Newbie Question - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-05-2015, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Question

I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-05-2015, 02:22 PM
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How many miles are on the bike now? If it still has the stock wet cell battery, get a maintenance free AGM battery.

Along with the crash bars (more to protect the radiator than the plastic) think about a skid plate. I think a torsion spring for the doohickey is a good idea not just for dirt. Everything else is just for your pleasure and comfort. The list is endless. Ride for a while and add things you like as you discover them.

I think of the KLR as more of a dirt road and two track dual sport rather than a single track bike.

Going very far off highway, you will want handy tools including flat repair items and spare tubes. I use a 16" long piece of 1" PVC with a cut off TEE on top as a jack stand. You will want places to put stuff - tail box/bag, saddle bags, tank bag.

Last edited by GoMotor; 12-05-2015 at 07:48 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-05-2015, 06:57 PM
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In addition to previous suggestions, I'd recommend:

Hand guards. These protect your levers, in the event of a bike nap. Plenty of adequate choices available; I find Tusk hand guards from Rocky Mountain ATV-MC versatile (fit KLRs), affordable, and crash-worthy. I ordered "spoilers," inexpensive plastic shields, easily replaceable in the event of road rash.

An alternative to crash bars (nerfs) is an IMS plastic fuel tank; protects radiator plus offers additional fuel capacity.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-05-2015, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holabird View Post
I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
holabird,
We don't know where you are from or where you are riding, we could use some more info.
How much of what kind of riding experience do you have?

A used Kawasaki KLX250 would make a Whole Lot better Single track ride choice! Even for me, and I've been riding since 1970. It will still go 60-70 mph on the highway. (85 with a tail-wind.)

Rider experience makes More difference than the bike.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 12-05-2015 at 08:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 07:55 AM
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+ 1! Not sure the KLR650 approaches an optimum 50/50 bike choice for everyone. I personally think the KLR650 rather heavy for that application for "the average bear."

Yes, some skilled riders handle the KLR650 deftly off road. That population, I would submit, is SMALL!

A KLX250, or a KLR250 (if one can accept kick-start only), or even a Yamaha WR250R (dare I even SAY that?) would seem a more appropriate starter 50/50 bike, to me.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 09:18 AM
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I was thinking of something orange that also starts with a K.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
I was thinking of something orange that also starts with a K.
Get thee behind me, KTM690!

No things orange beginning with a "K" were mentioned; beyond the budget of someone considering a KLR650, surely.

Rode a 690 for 100 miles last summer; it's what the KLR650 wishes it were, IMHO (excluding the price tag).
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 03:24 PM
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Price, high maintenance and so on. I've been at accommodations in remote areas many times when there were groups of KTM as well as our KLR's. We all came in from rides and then the paths divided:
They do oil changes and such. We for a beer, then showers and food. When done some of them were still at it so we watched from the bar patio. Not just a few times. ;-)

Of course I wasn't one of those who loudly observed such as, "I bought a motorcycle to ride not work on it." .... or not often. ;-)




Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Get thee behind me, KTM690!

No things orange beginning with a "K" were mentioned; beyond the budget of someone considering a KLR650, surely.

Rode a 690 for 100 miles last summer; it's what the KLR650 wishes it were, IMHO (excluding the price tag).
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holabird View Post
I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
holabird,
Sorry our fellow members and I have kinda' ridden OFF Track.

But would you define 'on-road' as primarily asphalt or graded gravel?
Would you define 'road' as asphalt, graded gravel, dirty two tracks and rocky two tracks passable by Subaru Out Back?
Would you define 'off road' as graded gravel or dirty 'two tracks'?
Or would 'Off Road' be Rocky 4x4 two tracks and Ugly, rocky, tree root infested, occasional sippy hole mud baths on true single track trails?

A KLR650 with an experienced rider can travel most of that, with possible exception of the sippy hole mud baths. (KLR650's don't do well in sticky mud.) With an in-experienced rider, best not go too far past the Subaru, with or with-out the crash bars.
Just my thoughts to apply to a used bike for $5000 or less.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-06-2015, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
holabird,
Sorry our fellow members and I have kinda' ridden OFF Track.

But would you define 'on-road' as primarily asphalt or graded gravel?
Would you define 'road' as asphalt, graded gravel, dirty two tracks and rocky two tracks passable by Subaru Out Back?
Would you define 'off road' as graded gravel or dirty 'two tracks'?
Or would 'Off Road' be Rocky 4x4 two tracks and Ugly, rocky, tree root infested, occasional sippy hole mud baths on true single track trails?

A KLR650 with an experienced rider can travel most of that, with possible exception of the sippy hole mud baths. (KLR650's don't do well in sticky mud.) With an in-experienced rider, best not go too far past the Subaru, with or with-out the crash bars.
Just my thoughts to apply to a used bike for $5000 or less.
On road would be asphalt to get to where I want to ride. Then I am looking at forest service roads. Then I will get on some nasty, rocky, wet, root infested single track with some water crossings. I had a previous DR that handled it just fine but am concerned about the KLR doing as well.

The bike is a stock 2012 with 16000 miles for $3200. It will need to be upgraded to even try and tackle some of the trails I want to ride.

I have been riding for over 40 years and currently have a BMW K1600 GTL and a Ducati ST3s. Should I pass on the KLR and do a DR or better?
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