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Tony Smith
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KLE500 - tales from the crypt
02/08/18 at 16:44:17
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Well.....
I had given up any hope of ever having a centrestand given the ghastly price of either the genuine article or the after-market one made by Tourtech.

Then one appeared on Gumtree (poor man Australian  equivalent of Craig's list) from a bloke in another State who had fitted it and reckoned it was too hard to use.

I bought it for about 1/3rd of what a new one would have cost me landed on my front door and when it arrived I attempted to fit it.

The exhaust pipe was in the way (what a surprise). Had the person ho fitted the aftermarket laser pipe been just a little smarter they would have trimmed another 1/2" off the original headers which would have moved the assembly to where it should have been to allow fitting of a centrestand. But, hey, I guess when they did the job it was not within contemplation that a near geriatric would own the thing one day and want to fit a centrestand.

Pulling it all apart and doing the job properly did briefly cross my mind - but I managed to suppress those silly urges and Mr Laser exhaust pipe was introduced to Madame Oxy Acetylene and her companion Mr Ball Pein hammer, resulting Mr Laser Exhaust gaining a dimpling he will never recover from and enough space created to fit the centrestand.

Brutal but quick.

Then I could not fit the return springs, I am simply not strong enough, and my brake spring pliers were not long enough for the job. I did try the traditional "bodge" method of long screwdrivers but the first attempt resulted in the spring making a high speed departure in search of freedom, the loud buzz in my ear as it went past convinced me to fit a safety wire for the 2nd attempt, but when the spring again attempted a run for freedom and again just missed my ear with a whipping tail of 6" of wire behind it i bowed to the inevitable and used the wire to tie up the stand and went to a shop and got them to fit the spring. The sultry looks and the size of the bill i received suggests that things didn't go too well for them either.

Memo to self - do not mess with those springs!


Sadly, on the way to the shop that fitted the springs I noticed that my LHS fork seal was leaking.

Quick as a flash as soon as I got home I ordered a pair of seals.

Then I looked at the exploded view of the fork leg, and then I rang my mate Bill who used to own a Kawasaki shop.

After that sobering conversation I ordered dist seals, seal retaining clips, copper washers for the damper rod retaining bolts and new inner and outer bushes.

Bill mentioned that I would be needing a seal driver, and reckoned that a 42mm one would do the job, he also kindly turned up a sleeve to fit the end of the seal driver that I could use to drive in the inner bush.

Bill also suggested I get a bolt, cut off the thread and weld it into a  19mm socket with at least 1/2 the hex bolt head protruding form the socket - a facsimile of the Kawasaki special tool needed to secure the top end of the damper rod whilst removing the retaining bolt.

By this time I was already yearning for the simplicity of BMW forks......


All the bits arrived and disassembly commenced. i decided to take a punt that my 1/2" rattle gun would release the retaining bolt before it knew it was being assaulted, thereby saving a 19mm socket from an early death.

I must say that the damper retaining bolt is one of the few things I like about these forks - a 10mm thread with an enormous over sized  head (about 25mm) with a double depth 10mm allen socket. With my compressor wound up to 130psi and my "love you long time" Chinese rattle gun's torque set to "11" it made smart work of those bolts and the sliders slid most of the way down the legs and stopped - dead.....

Further investigation of the exploded view in my manual led me to the conclusion that the inner bush could not slide over the outer bush, so the dust seals were dug out, followed by the retaining clips.

Several smart downward strokes of the slider resulted in:-

1/. residual dirty fork fluid going everywhere necessitating a cease work and clean up prior to my wife coming home.

2/. On the third stroke the inner bush came free, followed by the fork seal and the whole lot came free.


Now let me tell you about these blasted bushes - they are steel backed copper with a teflon coating. Bill, who ran a Kawasaki shop for years, told me to buy new ones because I would destroy the inner getting the sliders off (he was correct) and that in any event the teflon would be worn through allowing the copper to wear down and if I simply replaced the seals they would fail in short order. The penny dropped at this point regarding the odd coppery colour of the 2nd hand fork fluid.

