Talk me down off the cliff - 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 18 Old 01-24-2020, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Lincoln,NE
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Talk me down off the cliff

Ive got a Gen 1-1999. 23,000 miles. Runs great, and done the Doohickey and thermo bob. But I keep seeing ads for 2 to 3 year old GEN 2s for less than $4000. With lots of farkles.

Other than lusting for something newer, would there be any reason at all to move up to a newer bike?
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-24-2020, 09:10 PM
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Location: Midland TX
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Keep what you have, for balance I should state I never had a gen 2, but they have less suspension travel and the
engine , although the same feels less peppy.
Others will respond soon, just my opinion.

I have actually seen Dave Brubeck perform live , Take Five

Last edited by Fanbelt; 01-24-2020 at 09:12 PM. Reason: add text.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 02:55 AM
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Generation 2s; especially the 2014.5 models, have improvements over Generation 1s, in some areas.

Not a deal-breaker for me.

I bought a brand-new 2007 off the dealer's lot, as it sat alongside a brand-new 2008! Expect no impartial analysis from me!

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You better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, youre gonna be dead. "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: SW Michigan
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My suggestion is to buy a Gen 2 and see for yourself.

If you like one over the other, then sell it. If you did sell one of the KLRs, I don't think the experiment will cost you much if anything and it will certainly be a fun experiment!!
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 06:57 AM
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Where does the Gen1 fall short in your needs or preferences? Does it have the original suspension?
Yep...I get it.... You want the new toy. You just need to decide if it's just an emotional need versus if you'll pick up added functionality that you need today.

Good Luck! If there's good angst.... this is it!
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 09:16 AM
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Location: Canada's Nortwest
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From what I have read the Gen1 is a better off road machine and the Gen 2 is a better on road bike.
I have a Gen 2 and very much like it. I recently missed a good deal on a Gen 1. I probably would have kept both
putting more street oriented tires on the Gen 2 and keeping the Gen 1 for more off road and gravel road use.

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post #7 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 11:39 AM
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Location: Redondo Beach
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Ever the contrarian and turd-in-the-punchbowler, I'd say stick with your nice, low-miles '99.

This is my take on Gen 2s (my first KLR was a '08, my second an '09).

The '08 and '09 had a fair share of birthing problems. Nothing insurmountable, but the worst of it was their tendency to burn oil due to technical issues with the piston/rings/bore. Not the best choice for a Gen 2.

The '10 model year seemed pretty good and that carried on to mid '11.

In mid-'11 the clutch was changed to a short stack clutch, so the commonality in the clutch that had persisted since '97 was gone. In my mind, it is not arguable that the new clutch was in any way better. Other later changes were the elimination of the rear master cylinder carrier and incorporating it into the frame, the change to a steel rear brake pedal (eliminating commonality going back to '87). At some point, the carbs got nearly-irreplaceable fuel and vent nipples. There were other annoying changes that don't readily come to mind right now, though much of the changes were simply Bold New Graphics. Foremost in that was the 'Coma' model that came out in a sort of Urban Camo motif.

It is true that the '14.5 model got some long-needed improvements in the seat and suspension department, but this need is well (better) served by the aftermarket. The improvements were decent and well-priced, but better can be had.

Were I in the market for a Gen 2 I think I would be looking at only a '10 or '11 with the legacy clutch. That's a pretty limited market. If I were simply looking for another KLR (presuming that I never find that cherry Tengai) I would look for a 2007. The black one.

Does any of this mean that the mid-'11 to '18 bikes are bad bikes? Absolutely not; quite the contrary. There were just enough niggling little deviations over the last 6 years of production that puts me off of them for the sort of stuff I'd like to do to them. They changed stuff that should have been left alone. This makes me of the opinion that the only Gen 2s I'd buy, now, would the '10 through mid-11.
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I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like. -Philip Marlowe

'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used. -Napoleon Bonaparte

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 01-25-2020 at 11:47 AM.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 05:02 PM
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Purely cosmetic, but I think the Gen 2 KLR's are even uglier than the Gen 1 KLR's. However, my 2006 was named by my wife...ButtUggly.

She loves my Ducati 851S and the 900SS's...looks.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ymracing View Post
Purely cosmetic, but I think the Gen 2 KLR's are even uglier than the Gen 1 KLR's. However, my 2006 was named by my wife...ButtUggly.

She loves my Ducati 851S and the 900SS's...looks.
Which bikes will she ride two-up with you?
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Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-25-2020, 07:43 PM
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post

In mid-'11 the clutch was changed to a short stack clutch, so the commonality in the clutch that had persisted since '97 was gone.
So, can '10 clutch pack be installed in a '12 clutch basket without modification?

What is the problem with the "short stack clutch"?

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