klr questions from a novice...... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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klr questions from a novice......

hey everybody....my name is ryan....i found this forum thru a google search and had some questions...first a little bit about tme....

first i have to apologize how i type...its the only way i can type ...sorry....i am 34...i'm 6 foot four and 300....maybe a hair heavier around xmas!.....i have always wanted a bike since i was a kid.....my dad recently got a sportster 1200.....we have always loved harleys.....i don't know if that is a bad word round here...lol.....anyway i wanna get a bike so i can ride with my dad finally......

i am going to take a msf course at harley(it is pretty close to my house).....i frequent another forum(unrelated to bikes) and was asking for motorcycle advice.....one guy suggested a klr 650......till i get used to riding.....i have never risen before.....a couple of things i wondered

1)i am huge....is this thing gonna haul my ass around?
2) is it a nice bike for just the street...i have no intentions of driving off road
3)am i crazy for thinking i can possibly start riding on an 883 harley?


a little background also on my attitude....i respect bikes and realize what they can do...i am an excellent driver in my car...no tailgating...never been stopped by the police....never speed....never got a ticket for anything....i know that sounds stupid but i guess my point is I'm about the safest person out of everyone i know......

any advice would be appreciated.....ryan

p.s.-again sorry about my typing...i wish i cud just talk to my computer
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 10:21 PM
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Typing was just fine. The KLR is a good starter bike especially for a big guy. The Gen2 bikes are more street friendly than the Gen1. They are not road bikes, though. That said, I have a blast on my KLR on the street. And you might find that you want to go offroad once you get going. Size, no worries. I personally think the KLR is one of the better starter bikes, especially for a big guy.

Good on ya for taking the course. Make sure you get all the gear, too. Start looking at used bikes if money is an issue. It's tough to kill a KLR.




"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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2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 10:22 PM
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Welcome, BTW. Ask any Q's you have and search around, you'll learn a lot.




"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!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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thanks lockjaw.....what about general maintenance on klr's.....i have ZERO....i repeat ZERO skills when it comes to fixing anything....anything done to my bike is gonna have to be done at a dealer or somewhere similar......i am just wondering i guess besides reg maintenance like oil changes......is there a lot to do to maintain the bike......ryan

p.s.even with my size i won't have any trouble cruising on highways....where i live is basically right off a highway type road.....alot of traffic lights but u can hit speeds up to 60 in a car easily.....thanks again.....ryan
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 11:39 PM
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At your size 60 mph will be no problem. You won't be able to go above 80ish no matter what size you are. One of the reasons that the kLR is a great starter bike is that you CAN do the maintenance. I used to think I couldn't, but I went to some tech days and got some confidence and realized I could. The KLR is a simple bike. With a good manual and some friends, there isn't any normal maintenance you won't be able to do.

If you do decide you only want to ride pavement you can set up the bike with street tires and get a better fairing and fender and do other things to make it more street friendly. Get a 2008 or later if you want to stick to the roads.

Before I got my KLR, I didn't do any real work on my bikes. Now, I wouldn't consider taking it to the shop. I can fix it. And if I can't, one of the fine folks on here will help me. THAT is hands down the best reason to buy a KLR. There are tons of people who love them and they will help you because someone helped them. The KLR community is a wonderful place.




"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!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 06:58 AM
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Ryan, I think either the Harley or the KLR650 will be o.k. for you, given:

1. You take the MSF course, as planned, and,

2. You PRACTICE, extensively, in parking lots and on deserted roads, whatever bike you start out on.

Practice slow, tight turns; panic stops; parking, dismounting, etc.

Sounds simple, but--SIMULATE stopping for fuel. Get used to the routine; don't want to awkwardly drop your bike anywhere.

Oh, yes; speaking of dropping bikes; I think the KLR will be easier to pick up than the Harley!

Regardless, you're starting out right with the MSF course; wear ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time), protective equipment and clothing.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 08:43 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Ryan.

I'm about your size and I can verify that the KLR will haul you around just fine.

Personally, I think one of the big advantages to riding the KLR (especially in traffic) is that it's tall and gives you a better view of what's going on around you. Being just a foot higher enables you to see a lot more.



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post #8 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 12:55 PM
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I totally agree. I love the tallness of the KLR.




"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!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 05:44 PM
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I'm 6'5, and right at 300lbs, I have an 04 klr and it hauls me around just fine. Regular maintenance is pretty straight forward and it's the most dependable bike I've ever owned.

My Harley on the other hand has been nothing but a nightmare, Ride it, fix it, repeat.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 07:00 PM
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The KLR is a good fit for a guy your size and it is one of the cheapest, easiest bikes out there to maintain but its not exactly the right tool for the job at hand. You said you wont be going off road and you want something that is road friendly. While the KLR is totally capable of riding on the road, I wouldnt concider it a "road bike". I wouldnt get a Harley either. I have nothing against Harleys, I actually like them, but they are pretty expensive for a starter bike, even Sportsters are expensive for what they are. How are you going to feel the first time your nice chromed out Harley takes a nap, and at 6'4" and 300lbs, I think you are too big for a Sportster anyway.
To be honest, I would buy a cheap used Vulcan or a Shadow with highway pegs so you can stretch out. After youve gone through the trials of being a new rider, then spend some $$$$ on a nice Harley if you want.
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