2009 KLR Review, 1st time KLR owner
As a relatively new owner of a 09 KLR, and a first time owner of any KLR, my review might best be used by someone like me. I have owned 18 bikes in my life, about 50-50 street to dirt, so I know what each type of riding is all about. I researched long and hard before purchasing the KLR and so far, I have not been disappointed. My overall impression of the KLR is that itís exactly what it is advertised to be, a big, heavy,dual purpose bike, but it has some serious limitations as a dirt/trail bike, the first being the weight. You will not plant a foot, and spin it on a dime like a 250, try it and you will end up with a bad knee, or take a little dirt bath. The rider will soon learn that the KLR is monster when it comes to agility in the dirt. It is much more suited to dirt roads, not trails. Even on a dirt road, throw in a couple of inches of loose sand and your riding will become an adventure. Turning hard in the dirt will result in the front end quickly washing out, the weight and poor stock tires just cannot hold the bike, you will go down, or most likely high side. The KLR is however the king of the dirt road, what other bike can you drive 60 down a dirt road or 80 on the highway in one package. I have learned to stick to dirt roads, hopefully well packed ones, and beware of sharp turns, deep sand, or wet surfaces. Lay down a KLR and you will find out how strong you are. Lifting a 400+ pound bike on uneven surface, or deep sand is no picnic. Now on the other side of the coin, the KLR is an awesome road bike, I love the handling, the performance and if street tires were to be added a very capable, well handling commuter. Even with the stock tires, the KLR is a blast on the road, other than a rock hard seat, I find it very comfortable. For me, on this 09, the vibration problem has not been to bad, use gloves, get good grips and it is tolerable. I have not however been on long trips so far, so my opinion may change in this area. My suggestion would be as follows, if you want to ride on back roads, dirt roads and the highway, the KLR might fit your needs. If you want to go mudding, get deep in the woods or race. Look for a smaller, lighter dual purpose. At my age, (53) the KLR meets all my needs, my knees cannot stand up to the punishment of severe trail riding, but I do like the dirt and I like to go fast. The KLR is a great compromise, a bike with some guts in the dirt, but also something you could take a trip on. My last thought is this. Not a bike for an inexperienced rider, you need some dirt skills and some street skills to master this beast. Beware of the dirt if you donít have some experience. You will also be searching for a new set of tires shortly after your purchase. Happy trails!
Last edited by jeufaula; 05-27-2009 at 01:50 PM.
Reason: correct spelling mistakes