New to me KLR250 and new to the forum

I just got a free '86 KLR250 with 15k on it; left in a leaky canvas shed the last decade. I'm excited about it just the same. I started stripping it in order to see what I have, what I need and what I want. I need fluid and filters, carb rebuild and anything rubber. I'm considering a battery eliminator too.

 

Hopefully, I'll work on the fuel system and that'll be enough to start it. Once running, I'll decide where to go next. I hope it runs well and I can spend some time and money cosmetically.

 

I've been riding since 5 and now own a '10 Moto Guzzi V7cc and a '82 Honda GL500 café as well as a custom '63 Ford Falcon.

"I'm considering a battery eliminator too."

 

AnNy direction on this, I've never used one, but I like the idea.

The concept of eliminating 2 to 3 pound of high end weight is a good one.  I tried one on my Honda back in the 90's and the bike would have a hard time starting and a lot of times would not start at all. I finally went back to a battery. I would think they have improved them over the years and you should give it a try. 

Thanks for the input. The price is right for these, but so far you're experience is all I know and it isn't convincing. Anyone have anything good or bad?

The 3 day weekend served me well. I managed to reassembled most of the bike, enough to try starting it, not concerned with being road worth just yet. I wanted to see if it even runs. After a bit of kicks (wish it had electric start), and some starting fluid, it fired and ran.

 

It continues to hard start and need starting fluid, nor will it idle. I cleaned the carb so I assume it only needs adjusted at this point. If this enables it to start and idle, then I can move on to road worthiness. I'm excited to straighten out the carb so I can move on the rest and to start riding.

Hello, I just picked up a KLR250 myself a few weeks back. You may want to check the valves. Seldom are they ever checked/adjusted by PO's. Which on these bikes is a big deal, and if they go awhile without attention they'll run on the tight side of where they're supposed to be set and amongst other things that can cause a hard starting like what you describe.

 

Also these bikes were lean from the factory and depending on your elevation and if the jetting is stock or was ever changed you may be experiencing a lean condition which hinders the starting ease and requires a puff of starting fluid to get the job done.

Thanks DeepBarney. I've been told by others exactly what you're saying. Last night, it would not start, then as you say one puff and it comes to life. I have a feeling I'll win the battle after some wrenching this weekend. I plan to adjust the valves this weekend. I will remove the carb once more too and double check the pilot valves cleanliness, settings, etc.

On the jets run a wire through them to clean them. You can usually find the needed sizes at music/instument shops. Also I hear boiling the carb in CLR works wonders.

Also check for vacuum leaks around the carb by spraying carb n choke cleaner or any aerosol around the carb and its mating surfaces seeing if the rpms change in any way. If the rpms change there's a leak.

I am new here and as well just picked up a used KLR250 (2003).  When purchased I could only get it to run using starting fluid.  I pulled the carb, tore it down and soaked it for a few days in fuel injector cleaner (didn't want to spend $25 for a gallon of parts cleaner).  After soaking I cleaned each piece using spray carb cleaner and brush.  I used .025" inch safety wire to clean/clear the jet holes.  I then took a can of compressed air (I don't own an air compressor) and blew out all the passages.  (Actually got some sand out of it...).  I put it back together.  I installed the idle mixutre screw all the way in then backed out two full turns (i saw this suggested somewhere).  I was doing this on the cheap so I reused the seals...float bowl seal leaked like a sieve...had to stop and order the seal (local shop did not have it in stock...ugh). 

While waiting on the seal I decided to check the valve gap(s).  I read somewhere that if your valves are tight it will not start or will be hard to start.  My son and I took off the cover and discovered one of the exhause valve adjustment bolts and nut were not installed!!! (I tried to upload a photo but haven't figured that part out yet...)  We got a flashlight out and found the bolt in the bottom of the valve housing (head)!  We fished it out but could not find the lock down nut.  Carefully rotated the motor counter clockwise by hand to listen for it in the timing chain channel...nothing.  Where's the nut?  Dunno, we never found it.  Called the local part store, no nut, had to order...darn.

 

 

The float bowl seal came in so I installed it.  Waited.  Then the nut came it.  We put in the adjustment bolt and nut and adjusted the valve gap, and verified the others.  We got everything reassembled and began the process of trying to start the bike.  My son and I must've kicked it 200+ times over 2 days and used a can of starting fluid.  Could only get a rumble now and again.   Needless to say I was frustrated.  I thought perhaps I needed to replace the the float needle or rejet the carb or something...I talked to the local parts shop...no rebuild kit.  They could sell me individual parts...over $100 for parts I wasn't convinced I needed.  So I didn't buy anything. 

 

I went home and decided to open up the idle mixture screw some more and see if that would do anything...I backed it out a full turn.  It rumbled a bit more but no start.  I backed it out half a turn more...and hit it with starting fluid.  It fired right up!!  I ran it and took it for a spin.  Shut her down.  Waited 10 minutes.  Fired right up.  Waited 30 minutes.  Fired right up.  Waited 4 hours.  Fired right up!  Waited overnight.  Fired right up!!!

