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'04 300klx..575 miles..valves: 2 bent,1 broken, piston destroyed. How?

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I've been reading the posts for a while and gleaned a lot of great info but I haven't had much to offer for discussion........until now.

Some personal background if you will. I am a very fit 58 year old, 5 foot 10, 225 lb guy with evidentaly more brawn than brains for a guy my age. A couple of older guys, like myself, decided that dirt biking would be a safer bet than a road bike hobby. Trees at 25mph are so much softer than cars at 60mph. So...this year we all bought bikes for ourselves and a couple of us even bought a spair one for an invited bikeless friend or one of our bikeless kids.

We live in Michigan and have spent the summer having the most wonderful time riding in the woods and on the powerlines up north. Most of our riding amounts to two 40 to 50 mile romps per day.

Our group rides yz450, crf250x, my klx300, crf125, ATK, crf230, ttr225 and others. Most are new this year (riders and bikes). I am the odd kid on the block because I wear green. :cry: Because of my size I finally had the fork springs replaced with .44 from the stock .38s. Unfortunately they couldn't find any larger ones. What a difference. I also did the free mods and added the carb kit. I can now pass the crf250x on the straight and can keep the yz450 in sight....sometimes. I can also keep ahead or stay with any of them on the twisties in the woods. Unlike the rest of them, I must learn slow or be too aggressive as I have fallen off in every conceviable way and have become the legend of dismounts. I hit a bog at 30, stuck the bike to the number plate and did a front sommersalt(sp?) 20 feet in front of the bike...........twice! The two guys following me stopped short and dropped their bikes because they were laughing so hard. (Bruised the top of my hands on the bark busters as I bailed over the forks) My name is starting to become fodder for campfire stories told around here.

Then tragedy struck last week-end. I had just fallen, again, (acrebus can no longer be read on my barkbusters) hurting my collar bone, but, ignoring it for the moment, I jumped back on, restarted, and got half way through second gear when the motor stopped and emitted a very loud, clicking noise that slowed as the bike slowed. It acted as if I may have hit the gas shut off with my knee. But, the gas was on, and kicking the thing proved there was no longer any compression. I kicked it again and it locked up tighter than my shoulder had begun to feel.

I was prepared for most anything so, my son pulled out the 1/4 inch, braded, yellow nylon rope and towed me back 6 miles to the truck. Thank goodiness for the GPS he has as it could have been 12 miles instead. (note: you can't pull a bike through sand without both riders yelling at each other from the prone position)

Had the bike at the dealer last Tuesday and saw the damage today. They claim the damage was due to an over-reving condition. HA! That's why they have a rev. limiter. And, I did not miss a gear, and I did not downshift at too high an RPM. Something just broke.

They removed the head and the chain appears fine as do the cam sprockets. Can't see the crank gear. One valve head is broken off, I don't remember if its the intake or exhaust. It's partner is verrrrrrrrry bent and one of the others is also bent. No question the piston was kissing them. But, what caused the progression of events? Did the chain jump a link, maybe the valve head broke off first, or.. or.. or.. what?

I repeat, it was not overreved in any fashion. The bike was performing fine prior to the event and I was accelerating when it happened.

I'm still under warranty and also purchased an extended warranty when I bought the bike, so the repairs had better be on them.

I'm not sorry for the long post, because it was fun to write and needless to say, I just love this sport and my klx300r.

Please offer any other fesible options that you think may have contributed to the meltdown besides, "the bike has had enough of me and it had it's well deserved heart attack!"

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I doubt that the cam chain jumped a tooth. The cam chain tensioner is spring loaded and is on a ratchet so that it shouldn't give any slack to the cam chain. The shop could have checked the cam timing before they took the head off. Hind site is wonderfull.

My GUESS is that one of the valves broke.

Hope you get it back together and get in a few more rides before winter sets in.

Ride on

Brewster

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mopar,

Could be the chain jumped the sprockets. There might be an auto chain tension device failure. It's bolted on the back of the cylinder. I've heard of sprockets bolted to cams rotating causing valve and piston collision. The KLX is one solid unit to the best of my recollection. Another problem might be the plastic tensioners that ride the chain, located mostly in the lower end and barrel may have unfastened and caused the chain to lose tension.

I doubt it's anything you did on a trail riding use. The bikes are usually reliable. It would have to be a defective part if the bike is newer. I hope the warranty covers it for you.

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I don't know Dave, sounds like the dog might be a little punch drunk. These things are suppose to be pretty damn reliable. :cry:

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Dave, I can't really speculate, but I can tell you that the little green thumper is pretty darn reliable and though I've heard about almost everything that can or has happened to them, I've never heard of a problem like yours. Good luck getting it fixed. With a bike that new (barely broken in IMO), I'd say Kawi should definately step up and do you right. Let us know how it works out.

