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Kawasaki KLR 650 Oil Change Procedures

by Chris Gilliland

Kawasaki's KLR 650 was designed as a dual-sport motorcycle, capable of traversing dirt trails as well as paved highways. Keeping the motorcycle at its peak on either terrain requires regular oil and filter changes as part of your KLR 650's maintenance routine. Kawasaki recommends an initial oil change after the motorcycle's first 500 miles, followed by subsequent oil changes every 6,000 miles. However, extreme weather conditions or off-road racing may call for an oil change sooner than the recommended mileage interval. The procedure is the same for all KLR 650 models.

Park your KLR 650 on its side stand in a flat, level work area. Clean the area around the oil drain bolt under the engine crankcase with a parts cleaning spray. Wipe away any remaining dirt or oil with a shop towel.

Warm up your KLR 650's engine and oil. Start the engine and let it idle for three minutes. Stop the engine and let it cool for another 10 minutes.

Place an oil drain pan below the engine. Unscrew the drain bolt from the bottom of the engine crankcase, using a 17 mm socket and a socket wrench. Lift the motorcycle off its side stand and hold it vertical until the oil flow reduces to a thin trickle.

Lower your KLR 650 back onto its side stand. Install the new drain bolt crush washer, then wipe the tip and threads of the drain bolt with a shop towel. Screw the drain bolt into the engine crankcase by hand. Tighten the drain bolt to 17 foot-pounds for 2008 and earlier KLR 650 models, or 21 foot-pounds for 2009 and newer KLR 650 models, using a torque wrench and 17 mm socket.

Unscrew the oil pump cover bolts from the right side of the engine, just below the cylinder head and exhaust pipe, using an 8 mm socket and a socket wrench. Pull the oil pump cover away from the engine. Inspect the cover's O-ring for damage. Replace the O-ring if it is frayed or torn.

Reach into the oil pump housing and pull out the old oil filter. Push the valve piston out of the oil filter, then discard the oil filter. Clean the valve piston with a shop towel. Wipe up any oil remaining in the oil pump housing with a shop towel.

Coat the valve piston and the O-rings on both sides of the new filter with fresh 10W30 engine oil. Slide the valve piston into the oil filter filter with the recessed end of the valve piston facing toward the engine. Push the oil filter into the oil pump housing until the valve piston is seated within the oil pump.

Coat the oil pump cover O-ring with fresh 10W30 engine oil. Hold the oil pump cover against the engine with the arrow imprinted into the cover's face pointing up, then push the cover into place over the oil filter. Tighten the oil pump cover bolts to 7.6 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and an 8 mm socket.

Unscrew the oil filler cap from the right crankcase cover to the left of the oil pump cover. Inspect the oil filler cap O-ring. Replace the O-ring if it is frayed or torn. Pour 2.5 quarts of 10W30 engine oil into the oil filler neck, then screw the oil filler cap into place.

Start your KLR 650's engine and let it idle. Watch for leaks around the oil drain bolt and oil pump cover. If a leak appears, tighten the drain bolt or cover bolts an additional quarter-turn. Stop the engine after three minutes.

Crouch to the right of your KLR 650 and grasp the right handlebar and the motorcycle's frame. Pull the motorcycle off of its side stand and hold it vertical. Watch the oil sight gauge built into the left crankcase cover below the oil pump cover, as it fills with oil. Ideally, the oil level should be between the upper and lower marks on the gauge. If the oil level is below the lower mark, lower the motorcycle onto its side stand and add a small amount of oil to the engine to raise the oil level.

Warning

  • Don't over-tighten the oil drain bolt. Excessive torque will strip the crankcase threads, allowing the drain bolt to spin freely, causing an oil leak.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

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