 

I haven't started it up today but I'm feeling pretty confident.  My only worry now is since I've gotten it running it's smoking like never before.  I've read around here a bit and it seems it may be time to change the piston rings and perhaps the valve seals...I'm going to run it a bit first.  We've been wanted to ride together (son and I) and couldn't because mine was down. 

 

I don't know if this will help anyone but it's my KLR story so far.  Thanks for all the great information on the site!

Glad you posted this. I may try the same thing if I'm still in the same place after my attempts. So glad you have it running, looking forward to my first ride as well.

UPDATE:  "I haven't started it up today but I'm feeling pretty confident.  My only worry now is since I've gotten it running it's smoking like never before.  I've read around here a bit and it seems it may be time to change the piston rings and perhaps the valve seals...I'm going to run it a bit first.  We've been wanted to ride together (son and I) and couldn't because mine was down."

 

Well its continued to start!  But I went to take a ride yesterday...it started (still smoking a lot)...then it locked up and quit...motor was frozen!  I tore it down this morning to the head cover...timing chain is broken...it took a while but I got the chain out and everything is free moving again.  But what to do now?  And why did the chain break?  I think I'm going to tear it down and inspect the valves and the cylinder/piston...!  Ugh!  :-(

more than likely, it was out of adjustment by a far margin. As for the smoking, could be rings or valves. Either way, they need attention, no way to avoid it now. My advice is since the top end now needs rebuilt, spend $200 and buy the Big Bore 280 kit, comes with EVERYTHING, all the things you need to replace or machine anyway. You can find one on ebay right now.

 

As for other parts, I find Partzilla to be the least expensive.

Edited by LaGrasta

Wow, being new to this I never even considered an oversized cylinder...hmmm...thanks for the post.  Definitely food for thought!  I'll let you know what I do!

Update and Help!:  Well, I lost the bid on the oversize kit but still looking.  My main issue now is removing the generator rotor.  I don't have the puller for it.  Local shops don't have it either.  I believe I have to get it out in order to get the new cam chain installed.  Anyone with any thoughts on this?  Very frustrated at this point...

You can get them on ebay for about $15. You may be able to make one with a bolt, nut and a few washers too.

HELP!

 

Ok, well its been a while since i've updated - life you know.  I was able to remove the generator and finished the teardown.  I was able to find a machine shop to oversize and clean up my cylinder.  I ordered an oversize piston and rings.  I installed the new chain, piston rings, piston, cleaned up cylinder.  I re-assembled the head using the orginal valves but replaced the valve seals.  I set the timing with the new chain according to spec and made sure to have the 43 teeth spacing between the alignment marks.  Installed the carb and fuel tank. 

 

Nothing.  I cannot get it to start.  I can make it burp with starting fluid but after many attempts I've confirmed it's only lighting off the fluid.  I reset the timing to where the motor was when I tore it down (when I tore it down it had the 43 teeth spacing but the alignment marks were not per spec.  The EXH sprocket mark was about one tooth below the top of the head housing and the INT mark was up more than the 3 degrees noted in the spec.).  I had taken pictures during diassembly to confirm the original timing but not sure how accurate since the chain was broken.  In readjusting the timing I as able to get it to pop once in a while (every 40 or so kicks) obviously not good.  I then removed the carb and cleaned it thinking perhaps it gummed up while sitting out of the bike waiting for me to get back to it.  No change.  I reset the timing again more in line with the spec (thinking the previous timing may have been off since the old chain stretched and broke.  Each time I reset the timing I verified the valve clearance (.008" to .009").  I also verified I've set timing at the proper end of the stroke. 

 

I put the carb in and adjusted the pilot (idle) mixture screw all the way in and attempted to start.  I did this over and over backing the screw out a half a turn to the point it almost fell out.  I verified fuel flow from the tank to carb using the bowl drain.  I drained the fuel tank and put in fresh fuel.  (before I began this journey the carb as cleaned and when the bike was running it was running great.)

 

I now have the timing set (which seems off to me but has the 43 teeth spacing) with the cam alignment marks each even with the top of the head casting on opposites sides.  Oh, and I've veried there is spark.

I'm totally lost and thinking about taking it apart and starting over and hoping for a miracle.

 

HELP

Edited by rwren2973

Ok, well, I'm still getting no where. I do recall one of the intake valves was snug going in...might be a dumb question...but would a slightly bent valve keep it from starting, running, or even acting,like it wanted to start? I've got spark and fuel...and it rotates fairly easily...if so and I change the valve does the new one have to be machined "fitted" to the head or can i just install it...thanks

Ok, well, I'm still getting no where. I do recall one of the intake valves was snug going in...might be a dumb question...but would a slightly bent valve keep it from starting, running, or even acting,like it wanted to start? I've got spark and fuel...and it rotates fairly easily...if so and I change the valve does the new one have to be machined "fitted" to the head or can i just install it...thanks

 

 

Bingo - bent intake valve.  Changed the valve ( I think the other one may be bent as well but not as bad - I only ordered one.  This winter I'll order the other one and replace it now that I've got the process down.). Now the bike is running.  Need to make some idle, throttle adjustments to get it dialed in.  Did seem to loose a bit of power - I'm thinking the Vacuum valve/diaphragm is worn.  Not going to mess with for now.  Just happy it's running...

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