring diagram?
Not a complete one; posting a scan of the service manual would be a gross copywrite violation, so if you have some other one you would like to share with us, send it in! In the mean time, in response to the numerous requests, I have made some crude diagrams of the cooling fan circuit and the ignition circuit; check on the TOOLKIT page.

Where can I get a service or owners manaul?
At the dealer, at BuyKawasaki.com, or keep an eye on ebay. The service manual consists of TWO books; one actually covers the KLR600, which was fairly similar to the KLR250, and the other covers all the differences. Kawasaki part Number 99924-1050-01 for the KLR600 base manual and part number 99924-1051-14 for the KLR250 suppliment. While you are thinking about it, why not email Haynes and ask them to produce a shop manual for the KLR250, they generally make an excellent alternative to a factory manual.

Are there any aftermarket bars as tall as the stock ones?
Not in a standard motorcycle bend, so if you are tall you may need a set of bar-risers to go with your aluminium bars so that you can stand comfortably. The Renthal "Jimmy Button" bend is almost as tall. Some mini-mx bars are close, but they tend to run a bit on the narrow side, which might be a good thing if you ride in the woods a lot. Although, I don't know if there is enough room on a 28" bar to fit all the stock switchgear on. ATV bars are generally quite tall, so you might find a bend that suits the KLR.

Which aftermarket exhaust pipe is the best?
I have yet to see any dynamometer readouts on one pipe versus another, so it depends on how much you have to spend, and how loud you want it to be. Did you know that the weight savings is less than four pounds? My subjective list, based on hearing some, and on manufacturer's reputation for the others. From quietest to loudest: Stock, BSM, DEP, CJ Predator, Supertrapp IDS (adjustable), Supertrapp E.A.R. (adjustable), FMF Q-series, Cobra ISDE, Big Gun, Cobra, Jardine, Yoshimura.

What is that squeal coming from the front end?
It is probably the speedometer cable, and the noise is caused by the overly tight bends it has to make behind the bottom of the front nacelle on the way up to the speedo', and lack of, or improper lubrication. Try lubricating it, or if it is just making noise when the weather is cold try a different lubrication, and think about rerouting it. It's just something KLR's do.

Valve/Camshaft failures, what's the deal?
It may seem that the KLR250 engine has some valvetrain failure issues, but exactly how much of that is due to poor design or manufacturing, and how much is attributable to lack of maintenence/adjustment or abuse on the part of the user we can not be certain. What we can be certain of is that actually following the recommended service procedures is the surest way that we have to avoid this potentially devastating and expensive problem. Regular oil and filter changes combined with valve and camshaft inspection and adjustment are important on any bike, and for the KLR250 they ARE A MUST, and cheap insurance compared to the alternative.
Adjust them, please.

What oil should I use?
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to CHANGE IT REGULARLY (and the filter). At least as often as the manual states, and follow the manual on viscosity ratings for summer/winter. Oil selection then degenerates into an endless diatribe on single viscosity/mutli-weight, detergent/non-detergent (I'm old), Synthetic/blend/natural, automotive/motorcycle, ad nauseum. Basically, there is no formulation of modern name-brand oil that will fail to provide adequate protection, or harm any component of the KLR engine, OTHER THAN THE CLUTCH. SOME Automotive formulated oils (generally labeled "energy saving", most if not all 10W-30, and also Auto Mobil 1) contain "friction modifier" additives that can lead to clutch slippage. Frankly, if replacing clutch plates is the only problem you ever have with your engine, you don't have much to complain about, but you have safer options, so read the label. The meshing of the transmission gears also tends to break down some of the viscosity modifiers at the molecular level, but we don't need to get into that, AS LONG AS YOU CHANGE YOUR OIL REGULARLY!
And if you must know, I use oil made for Diesels.

Do I have to follow the break-in instructions in the owners manual?
This question is the start of another painful diatribe, and I know some folks just can't be bothered, and others don't like to be told what to do, but if you can stick to the manual, your motor should be better off than most. I'd try to if it were my bike.

What is KLR250 parts interchangeability like?
Excellent year to year; there were a few changes made (most around 1989--passenger foot pegs relocated, engine oil capacity increased, forks no longer necked-down by machining, locking gas cap), but with one or two associated parts, even this stuff will fit. Parts interchangability with the KLR650 is extremely limited (rims, some brake parts, etc.) and only slightly better with the old KLR600 (same, plus front fender, headlight/nacelle, etc. but nothing major). None with the Sherpa.

Tire questions?
Read the TIRES page.

Tired of questions?
You're done!

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