Kawasaki KLR650 Gen 2 (2008-2020) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650, informally known as the “Gen 2 KLR 650”.

Over its long history since 1987, the KLR650 remained unchanged mechanically until 2021. This maintenance schedule applies to the KLR650 models between 2008 and 2020, before the fuel injection revamp. It was always powered by a 651cc single-cylinder “thumper” engine. The engine is carburettor fed and liquid-cooled and made about 40 hp in base trim (not much, but who’s counting anyway).

But Kawasaki made a few changes in 2008 that means a few parts are different to the earlier Gen 1 KLR 650. You mostly can distinguish the Gen 1 and Gen 2 from their outward appearance (boxy vs slightly curvier).

In 2021, Kawasaki announced their 2022 model year Kawasaki KLR650, which comes with EFI, ABS, and a few other minor upgrades — but is still the same basic adventure touring bike. (It’s released in 2021, but available from the 2022 model year.)

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2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650 (2nd gen) Service Intervals (Overall)

The second gen Kawasaki KLR650 has oil change service intervals 7500 miles or 12000 km. Change the filter when you change the oil.

At every service, also change the spark plug, clean the air filter, and give the bike a thorough run down for leaks, sticky bits that need lubrication, or cracked/dry hoses and rubber parts.

Valve clearance service intervals are every two services — every 15000 miles or 24000 km. When it’s time, there’s just the one cylinder to service.

There are also a few items that have a time-based service schedule, like the brake fluid, brake hoses, and coolant, which have to be changed every 2-4 years.

In between 7500 mile / 12000 km services, Kawasaki recommends you clean the spark arrester (if fitted) and also check the evap canister (again, if fitted). And do a bunch of other safety checks (brakes, suspension) while you’re at it.

What you need to service the 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650 (2nd gen)

If you’re servicing the Kawasaki KLR650, you at least need motorcycle maintenance tools — things like an oil catch pan, a paddock stand, and so on.

For the Kawasaki KLR650 engine, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

PartKawasaki KLR650 Gen 2 spec
OilKawasaki recommends SAE 10W-40 “API SG, SH, SJ, SL or SM with JASO MA, MA1 or MA2” like Kawasaki 10W-40 engine oil. You need 2.1 L (about half a US gallon). Don’t over-torque the bolt (spec is 29 Nm/21 lb-ft for the oil drain bolt per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
Oil filterNeeds to be changed every time you change the oil. Either get a stock one (part 16099-004, used for other Kawasaki bikes) or the Hiflofiltro HF123.
Engine coolantKawasaki recommends permanent “green” antifreeze that’s a 50/50 ethylene glycol pre-mix. You can either use pre-mix or concentrate (for which you’d need demineralised water). A good coolant on Amazon is Pro Honda Coolant.
Spark PlugsThe spark plug to use is NGK DPR8EA-9 per the manual. Make sure it’s gapped correctly to 0.8-0.9mm (get a gapping tool) and torqued to 14 Nm / 10 lb-ft.
Air filterKawasaki’s part number for the OEM air filter is 11013-1152. You can also get the K&N equivalent, KA-6589.
Brake padsOEM brake pads are 43082-0060 for the front and 43082-0080 for the rear. You can also use EBC brake pads, which tend to grip harder and last longer (though they’re a bit harder on rotors). EBC front is FA228HH, and EBC rear is FA197HH.
Oil, filters, coolant, plugs, and brake pads for the Kawasaki KLR650

And the following general consumables are useful as well.

Paddock Stand — Makes maintaining your chain or doing other maintenance much easier.
Motul chain paste — one of the most highly-regarded chain lubes. Easy to apply, doesn’t fling off. If you need more stuff, get the Motul chain care kit as an affordable package.
Always good to have on hand lithium soap-based grease for lubing external pivot points (like the swingarm) and bearings.
Use Protect all cable life to lubricate your cables and controls.
General motorcycle maintenance consumables and tools

Kawasaki KLR650 Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650 Gen 2.

The maintenance for the Kawasaki KLR650 is broken into three sections:

  1. Change/Replacement items
  2. Engine Related Items
  3. Chassis Related Items

The maintenance for the Kawasaki KLR650 shall be carried out whichever comes first.


  • For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • Kawasaki recommends many items related to the chassis (suspension, braking, cooling etc.) “Should be serviced by an authorized Kawasaki dealer”. But use your own judgment.
  • We’ve taken out the break-in schedule as the KLR650 has been succeeded.

Items to periodically replace on the KLR650

Km x 100012243648
Mi x 10007.51522.530Every
Air cleaner element – replace (K&N KA-6589)2 year, more often if riding in dust/wet
Engine oil – change (Kawasaki 10W-40 engine oil)year, more often if riding in dust/wet
Oil filter – replace (Hiflofiltro HF123)year
Fuel hoses – replace5 years
Coolant – change (Ethylene glycol-based coolant)3 years
Radiator hoses and O-rings – replace3 years
Brake hoses – replace4 years
Brake fluid (front and rear) -change (DOT 4 spec)2 years
Rubber parts of master cylinder and caliper – replace4 years
Spark plug – replace (NGK DPR8EA-9)
Things to replace on Kawasaki KLR650

