Kawasaki KLX110 Top End Rebuild Part 1: Disassembly

Welcome to the first part of our 2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild, in which we disassemble the engine to get it ready for a 2018 conversion.

Our 2006 KLX 110 was smoking heavily when we bought it, so we’re doing a top end rebuild as part of a larger project to convert it into a pit bike. This includes switching over to a 2018 cylinder, head and piston setup.  

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild smoking

Watch the video above or read on below to learn how to rebuild the top end on a Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike (disassembling portion).

NOTE: We broke up this top end rebuild project into two articles for length, and because the first half of the video is dismantling the engine while the second half is the actual rebuild. 

Tools and Parts - Kawasaki KLX 110 Top End Rebuild

Buy 2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 motorcycle parts

Buy Kawasaki motorcycle parts

For this rebuild, we know we’re going to need the associated gaskets, seals and dowels to switch from the 2006 setup to the 2018 setup, plus some additional parts. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild parts

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild parts

According to the 2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 parts diagram, the piston is no longer available for this particular model. However, looking at the specs, the 2006 piston is almost identical to the 2018 piston (more on that later). 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild piston

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild piston rings valves

Kawasaki KLX 110 Top End Rebuild - Disassembling the Engine

Step 1. Place a drain pan underneath the bike, then remove the drain plug (and its washer) and drain the engine oil. Once the oil is drained out, reinstall the drain plug and torque it to 21 foot-pounds.

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild drain oil

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild drain oil

Step 2. Remove the skid plate from the bike. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove skid plate

Step 3. Remove the shrouds and side cover.

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove shrouds

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove side cover

Step 4. Remove the exhaust from the bike. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove exhaust

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove exhaust

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove exhaust

Step 5. Remove the shroud covering the airbox, followed by the airbox itself. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove airbox cover

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove airbox

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove airbox

Step 6. Turn off the fuel to the bike, then drain the carburetor bowl and remove the fuel line, choke cable and throttle cable from the carburetor. Next, remove the carburetor itself. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove carb

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove carburetor

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove carburetor

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove carb

Step 7. Remove the front fender from the bike. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove fender

Step 8. Remove the shifter, then place a drip pan underneath the bike. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove shifter

Step 9. Unplug the stator wiring from the generator cover, then remove the cover bolts and the generator cover itself. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild unplug stator wire

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove generator cover

PRO TIP: Use a JIS standard Phillips tip screwdriver to remove the cover bolts, otherwise you run the risk of stripping them. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove generator cover

Kawasaki KLX 110 remove generator cover

Step 10. Remove the cam access cover. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 remove cam access cover

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 remove cam access cover

Step 11. Remove the oil line on the right side of the engine. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove oil line

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove oil line

Step 12. Remove the cam chain tensioner.

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove cam chain tensioner

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove cam chain tensioner

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove cam chain tensioner

Step 13. Remove the cam bolts and the cam gear. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove cam bolts

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove cam gear

Step 15. Remove the four 12mm cylinder head bolts and the two 10mm bolts inside the access panel for the cam. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove cam gear

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove cylinder head

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild remove cylinder head

Step 16. Pull the cam chain out with a magnet, then remove the cylinder head.  

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild remove cylinder head

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild cylinder head removal

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild head removal

Step 17. Remove the lower chain guide, then pull the cylinder out. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 dirt bike top end rebuild chain guide  removal

Kawasaki KLX 110  top end rebuild head  removal

Step 18. Place a couple of towels behind the piston before removing it to prevent the circlips from falling into the bottom end. Next, remove the piston. 

Kawasaki KLX 110  top end rebuild piston removal

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110  top end rebuild head  piston removal

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 piston removal

When comparing a 2006 KLX 110 engine to a 2018, there’s not much difference between the head and the casting, and the cylinder and the casting. The biggest difference between the 2006 and the 2018 head boils down to the camshaft itself. On a 2006, there’s a regular driven gear on the end of the camshaft. And on the 2018, there's a decompression device built into the camshaft itself. As far as the cylinder goes, there’s no difference between the two. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild cylinder heads

And as far as the pistons go, one is a bit taller on the skirts, but they’re the same diameter. The wrist pin and the height going across is identical. The only notable difference is on the top of 2006 piston, there’s a carve-out for the exhaust valve. On the 2018 piston, there’s a carve-out on the intake side, even though the valves are the same between the 2006 and the 2018. So the profile on the camshaft may be a little more aggressive on the exhaust side for the 2006 versus the 2018, but there’s nothing keeping us from using the 2018 cylinder head and piston on the 2006 lower end.

2006 2018 Kawasaki KLX 110 pistons

2006 2018 Kawasaki KLX 110 piston comparison

As far as the camshaft goes, our 2006 engine had a Takegawa performance cam already installed in it, which may or may not be reused as the rebuild continues with the 2018 setup. 

Kawasaki KLX 110 top end rebuild camshaft

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PISTON PIN

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