So you see, the forks ride on two bushes, one about 1/2" in height and the other about 3/4". and they wear out - who would have think that! BMW on the other hand allow the staunchion to slide directly in the machined bore of the slider, and Gee Whiz they last the bloody life of the bike!

Rant continues.......
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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Tony Smith
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Re: KLE500 - tales from the crypt
Reply #1 - 02/08/18 at 17:00:55
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Continuation of Rant.


I have never heard of anyone ever replacing a BMW fork slider because it had wore oval or just plain wore out. I'm sire that someone, somewhere probably has, but I reckon that those that have had it happen could form a club that could meet a in a phone booth.....

Back to the big K....

Once the sliders were off, removing the caps, springs, spacers, washer and damper rods was an easy process.

The spacers were two 6" long pieces of galvanized seamed water pipe. Initially I assumed that this was the result of some past owner's attempt to increase ride height, but subsequent discussion in the KLE owners group indicates that they left the factory that way!

Nice one Kawasaki!

Actually there is nothing wrong with using galvanized water pipe as a spacer, it's a bit heavy I suppose, but I simply didn't expect that from a Japanese manufacturer - an English one would have had a part number stamped on the pipe.

Anyway, the awful truth dawned that the legs had to come out for me to drive in the new bush and seal, the second awful truth that you get one chance to get it right cause if the bush has to come out, you get to buy a new one (at $15 each from Wemoto and more than double that for genuine). So I took careful "exploded view" photos off the forks...

Assembly went smoothly, and I put the forks back in the bike and temporarily fitted the springs so that I could run up the damper rod retaining bolts.

I've previously moaned about how poor the damping in the KLE forks is so I asked the local dealer what they put in them and they replied "Motul expert medium".

Such is my faith in the local dealer that I then looked in my manual and found the original specified fluid - that proved to be KAYABA KHL34-G10 which my internet searching told me has a viscosity of around 37 Centistokes.  A near match (slightly heavier) was made by mixing 80/20 Castrol fork 10 and fork 15 fluids. Castrol 15 is like honey the way it flows out of the bottle.

And a mere 490mm per side too.....


The damping is much improved and I have found yet more reasons to hate the Kawasaki.

And now the photos.
  

KLE-centrestand_-_1.jpg ( 238 KB | 0 Downloads )
KLE-centrestand_-_1.jpg
KLE-centrestand_-_2.jpg ( 322 KB | 0 Downloads )
KLE-centrestand_-_2.jpg
forks_disassembled_-_1.jpg ( 134 KB | 1 Download )
forks_disassembled_-_1.jpg
forks_disassembled_-_2.jpg ( 395 KB | 0 Downloads )
forks_disassembled_-_2.jpg

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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Justin B.
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Re: KLE500 - tales from the crypt
Reply #2 - 02/09/18 at 11:44:52
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Tony - I read a tech-tip a long time ago about how to deal with these springs.  Bend the spring and when space opens up between coils insert a coin.  Moving side-to-side the spring will eventually "grow" in length until you can slip it in place then start snatching out the coins.
  

Justin B.

2004 BMW R1150RT
1981 R100RT - Summer bike, NEKKID!!!
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Tony Smith
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Re: KLE500 - tales from the crypt
Reply #3 - 02/09/18 at 15:39:16
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Justin B. wrote on 02/09/18 at 11:44:52:
Tony - I read a tech-tip a long time ago about how to deal with these springs.  Bend the spring and when space opens up between coils insert a coin.  Moving side-to-side the spring will eventually "grow" in length until you can slip it in place then start snatching out the coins.


I shall remember that one. I do wonder if it would have worked on that Tourtech stand spring - if you look closely it is actually two springs, one inside the other. Perhaps tourtech felt that a single spring was altogether too easy to fit.
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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