Engine-related maintenance

Km x 100061218243036
Mi x 10003.757.511.251518.7522.5Every
Air cleaner element – clean (K&N KA-6589)
Valve clearance – inspect
Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag) – inspectYear
Choke operation – inspectYear
Idle speed – inspect
Fuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) – inspectYear
Fuel hoses damage – inspectYear
Fuel hoses installation condition – inspectYear
Coolant level – inspect
Coolant leak – inspectYear
Radiator hose damage – inspectYear
Radiator hoses installation condition – inspectYear
Evaporative emission control system – function (California model only)
Air suction system damage – inspect
Balancer chain tension – adjust
Spark arrester (if fitted) – clean
KLR650  — Engine maintenance

Chassis maintenance items

Km x 100061218243036
Mi x 10003.757.511.251518.7522.5Every
Clutch and drivetrain:
Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) – inspect
Drive chain wear – inspectInspect more often if riding in dusty / wet conditions
Drive chain guide wear – inspect
Wheels and Tires
Tire air pressure – inspectYear
Wheels/tires damage – inspect
Tire tread wear, abnormal wear – inspect
Wheel bearings damage – inspectYear
Spoke tightness and rim runout – inspect
Brake system
Brake fluid leak – inspectYear
Brake hoses damage – inspectYear
Brake pad wear – inspectInspect more often if riding in dusty / wet conditions
Brake hose installation condition – inspectYear
Brake fluid level – inspectYear
Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) – inspectYear
Brake light switch operation – inspect
Front forks/rear shock absorber operation (damping and smooth stroke) – inspect
Front forks/rear shock absorber oil leak – inspectYear
Uni-trak rocker arm bearings – lubricate
Uni-trak rocker arm operation – inspect
Uni-trak tie rods operation – inspect
Uni-trak tie rods bearings – lubricate
Swing arm pivot – lubricate
Steering system
Steering play – inspectYear
Steering stem bearings – lubricate2 years
Electrical system
Light and switches operation – inspectYear
Headlight aiming – inspectYear
Side stand switch operation – inspectYear
Engine stop switch operation -inspectYear
Battery electrolyte level – inspect6 months
Chassis parts – lubricateYear
Bolts and nuts tightness – inspect
Chassis maintenance — 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650

Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki KLR650

It’s important to maintain your chain on the 2008-2010 Kawasaki KLR650, particularly as this is an adventure touring motorcycle that you’d probably take off-road and ride in all kinds of conditions.

Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)400 mi / 600 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary600 mi / 1000 km
Chain maintenance — Kawasaki KLR650


  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your KLR650 in dusty or rainy conditions, which you probably will…
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki KLR650

The 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650 has the following tyres and tyre sizes standard:

WheelTyre sizeTyre pressure (cold)
Front90/90-21 M/C 54S150 kPa/21 psi
Rear130/80-17 M/C 65S(up to 97.5 kg/215 lb load): 150 kPa/21 psi
(over 97.5 kg/215 lb load): 200 kPa/28 psi
Tyre sizes and pressures for the Gen 2 KLR650

Stock, the KLR650 shipped with Dunlop road tyres (tube type). Of course fit whatever tyres suit your expedition and experiment with tyre pressures.

About the Gen 2 Kawasaki KLR650

2015-2016 Kawasaki KLR650 Stock Image
2015 Kawasaki KLR650 in Black and Green

The Kawasaki KLR650 is a dual-sport motorcycle. But compared with other 650cc thumpers, the KLR650 is the most “long-distance touring-oriented” bike. This is an expedition bike, simple, but capable of taking people all the way around the world — a frequently cited purpose for the bike.

The KLR650 has been a long-standing model in Kawasaki’s lineup, having been introduced in 1987 and remaining almost unchanged through the 2007 model.

The 2008 model was the first significant redesign of the KLR650 since its inception. It was built with a 651 cc four-stroke, DOHC, dual-counterbalanced, single-cylinder, water-cooled engine.

The KLR650 is unabashedly an adventure touring motorcycle. With its long-travel suspension, versatile 650cc engine, and relaxed seating position, the KLR650 has you covered for the times when you need both on and off-road capabilities. Even with stock road tyres, it handles going onto narrow mountain dirt roads very well. No, it won’t crawl up rocks, but that’s when you really need a truly off-road bike — one you probably wouldn’t have ridden to the destination.

The KLR650’s engine runs smoothly from idle to redline. It’s a thumper, but it’s well balanced, which means you won’t be shaken off your perch.

The Kawasaki KLR650’s firm fork springs give great protection from bumps, but also don’t bottom out or dive easily under heavy braking. This is of course assuming you ride the KLR650 as intended — not like a sport bike (but does anyone do that?)

The fork and shock settings complement each other for light, sharp handling on smooth roads while providing rough road and off-road capability. While not a lightweight bike, the setup of the KLR means it’s easy to handle in a lot of situations.

The seat has a narrow front section with a rounded profile that assists the rider to reach the ground. The rear section is wide with a flat, less tapered profile for rider and passenger comfort, plus the back of the seat closely aligns with the rear rack to facilitate carrying larger items.

From 2021, Kawasaki significantly updated the KLR650 with EFI and ABS, plus other minor tech improvements, all while keeping the cost very low.

Manual for the 2008-2020 Kawasaki KLR650

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki KLR650, checking a number of years to make sure they stayed the same. It’s basically identical between model years, with just a few line items moved around.

You can view the manuals online here.

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