Best year(s) for KLRs? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Colorado
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Best year(s) for KLRs?

Hi all.

New to the forum, KLRs, and motorcycles. Always ridden human-powered bikes instead of motorcycles. Recently I've been itching to get a used KLR to ride into the hills for fishing trips, quick trips around town, etc., because my Dodge 2500 isn't the best suited vehicle for that kind of stuff.

Are there any year(s) in the KLR history that stand out as the best years for production of the bike? With my truck, there were a couple of years (03 & 04) of the Cummins engine that provided the highest MPG and still delivered ample HP and torque, had good tranny's, etc. This is the kind of thing that I am looking for in a KLR.

Also, is there an age/mileage limitation that I should be looking at - say nothing older than model year 2000 and no more than 20k miles?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 05:44 PM
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The watershed, IMHO, is . . . Gen 1 ('07 and earlier) and Gen 2 ('08 and beyond); matter of personal preference.

Mechanically, otherwise, not enough difference between yearly models to fill a typical tooth cavity.

Stand by for screams of, "MUST be made in JAPAN!" when, given globalization, even your D2500 was assembled in Mexico . . .
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 06:56 PM
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Hey Dude, welcome to the forum.
Any KLR is good in my book as Gen 1 and Gen 2 each have their strong and weak points. Many mechanical improvements have been made with the Gen 2's but the plastic on the Gen 1's doesn't break if you look at it wrong. Figure out what you want to spend and go from there. Either way, you'll have a blast.

09 KLR650
01 Jeep XJ w/ 200,000 miles as of 3-26-11
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 08:59 PM
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decide gen I or gen II. more off rd go gen I more on go gen II. pick something stored inside without rusted bolts, so you can wrench on it. i'de go less than 15000mi. read up on common mods so you know what you are getting. IMO better to do your own mods to get it the way u like it. just sold my wife's 2006 with 5000km for $3500cdn and a case of beer.

02 klr - heated vest and grips, corbin dished, EM doo, petcock mod, MB PCV mod, stainless oil filter, bash plate, mayher hand guards, low mount fender, power socket, tall windscreen, jardine exhaust, jetted, studebaker shifter, magnetic plug, airbox mod, k&N, kenda knobbies, DIY pelicans, HID light
96 zx11 - bone stock - saving for a collector plate
2011 BMW f800 GS - [email protected] crash bars, altrider skid plate, barkbusters, kako, aeroflow med, heated corbin, wolfman, kenda big blocks
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 09:03 PM
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There were enough changes in the '96 model year to warrant limiting the search to '96 and later. There were no really significant changes until the '08 model year, and that model year saw a myriad of changes.

From outward appearances they were cosmetic, but don't let that fool you. There were changes to the engine, suspension and swing arm to touch on the major changes. Essentially many of the changes were to make the KLR more road capable than prior models, somewhat at the expense of it's off-road worthiness.

As to mileage, not to worry on a well maintained bike. Many go well near 100K miles.


Tom [email protected]

“I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

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post #6 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 10:24 PM
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08. You get to add oil ALL THE TIME.

"In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV." R. Pirsig

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
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RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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If you are the impatient type, don't buy a Gen I bike. You'll spend most of your time waiting for the Gen II riders to catch up.

“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-24-2011, 03:44 PM
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Yeah ...that..

- Joe

HighSpeed Hiker- DV o5'
Originally Posted by larryboy
come awn... it's not'll be fun..

sorry I can't....... I'm fishing today
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-24-2011, 06:31 PM
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I asked similar questions prior to getting mine. I planned to do more asphalt. The problem is my 08 does gravel so dang good I end up doing alot more offroad than intended.

Kawasaki KLR650 - Adventure Lite
Tagged KTM250XCF-W - Rocket
Tagged KLX300 - Trail Tractor
'84 XR250R - Retro Ride
RMZ250 - Dirty
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-25-2011, 06:42 PM
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Talking The KLR is a lump of clay to shape and mold some are just lumpier

I think if I had to do it over again I would save the money and get a fully farkeled Gen I. Don't get me wrong I like my 09 and at my age the bike is more capable on or off road then I am. On matter what year you buy you have to look at a KLR as a tinker toy you can ride they all need work, the trick is buy used and let someone else do the hard stuff and you just personalize for your self.
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