Yesterday I did my doo.
This is not some kind of special dance or weird ritual, the “doohickey” is a bit of metal in the engine of all KLR650 motorcycles that is prone to break (real name “Balancer Idle Lever”). The reason Phil’s bike’s engine was rebuilt before he bought it was because the doohickey failed and tore up the engine. So the first modification on my list was to replace the stock doohickey with a more robust one.
Two gaskets, one manual, one torsion spring and a Doohickey
I bought the bits I needed, borrowed the special tools required (thanks Vance) and put out a call on the KL650.net forum for others wanting to do it with me, or to just come help. Turns out there’s another KLR owner called Chad who lives five minutes from my house. He also wanted to do his doo, so we planned a Saturday tech day.
The bikes in the workshop
This left us in a situation where we were very much the blind leading the blind – with a lot of assistance from the internet and YouTube! This was our favourite “how to” video.
We decided to work on Chad’s 2011 KLR first. With the exception of a dropped washer causing a bit of a panic (which we later found) the installation went very well – until it came time to hook the spring onto the Doohickey (the key part that provides the tension). We tried and tried to get it hooked on, but it was extremely difficult. At this moment, I checked my email and there was a message from another rider, Dave. He’d just seen my post about the tech day, he’s done five Doohickeys before, and we should call him if we had any trouble. We called him immediately and he said he’d come over and help. Fabulous!
We’d been working for a couple of hours by this point, so Chad and I decided to go grab some lunch and a rotor bolt while we waited for him. We went down to the nearby area where there are three motorcycle shops on the same block. None of them had the rotor bolt I wanted, but one of the mechanics told us he always reused the old rotor bolt and so I decided to just do that. Then came the adventure called “lunch”.
There is a place called Billy’s Burger Bar in that same area. My dad had mentioned that some friends of his used to go there, so we decided to try it. We walked in and it was immediately obvious that Billy doesn’t work there any more. The majority of the menu is now Chinese food. The people at the tables seemed to be enjoying it, but it was quite a shock to have to really search through the menu for any burgers. A case of not judging a book by its cover I guess. We both ordered mushroom and cheese burgers, which were delicious. A new kind of fusion dining experience.
By the time we got back to the house, Dave had arrived. Chad went to show him how difficult getting the spring on was, and it just went on in 3 seconds flat. Typical.
The three of us then smoothly put Chad’s bike back together (after ogling all the lovely farkles and modifications Dave has done to his bike, which is the same colour and year as mine is.)
Dave arrives to save the day
It was then my bike’s turn to have its tender bits entered. (tee hee) We were a lot more confident having already been through the process and I felt like we were a bit quicker the second time round.
The inside of my motor
The difference between my old Doohickey and the new one was quite drastic. The old one seemed almost fragile. I’ve put it on my bike’s key chain as a memento.
Old welded together one on the left, new one on the right
I also struggled to get the spring hooked into my doohickey, and I wasn’t 100% happy with the way the spring was sitting on top of it, but after a lot of messing around, it looked pretty close to the pictures online of how it should look. After getting both bikes back together and both of them started up without the sound of the engine exploding we felt pretty proud of ourselves.
Not quite the same as Phil’s victory yesterday though. Well done little bro!