209 KLR Review, 1st time KLR owner - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South Georgia
Posts: 3
Thumbs up 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
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:48 PM
Lockjaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Benicia, CA
Posts: 6,514

Well said. No punches pulled.
"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 109

How many miles on your 09?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:58 AM
Flight Officer
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Zig Zag, Oregon
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by jeufaula View Post
other than a rock hard seat,

Have you done anything for that rock hard seat as yet?


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Old 12-09-2009, 02:28 PM
navythomas's Avatar
Flight Officer
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Council Bluffs, Ia
Posts: 49

Finally somebody else that did the research before buying like I did!!!! HOOOORAAAYYY!!!! Love my 09er!!!
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:49 AM
Flight Cadet
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 23

great review and a fair prospective of the klr . my 2009 has 4,000 miles on the clock since late august and I totally love riding it . bought it to keep my dl v strom company but I find myself riding the klr all the time . the seat issue is very true but an easy fix { if you have 300 dolllars plus laying around }. luggage is the next issue , working on that one ready for my next big trip out . I bought my klr in august for 4,899 plus fees and I see kawasaki have put the price at 5.995.00 for 2010 so I , m even more happy with the bike !
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:53 AM
Flight Cadet
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 16

lovin mine as well. im happy to see such good reviews.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:17 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 224

Love it, great info
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6

Great review jeufaula! I was torn between the KLR & KLX250s, being a old (60's) newbie. I posted here a month or so ago with my questions and looking for advice, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the 250 till I gain a fair amount of experience for all the reason's you listed and more. It has been just shy of a month since taking delivery of my 2012 KLX250S and I think is is the perfect choice for me and what I plan to ride. Within a short distance of home here in Arizona I have multiple Forest Service roads and trails available which is where I spend most of my riding. I've gotten into a couple of dicey spots (for me) but the klx handles it very well. I hope to add a KLR to the toy box in a year or two for the longer hard surface stuff. Thanks again to all the great advice and postings that show up here daily. So long for now. Shadetree
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:15 PM
Scrapper's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Deming New mexico
Posts: 1,007

the klr will also go up rocky mountain roads quite well too. it sucks in sand but thats something i think almost all bikes suck in. i have almost 15k on my 09 bought it new in april 2010 and i have been in nearly every type of terrain you can find from the desert to the u.p. and everywhere between. the bike has some limitations offroad due to weight but nothing you cant either go through or around if you play it smart and know your abilities.
Never ride faster than your angels can fly
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