How to Replace a Kawasaki KLR 650R Clutch
Changing the clutch on a KLR 650 motorcycle is a lot easier than it sounds. Grab a handful of basic tools and some new clutch parts to do it yourself in no time.
To make the job even easier, familiarize yourself with an exploded parts diagram of a KLR 650R clutch, and watch the video above to see how a pro gets it done!
Tools and Parts Needed - Kawasaki KLR 650 Clutch Replacement
- 3/8 and 1/2 ratchet and extensions
- Range of sockets
- 12mm wrench
- Gasket scraper
- Dead blow hammer
How to Replace Kawasaki KLR 650R Clutch
NOTE: Before replacing your Kawasaki KLR 650R's clutch, you'll need to soak the new clutch friction plates in engine oil. If you assemble the clutch plates dry, the clutch will burn out the first time you try to engage it.
Step 1. Remove the engine guard from the bottom of the motor.
Step 2. Drain the engine coolant by removing the radiator cap at the top of the radiator and the drain bolt at the base of the water pump, which is at the bottom of the engine on the right side. Have a container ready to catch the coolant as it drains out. Reinstall the drain bolt once the coolant has drained.
Step 3. Drain the engine oil by removing the drain bolt located at the bottom of the engine. Have a drain pan ready to catch the old engine oil. Reinstall the drain bolt once the oil has drained.
Step 4. Remove the brake pedal. Use a marker to highlight the marks on the brake pedal and the splined shaft, so you can correctly line up the pedal when you reinstall it later. Unclip the brake light spring, and loosen the pinch bolt securing the brake pedal.
Step 5. Remove the foot peg to make accessing the clutch cover much easier.
Step 6. Disconnect the clutch cable above the clutch cover by loosening the retaining nuts, and pulling the cable out from the clutch arm.
Step 7. Disconnect the two radiator hoses from the water pump.
Step 8. Remove the oil filter cover and oil filter by taking off the two bolts that hold the cover in place and carefully prying the cover off with a screwdriver.
Step 9. Remove the water pump housing by taking off the three bolts that hold it in place. Next, take off the water pump impeller by removing the central retaining nut and unscrewing the impeller from its shaft. Don't lose the small washer behind the impeller itself. Scrape away the old water pump gasket, being careful not to damage the water pump housing or clutch cover.
Step 10. Remove the clutch cover by taking off all the retaining bolts. Note that the bolts are different sizes, so lay them out in the order you removed them to reinstall them in the correct holes later. Scrape away the old clutch cover gasket, being careful not to damage the clutch cover or crankcase.
Step 11. Remove the small filter screen set into the crankcase directly below the clutch. Inspect the filter, and remove any debris before reinstalling it.
Step 12. Remove the five clutch springs by taking off their retaining bolts. Back the bolts off a couple of turns at a time while working in a diagonal pattern, so the pressure on the clutch is released evenly. With the springs removed, take off the outer clutch operating plate.
Step 13. Before removing the clutch friction and driven plates, note the order in which the plates are mounted, and how the outermost plate is rotated by one notch. Be sure to install the new plates in the correct order, with the outermost plate also rotated one notch.
Step 14. Remove the old clutch friction and driven plates from the inner clutch hub. Inspect the clutch basket (the inner hub and the outer clutch housing) for any signs of wear, and replace if necessary.
Step 16. Reinstall the outer clutch operating plate and install the new clutch springs. Reapply pressure to the clutch by tightening the spring bolts a couple of turns at a time and working in a diagonal pattern. Once the bolts are tightened, torque them to 7.2 foot-pounds.
Step 17. Install a new clutch cover gasket, and reinstall the clutch cover itself. Position the clutch lever outwards, and rotate it inwards to engage with the clutch as you reinstall the clutch cover. Reinstall the clutch cover bolts in the same order you removed them.
Step 18. Apply a coating of grease to the impeller shaft, and to the O-ring and washer at the back of the impeller. Reinstall the impeller, then install a new gasket and reinstall the water pump housing. Reattach the two hoses.
Step 19. Reinstall the oil filter and its cover. Make sure to reinstall the oil filter cover with the small arrow pointing up.
PRO TIP: Now is an ideal opportunity to replace the old oil filter with a new one.
Step 20. Reinstall the brake pedal by lining up the markings on the pedal and the splined shaft it attaches to, and reattaching the brake light spring.
Step 21. Reattach the clutch cable, and adjust it so the tension is almost tight enough, then do a precise adjustment up at the clutch lever on the handlebars.
Step 22. Reinstall the engine guard to the bottom of the motor.
Step 23. Refill the engine with oil, and the radiator with coolant.
That's it, the Kawasaki KLR 650R clutch replacement is complete! If you finished this job yourself, congratulations on saving a ton of money by not paying your local Kawasaki dealership to do it for you!