Coming from EFI, What to Expect with KLR? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Coming from EFI, What to Expect with KLR?

Hello, I'm new to the forum. I currently own a 2016 Honda Africa Twin. I really like the bike, but with all the farkles on it, probably weighs nearly 600 lbs. Sometimes that's a handful to deal with. I'd like to get a second bike that's a little lighter and was considering a 2015-2017 KLR650.

I rode a 2015 yesterday and I liked it. But coming from the Africa Twin, I'm used to fuel injection and the zero maintenance that it requires. I'm wondering, what am I in store for if I were to get a KLR650 with a carb?

Since I'm in Texas and can just about ride year round, I plan to ride the bike once a week or so and fill up where ever I happen to be. Is that enough to keep carb issues away? Or will I need to do more work than that with it?

I really like the KLR in principle, but I don't really want to buy into a model that is going to require me to be working on it regularly to keep it running.

What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 10:52 AM
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I love KLR's....but a Gen2 is only 75 lbs or so lighter than an AT (100lbs if you have the DCT) and you're likely to add some weight to one too. My Gen1's are about 40-50 lbs lighter than a stock Gen2 but I've taken some effort to get them there. Just an observation but if I was going to have two bikes, the AT and Gen2 may have too much overlap.....that said, Dual Purpose/Dual Sports/ADV bikes are rolling collections of compromises and only you can say what bike fits yours...... 500+ lbs is too much for what I do, that's for sure.

Anyhow, regarding the carb vs. EFI, I've had 41 motorcycles so far. I did rejet my KLR's (not necessary if you keep them bone stock) but other than that I've not had to touch them despite the fact that they sit for 6 months of the year. If you were riding the bike once a week, I suspect you will have no carb issues. ....functionally you need to use the enricher to start and shut it off once you start riding but other than that, mine have been reliable and consistent.

If you were storing a bike for long periods, then there are things you should do like adding a stabilizer to the fuel and draining the fuel bowl (a 60 second procedure).

hope this helps,

Dave
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I have the DCT with hefty farkles. Not sure if I'm 600 lbs., but close.

Tried going to the 250 route for a lighter bike, but just couldn't get with it. Felt too light.

The KLR I rode yesterday felt pretty close to right.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 02:06 PM
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Fuel injection is nice for cold starts, but that’s pretty much where it ends for me.
Carb can be easily tweaked, and with the vacuum operated slide, I notice very little performance hit with altitude, so far up to 8,000 ft.

Fuel injection adds some weight, and there are more elements to fail.
I like the simplicity of my KLR just as it is.

Fuel injection would be “nice”, but IMO a carb is certainly not a step back.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 02:55 PM
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I picked up my used 09' at 3k elevation.
I live at 8K.
I was able to ride the piss out of it with no problem with no change or adjustment. (3k miles or so).
I pretty regularly vary on my rides 4 - 5 K. Still no issue.
If it's stock you'll be very happy with a KLR.
They do have their improvements that just make them rock!
But if your inclined, get one, ride it a year then go crazy if it feels right.
This is an excellent place to find out all the info on the bike. So stay tuned and Ride-On!
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 03:30 PM
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I recently picked up a 2017 KLR as a second bike. My other one is a 1200 GS ADV with all the gee-gaws.

By the time I add crashbars etc the KLR may not be that much lighter than the GS but, I find that the KLR is simply easier to move around at low speeds. I envision using the KLR for slower trips with routes on surfaces that are a little much for me to handle on the GS. If I have long distances to go and expect only dirt roads in good condition the GS will be my choice. If I'm not in a rush and hope to get a bit more out there it will be the KLR.
I've also found that I'm willing to tackle a little more on the KLR as the cost of a mistake will be far lower than it is for the GS.

The KLR is the first bike I've had without EFI. I do notice some flat spots when really accelerating but it's nothing significant. I likely only noticed it in contrast.
I've yet to experience cold weather starts. Based upon the experience of a friend I'm not worried.

I think the KLR is a great bike. Less worry can mean more fun. If you can get a good price on a used one it would be worth grabbing, riding it for a year, and then deciding if you want to keep it. It all comes down to the luxury of having the budget.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 03:56 PM
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“Luxury of having the budget”

I’ll have to remember that one.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 05:30 PM
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Love EFI to be sure, but carburetion still works beautifully, and especially on the KLR. The Bike is SO EASY to work on (tore mine apart and putting back together slowly due to many DPO mistakes), and I'm very impressed with it's simplicity.
I had to rebuild the carb as DPO had not done ANYTHING to it (leaking). It was so easy... SO EASY. I've torn down a coupla carbs in my day, but never (successfully) put one back together. Did a deeper mod than the "22cent Mod" including chopping slide spring, drilling out 2 holes bigger (scary) and clean up/rebuild. If the thing wasn't leaking like a sieve, I'd likely had to do NOTHING as I ran it ('03) for 100 miles or so before taking it apart and it was strong as an ox!
EFI rocks, but carbs are just fine and require very little maintenance on this Bike. And as Mr. EFI, you know all too well how expensive it can be to maintain/adjust/service EFI!
Also, there is certainly a 'cult following' for the KLR. And you'll sure get lotsa support from these guys at KLRForum.com!
Good luck!
And post pics when you get your KLR and then you can be cool like the rest-a these KLR-istas!!!
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-31-2018, 08:41 PM
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You'll have a choke. Other than that you'll just ride it. You can play with the carb (if you're into the stuff) but you can also just ride it. It starts and runs.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-01-2018, 01:08 AM
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As long as you live in TX and will ride it at least a couple times a month you won't need to worry about carb issues. Carb issues really only manifest themselves when they sit for long periods of time (months) with untreated gas in them.

Never pick a fight with an old man.. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you..
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