Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Roselle Illinois
Advice for first timeer
Hi everyone, I've been reading your forum and others for about a year now after I finally made the decision to get my first motorcycle. I first got interested in dual-sport bikes many years ago when living in Ireland. I used to see European bikers touring and the KLR650 type bike really got my interest. I'm not really into rockets or cruisers and had all the near death experiences I want while driving cars at high speed in the 'old sod.
I have zero experience on motorcycles, not even as a passenger except when at age 16 my sisters boyfriend let me on his Kawi 750 street bike on a large lawn and I lasted about 3 minutes before falling over. At the time I was about 120lbs soaking wet so there was no competition when the bike started to lean over at too slow a speed! I'm 50 now so at least my memory still works...
Have cycled bicycles for years and still do, out on 4 and 6-lane streets in heavy traffic and have experienced the ignorance/stupidity of many car drivers.
I am also accident free in cars etc for approx 30 years so I possess some common road sense or a lot of luck and the need for speed is low on my list.
I just got my permit and signed up for a rider course at Illinois Harley. I chose them because they train on reasonable large bikes and I did'nt want to learn on a 250 and believe I was more capable that I really was. I go on the course last week of April.
I have my heart set on the new 2009 KLR but the main reservation I still have is the seat height. I am 6ft, 195lbs with a 33inch inseam. I have sat on the KLR a few times in the dealers and can't get both feet flat on the ground. I not very uncomfortable with that fact except for safety. I have read about lowering links, the resulting change in bike handling attitude, and read about lower seats etc, but also read comments about lower but also wider so the lowering advantage is lost.
So, here is my question, is the KLR650 too much motorcycle for this newbie and if not too big when in motion, should I really be all that concerned about getting my feet firmly planted when stationary?
I appreciate all the advice I have already seen on this type of topic but I needed advice more specific to my experience and physique.