So I'll be searching around here to see what people say about riding a KLR for commuting. Specifically I am looking for info on the following:
Does the bike scream at you on the highway with only 5 gears?
70 MPH is about 5k RPM. I have no problem at 75 or 80. You can buy a 16 tooth front sprocket to drop about 500 RPM.
Can it keep up with traffic on the highway for an hour or more?
We have ridden from Sweetwater TN, to Richmond, KY on I-75 cruising between 75 and 80 MPH for almost 3 hours straight
Does it stop quickly even though it only has one disk front and rear?
I have no problem whatsoever with the braking, altho the rear brake is pretty week, but, that helps reduce lock up and tire slide. With the front brakes locked on hard, my front fender only likes about an inch touching the tire. Yes if you are used to big rocket bikes, you won't like these brakes, but I find them to be just fine.
How easy (cost effective) is it to add bags to hold stuff? Same prices as other bikes (givi?) or are there other options?
I have a rear trunk from Ebay, about $70 shipped, two pelican 1430 side cases on racks we designed and built during the winter down time. There is a large amount of after market cases, trunks, and accessories for these bikes.
Does the Stator ouput enough amps for heated grips and/or heated vest? If not is there an aftermarket part that allows for this?
The factory stator has about 70 watts of left over power to provide some energy for heated grips. Anything more and you will have to do a stator upgrade. The 08 bikes have a larger stator with more output allowing for grips and I think even a heated vest to be run without problems.Do you get enough protection from the fairing or do you definitely need a bigger shield? I actually cut my windshield down in half, due to the fact the air stream was hitting me right on the upper part of my helmet, giving me a nasty neck and headache trying to fight the turbulance. Now the air hits my chest and allows air to come into the lower part of my helmet, keeping it cooler.
All of my answers are based on an 07 style KLR, not the new 08.
Do a google for Big CEE KLR FAQ. Is a great sight to read up about the KLR and answers many questions.