2002-2008 Mean streak 1500/1600 common issues/quirks/info

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2002-2008 Mean streak 1500/1600 common issues/quirks/info

This is a discussion on 2002-2008 Mean streak 1500/1600 common issues/quirks/info within the Mean Streak Maintenance forums, part of the Kawasaki Mean Streak category; 2002-2008 Mean streak common Issues/quirks/info : This list is likely not complete and may need some corrections. Additions to the list are welcome. There are ...

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Thread: 2002-2008 Mean streak 1500/1600 common issues/quirks/info

  1. #1
    Up-And Comer doh13's Avatar
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    2002-2008 Mean streak 1500/1600 common issues/quirks/info

    2002-2008 Mean streak common Issues/quirks/info : This list is likely not complete and may need some corrections. Additions to the list are welcome. There are no major problems with this bike and it is solid & fun to ride also it is very maneuverable for a big bike.
    ================================================== =========
    1. Clutch spring is is weak on some older mean streaks and can cause clutch slippage (especially with engine mods) it is fixed with shims/washers or after market (barnett clutch spring ) , Bad ace has the washers. Judges washers give a "more positive" feel by defeating the clutches' slipper function. The Barnett does too but does it by just overwhelming the slipper function. The "better" Kawasaki clutch spring is the 2002 - 2003 1500 Mean Streak spring. Part # 92145-1449. It's an upgrade from the lighter / softer 1600 Mean Streak spring. The 1600 Mean Streak uses the generic "all 1600s" clutch spring #92144-1295 . Note: some people complain the Barnett clutch spring makes clutch pull too hard but others says it gets better with time ,or they have just gotten more muscles from pulling the clutch. More info here: http://gadgetsfixit.com/articles/mai...ng-replacement

    2. I am told The 1500/1600 Cam chain tensioners are not long enough to take up the slack on the mean streak engines when the cam chain guides wear to a certain point so you may get Slapping of the cam chains a bit early in mileage (approx 15-18K miles) which can eventually cause the spark plug tube to get worn through causing oil leaks. If you have this issue You can get Tensioner Extender shims for the tensioners from Bad Ace , or Kawi Canada to make the chain tensioner work longer. See : http://gadgetsfixit.com/articles/mai...oner-extenders for more info.

    3. Special Edition matte Paint Job : Paint rubs off easily on a rag when cleaning and if any wires are touching the frame paint it will rub off quickly, the matt paint is not very durable I assume because there is no clear coat to protect the paint also makes the bike more prone to rust.

    4. Not really an issue but should be checked : Drive shaft splines greasing with moly . (drive shafts are not as low maintenance as it would seem but its not a huge job and many do it when they change tires.) .

    5. Oil Leaking from rubber cam plugs is a common issue which requires engine removal to fix properly. Some just apply RTV silicone and hope it stops the leak ." jgrazjgraz" put rtv silicone on a piece of aluminum and "stuck it' over the cam plug that way it reached the top of the cam plug . Some say the issue is because of the RTV sealant sealing the plug breaks down others say oil pools behind the plug and the rubber breaks down eventually.

    6. Steering stem bearing grease: kawi was noted for not putting enough grease in the bottom steering bearing and many lower stem bearings rusted/ pitted and would need to be changed prematurely . Some add a grease Zerk to the steering stem

    7. Rubber parts seems to rot quickly , check drive Shaft boot , radiator drain plug gasket, anything rubber for rot. using a rubber conditioner should help.

    8. Do not overfill oil : Check oil with bike standing upright on a level surface (not on side stand) my preference of the oil level is slightly below the top mark on the sight glass ( for normal driving others add oil to Just above the bottom mark in the glass (should be checked regularly this way) . The agreed upon consensus is that Too much oil can cause the obvious problems such as burning oil etc. but it can also belch oil into the intake through the crank vent tube which causes a mess and more frequent cleaning of the intake.

    9.Headlight rattle: if your headlight is rattling then its likely the wire connectors inside banging on the side of the headlight housing can be fixed with foam tape duct tape etc. at the location of the problem area. one guy used a sock stuffed in the headlight housing although I wouldn't recommend that for obvious reasons.

    10.Idle solenoids chattering/clicking this is a common complaint with people wondering if the motor is damaged, its not and this sound is normal but they can be safely disabled if needed but is not recommended for cold area riding.

    11. If your meanie has been sitting for a long time or over winter storage and you start it up and think the motor is going to blow up its usually just the Hydraulic valves which are adjusted with oil pressure , over time they lose their "prime" and make some noise because of the extra clearance . Let your motor warm up properly and go for a civilized drive and the oil pressure will build and everything should be normal in 10-20 minutes.

    12. Fuel light seems to come on (solid) a bit early to be useful there is a debate or 2 on the forum about the subject.

    13. Engine longevity : I have seen people posting meanies with 90k miles but I assume engine life has a lot to do with how the bike is maintained and ridden .

