Ready to buy a new 08 - got some questions please - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Ready to buy a new 08 - got some questions please

Hey yall, I'm 60, live near Birmingham, AL (roll tide) - been riding since I was 12. Have fallen in love with the new 08 KLR650. Plan on doing some long rides up to North Carolina and North Georgia and wondering how this bike will perform on the Interstate highways. Mostly concerned about getting blown off the road with such a high profile. Next worry is buffeting helment (will the tallest windshield fix this?). I'm 6' tall and weigh 180 so I think I will have to stay bent over the tank to keep my helment on. Im sure these are common questions that you all have had to deal with but, would sure appreciate some feedback.

Local dealers want to stick to the $5349.00 MSRP but, havent tried to deal aggressively with them yet. I'm thinking an offer of $5,000.00 might get it. What do you think?

Thanks for the forum - looks like a lot of help - looking forward to participating.
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 01:25 PM
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Location: Richmond, Ky
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Welcome aboard Slowlane...

Good luck, just keep looking around for a good deal, we found an 07 close by at a dealer with only 700 miles on it for $3700, and they also had a red 08 for $4999. The taller windshields aren't going to help you much, they tend to throw the air stream right onto the top half of your helmet creating more turbulance, "just my experience". As for the Interstate, these bikes are not really designed for the BIG road, but more for the secondary roads skirting the interstate. I have ridden about 3 hours worth of straight interstate running between 75 and 80 and I was wiped out physically and mentally. Doing the same amount of hours on back roads and I feel great and invigorated. The bikes are a little light for that kind of travel, but they can do it.

2008 DL650 VStrom Yellow and Black
Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
Looking to get back into KLR's sometime soon.

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Rats

Rats, Just what I thought - Physically tough on the Interstates.

Now I got to use my 2 options:

1. Haul it on my Pickup truck to my riding destination.

or:

2. Run the backroads.

IF I am going to haul it on my pickup truck - - I wonder if I would be better off getting a 250 instead of a 650??? (smell wood burning?)
Thanks
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post #4 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 01:57 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Welcome to the forums.

I have an 08 that I commute to work on. I do about 25-30 miles (one way) on the interstate at an indicated 75-80mph...about 70 actual.

I've never really had complaints about buffetting on any bike so I don't know that I'm a good person to give an opinion on that. I can tell you, the tall Cee Bailey windscreen has all the wind going over my helmet and it won't be staying on in the warmer months; it provides that much protection. FWIW - I'm 6' 1" with a 34" inseam.

As far as getting blown around, yes, you WILL feel it when riding on the insterstate around trucks. It doesn't bother me too bad, but I wouldn't want to ride the interstate for hours at a time though; the buzz at 5k rpm would drive me to drink after awhile.
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 01:59 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowlane View Post
Rats, Just what I thought - Physically tough on the Interstates.
Having ridden both, I can say the 08 is noticeably better on the interstate than the older version. The buzz is what would get to me.
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-04-2008, 02:37 PM
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Location: Winnipeg Manitoba
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This is tough call, it's all about you the rider and what you are prepared to deal with. (is money a governing factor)

The KLR is an all around excellent, durable and dependable bike that can perform in all conditions...... but not great in any one specific area.

Interstate riding is for larger heavier bikes, for example, the BMW and or the Suzuki Strom.

I would suggest, stick to the back roads and secondary hiways, slow down and enjoy life.

Matter of fact is was out for a ride yesterday and after a half hour of being pushed around by the wind at 118KM per hour, it took off on a side road a took it easy at 100KM (60 mph).


