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34 months ago

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Digging into the Doohickey Details

Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Kawasaki KLR 650 is a totally revamped 2022 model. But details are slim on a new doohickey. Kawasaki Motors photo

The Kawasaki KLR 650 is a totally revamped 2022 model. But details are slim on a new doohickey. Kawasaki Motors photo

Whatchamacallit. Thingamajig. Whatsits. Gizmo.

These are all technical terms any motorcyclist will know. When we zero in more closely, we see that doohickey should be on the list, although it’s specific to the venerable Kawasaki KLR 650.

With a new model on the market, we’ve decided to take a look back for a moment with a blast from the past and chat about the doohickey.

What does it do for the Killer 650?

Good question, my friend, and I hope to come up with a good answer for you.

Okay, I’ve got one, and here it is.

The doohickey is a...um, doohickey that some people may know as the Balancer Chain Adjuster. But those people are probably A Types who take life way too seriously. Those who are more carefree prefer the “real” name of doohickey.

But why should KLR owners care?

Other than the fact it’s fun to say, you mean?

It’s actually very well-known in the KLR world.  This simple part (two parts actually, a lever and spring) keep tension in the balancer chain. The lever portion was two pieces welded together, and it had a history of breaking in 1987 to 2007 models, sometimes damaging the engine.

For 2008 models, the lever was updated to make it more durable, but some riders still complained about it right up to when the model was discontinued in 2018. Kawasaki literature doesn’t say whether the doohickey was upgraded for the 2022 model, but we can hope it’s been improved even further.

You woudn't want to be stranded out here with a broken doohickey. Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

You woudn't want to be stranded out here with a broken doohickey. Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

There are plenty of used KLRs on the market, and if you’re interested in buying one, ask the owner if the doohickey has been upgraded. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s a good chance it hasn’t been. Sure, it may never break; it may break and not cause major problems, or it may break and seriously damage your engine and leave you stranded in the woods. Is it a chance you’re willing to take?

Let’s hear from you in the comments. Do you own a KLR 650, or did you? Did you upgrade the doohickey or have one fail on you? Can you tell us anything about the doohickey in the new KLR?

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Scator

32 months ago

I own a 2018 klr650 with 10 000 miles on her!

so far so good with the stock doo.

i like the look of the new model, will have to have a test ride once we get out of lockdown