2010-10-25

Beating on an innocent KLR

So on Saturday I finally got the last two parts I needed to start the .22 cent mod on my carb, the 7/64" drill bit for the carb slide had been acquired early in the year and as I'd received the knurled idle mixture adjusting screw to replace the stock one on the carb on Friday, the parts were burning a hole in my hand as I gulped down the last of my tea and headed out to the garage in the cold and foggy morning dressed in my favourite Sunday sweater, full of holes and admittedly looking a bit decrepit, but I wasn't posing for a photo shoot, just beating on a poor defenceless KLR that's served me well for the past three years.
My buddy is constantly sending me links to newer bikes, but they don't hold the same appeal for as soon as this one changes shoes, it's an okay off road bike for a big guy like me, and when it wears it's street tires, I can have as much fun as the speed limit allows, and still not worry about how shiny my chrome is or if the Pazzo shorty levers will let me tip it into turn two that much faster. :D
That being said, I chose my "touring" tool kit to start, as if you don't have the right tools at the side of the road in the Catskills mountains when your six year old loved and abused bike says "Enough!", you better pray that CAA or AAA can see your smoke signals. I flesh it out now and then and try to see what works and what doesn't all while keeping it in a bag about the size your mom used to send with you to school. An apple and a sandwich, or in my case a set of 1/4" six point sockets, extensions, a mini gear wrench ratchet, a sliding T handle, assorted screwdriver and hex bits, along with an adjustable wrench and a pair of needle nose locking vise grips. The standard kit resides in the tool holder, and sees the light of day now and then. Add to this my shop tools, and I can handle a large number of jobs until compressed air or parts washing is called for.
The last time I played with a carb in ernest, I was eighteen and the Zenith two barrel carb on my '76 Volkswagen rabbit was misbehaving, so I swapped it out after finding a nice Solex single barrel carb at the wreckers, but I'd read the how-to section and decided I could do this thanks largely to the excellent pictures and diagrams included.
That being said, I think there is a special place in hell reserved for the inventors of the Phillips star screws, and somewhere nice and warm, their friends, the inventors of the Phillips screwdrivers reside.
I found that the throttle cable bracket was held on by one stubborn screw that immediately began to strip out, so I changed bits to yet another profile, a little wider, a little shallower of a bite and proceeded to tease it out lubricated with curses to assist to find that the threads had been treated to some red loctite.
Rotating the carb was alright, but it exposed four more of the little beauties, one of which I knew was going to be a repeat, so I cursed it before touching it, waited to let those sink in then cursed it a bit more as sure enough, it began to spin and telltale shreds of metal began to accumulate on the edges of my screwdriver. Vise grips then, so with my tongue firmly wedged between my teeth, I clamped on and rotated it with ease, after which it turned readily, and the top of the carb fell off into my hand.
The slide and associated parts came out easily enough, and as soon as I pulled the needle, I saw it'd been shimmed ALREADY! I put the drill bit in the slide's hole, and yep. 7/64ths on the nose. What about the idle mixture screw? Stock, but someone had removed the plug and obviously it had been adjusted.
I took stock, I would be able to replace the stock idle screw with the knurled one, and to install the klx needle in place of the stock, which I did. Getting that pesky diaphragm to sit pretty, rollover, and play dead was next to impossible when I recalled reading that someone had great success by lining the groove with a very slight coat of vaseline to get the rubber ring to seat AND STAY THERE! It worked like a charm! For those nay sayers out there, I was very careful to clean the excess out before reassembly as loose petroleum jelly in the carb body makes me shudder.
Damn!!! Who was this man that would rob me of my Sunday morning fun? Shatter my dreams of wheelies and roosting my mates as be rip through the forests? Who could have done this? Then I recalled that the previous owner had the Doo done by a member of www.KLR650.net which narrowed it down to one person.
Darn you Willys!!! ;)
I'll be up shortly to see you and get ready for the 685 big bore. :P
(I'll edit and add pics later.)

Update:
No pictures, but I can tell you that the KLX needle has the bike pulling significantly harder up hills and on the straights. It's noticeable difference to be sure. Willie says my gas mileage is going to suffer, I believe him, but for now I'm a very happy camper. :D

Yep, with the 685 kit, KLX needle, stock exhaust (low buck mod) and stock main jet I'm getting about three hundred kilometres per tank. Time to rejet perhaps?

2 comments:

scruffy said...

Still think you should bye a new Bike ..... ASAP

Rotten Ronnie said...

A new KLR? Why would I want to do that?