1985 Kawasaki KLR 600 HELP

Hey all ,

I have acquired a nice old "Low miles" Kawasaki KLR 600 that has been in storage for years.

The made year stamped date is 10-84!

 I'm trying to bring  it back to life,i have sealed the tank,changed all the fluids except for the front brake,had the carb rebuilt/choke cable replaced and she is running great !!!but hard to start.

My Help Problems/Questions::1#The bike has no air  filter,,the local shop cant find the original flat type air filter anywhere includeing K&N & calling Kawasaki....All I can seem to find is the oval foam air filter that fits the 650 bikes.Can I substitute a flat type air filter from say a Briggs and Stratton  type rideing mower engine?Or can I install a type like the the flat tracker bikers use?

Any mods I can do to the airfilter system to fix not being able to buy a filter for this "only built 2 years bike"?

#2 The bike is waaayyy to tall for me ,iam tippietoeing while sitting on the seat,should I put a aftermarket seat of some type and/or where can I get a decent flat tracker style seat that will set me on the frame with just a inch of padding??

Without the seat installed & sitting on thin pad I can comfortably sit flat footed.What would you guys recommend?Build my own from a old used seat pan/form/bottom?The seat I have now is like new,iam not gonna tear it apart...will keep it original

#3To change the fluid in the front brake,is it common to tear the drain/bleed screws up if they have froze up?Can i drain it easy myself?simple job?I looked in the handle bar unit and added  a little fluid to the top but the old fluid was "very" dark...figured i would ask the experts before messing with the front brake system for any tips.

4# Is there a mod change done to the chain adjustment system called a doohickey?

5#Where are the fuses located on this bike?I need to check for the fuse that works the front headlight.The light does not work but everything else is working that i have checked so far...

Thanks in advance for any and all help!


anything that you can make fit for the aircleaner is good


the height can be adjusted by changing the "dog bone" links on the rear shock and running the forks up a bit higher in the tripple clamp. the "lowering links" can be had on ebay or maybe try some of the KLR specialists like Arrowhead. the early 600 may be different from other... I dunno. good news is all they are is a thick stirp of aluminum with holes drilled in them, so a guy ould make them if need be


yes, get rid of the old fluid in the brakes. use some heat to help remove the bleeder. if you brake it, just get another caliper,,, pretty cheap to replace (used). I'd put steel lines on too


the doo......... yes, get rid of that bit 'o crap. Eagle Mike makes a good lever, and 2 springs. one is a repop of the original made with better material (and skill), the other is his design & is better all around. trouble is, I havn't had any luck fitting the new design torsion spring in the 600 engine. the rotor wants to rub it..... ymmv.  if you stay with the coil spring, you can drill out the first bolt hole in front of the adjuster & look in with a bore scope or otoscope and see if its still working. one point when you are in there.... the rotor on early KLRs will sometimes drag when you try to use maximum torque on the rotor bolt. sneak up on the torque & stop if it starts to drag.

Ya, the air filter can be exchanged for anything that will seal up completely around the base so all air has to go through the filter , maybe the 650 filter can be made to work if you got the whole airbox and cut/modded it or both to use them.


The front brake you can change the fluid by loosening the banjo line itself and using it to drain the old junk from there on up. You will however need to work the brakes then repeat, and repeat again to try and get most of the old stuff from the caliper as it mixes with new, not the best. I'd just look into getting one from the '90's 650 or some other Kawasaki models of that time, even other brands will use the same caliper on some models, some of the brackets changed so you'd need yours.


Not sure on the rear linkage that was used but if it had dogbones that would be the best route. You'll keep your full seat foam thickness and just slde the forks up an inch in the triples. Keep that bike in good shape and as original as possible, they are nice bikes and pretty rare, plus one of the only electric start enduro bikes of that time . I'm always keeping an eye out for one in decent shape for my collection.

Edited by jjktmrider

I got lucky my bikes like new and looks like it came out of a time machine! Runs great i just need to lower a it  little,i did the front brake fluid change,it was easy.Thanks for the help!

I always use a wrench and the a hammer to get those rusted/stubborn Bleed Valves (or anything else that is "rusted/stuck"). Steady (but "light") pressure on the wrench and a few taps of the hammer usually pops whatever is stuck loose :)


Another great tool set up is an Air Hammer and one of these attachments http://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Systems-4001-B-Brake-Remover/dp/B00E6TXWV0(or something similar), it has saved me from ripping apart and rebuilding several brake calipers/bleeder valves.

Edited by Azhule

How much will it cost approx.for insurance and a tag to ride the streets?

Does a cycle have to have turn signals to be street legal?

What type tires do you guys recommend for trail/street rideing?

Insurance is age, driving record, location and multi vehicle related. Can be $60-70 or $250 per year.


Some states require signals other don't , you'll need to find out what your is, me personally , would always put some on just for the extra safety aspect


Tire is another loaded question, probably 20 good options for on/offroad tire. If your going to be staying on trails that have mostly just dirt/gravel but no real mud ect.. then Shrinko 244's or IRC GP1's, Shrinko 700's also . For more dry trails and street, Shrinko 705's ,Kenda 761's. More wet dirt to some mud T63's ,TKC80,IRC TR8's, Kenda K760 Trakmasters, and Pirelli  MT21's, to more mud and clay with Dunlop 606's. There's some overlap and a few other tire like AC-10's or the Tractionators that can also be included in the more wet to clay ground and a few more street oriented that start going up in price.

I have All State insurance, and even with "maxed out coverage" on my bike (and a speeding ticket on my record), it's only like $340 a year... not too bad IMO :thumbsup: , I could be paying as little as $80 a year for basic coverage... but I like to have a little extra 'protection' on my insurance coverage :goofy:

Thanks Bigtime for the help! :ride:

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