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I feel your pain. My new 03 went into the shop a couple of weeks ago with only 155 miles on. The shop found gouges in the cylinder, the rings out of spec, and one valve isn't seating correctly. They think something else is going on too, because it is losing so much compression. The shop hasn't been able to figure it out. Anyway, it's under warranty and the shop is negotiating with Kawi to pay for it. Kawi first said the gouges in the cylinder could be from a dirty air filter, and they really couldn't tell because I had an after market filter in it. Give me a break! I told them I'd bring the stock filter in. I hadn't even cleaned it. They backed off. Now Kawi is stalling because rings are considered a "wear item." AFTER 155 MILES! Just how many miles are these rings good for? They had better own up and fix it. I'm losing faith. :cry:

Below is what Kawi says it will cover in the warranty. BEWARE! If the shop doesn't find anything defective, you get charged for the labor it took to find out there wasn't anything defective in addition to whatever it's going to cost to fix it.

"Any material or workmanship found to be defective by Kawasaki within the warranty period shall be remedied without charge for parts or labor at any authorized Kawasaki dealer located within the United States of America".

I hope you have better results.

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I was told my dealer expresseed to Kawasaki that the damage appeared to be from over-reving. It sounds like I am going to have an uphill battle to get the repairs approved. They had me sign a repair order for four hours at $64/hour to cover talkedown labor in case Kawasaki didn't approve the repair. Four hours to pull the head seemed excessive but they didn't give me an option. I have taken whole auto engines to the bare block in much less time. If these repairs are not covered, I will sell the bike, buy something else and forever more discourage anyone from buying Kawasaki. I don't need to ride the bike for the next couple of years with an extended warranty that I know will not be honored.

I won't knowingly do business with that kind of manufacture.

Had the bike been out of warranty, I would have repaired it myself and accepted my fate. I wouldn't have been happy about the failure at such low miles, but accepted it.

If they do accept responsibility I will be relieved but not overjoyed, as it is their responsibility to do what is right for the consumer. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself here but, if at 155 miles they are giving you, a loyal customer who bought their product in good faith, grief about their responsibility, how much do they really care about any customer that purchased one of their brand?

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If they can't find a problem that would have caused a valve to stick, what do you expect them to do? You stated that you know car motors, so you know that sh_t just doesn't magically happen, right? You've seen other posts by people that own the same bike, stating that they've had nothing but success with their bike(s), so that kind of eliminates an engineering problem with the motor. What kind of maintainance is required after break in? Does the manual say anything about checking valve clearence, and/or cam chain tension? Did you have the dealer do this? Also, you complained about the 4-hour tear down. If that's what the book says, that's what they charge. A mechanic shouldn't be penalized because he's experienced, and can do it faster. That's the whole idea behind flat rate. I think the best thing to do here, is to go down to the dealer and inspect the parts (with the service manager). If there's an internal problem that caused the grenade, you have a very good chance of finding it. If you don't find anything, you'll know where they're coming from.

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I'd be looking at your dealership a little harder. Kawi has generally been pretty good about stepping up when they've screwed up. (Cracked gas tanks are a good example. Bikes that are waaaay out of warranty getting their tanks replaced.) In this instance, your dealer may not be squaring with you. Even if Kawi doesn't cover it, they shouldn't be charging you excessively for something like this happening on your brand new bike. Even if you have to end up paying, they should be cutting you some slack here. The service manager is either your best friend or your enemy. Find out which. Hopefully they'll make it right for you.

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I agree with Bill. If your dealer told Kawasaki that it looks like over rev, before they had looked at EVERYTHING else that could have caused this, they are not your friend. Most dealers will go to bat for the customer and do everything they can to get the issue resolved ASASP.Others are lazy and don't care about the customer.

It might be worth your time to talk to another dealer, or maybe call Kawasaki customer support and tell them the story.

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I was told my dealer expresseed to Kawasaki that the damage appeared to be from over-reving.

The over-reving is kind of a catch 22. The poorly designed shift star on my 03 causes the bike to hit a false neutral and send the rpms zooming. But no one is going to convince Kawi there is something wrong with the shift star. What's it been... close to a decade in production and they still haven't fixed it.

If these repairs are not covered, I will sell the bike, buy something else and forever more discourage anyone from buying Kawasaki.

I'm thinking blue.

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Actually, I think the shift star has been fixed in the last year or so. New part # and from what I've heard it's more "pointy" like the stroker modded ones.

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I had a similar experience this year. I have a 94 KLX 250 that needed a valve job. I disassembled it and took the head to my local shop to replace the valves. I don’t have a valve spring compressor or shims so I thought this would be the best. When I got the head back aI reassembled the bike and it ran just fine. About 5 hours riding time later I started the bike from cold and I seized up after running about 3 minutes. I too the bike apart and found that one of the new intake valves had broken at the weld point. The head of that valve destroyed the head, bent the other intake valve, and put a crack in the cyl, Needless to say I was a bit upset. The Cahin was still on the cam gears and the timing was correct. The tensioner was in place as well as the guides. All I can figure is that eh valve was defective but Kawi couldn’t care less. I have since replaced the 250 upper end with a 300 (barrel, piston, head). It fit after turning 2mm off the outside of the barrel. Sounds similar to your event Mopardave. Good luck with your adventure in warranty land.

BTW I got tired of Kawi issues so I bought a KTM and my newly re-minted KLX300 in now a spare or buddy bike.

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