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Old 07-26-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
Shad0w
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Default KLR650 - beginner bike?

Hi,

So I was convinced I wanted a cruiser but then started thinking maybe a dual-purpose might be nicer for me... a little more flexibility and could be more fun. The Kawasaki KLR650 immediately caught my eye and seems like a lot of people rave about them. They've even been described as suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.

I got a chance to see one up close and personal today. The thing is frickin' HUGE! Or seems like it anyway... Is this realistically a good bike for a beginner? I like the idea of dual-purpose but it almost seems like too much?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
newagetwotone
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Well, how tall are you? I'm 6'2 and I can get on a KLR no problem. There isn't anything wrong with a KLR for a beginners bike decent power but wont kill you, but it is a much taller bike.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #3
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The bike won't be too much for you to handle if you can fit on it.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'm about 5'10. I didn't get on it but I guess I was thinking that if my feet aren't flat when I am, I'm gonna have problems stopping? I'm sure I'll be back at the shop many times over the next few months so I'll hop on next time.
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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If you can get the balls of your feet down, it will be enough. It isn't the height alone that matters; it's the weight of the bike. If the bike is light (and a KLR is relatively light) you'll be able to lean it from side to side a bit at a stop without trouble, which will enable you to put at least one foot flat on the ground.

Also, the suspension on dirt and dual purpose bikes allows for more sag when you sit on it. In other words, the suspension will compress a bit when a rider is on the bike. The seat height will effectively be a couple inches lower than it is just sitting there on the dealer's floor.
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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If you want to scare the crap out of yourself every 15 minutes or so, by all means get what is considered an "open class" enduro. Tall, fast and top heavy, just what the beginner needs.

Get something smaller, a 250 at most. Hell even a 200cc Honda dual sport. Your scabs will thank me.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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A KLR isn't an enduro, though -- very different machine.

Cuddy, what do you think about the Suzuki DR 400? (Or is the DZ model?) That should be a little smaller, and I've heard good things about it.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Nah Sachi, I'm from the old school, learn on something small and underpowered, then once you've got some saddle time, trade up a little. Starting off on what I still consider open class machinery is not the way. The 400 Zuki's are nice, but for a beginner? Buy some old good running Honda 175-200 and ride the crap out of it. No better bike for the beginner.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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While I tend to agree with Cuddy, the KLR has been a starting point for a lot of riders. Even if you can't flat foot it, you'll learn to just put one foot down and lean the bike a bit. The power put out by the KLR is fairly minimal, but you do have more weight and height (maybe) than you might in a smaller dual sport like the DRZ400 Sachi mentioned, or one of the new 250s from Kawasaki, Yamaha, etc.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
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I wouldnt doubt if the DRZ400 puts out more power than the KLR. Stock KLR is rather mellow on the power delivery. With the big tank it is a little top heavy but being slender and like Sachi said the sag makes up for a it a little. One tooth larger on the front sprocket will make it even more mellow. I bought one as my first street bike and several of my beginner friends cut their teeth on it without issue. They will crack a ton but not willingly. Typically it will run up to 80mph on the freeway and then complain like mad going any further on the dial. I say go for it and buy the $99 tail bag for it, best deal in luggage out there.
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