07 KLR owner - dilemma - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 22
07 KLR owner - dilemma

Here's my situation

1) Bought an 07 KLR new...absolutely love it. Handles just right for me I cannot emphasize that enough. I am VERY comfortable with it.
2) Its formulated for more off road than on road
3) I am finding myself not riding off road as much as I had planned and use it alot more for commuting to work (short ride) and errands and love to just buzz the back county roads (mostly paved)

So the question is

1) Do I seek out the 08 KLR? Is it more of a road bike as what I have read hinted that?
2) Do I look into the Verseys?
3) Is there something I can do to make the 07 somewhat more of a road bike?

Again, I LOVE the bike its just that I am not using it in the woods nearly as much as I thought and might find myself on paved roads more. I am not into bigger heavy street bikes, crotch rockets, etc. I love the way the KLR rides more upright like older traditional bikes. I really love the bike but am wondering what to do here? I could always keep what I have but I feel like I'm riding more of a dirt bike around town. Any insight?
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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I guess I don't understand..
I mean, I've ridden my KLR (2002) on road for thousands of miles. I've done a few 500+ mile days, and countless 300 mile days without ever taking it on anything worse than a typical gravel road..

If you want to be more comfortable on the street, I'd suggest more street worthy tires (Anakees, Distansas, etc).. Or a more comfortable seat???

If you feel it's inclined for off road use, go ride a real off road bike, and you'll understand how street worthy the KLR really is. I used to ride a KDX200 that was prepped for off road enduro racing, and compared to that, the KLR is a Goldwing...

It is what it is, and what it is would be a 80% street/20% dirtbike at best.. Don't get me wrong.. I love riding mine on gravel and logging roads, but I find it to be my everyday bike that I use for the majority of my 1-up riding and for trips under 300 miles per day, and that being all street riding. I ride mine with guys on various streetbikes and I'm completely comfortable with it.. I wouldn't mind a bit more acceleration power, but it makes up for it with light weight and fantastic cornering abilty (pretty much hand in hand)..

My KLR is used for everything but my Long Distance touring and 2-up riding (mostly because my fiance hates the seat).. For that stuff, I use my Wing..

Maybe you'd be a perfect candidate for luggage for errands and riding to work? Even a $50 Kawi KLR tank bag or a set of tank panniers go a long way as far as carrying stuff.. Maybe a medium sized top box??

Or maybe the KLR's not the bike for you.. My bike had only 1200 miles in 2 years from the previous owner.. It happens..
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 815
Sounds like you need a Suzuki V-Strom 650 if you still want to hit forest roads and other moderate off pavement conditions. I can't see the 08 KLR making any difference to moderate commuting. The 08 fairing serves more for interstate and open highway comfort then anything else.

For street riding, it's good to have a tad heavier bike for stability reasons. From what I hear the V-Strom 650 is extremely nimble and fun to ride with more power then most people will ever need. Also, it's a proven bike just like the KLR and owned by many here on this forum who could provide more real world opinions.

The Versys is clearly an attempt to complete with the Strom. Whether it does or not will be determined over time I guess. It's a risky venture getting the first year of any new motorcycle model so be aware. Seems like an interesting bike, but it doesn't appear to be a long distance tourer if you plan to anything like that.

I'll agree with Paper on quite a bit of his post. My KLR has become my commuter bike as well. It serves me well around town and I can do 400 miles comfortable in a day with a mixture of backroads and rough forest roads. I've done 500, but then I'm wore out instead of comfortable. I hate intercraps and open highways on the KLR, but it's nice to have the ability to hit them if I need to. I have the Wolfman Explorer tank bag which serves it's purpose extremely well. I just got a Pelican 1500 for the back rack that I'm sure will become just as important. Overall, the KLR is an awesome diverse bike, but I find myself pondering the same idea of switching to a better street tourer. Whether that's a Concours, FJR or even a V-Strom I don't know. Not even sure it will ever happen. I like the idea of trailering the KLR and being comfortable in a vehicle for those longer distances and then having the diversity of the KLR once at my location.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 06-05-2008 at 08:01 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 22
I thank you for your posts. I TRULY love my KLR. I think a change in tires may help. Mine are purely off road. But to get rid of a bike that I feel SO COMFORTABLE with it and it handles so well for me that I am hesitant to trade it in for something else. I am a KAWASAKI die hard. I also love the way the bike handles. I was just wondering if the 08 KLR was more street oriented than mine. Are there some tires you would recommend that would make it a little more street comfy?
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 08:35 PM
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If you want to be more comfortable on the street, I'd suggest more street worthy tires (Anakees, Distansas, etc)..
Anakees stick like glue, hot or cold, wet or dry, and I got over 7K out of my last set.

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-05-2008, 08:45 PM
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If you want a great dualsport tire that increases road and off road equally, try Mefo 99 Explorers. Outstanding tire for a KLR.

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post #7 of 9 Old 06-06-2008, 09:20 AM
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Location: cleveland, tn
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Welcome to the forum, hodag! What parts are you from? Any pics of your bike?

What's great about the KLR is that you can use it for many purposes. As seen in the 1st pic, a lot of the more off-road worthy tires are still good on the pavement for even longer rides.

You can even do some exploring with it loaded down, if you so desire:

My longest trip was a trip from Philly to NC. This is the tire I ran:

It is the IRC 110. The company claims it to be a 90/10 street tire, but I think they underestimate it; I say it is at least a 70/30 if not 60/40, but still very good on road. Got 9k miles on the front and still had plenty of miles left when I took it off. Rear got nearly 4k, but I've always been rough on tires. Price is very fair, especially compared to others in it's class. When I got this tire for the 1st time, it was because it favored the very expensive Metzler Enduro 3 below:

Our selection of tires back in the mid-90's were very sparse and I couldn't afford the very popular Metzeler, so on went the IRC's for less than half the price as the Enduro 3.

If the tires you have on your bike now are more knobby than these, then maybe going to these 70/30 tires would be the ticket. I know you mostly do pavement now, but what's good about the 70/30 is that it doesn't normally give up much on the pavement compared to the 90/10, but definitly is a more friendly tire when you do hit the FS roads and other dirt.

Whatever you use your KLR for, I'm sure you will have a great time.....

Keep Loving Rides!
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-06-2008, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Cherokee I'm in northern Wisconsin....I see the other tires and like the looks of them. I think I will run the current set this summer as the bike only has 400 miles on it. This winter I will order some and put em on next spring. As I said I really love the bike. I just wanted to make sure I made the right decision. I feel better about it now.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-06-2008, 05:27 PM
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Location: Richmond, Ky
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Yeah you still got time to put about 5000 miles on it...I think you will find you made a great decision.

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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