5 foot 6 inches and buying advice - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-15-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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5 foot 6 inches and buying advice

Hey guys,

I just came across this website! I am real close to purchasing my first bike. What better starter then a 2002 klr with 6k miles for $2400 on Craigslist. Is this fair? It doesn't come with any mods just all stock.

I am also fairly short would lowering links be enough for me? I weigh 220 lbs

Thanks for your help guys!

-ride on!

Last edited by Ramsesdelasamoa23; 02-15-2017 at 07:40 PM. Reason: forgot to add weight
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-15-2017, 08:22 PM
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Leg length if far more relevant than total height.

220 pounds on a Gen 1 bike. Totally new rider.
35-36 inch legs, stock and standard links.
34-35 inch legs, -1" links.
33-34 inch legs, -1.5" links (If anyone even makes them)
32-33 inch legs, -2" links.

One NEEDS to slide the Front Fork tubes UP thru the triple clamps an equal amount.

Enjoy the ride.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks pdwestman!
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 10:27 AM
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Paul,

I'm confused on the leg length thing? .....assuming this isn't inseam? the average inseam is 45% which is almost spot on for me: I'm 5'11" (+/- 1/2") and have a 32" inseam. My son is 5'9" with a 30 - 31" inseam. We both ride Gen1's with stock links, fork caps flush and race sag set properly. I can flat foot with my boots on, he can't quite.

Anyhow, as far as the OP goes, unfortunately (depending on leg length as Paul noted) at 5'6" you'll likely be looking at lowering options. Personally, I always recommend starting with a lower seat and taller boots before lowering the suspension. Lowering links work to get the bike down but the longer lowering links increase leverage on the stock shock effectively decreasing both the springrate and the dampening.....the stock Gen1 is set up for an atypical 160lb rider so at 220lbs you will need to swap springs before you'll be able to properly set the sag (which is critical if you want things to work right). Adding lowering links will exacerbate the spring/dampening issues. People combat this with even stiffer springs but that doesn't help the already weak dampening and you end up with an "oversprung/underdamped" suspension. Proper solutions are a custom shock (Cogent is my 1st choice) set up for your weight with or without lowering links; the shock can also be lowered internally.

Anyhow, food for thought

Dave
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 11:14 AM
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Dave,
Most of my Wrangler/Lee/Dickeys/Arizona Jeans are 32W/34I.
I weight 160 +/- 5lbs fresh outa' the shower.
My legs truly are a full 36 inches, I can stand over a yard stick in my bare feet. My KLR is still riding on OEM suspension. As are probably 60-80% of all KLR's in the world, imo.

Your information is 1st Rate for a 3-5+ year experienced rider who would like to have the best KLR that he can afford, because he has grown to love the dual sport life and the lowly KLR.

But I feel that my suggestions are totally useful to a Totally New rider, probably with a limited pocket book and uncertain desire and fortitude. Will Ramses become a loyal dual sport/adventure rider? Only time and mileage will tell.

So to the OP, there is the Low end and the High end approach to a possible fitment solution. Let the modifying and farkling begin.

Oh and Welcome to our World and this Great Forum!
Paul

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Leg length if far more relevant than total height.

220 pounds on a Gen 1 bike. Totally new rider.
35-36 inch legs, stock and standard links.
34-35 inch legs, -1" links.
33-34 inch legs, -1.5" links (If anyone even makes them)
32-33 inch legs, -2" links.

One NEEDS to slide the Front Fork tubes UP thru the triple clamps an equal amount.

Enjoy the ride.
Holy Cow! Wish you had said this sooner. No wonder I can never stop once I get going. (29 inch inseam and stock suspension)

2004 KLR650
Brakes Done
Doo Done
Tee Done
KLX Needled
Sub Bolted
Fatfooted
Tires Done
Clutch Armed
Valves Next
& Still Rusty
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Dave,
Most of my Wrangler/Lee/Dickeys/Arizona Jeans are 32W/34I.
I weight 160 +/- 5lbs fresh outa' the shower.
My legs truly are a full 36 inches, I can stand over a yard stick in my bare feet. My KLR is still riding on OEM suspension. As are probably 60-80% of all KLR's in the world, imo.

Your information is 1st Rate for a 3-5+ year experienced rider who would like to have the best KLR that he can afford, because he has grown to love the dual sport life and the lowly KLR.

But I feel that my suggestions are totally useful to a Totally New rider, probably with a limited pocket book and uncertain desire and fortitude. Will Ramses become a loyal dual sport/adventure rider? Only time and mileage will tell.

So to the OP, there is the Low end and the High end approach to a possible fitment solution. Let the modifying and farkling begin.

Oh and Welcome to our World and this Great Forum!
Paul
Hi Paul; great post (as usual) and I wasn't really trying to contradict what you were saying just trying to figure out how you were measuring leg length. ....so If you use 34" inseam jeans and your legs are 36" long then you weren't talking inseam measurements and that all makes sense to me now.

....and yes, I get carried away when it comes to suspension topics as it's a favorite subject :-)

Cheers,
Dave
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by twinjet View Post
Holy Cow! Wish you had said this sooner. No wonder I can never stop once I get going. (29 inch inseam and stock suspension)
Stopping is overrated! LOL

The ability to "flat foot" a bike is something that is typically more important to the new rider.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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Dave,
I would love the opportunity to ride either of your fully suspended KLR's in the rough country. Say, Down the steps of BlackBear Pass or up Hurricane Pass in Colorado this coming summer (August, I think), with Cherokee Chuck and Crew?

Ain't that what credit cards are for? Un-expected Necessities! (speaking for myself of course)

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinjet View Post
Holy Cow! Wish you had said this sooner. No wonder I can never stop once I get going. (29 inch inseam and stock suspension)
OH, it is Easy to Stop! Usually, In-Advertently! In the most awkward possible predicament, even with 36" legs!

Which reminds on-lookers of the tricycle on Rowan & Martins "Laugh-In" program from the '70's. Yes?

Oops, I shouldn't of said that! Dave won't go to Colorado.
I might show up.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1.
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