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KLR650 balancer parts history
balancer lever upgrade torsion spring install shark fin install 2008 discussion KLR650 balancer parts history Super KLR Project


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The balancer system has gone through changes over the life of the KLR600 and KLR650. The KLR600 started in 1984 and had a 37mm long spring. The spring length is measured inside the hooks. That is where the part attaches and does the work, right? This early spring was very weak, with a wire diameter of about .037 inch, or just over .9mm. This system also used a stamped one-piece adjustment lever and multi-piece sprockets. Some people have alleged that the one-piece lever didn't fail. I have one that has failed in a couple of ways, the slotted adjustment area has broken, and the center hole is so ovaled out it would be useless even if the slotted area hadn't broken off. This lever was used from 1984 (KLR600) through 1989 (KLR650). Here's a pic.....

The stamped lever used a circlip to hold it in place on the shaft. If it didn't have the circlip, it was so thin it could actually fall of the shaft if the bike was on the sidestand and the adjustment bolt was loosened more than a couple of turns. This version of the lever was also quite soft to allow it to be stamped. The early adjustment bolt had a small head where it clamped the lever. Combine the soft part, small headed bolt, and then an oversized countersink into the inner case where the lever sits, and you end up with levers that will not adjust. The head of the bolt dimples into the lever and the lever extrudes into the countersink.



In 1990 Kawasaki went to the infamous two part welded lever. Several failure modes have shown up in this lever. The most common is the broken collar, where the part breaks across the corners. Then there is the failed weld. Once in a while I see breaks in the adjustment slot area.


The early sprocket setup will not go down in history as a design landmark either. People have alleged that the multi-piece design acts as a shock absorbing system since there are springs around the little pins that go between the parts. Evidently the shock absorbing  feature did not work all that well, as the picture below shows. I've seen a few sprockets that look like this. This setup was used from 1984 through 1995. Fortunately the later parts can be installed fairly easily. They aren't cheap, though, costing about $175 retail last time I checked. I'll edit this page and include the part numbers in the near future.


The early models also had a shorter eccentric idler shaft. The bearing for the idler sprocket was shorter, too. This changed in later 1996 engines. I have an early 1996 engine with the shorter idler shaft, but has the later output shaft with the large nut to hold the countershaft sprocket in place.


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Last modified: 04/14/08