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tomk2 10-31-2006 05:37 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
"Maintenance: 2 front sprockets, 1 rear tire, 2 batteries, 1 set of rear brake pads, 1 foot rest, and oil changes.

I replaced the doohickey but the OE one was fine. At 4,500 miles 3 out of 4 valves were slightly out of spec (clearance was too tight). That is it."

Holy $hit, that makes my Ducati look low maintenance.

mscuddy 10-31-2006 05:50 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?

Outdoors_in_MN 10-31-2006 07:36 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
I have been using a KLR to get to and from work for the last year and a half and have 7,500 miles on it now. My ride to work can either be 10 miles via city streets and 45 mph arterial roads or 8 miles via freeway. Most days I take the freeway to work and the other more scenic roads on the way home.

The KLR will more than meet your needs. It is averaging 52 mpg for me, will keep me hot on the tail of any BMW's on the entrance and exit ramps and accelerates away from stoplights as fast as anything else out there (I think it is the gearing for off road riding). The bike is great for running errands too (my wife is still wondering how I got 2 gallons of milk, a loaf of bread and a box of cereal in the expandable Kawi tail bag).

It is a very good dual purpose bike but as with most bikes of this design, not without compromises. The stock tires work well on gravel roads and OK on the street/highway but if your off tar riding is going to be minimal definately go with a more street oriented tire. The front suspension is way too soft in stock. For $100 in parts and another $100-$150 in labor you can upgrade to a progressive spring that will keep the nose diving reduced on hard braking. The seat leaves plenty of room for moving around but after an hour of straight riding you will want something better (firmer), an option I have not had done yet. While the bike (engine and drive train) will definately handle running at 65+ mph, the vibration from the engine will have you looking for something smoother if you need or want to ride that way extensively.

Several others have suggested a Wee Strom. In my opinion, that would be preferable if you are going to be solely on paved roads. If you want the flexibility to go on unpaved roads and dirt, the KLR can't be beat for the price and stay away from the Wee Strom (steering too heavy). The KTM's are nice but at $13 large for the 950 the Vee Strom strikes me as a better choice for the money. I haven't riden a 640 to offer any opinion on it.

Have fun making a decision and happy riding on whatever you choose.

Monterey_BS 10-31-2006 07:41 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
If you only have one bike, this could be it. I've got a 2001 and have been all over the state of California and into Nevada on it. Commuting, groceries, across the desert, into the mountains. Any road/trail surface is welcome. My longest single day has been about 450 miles. Any fatigue issues have had more to do with riding a near-naked bike than anything else.

I've done a lot of mods, but there are only three that I'd consider essential for distance work: Corbin flat saddle (that's actually my bike on the website), taller windshield (Kawasaki), and a fork brace for that "serious" road work. I've a couple sets of Givi bags, but anything will pack. I hear all that stuff about weak brakes, but have never had a problem. Certainly they're not Brembo, but neither is the KLR like my '95 916.

The speed thing is relative. The KLR is quick, but not fast. Mines OK to the 70's and I've sat there for hours running across California's central valley. I've had it up to about 100, but that's not a happy place. It's a low stress thumper. What can you expect? Oh, BTW, I always get to the destination at the same time as the rest of my riding buddies when on group rides, regardless of their rides.

In the real world this bike is a real solution.

robbiedo 10-31-2006 08:39 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
The nice thing about my Busa is the fact that it keeps my legs warm in cold weather, like today. Can your KLR do that? :->

Still, I am in the market for a dual sport that is more dirt oriented, my Busa doesn't do well on gravel and it turns me into Mr Hyde on the road when I am more Dr. Jekyll in daily like.

Ever here the old joke about instant a**hole, I think the formula is just add one Hayabusa.

robbiedo 10-31-2006 08:49 PM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
I sold my Wee Strom to purchase the big brother. While not a mistake, it definitely isn't the same bike. Interesting what a difference the heavier engine makes. Yes, it increases the fun factor and long distance roadability, but the bike is nowheres near as flexible.

Wee Strom sounds like a better bike for you than KLR.

It is also a much better bike out of the box. You don't need to spend any more money to make it a nice commuter.

However, the hand guards are a nice touch and the OEM heated hand grips are toasty, but a bit pricey. However, the bike has the electrical conduit already in place for them, and a variable thermostat.

edbee 11-01-2006 01:48 AM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?

The KLR is a fine bike, very versatile, fast enough below 75 mph, and one of the lightest "road bikes" on the market.

As an only bike, it can do most things well, but not at the top of the performance charts in any catagory.

That being I said, I would probably own one if the Suzuki DR 650 did not exist. I have owned a 1997 DR 650, sold it, regetted it, and bought a 1999 to replace it.

Both bikes need rejetting from stock, and other than gas capacity and possibly seat quality, the DR is the better machine (suspension, brakes, etc). Keep in mind, the DR was totally re-designed in 1996, while the KLR is primarily a 1984 design.

For mucho information and strong opinions on both bikes check out

good luck,


longride 11-01-2006 02:23 AM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
Hey man, you've been much better since you changed your screen name. Glad the meds are helping you.

CO192964 11-01-2006 03:16 AM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?
80% riding in the dirt = roughly 6000 miles, try that with a Duc and see how it holds!

Whatmough 11-01-2006 03:27 AM

Re: KLR650, Should I Get One?

Get a V-Max, never mind with the single; kick some butt with the mean machine.

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