Removing the Gas Tank on a 2004 KLR-650

Warning

I am not a mechanic or a representative of Kawasaki 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.

Objective

Removing the gas tank on your bike allows access to the engine compartment, and is the first step in servicing the spark plug, cooling system, or the engine itself (e.g. valves).

Tools Required

  • Rear stand (recommended)
  • Phillips screwdrivers
  • Hex wrenches
  • Long-nose pliers
  • Small container to catch the dribble of gas that comes out of the fuel line

Difficulties & Warnings

Warning: You’re handling a tank filled with gas (hence the name “gas tank”). Work in a well-ventilated area with no flames or sparks and don’t smoke or allow your visitors to smoke.

Some difficulties could be:

  • You will spill a small amount of gas (a few ml) from the gas lines.
  • You could spill a lot of gas if you forget to turn the petcock off.
  • A full gas tank is pretty heavy, and can be hard on your fingers while lifting it out or setting it down.
  • Apparently California-model bikes have additional hose connections because of their emissions regulations, so these instructions won’t be complete for those bikes.

Procedure

Putting the bike on a rear stand makes this job much easier by leveling the bike and holding it steady.

The tank is held in place with two hex bolts at the rear and two plastic plugs in rubber grommets at the front. It is also connected to the bike by the gas line, a vacuum line, and an overflow drain hose.

First, you must remove the seat. Then:

Turn off the fuel petcock.

Next, double-check that the fuel petcock is in the off position.

Now, locate the short fuel hose connected to the petcock. Using long-nosed pliers to move the spring clip, remove the hose where it connects to the petcock.

A few ml of gas will spill out of the hose. Then leave the hose dangling in the bike.

With the fuel hose disconnected, you can see the thinner vacuum hose behind it, also connected to the petcock. Again, use long-nosed pliers to open the spring clip and pull this hose away from the petcock.
Now inspect the rear of the tank. A drain hose extends down into the bike frame (circled in yellow here), and two hex bolts hold the tank in place (circled in green here).
Pull the drain hose off the tank. No fuel will come out.  Leave the hose dangling in the frame. (Note that I usually label any hoses I disconnect with a silver-coloured Sharpie pen, to help me remember where they came from.)
Remove the two hex bolts with a 10mm socket or nut driver. The bolts pass through shouldered bushing washers — be sure you don’t lose those.

Next we must remove the fastenings that hold the front of the tank.  They are a small screw in the front fairing (circled at top here) and a snap plug behind the lower part of the front fairing (in the area circled at the bottom here).

These fastenings are on both sides of the bike.

Remove the upper screw with a #2 Phillips screwdriver.

Tug the lower rear corner of the front fairing away from the bike, releasing the plastic plug that is pressed into a rubber grommet on the tank (circled in green here — click to enlarge).

Repeat this with the screw and snap plug on the other side of the bike.

The tank is now free of the bike.  Lift the rear of the tank, then lift the entire tank, pulling it toward the rear of the bike slightly. Careful — it’s heavy if it’s full.
Here is the KLR with the tank removed.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks!!!

  2. Nice explanation/demo.

  3. Thanks for the pics. Helps a lot.

  4. Appreciate the walk thru, I’m troubleshooting my cooling fan circuit on my 06.

  5. Awesome presentation. Thanks for taking the time and posting.

  6. Thanks for the presentation, a quick review is always handy when you haven’t done this in a while.

  7. thanks very much; I have owned this klr for 5 years but never worked on it..got tank off, chang3ed plug, checked battery, air filter. now if I can get it back together..thanks!

  8. I thank you for this very clear presentation of the procedure

  9. Thanks for the excellent presentation.

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