(This is my opinion only, after owning 16 motorcycles)

BackRoader
2011 BMW R1200GS
2010 HD Heritage
2004 Kawasaki KLX400SR
1978 Yamaha XS650SE
1967 Honda CD125A
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-05-2008, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
There aint no perfect bike

I have been riding for a long time and have ridden a lot of bikes. There aint no perfect bike but some are more fun than others. I hate Goldwings but they are great for long trips and haul a lot of stuff. Goldwing owners love their bikes with a passion. My most favorite bike was the 98 Honda Ace Shadow Tourer. The handling was near perfect, good ride, mechanically sound, good wind protection and would haul a lot of stuff. However, the most fun I ever had riding was Dirtbikes. I'm going to buy the 08 Klr650 for it's dual purpose capability and find a way to enjoy it's weeknesses and it's strengths because I know that there aint no perfect bike. If I have to use the interstate hwys - I will haul it. Most of the time I intend to mosey around on the backroads like most of yall. I like the 08 version because of all the new updates and think it's worth the money. I aint rich but I can afford it. Thanks for your input it has been very helpfull.
MOTORCYCLES I HAVE OWNED

1950 (circa) Cushman Husky
1967 160 Honda Dream
1970 350 Honda Street
1971 350 Yamaha Street
1973 175 Yamaha Dirt Bike
1975 125 Honda Dirt
1973 360 Yamaha Dirt
1973 175 Yamaha Dirt Bike (2nd one)
1972 250 Honda Dirt
1976 1100 Honda Shadow
1993 1500 Honda Gold Wing
1998 800 Suzuki Intruder
1998 1100 Honda Shadow Ace Tourer
2000 1100 Kawasaki Voyager
1998 1100 Honda Shadow Ace Tourer (2nd one)
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post #8 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 12:59 AM
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Location: Flathead Lake, Montana
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the '08 on the highway

hey Slowlane.... the KLR is NOT a Gold Wing, or an ST1100 ( my other bike), but it'll go ok on Interstate.Just don't get too close to semi trailers. Don't bother with the tall windshield. I got it and it is quieter without it! I'm gonna cut down my stock shield . I got tank panniers and they really shield legs/ body . I got the $36. ones from "Quadgear" made for ATVs. Very well made. I have Nelson Rigg CL850 bags ( about $85.) on all the time-- they make the bike " bigger" so cars are more aware. I wear full face helmet ( light color) and full gear and ride at 70+ all the time-- in Montana, you pretty much have to.
Don't get it if you are just gonna put it in a pickup truck-- that defeats the purpose of dual- sport, doesn't it?
And don't forget the Wolfman......
After riding my KLR a little, when I got on the ST1100 it felt like a low rider.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shezonit View Post
hey Slowlane.... the KLR is NOT a Gold Wing, or an ST1100 ( my other bike), but it'll go ok on Interstate.Just don't get too close to semi trailers. Don't bother with the tall windshield. I got it and it is quieter without it! I'm gonna cut down my stock shield . I got tank panniers and they really shield legs/ body . I got the $36. ones from "Quadgear" made for ATVs. Very well made. I have Nelson Rigg CL850 bags ( about $85.) on all the time-- they make the bike " bigger" so cars are more aware. I wear full face helmet ( light color) and full gear and ride at 70+ all the time-- in Montana, you pretty much have to.
Don't get it if you are just gonna put it in a pickup truck-- that defeats the purpose of dual- sport, doesn't it?
And don't forget the Wolfman......
After riding my KLR a little, when I got on the ST1100 it felt like a low rider.
Its about 250 miles up to the mountians from where I live and the riding is incredible/unbeleivable/fantastic. Getting there is the problem - heat - by the time you get there you got nothing left in you to ride (it all melted off) Dont even think about leathers and full face. So, I ride in comfort to the mountians, unload, ride, beverage, ride, load and go home. My game plan may change once I get a 650 but the heat will still be there to deal with.
I'm 60 and my cooling system is low on coolant. With all that said - my latest conundrum is deciding whether to go with a smaller 250 or 400 Dualsport. Thanks for the info on the windshield - makes a lot of sense to me.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Flathead Lake, Montana
Posts: 21
heat-yes it is miserable

i didn't know where you lived. yeah 250 miles of heat on a KLR would be no fun. get one of those cooling vests-- from a forestry company they are less than 20$, opposed to the 70$+ for a motorcycle specific one. under a MESH ( forget the leather in summer) jacket they will cool you for 2-3 hours, then you soak it down again. a cool-off necktie (3$) and you're good for awhile. I have good riding less than 10 miles from home.
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