How to Replace a Kawasaki KLR 650R Clutch 

Changing the clutch on a KLR 650 Kawasaki 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. 

Watch the video above and follow the steps below to do a Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch replacement.

See the parts diagram: KLR 650 clutch diagram

Tools and Parts - Kawasaki KLR 650 Clutch Replacement

  • 3/8 and 1/2 ratchet and extensions
  • Range of sockets
  • 12mm wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Gasket scraper

Kawasaki KLR650 clutch springs

Kawasaki KLR650 clutch cover gasket

NOTE: Before replacing a Kawasaki KLR 650 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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch plate soak

How to Replace Kawasaki KLR 650R Clutch

Step 1. Remove the engine guard from the bottom of the motor.

Kawasaki KLR clutch replacement

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 coolant drain

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 oil drain

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 brake pedal removal

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch assembly

Step 7. Disconnect the two radiator hoses from the water pump.

Kawasaki KLR 650R cooling system

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650R oil filter cover

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. Scrape away the old water pump gasket, being careful not to damage the water pump housing or clutch cover.

Kawasaki KLR 650R clutch replacement

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.

Kawasaki motorcycle clutch replacement

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle clutch crankcase

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. Take off the outer clutch operating plate.

Kawasaki KLR motorcycle clutch replacement

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch plates

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch basket

Step 15. Install the new clutch friction plates and the new clutch driven plates. Make sure you install them in the correct order, and be sure to rotate the outermost friction plate by one notch.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch assembly

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.

Kawasaki KLR motorcycle clutch assembly

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch cover

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.

Kawasaki KLR impeller shaft

Step 19. Reinstall the oil filter and its cover. Make sure to reinstall the oil filter cover with the small arrow pointing up.

Kawasaki KLR 650 oil filter

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 brake pedal

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.

Kawasaki KLR 650 clutch cable adjustment

Step 22. Reinstall the engine guard to the bottom of the motor.

Step 23. Refill the engine with oil, and the radiator with coolant and you're done.

Kawasaki KLR 650 motor oil change

Need to do a clutch cable replacement on a KLR 650? Watch the video below to see how to replace and adjust a Kawasaki KLR650 clutch cable.


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