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post #1 of 11 Old 12-07-2008, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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hi all

new here and to motorcycles , i'm looking at the KLR for my first bike , would you recomend this or should i get a beater first ?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 06:02 AM
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That all depends on you.

The KLR is a tall bike, are you tall enough to handle it?
The KLR is heavy off road.
Will you be off road? can you handle the weight?

You could always get a used KLR.

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post #3 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Daddyjoe View Post
That all depends on you.

The KLR is a tall bike, are you tall enough to handle it?
The KLR is heavy off road.
Will you be off road? can you handle the weight?

You could always get a used KLR.

5' 11" , 190lbs

I'll be going off road once in a while

How much heavier is it than a normal bike?
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 10:53 AM
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KLR is much heavier then a normal dirt bike... 400lbs.

I wasn't new to motorcycles, but the KLR was my first offroad bike. It took a lot of beating while learning. I ended up getting a KDX200 dirt bike also and that's where I really learned offroading much better because it was far more forgiving. You can flick a KDX around though, but you don't flick a KLR around, you let the engine do the work. The KLR is better at a little faster pace, but when I was learning I kept chuggin slowly along and that made the KLR a real beast to handle because there wasn't enough momentum. The thing is, it's tough to speed up when your new because you don't know how to fully handle the bike or trails yet and don't fully know what the KLR is capable.

I definitely owe a lot to the guys I ride with because by watching them I was able learn what the KLR was capable of. It's important to know because you have to trust that the bike can make it through or over whatever it is you are dealing with. I used to stop at or avoid every obstacle, including little 2" puddles because I didn't know what was going to happen or how to handle a wet dualsport tire on a dirt trail. Yep, I was a real chickenshit. Now I pretty much hit anything except for large mud and water pits/ruts. I hate mud and will avoid it at most any cost.

Gravel was the worst experience and I finally worked my way through that by spending a day playing around on it by taking off fast, spinning the tires and then stopping right away. I would build up more distance, go a little faster, stop a little faster or stop a little slower. It really worked because instead of 30, I can now go 60/70 on gravel without any problems.

If you get an 08 or newer, I would recommend crash bars as your first investment and before you ever go offroad. Lots of people have posted already about their fairings breaking easily.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information , i have another question , i'm planing on buying the bike and van it to an empty parking lot and learn how to ride it on my own before taking the MSF corse .
Would this type of riding be legal without a license?

I really want a KLR but i'm thinking of maybe buying a 1983 honda nighthawk cb450 and ride it for a year to get good and then go with a new KLR.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 02:31 PM
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Depends... are you getting a loan?

I don't think you can get insurance without a motorcycle license and without insurance you can't take the bike off the lot if you have a loan on it. Something like that. I could be completely wrong.

I got my initial motorcycle endorsement with the written test then bought the motorcycle then got the insurance. I could ride during day and without a passenger. Took the riding test (not msf) a month or so later and passed and could do whatever then.

Unless you absolutely want to, I don't see any reason to bother with the nighthawk. On the road, the KLR isn't a big deal at all, it's really easy ride. I have never laid it down on the road, just off road on crazy terrain.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Depends... are you getting a loan?

I don't think you can get insurance without a motorcycle license and without insurance you can't take the bike off the lot if you have a loan on it. Something like that. I could be completely wrong.

I got my initial motorcycle endorsement with the written test then bought the motorcycle then got the insurance. I could ride during day and without a passenger. Took the riding test (not msf) a month or so later and passed and could do whatever then.

Unless you absolutely want to, I don't see any reason to bother with the nighthawk. On the road, the KLR isn't a big deal at all, it's really easy ride. I have never laid it down on the road, just off road on crazy terrain.
Well i'm planing to buy from a private owner , i've found KLR 2008 with 400 miles on it for only $ 4,400 on craigslist and the Hawk for $1,000 (i figured if i crash the hawk no biggie, as i probably wouldn't even get insurance )

I've reserved a spot for a MSF course in spring time , but i'd like to get some riding experience before i go in and take the class ....I like the route you took though , so the initial motorcycle endorsement (would that be a learners permit?) and then a written test and i'd be legal to ride, I LIKE IT
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 08:05 PM
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I would take the course first, that way they can teach you the correct ways, if you learn on your own they will have to teach you to break any bad habits you may learn on your own.

A street bike and a KLR are two different worlds as bikes go. (if you take it off road)

The MSF course provides the bikes, I would take it and then buy the bike.

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post #9 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 10:37 PM
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Daddyjoe is absolutely correct. Take the course first. You might get lucky and have a Nighthawk as the trainer bike. You'll be surprised about things you thought were obvious (turning) but are actually a little tricky.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-08-2008, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tibi View Post
but i'd like to get some riding experience before i go in and take the class ....I like the route you took though , so the initial motorcycle endorsement (would that be a learners permit?) and then a written test and i'd be legal to ride, I LIKE IT
No, what I got was not a learners permit. I believe learners permits have an expiration date of 18 months, but endorsements never expire, just needs renewed with your drivers license. It's a full legal license just with night and passenger restrictions until you pass the riders course. You can ride forever on just that endorsement and no ride test if you want, but who would? Luckily, I was able to get in on the last riding test of the season. I think it's basically the same everywhere, but just go to the local BMV and ask.

I wouldn't recommend the no insurance thing unless you never leave a parking lot. Even then, you can still do a lot of bodily harm even at low speeds.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 12-08-2008 at 11:29 PM.
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