About to pop my cherry - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-10-2008, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
About to pop my cherry

yup- I'm 34, and have almost bought a bike 3 times in the last 12 years or so. My friend is on his 4th bike- now a suzuki DRZ-400, (his first dual sport) and told me I should get something I can ride in the PA mountains with him.
Think I'm about to plunge into the KLR. I've looked at it on and off for over a year now. I really like the GS better, but can't find a decent used one for the price of the KLR, and honestly, Id rather have a bigger one for touring a bit, and learn on a KLR first. The BMW dealer keeps trying to get me to get a xcountry 650, but I can't stomach the little gas tank, and of course the extra 2500$.

I went to a kaw dealer near DC yesterday, and sat on the versys for the first time. I liked it- talked to a guy there, and he basically said- just buy the KLR and be done with it. Its a better bike, cheaper, and you can do anything with it. he looks around the room at all the guys looking at sport bikes and says "all these guys will keep trading in their bikes for something else, and you still be riding your KLR, happily having fun.

I think I agree.
SoPaNoob is offline  
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-10-2008, 11:59 AM
3rd Gear
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 815
By the time you weight all the options when looking for the most diverse bike out there, the KLR will always comes out on top... ALWAYS!

Price - Check
Fuel Capacity - Check
Liquid Cooled - Check
Farkles - Check
Gear Hauling - Check
Reliability - Check
Simplicity - Check
Abilities - Check
Weight - (Relative to?) Check

It does it all and then some. You start talking KTM's & BMW's, it starts to become a matter of purchase price, replacement parts and weight.

Personally, I would have missed 1/2 the places I've taken my KLR if I was on some expensive BMW, heavier bike or less trail worthy bike.

If you consider something like the Versys or V-Strom 650 then you are still limiting the off road options. You simply never know what you'll come across when out exploring off road areas and it's going to eat at you every time some crazy looking trail heads off in to the woods and you can't take the risk on a less trail worthy bike.
TheWanderer is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 06-11-2008, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by SoPaNoob View Post
I went to a kaw dealer near DC yesterday, and sat on the versys for the first time.
I live in Fairfax, VA (a bit S/W of DC); if you went to Champion Motorsports, I'd recommend going somewhere else. They're starting to get a really bad reputation in the area. Coleman Powersports out of Woodbridge has a really good reputation these days; there is also one in Falls Church, which I got good service from as well.

The Versys is nice, though I don't know about taking it off-road.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-11-2008, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
I actually went to Heyser in Laurel- as it was on the way to a client meeting. I live in york, PA, and have Dons kawasaki like 5 minutes from my house, and I'm talking to them about finding a KLR for me now. Right now, I'm still undecided on the seat, and whether or not to put in a lowering link. My inseam is 32. I'm going to start mostly with some commuting, and riding back country roads in lancaster and york county, but I want to ride some of the logging and fire trails in the mountains- and thats the main thing my friend and I will do together a few times a year.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-11-2008, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7
My inseam is about 33", I'm 5'11". I bought a 2008 brand new last July, during the first 400 miles, I was on my tip-toes. After 400 miles, the suspension lets up considerably, as the bike breaks in to your weight. I'm at 7200 miles now and the height is fine, even with the suspension at the highest setting. When stopped at a light, I can spread my legs out far and still sit flat footed. If you're intimidated by the height, drop the suspension down a bit... unless you're considerably shorter than I am, then go for the lowering links.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-11-2008, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: cleveland, tn
Posts: 1,271
The new design is very nice and take care of some issues that the '87-'07 have, but nothing is wrong with picking up a nice 2-3 yr. old KLR for a couple thousand dollars less and seeing how you like it. Hey, lot of times you can get bikes with some nice mods on it and not have to pay the full price for them.......

Good luck on your decision.....

Keep Loving Rides!
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-16-2008, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
I went into the dealership this weekend. He's trying to find one as all the local dealerships are out. I'm asking him to find the green. I'd love to swap panels and have it mostly black.
They did however have demo's of the Can Am Sypder in the showroom. Totally not me, but pretty wicked looking.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-16-2008, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 83
The KLR isn't perfect at any thing. It is the best at what use it for. I ride 75 miles round trip to work and back at least 5 & sometimes 6 days a week. I have right 22,000 miles and it is still running strong. I don't think you would go wrong getting the KLR. Keep us posted on what you get.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-16-2008, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 815
Yeah, a lot of smoke being blown up everyones ass about that Can Am Spyder like it's some revolutionary hybrid of motorcycle and sports car. I can't see one thing that resembles a sports car.

I have no doubt it's a top notch quality product. I had a sea-doo which was BRP, but before they were can-am. It was an RFI model. Excellent jet ski and I had no issues with it. Their engines are solid and powerful.

However, at $15,000 I don't want to find out that it's nothing like a real motorcycle. I imagine a lot of the real motorcycle experience is lost on that thing.

From BRP themselves ...

""We don't know how big this is going to be," says Chris Dawson, who heads up BRP's Spyder program. The target consumers are middle-age males looking for an adrenaline rush on the weekendóbut without taking unnecessary risks. The challenge is convincing them that Spyders are similar enough to a motorcycle that they won't look like weenies riding alongside a pack of Harley-Davidsons, but different enough that their wives will approve of the purchase."

That's right, it will be an expensive weenie mobile! HAHAHA!

Will be interesting to watch it progress.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-17-2008, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
yeah, its interesting. I have a 98 porsche boxter that I drive to work 2 days a week generally. I'd be more apt to compare the spyder to that then I would to a motorcycle. What the market is for the can am, I'm not sure- but I can say that lots of people were looking at it, and the owner said he had sold 5 of them in the 2 weeks he had the demos there. Either way- if they are being sold by dealers that generally sell motorcycles- it's good for the motorcycle industry. I don't see a bike person really buying one anyway- so it's gonna drive more business to these dealers- which is good for them. With stuff like ebay and other major national ppl, its a good thing to get more traffic into the small guys.

On another note- the dealer I went to basically sells the kawasaki/joe rocket line of clothing gear. Should I just pick this stuff up, or should I order from one of the closeout places I've seen you guys mention. Keep in mind I've never owned this kind of gear, so I don't know yet what sizes/types I'll be most comfortable in.
I tried on quite a few pairs of gloves the other day- as I've seen lots of comments about finding comfortable ones.
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