Kawasaki KLR650 Gen 1 (Pre-2007) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650, which is every model from 1987 up to 2007.

The Kawasaki KLR650 is a dual-sport or adventure touring motorcycle (depending on your frame of reference).

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, liquid-cooled engine, fed by a carburettor.

To be clear, this KLR650 maintenance schedule applies to the KLR650 models from 1987 through to 2007. In all those years, only superficial things changed.

2000-2001 Kawasaki KLR650 Stock Image
2001 Gen 1 KLR650

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Kawasaki KLR650 Service Intervals

The kawasaki KLR650 has 3000 mi or 5000 km service intervals, at which point you should check the spark plug and the whole motorcycle for leaks or hoses coming loose.

Every 6000 mi or 10000 km, change the oil and filter. Kawasaki also says you should change the oil every year.

You should also check the valve clearances every time you do an oil change. Luckily there’s just one cylinder and minimal fairings, so it is not a big job.

Finally, keep fluids up to date. The KLR650 has a liquid-cooled engine, so make sure you keep radiator coolant fresh, and the brake fluid also needs replacing every 2 years.

What you need to service the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650

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

For the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650 engine, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

PartKLR650 Gen 1 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 a 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).
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 padsThe brake pad parts are as below. You can also use EBC brake pads, which tend to grip harder and last longer.
Front: OEM 43082-1078 or EBC FA229HH
Rear: OEM 43082-1096 or EBC FA067R (or equivalent)
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

Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650 Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki KLR650 1st gen.

Notes on the maintenance schedule:

  • For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • For items marked “check”, replace. adjust, or torque as necessary.
  • The break-in service is omitted as these bikes are well past the break-in period

Kawasaki originally marked a lot of items to be done by dealers — but owners of KLR bikes often do their own service.

km x 100051015202530
mi x 1000369121518Every
Engine oil — change (Kawasaki 10w-40 engine oil)year
Oil filter — replace (HF123)
Spark plug — clean and gap (replace: DPR8EA-9)
Valve clearances — check / adjust
Air cleaner element — clean
Air cleaner element — replace (KA-6589)5 cleanings
Idle speed — check
Throttle grip play — check
Fuel system — check
Evaporative emission control system — check
Spark arrester — clean
Battery electrolyte level — checkmonth
Brake light switch — check
Brake pad wear — check
Brake fluid level — check (top up with Castrol DOT 4)month
Brake fluid — change2 years
Brake caliper piston seal and dust seal — replace2 years
Brake master cylinder cup and dust seal — replace2 years
Brake hose, connections — check
Fuel hose connection — check
Clutch — adjust
Steering — check
Balancer chain tension — adjust
Drive chain wear — checkMore often if riding in dust / wet
Spoke tightness and rim runout — check
Nuts, bolts, and fasteners tightness-check
Tire wear — check
General Lubrication — perform
Front fork oil — change
Swingarm pivot, uni-trak linkage — lubricate
Coolant — change (ethylene glycol pre-mix)2 years
Radiator hoses, connections — checkyear
Steering stem bearing — lubricate2 years
Brake hose — replaceyears
Fuel hose — replace4 years
Gen 1 KLR650 Emissions-related maintenance

Maintaining the Chain on the Kawasaki KLR650

It’s important to maintain your chain on the KLR650, as on any chain-driven motorcycle, but particularly on an adventure motorcycle that’s likely to be used in dirty and muddy 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.

Many KLR650 owners prefer to use a Scottoiler to keep the chain lubricated for long trips.

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.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650

The Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650 has the following tyres and tyre sizes standard:

WheelTyre (Tire) sizeTyre (Tire) pressure (cold)
Front90/90-21 M/C 54S K75021 psi / 150 kPa
Rear130/80-17 M/C 65S K75021-28 psi (150-200 kPa) depending on load
Tyre sizes and pressures (Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650)

About the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650

The Kawasaki KLR650 is the ultimate entry-level adventure motorcycle. But even though it’s entry-level — in that it’s affordable, simple, and modestly powered — it’s still a very capable machine, one that even experienced adventurers sometimes repair for its virtues of being basically indestructible and easy to repair when trouble strikes.

Now in its third generation, you can still find examples of the first-gen KLR650 that have been well off the beaten track, and in many cases around the world (sometimes multiple times).

The Kawasaki KLR650 is one of those motorcycles with the ability to play just about any role its rider chooses. The KLR’s roomy ergonomics, long-travel suspension, large fuel capacity, and efficient engine gives riders a bike flexible enough to do a range of things. Just not anything too sporty!

In principle, the KLR650 is an adventure motorcycle. It’s not a “dirt bike”. But because of the way the KLR650 is set up, with wide handlebars, a 21/17 inch tyre combo, and a tractor-like (in both the positive and negative sense) engine, the Kawasaki KLR650 can take you a lot more places than modern adventure sport tourers.

People with KLR650s generally load them up with accessories. Expect to find them with luggage at a minimum, but also crash bars, chain oilers, extra lights, high-power alternators, chargers, and much more.

Many people on sites like advrider.com describe the KLR650 as the ultimate world tourer, a bike that everyone should have at least once.

People often ask “should I get a gen 1 or a gen 2 KLR650?” And the simple answer is: both are great, and it will depend on which one you find in good condition. As time wears on, the Gen 1 KLR650 is getting harder to find, and so a Gen 2 is more likely to be a candidate.

The 2nd gen KLR650 still is carburettor fed and, like the first gen, has zero ride aids.

If you really want ABS and fuel injection then the Gen 3 Kawasaki KLR650 may be the choice for you.

Reference — Manual for the Gen 1 Kawasaki KLR650

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki KLR650 consulting various years from 2000 to 2007, for which manuals are available.

You can see manuals for the KLR650 on Kawasaki’s website here.

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