'03KLR I'm new, I don't need fixing; just tighten 
my spokes

Kawasaki KLR 250

Information Exchange

(The Website for the KLR Jr.)


The information you need to help you keep your KLR250 running, whether you are at home or on the trail.

!WARNING! Not working on your KLR can kill it, and working on your KLR can kill it also, and injure you in the process. If you are not absolutely sure of what you are doing, don't do it! It will be cheaper in the long run to find a mechanic, than kill it yourself from neglect or improper maintenance. And to paraphrase Dr. Phil, if you break it (through ignorance or misdirection), you own it.

What's in Your KLR250 Tool kit?

Made successful trailside repairs with your toolkit? What size wrenches do you carry? Share your secrets about what you need or don't need to carry in Jr.'s fender bag.

Suggested extras:

Tech Tips

Spark Plug Removal

Here is a nice tool-tip someone sent in. Ever tried to remove your spark plug? Can't get the darn socket in there can you (unless you have the light duty stamped tin ones that come in the toolkit)? Solution: Go out and get yourself a Champion 809(RA6HC) spark plug (or equivalent). Same plug as stock, except with a 16mm head instead of the 18mm.

KLX/KLR skidplate

Serious Skid Plate

Ever lamented the lack of protection the stock "skid plate" provides? Here is a solution from Robert in California.

Wiring Diagrams

One of the top five questions I get is "Do you have a wiring diagram?" Well, here are two that I made, one which covers only the cooling fan circuit, and one which covers the ignition circuit; if anyone has one that covers the entire bike, or another section, (and won't violate copyright laws like a scan from the manual would) many folks would be greatful if you would send it along!

This Fan Circuit Wiring Diagram might help you diagnose your bike's cooling problem.

This Ignition Wiring Diagram might help make your bike spark-le.

Valve Adjustment

Valve clearance inspection is called for at 800 Kilometers (about 500 miles) and then every 5,000 Kilometers (about 3,000 miles) thereafter; although given that valve train failures are probably the most common cause of death for the KLR250 engine more frequent checks might be prudent, particularly between the 800K and 5,000K period when the valves may still be "seating" themselves.
Setting the valve clearances is not difficult, but doing it improperly can result in the destruction of the engine in short order. Ignoring them would be a false economy, the money and time spent on a visit to a mechanic for a valve adjustment is far less than what you would end up spending on an engine rebuild.

Feel free to submit fhotos that could accompany these instructions. Hey, what do you know, someone did! Thanks!

The engine must be cold, that is to say, room temperature.

Unhook the gas line from the petcock (make sure it is turned off and have a container around in case it leaks).

Upper motor mount
  1. REMOVE:

    Access Ports in Magneto Cover
  2. With the correct size socket inserted in the lower magneto access hole, rotate the engine counterclockwise while observing the intake valves/rocker arms (the ones near the rear/carb). Once you have seen the intake valves open and close, turn your attention to the upper magneto access hole. Continue to turn the engine counterclockwise (about 1/3 revolution) until the "T" mark on the magneto is in line with the notch in the bottom of the access hole.
  3. Measure the clearance of each valve by inserting the proper feeler gauge between the valve and adjuster screw.

    Checking Clearances
  4. Valve Clearance (engine cold) should be: 0.20-0.24mm (.008-.009inches) for BOTH intake and exhaust.
    NOTE: The rocker arms are siamesed, so if both of the intake (or exhaust) valves are tight, adjusting one, then the other won't always set them to specifications. It is best (in my opinion) to loosen BOTH before adjusting the clearance.
  5. Adjust as necessary by loosining the locknut (use a six point socket if you can, to avoid rounding the corners off) and turning the adjuster to achieve the correct clearance. Tighten the locknut to 18 ft-lb and recheck the clearance; sometimes it takes several tries to get it right. Do it until they are all within tolerances, too loose or too tigh is not acceptable (but too tight is worse, if you must know). I=Intake, E=Exhaust, KACR=Kawasaki Auto Compression Release
  6. Double check it, then look over the KACR (Kawasaki Auto Compression Release) to make sure it looks OK and is not eating at the case, and reassemble. Torque the valve cover bolts to just 69 INCH-lb (or it will leak or crack) and head-to-frame mount bolts to 22 ft-lb.

Valvetrain/Cam Chain Timing

Feel free to send in some photos to illustrate this procedure.


For the balancer chain alignment.

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Got info? Helpful comments? Send it to Me.