2004 KLR-650: Adjusting the Balancer Chain Tensioner


I am not a mechanic or a representative of any motorcycle or tool manufacturer or anything else official. This page is only my notes on doing this procedure myself. Although I believe what I have documented here is correct, I make no promises and you do this at your own risk.


Single-cylinder engines are prone to vibration. To counter this, the KLR has an internal counterbalancer shaft. The shaft is chain-driven, and the chain has an automatic tensioner that needs to be adjusted every 5000 km.

Tools Required

  • Metric socket wrench or nut drivers, 10mm and 8mm.
  • Small, thin, flat-blade screwdriver.

Potential Difficulties

  • Do not get distracted and back the tensioner adjuster bolt out all the way — just loosen it. If you back it out all the way, you need to disassemble the engine bottom-end to reassemble the tensioner.


The tensioner is spring loaded and resets itself automatically. All you have to do is loosen and then re-tighten a screw.

The “bash plate” under the belly is in the way and needs to be removed.
Remove the front 10mm hex bolt.
Remove the two 10mm hex bolts on the underside. The bash plate will now drop away and can be set aside.
The balance tensioner is located on the lower left side of the bike, in front of the shift lever. The adjustment screw is covered by a rubber stopper.
With a thin sharp screwdriver, pry the stopper loose.
Remove the stopper.

With an 8mm socket, loosen the exposed adjustment nut two turns. Do not take it all the way out! Just loosen it two turns. Then, re-tighten the screw.

Re-install the rubber cover plug, and replace the bash plate.

That’s it — you have adjusted the counterbalancer chain tensioner. That was easy.


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