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Old 08-06-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
Shad0w
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Hey, thanks for all the replies! It seems no matter what other bikes I look at, I like this one the most in terms of looks and what I would use it for - plus, it sounds reliable as hell and has been around for a long time. Haven't made it back to the store yet but I'll ask their opinion as well (hopefully they won't just tell me what I wanna hear). Safety course is this weekend so I'll ask the instructors' opinions too.

I was originally thinking cruiser until I saw this one and also read something about the sitting position on a cruiser putting stress on the lower back (more upright position absorbing shock). Having had back problems in the past, I don't need anything sending more shock up my spine than necessary Does more forward (leaning) sitting position translate to more shock absorbed by arms?
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:37 PM   #12
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Not necessarily, but a more-forward position will take the stress off your back. On my bike, I lean forward, but I rarely have weight on my arms. I use my stomach and inner thigh muscles to hold me up. And of course when I'm moving, the wind pushes me up off my hands. So it is pretty easy to handle.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:56 AM   #13
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The KLR will be a handful at the MSF course, especially if you're just starting out, and especially on the 'Figure 8' drill.

The bike is almost the epitome of versatility though; you can commute with it, piddle around town or in the woods, or get crazy and ride it around the world (a'la Dr. Frazier).

I'd try to find a gently used one, though...
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:14 AM   #14
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He won't need to use it at the MSF course though. MSF supplies its own bikes for the basic rider course.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #15
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I rode my KLR to the MSF course, then had a blast destroying their cb125's. Got repremanded a few times for taking everything too fast but then again I had been riding since I was 4. Took the class with a beginner buddy and they backed up everything I had been telling him. Its a must for the beginning rider to get you in the mindset of what your in for and how to operate everything on a bike correctly. Wish I could of used the KLR on the course, but then they would of tossed me out for sure. I'm going to have to buy another one, I miss mine bigtime. Was just thinking about it on the train to work this morning as I passed a new rider that commutes to BART on his KLR. BS'd with him one morning when I rode the K12 instead of the cage at the motorcycle parking area.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:53 AM   #16
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You mean "*HE* won't need to use it at the MSF course though" Must be 'cause I'm too polite

Yeah, from what I hear, the bikes at the course are dual-sport 250 classes I believe. So we'll see how comfortable I am with that size first I guess. Too bad it's gonna RAIN all damn weekend though... The other bike I really like is the Kawasaki Versys - even though the seat height is only 1.9 inches shorter, it seems like a much smaller bike to me... Anyone here have one of those??
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad0w View Post
You mean "*HE* won't need to use it at the MSF course though" Must be 'cause I'm too polite

Yeah, from what I hear, the bikes at the course are dual-sport 250 classes I believe. So we'll see how comfortable I am with that size first I guess. Too bad it's gonna RAIN all damn weekend though... The other bike I really like is the Kawasaki Versys - even though the seat height is only 1.9 inches shorter, it seems like a much smaller bike to me... Anyone here have one of those??
Versys is a great choice but a lot more power than the KLR. Start on the KLR and go from there. You can sell them for not much loss if you choose to move on. Or you can keep them being they are reasonably cheap in the first place.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #18
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Update: took the MSF course this past weekend - and passed Fantastic course, should be mandatory in my opinion. My Yamaha 125 (not sure of the exact model) felt small, would have liked to try one of the 225/250s they had but no sharing allowed. As fate would have it, one of the instructors had a KLR650 so I ran over and interrogated him He basically said if I could sit it on comfortably, that it probably wouldn't be a problem as it doesn't have a lot of power (compared to others anyway).

However, I think I'll go the sensible route and probably get a 250-400 dual-sport (made up my mind on that one, it's dual-sport only for me!). I'll likely also stick to parking lots for a while until I really get the basics down. But the KLR will always call me until I own one

OK, on to the questions: assuming I'm a sensible and careful individual (unlike a couple of the folks in the course, I take riding very seriously 'cause it ain't hard to see what can happen if you don't), would a 400 be a bad choice? And are all these dirt/DS bikes as torquey in 1st gear as the 125 (trying to control the throttle in 1st was a pain but it might have just been me)? Thanks for all the advice so far!
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #19
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Rockin'!

You are well on your way, Welcome to the Fold!

I don't believe that the Suzuki 400 trailies make any less Oompa-Loompas than the KLR 650, but have less weight to haul about. I've a friend who owned a Suzi set up like a supermoto, and it was a Hooligan bike fer-shur.

By all means, if the 650 fits you - go for it. Just buy used, 'cuz you WILL eventually drop it. Probably the first day you own it.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad0w View Post
You mean "*HE* won't need to use it at the MSF course though" Must be 'cause I'm too polite

You can never be too polite, good manners cost so little...unless you're one of those southerners who say "sir" at the end of every sentance like a f'n parrot, but..I digress...

Sounds like you're on your way, it also sound like the KLR is the one for you. You're in luck, there's a bazzillion of them out there with excellent aftermarket support, you should be able to pick one up for a good price. Ride careful, practice your braking and have fun!
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