    14. Fuel mileage: My stock 07 1600 meanie gets on average 42-45MPG

    15. Some like to Reroute the crankcase breather so it's not going into the intake. the throttle bodies will stay clean much longer. route the breather up and over the cam covers and down between the engine and swingarm with the other hoses there. Run a big enough ID hose like 1/2" ID. there is lots of info/debate on the subject of adding a crank breather in the forums.

    16. Always use the recommended weight oil that works well with wet clutches that doesn't have friction modifiers. Your top end / valve gear (and I suspect your bevel drive bearing / gears) will thank you. There are long small passages to the cams / valve gear and with thinner oil you'll get more flow which is good. Same with oil to the bevel gears before the drive shaft. There are restrictors in the passages to bevel gears that (I think) are too restrictive with heavier oils. Shell Rotella T6. 5w40 is an excellent syn oil that is JASO rated for wet clutches.

    Thanks to all that has contributed to this post.
    Last edited by doh13; 04-19-17 at 09:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Site Elder Nyinfamous2k2's Avatar
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    cool man. good info
    doh13 likes this.
    2002 Mean Streak 1500, vance n hines straight shots de baffled, genmar risers, Hotbox, Mapam forward controls
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    lee
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    Great points. Here are some links to how-to's. None of the maintenance tasks above are very difficult and I've done all of these at some point:

    1. Clutch Spring Replacement My '02 has the Barnett and it does pull harder, but is also more positive and I've gotten used to it.

    2. Cam Chain Tensioner Extenders. Some have indicated that it's a good idea to remove the small spring and push it in manually, then check it periodically. If the engine kicks back when shutting off at all the chain may become extra slack in the rear and get tightened too much by the tensioner. I'm going to do this on my '06.

    4. Swing Arm Lubrication It would be trivial to lube the driveshaft while doing the swingarm next time you change the rear tire. It's up on the lift anyway...

    As for the rest, all good info. I'll be checking my steering bearings next time I change the front tire, just on general principle.

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    Up-And Comer doh13's Avatar
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    A1 info thanks.

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    1. Clutch Spring: The "better" Kawasaki clutch spring is the 2002 - 2003 1500 Mean Streak spring. Part # 92145-1449. It's an upgrade from the lighter / softer 1600 Mean Streak spring. The 1600 Mean Streak uses the generic "all 1600s" clutch spring #92144-1295.

    The stock clutch on our bikes feels "soft" (and the 1600 clutch is pretty soft) because it's a slipper / back torque limiting clutch. It's really not that soft, it just keeps the tire hooked up and keeps you from doing wheel hopping downshifts. The 1500 spring, while stiffer, is still a 2 finger lever pull for me. The Barnett HD spring is much heavier. Heavy enough you can watch the case flex when you disengage the clutch. Judges washers are also an option and give a "more positive" feel by defeating the clutches' slipper function. The Barnett does too but does it by just overwhelming the slipper function.

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    Rising Star skeptic's Avatar
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    2. Cam Chains: They don't stretch. The guides wear some but the chains don't stretch. This is a Kawasaki screw up (like the TPS settings) that Kawasaki USA at least won't acknowledge. The tensioners simply don't have enough range of adjustment and start out almost maxed out. The tensioner extenders "fix" this. Put the extenders in and you'll probably die of old age before you need to replace the cam chains. Kawasaki Canada sells the extenders under a Kawaski part #, Kawasaki USA pretends there's no problem. Go figure.
    Last edited by skeptic; 04-19-17 at 07:34 PM. Reason: sp
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    8. Do not overfill oil!: Check with the bike vertical after it's sat a while. A little lean changes the level in the window a lot. Oil level at the bottom of the window is plenty high and will lessen consumption by keeping the oil away from the rotating parts.

    Reroute your crankcase breather so it's not going into the intake. Your throttle bodies will stay clean much longer. I route the breather up and over the cam covers and down between the engine and swingarm with the other hoses there. Run a big enough ID hose like 1/2" ID.

    Run Xw40 wt oil. NO Xw50 wt. Get oil for wet clutches that doesn't have friction modifiers. Your top end / valve gear (and I suspect your bevel drive bearing / gears) will thank you. There are long small passages to the cams / valve gear and with thinner oil you'll get more flow which is good. Same with oil to the bevel gears before the drive shaft. There are restrictors in the passages to bevel gears that (I think) are too restrictive with heavier oils. Shameless plug for 5w40 Shell Rotella T6.
    Last edited by skeptic; 04-19-17 at 07:35 PM. Reason: sp
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  9. #8
    Up-And Comer doh13's Avatar
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    Good info skeptic ill update my post where its needed when i get the chance.

  10. #9
    Supreme Being jgrazjgraz's Avatar
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    Good info and thanks for the shout out! I'm honored. And FYI, the cam plug fix is still holding.
    Nyinfamous2k2, Texas and doh13 like this.
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