“Doohickey” is a placeholder name to refer to a machine or a piece of a machine what you cannot recall its name, function or both from time to time.
In the KLR world, the doohickey refers to the “Balancer Chain Adjuster Lever” which gained a bad reputation as a part which can break over the time due to design flaw.
Lets’ be honest, the old doohickey is looking flimsy and the fact, that it has been put together from two parts, doesn’t make it really reliable.
But just like with any other parts of the KLR, what owners aren’t 100% happy for whatever reason, you can get different after-market parts. The choices are almost endless in any area.
The reason I am writing about it now, is because the question emerged a few times, if this bit is still recommended to be replaced on the “new” KLR 650?
I think the best explanation if we put the three doohickey next to each other.
The left one is the old two part doohickey. The middle one is the doohickey from the “new” KLR 650. The third one is an after-market one.
The new doohickey is machined from one piece of metal and definitely looks more solid than the old one.
In terms of over-engineering, the after-market doohickey is the winner.
A broken doohickey can be a big problem anywhere. Doesn’t matter if it is your near by back country road or the remote steppes of Siberia . OK, in Siberia it is a bigger problem.
And now, the big question. Am I going to replace the doohickey on my 2014 KLR 650? No. I don’t just want to believe it, but the pictures are supporting, that the Japanese engineers are did acknowledged the problem with the old part, and did address it. In terms of engineering I think it is designed sufficiently to hold -up on the rides I am doing. Perhaps, if one day I will embark on an around the world trip on this motorcycle, maybe I will change it to the over-engineered after-market one, but until then I am happy with the current doohickey.