The Doo Hickey & more - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 20 Old 01-11-2009, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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The Doo Hickey & more

First I want you to know that I like my bike but then I liked my 1966 Yamaha 250cc Big Bear Scrambler too.

Myself I don't know what to think, I have an 06 with 11K and change on it. All appears to be well. Since buying the bike and visiting a couple of these forums I became quite cynical regarding mechanical upgrades.

As you can see by the photo of my motorcycle it has upgrades / add on's but they are of the luggage, wind screen, better seat, crash bar sort of thing. As far as thinking that I needed to change my suspension, doo hickey, exhaust pipe, or bolts that hold the bike together I passed on all of that.

I feel silly enough putting all the touring gear on a single cylinder enduro bike but I did it. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't buy the 2006 1000cc Concours and be done with it? The Concours would solve the highway problem without changing counter sprockets and they come with luggage. As for having to buy an aftermarket fairing from Britannia Composites in order to get a little protection when I take a ride to Kodiaik that fairing on the Concours would have done the trick. Too heavy for off road you say? Ever had a loaded KLR stuck? It aint like getting an RM 250 stuck is it?

Don't get me wrong, I like my KLR. Hell, we have two of them and between the two they account for about $4700 worth of after market parts and goodies. What I'm saying is that I wish the bikes were better when you buy them or that we, the people who buy them (including me) were not so susceptible to the massive marketing campaign that has controlled our minds since the first day we considered buying one. Come on admit it, you had a wish list of cool add on parts in mind before you ever bought your bike didnít you?

If we could just face the fact that we are older guys and gals who have bought a bike that is almost too big to use as a dirt bike and too small to take across the country we would be better off.

What do you think? Have we all fell into a aftermarket money pit called the KLR 650?
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-11-2009, 05:25 PM
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Location: Benicia, CA
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Interesting question, but I think there are too many variables. I rode my 73 Honda until I blew a head gasket on a long trip and realized that having a newer bike with decent brakes that didn't require a lot of work was a good idea.

I had never really entertained the notion of a KLR or any dual sport for that matter, but I asked a friend of mine who I trust (and has been riding for 40 years) the following Q: "I want a bike that I can ride and never worry about. Dependability is my primary criteria. What would you get?" He rides Ducatis. He suggested a KLR. I did some research. And then I bought one.

Now that I have it I really appreciate the little things: upright riding position, big profile in traffic, hand guards to keep my fingers warm. I changed the doohickey yesterday and the doo was fine, but there was NO tension on the spring. Definitely rides better now. But, yeah, it is hard to read about all the aftermarket products available and not buy them. But it had nothing to do with my decision to get a KLR. And I had no plans for it other than riding it. I don't even ride in the dirt. I just wanted a bulletproof bike that wasn't too big (650 is plenty for me) that was pretty cheap. I mainly use it for commuting.

I think you are right that some people approach the bike that way, but not everybody.

I bought a pig and don't even take advantage of all that it can do. Do I regret it? Not one bit. Do I want to farkle the hell out of it...only when I log on here.

"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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post #3 of 20 Old 01-11-2009, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 507

You are right the $5100 price is what reeled me in and I do like the bike but next time I want one with all the bells and ringers I'm going to buy one.

Mine gets lots of attention when I let it sit in a parking lot because of all the cool stuff and still looking like a dirt bike.

I guess I wont be happy till I get one of those big GS 1200's fully loaded. I had a Yamaha XV 1200 for many years and I guess I miss it. The fairing was great in a storm and we have lots of storms here.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 02:02 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 50
Mine is fun and once I figured out the suspention it is much better to ride every where. Lowering link and upgraded brush guards was enough for me. i comute with mine and ride it for fun on the weekend. No regrets.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 11:06 PM
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Location: Ketchikan Alaska
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The klr 650 has a almost Cult following for a reason. the bike does everything it was designed to do the only flaw in the klr is the doohickey otherwise change the oil and ride. If you want a BMW then buy a BMW !
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Calm down, I say this because the way you posted to this thread seems almost as if you are personally offended by my rant. Did you bother to read it thoroughly? Did you miss the part where I wrote "Don't get me wrong" or "I like my bike"?

By the way I may take your advise and try a BMW. I would say that I would look you up when in your neck of the woods (I use the ferry system) but you sound as if you don't like me already.


Always proof read your post if you are going to give me the devil about something. You should check both spelling and grammar and I'll respect your complaint more if it is free of errors.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 11:35 PM
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The way that I see it, the KLR is a blank slate. It comes from the factory vanilla. With a few modifications you can make it perform the way you need it to. Gear it up for dirt and you have a great trail bike, gear it up for the street and it can do some touring.

I bought my KLR for a specific purpose. I am doing a trip to Inuvik with my brother this summer. I really cant think of a better bike for a trip like this (baja, AK, Inuvik, South America, etc) for the money. If you can let me know. I looked at the v strom, but they are 2K more for a bike in similar condition, and parts/maint is more as well. Plus they are crap off road. Believe you me, I would love a little more on the highway, but I think the KLR will manage just fine.

Oh and yes, I did buy the KLR with a few mods in mind.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Some of you fellas are missing one very important point, I own a KLR 650 Kawasaki and like the bike.

I ranted a bit about all the dough we dump into them but closed saying that I like mine.

If I want to spend the money I think I would like a GS 1200 more. For now the KLR is fine. I paid $5,195.00 for mine and have put another $2000 in upgrades on it. Soon I'm going to replace the front springs with progressive springs. That will be another $100 and my whole point was that by the time I have all the things I need or the ones I think I need I will have 8K in the bike.

The next bike will have all the stuff when I pick it up. Things like panniers, hot grips, a good fairing, metal skid plate, etc, etc. I was just trying to start a conversation to see if anyone else thought the same way as I do, not to see how many people I could piss off.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 07:52 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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NO did read this right...?


But..the way you have worded and posted your original post it sounds a lot like you regret buying and owning your seems in more than my eyes.
Yes you could have riden your bike bone stock for as long as you wanted or forever. decided to buy the other stuff, fluff, or whatever you want to call it to make it something it wasn't the day you decided to lay the money down. You didn't need to ..panniers=backpack, windshield=full faced helmet, better suspension=get over it-it's a $5800 will never be a know it and we know you can't compare...can you.?
It's a cheapman's adventure touring dirtbike...nothing less nothing does everything well but nothing great...if you do what we all do...change it!
Yes you need to spend to accomplish this..yes you have $8000 total into your bike.....what else can you buy for $8000 that has the capabilities of your bike? I'd like to know as many other would too I imagine. A BMW..?
As stated ...the KLR is a blank canvas for you to make your own....yes you can not choose to change or add to it but yes you can add and change it too to make it a total package to enjoy. IMHO
But to post up and wine about it...why??? You much know you are hitting a hornets nest with a stick doing
Not to mention ...saying..make sure your grammar and spelling is correct to take one seriously??? OK sure...?

Yes you say you like your stop complaining and compring it to obviously different bikes that really you can't compare it to.

Either ride and add to your bike and enjoy it totally.....or sell it and move on!

Sorry rant over....and no I don't check for grammar and spelling!! Sorry!

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post #10 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 09:06 AM
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Location: Riding around the USofA
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Hey guys calm down a little please.

Change the doo on a KLR and ride it the way you want to. Its cost is low enough to add the farkles YOU WANT.

The bike will do anything, I have ridden mine from coast to coast, (from KY to each coast) and I have had it all over the mountains of KY.

Yes I did many things to mine to make it the way I wanted it, but I did it because I wanted it not necessarily because the bike needed it.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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