Hello...I'm new and asking for opinion/input - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
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Hello...I'm new and asking for opinion/input

Hi - I'm not only new to KLR forum, but new to riding as well. I currently own a Yamaha 2013 XT250, my first motorcycle and now I'm looking to see what's next. I come here because I know the KLR is a much loved dual sport bike and wildly popular. I find my riding is more and more on the foothills area of NorCal and some off road (fire road/gravel, etc). While the Yamaha has been a great bike for a starter/novice like me, I know the time is coming that a bigger ride is needed. So that's where I turn to you all, the veterans and pros!

As someone who's still very much in the novice stage, but looking for a more capable bike and still heading off to dirt paths, is the KLR a logical choice? I have spent so much time reading between the KLR, a DR650 and now the Husq TR650 that my head is spinning.

If it matters I'm about 5'10" 200 lbs so seat height (or lack of) is more important than weight. I'm not looking for a speed bike or something that is going to allow me to really push a trail ride to its limits...I am looking for a bike that gives me a better road feel than the Yamaha, especially at highway speeds of 55-60, and ideally something that is also easy to learn for the inevitable tweak/mod/repair job as well.

Thanks all and happy (safe) riding.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 05:30 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Neither a veteran or a pro, but reading your post I would say any of those choices would be a good fit for you. Are you in a position to actually ride any or all of your prospects? If so, do it then decide.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 05:51 PM
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I agree. I will add that 250 miles between fill ups had a HUGE impact when I was making this same decision.

"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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post #4 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
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thanks for the input. i'm sure one of the local dealers will let me do a test ride of a KLR. the TR650 seems to be getting a bit hard to find. I guess I'm stuck between the TR650 is like the new kid on the block...pretty shiny, getting lots of press and has its targets set on the KLR.

The KLR has been the #1 DS for a reason I'm sure... as I'm really new to this, when do 2014 models hit? Are they similar to new model car releases? A 2014 being out this summer, etc? Can a KLR seat be lowered at all (hopefully that's not blasphemous)
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 07:07 PM
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Which bike?

I have a little Honda NX250 that I've been riding off and on road for many years. It's great in tight places, and where you have to get your feet down to turn around or get over rough going. It'll go up to 60 - 70 mph. and get around 80 mpg

I too wanted to go farther and faster with more power, so I chose the KLR.
( I still ride the NX often.) The KLR is not bad to purchase. It's easy to work on and will get me to places with more comfort than a smaller bike.
If you choose your "add-on's" you can get it to be very comfortable. My KLR get's around 55 mpg, not bad for a bike that is so versatile.

I had a tough choice between the DR650 and a KLR. The DR650 is lighter and would be easer to use in the rough. The KLR is more comfortable and comes with a nice rear luggage rack, and decent seat. There is a load of after market things made for a KLR. Not so much for the DR. If I didnít still have my NX, I might have chosen a DR650, who knows?

If all you want to do is gravel and easy off road, the KLR would be my choice.
A good rider can do amazing stuff with a KLR. I'm not that good, so I limit myself to roads that I'm comfortable with.

Ageing Gracefully

2017 Yamaha XT250
1990 Honda NX250 (Green/White)
2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Orange & White )

My KLR Page..http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm

Mod's to KLR:
Power socket, L.E.D. Battery Indicator, Camera bag holder
Custom Saddlebag frames .
Louder horns, Firstgear Onyx tail bag.
Custom Aluminum Skid Plate.
Cut down seat with Custom pad.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 07:14 PM
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Welcome to the forum and welcome to riding....

Not to sway your decision but just to give you my experience since I started riding on a KLR and still ride one. The bike is cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and there are great people out there that always have an opinion on how to fix something. There are plenty of youtube videos to help teach you on what to do, or in some cases what not to do.

I am not an expert nor qualified mechanic, but with a little guidance I was able to strip the engine to check valves, replace tires, brakes, chain and sprockets. The engine has not been re-designed in over 25 years so you are not getting the latest in fuel injection, nor ABS, but sometimes that is good; i.e. less items to break.

I never owned the Honda, nor Suzuki so I cannot compare, but the thing that convinced me was the tank size and the distance between refills. I use my for commuting and minor trails. What ever you decide, enjoy the ride....
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 07:20 PM
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Sorry to detract but the KLR is NOT the #1 DS out there. If you want a low cost, reliable DS the KLR is for you. Hands down. I will never stray from that. I have a much more capable machine but it's three times the cost and three times the trouble.

Why do I keep the KLR you may ask? It's primal, my Armageddon machine, short of a horse, ready for the Zombie apocalypse. Gas, oil, and a few tools will keep it up and running.

I'm 5' 11", 32" inseam, 220 lbs. The bike is perfect for me. If you think you need a shorter seat go for it.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
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great input... and by #1 i am referring to sales, unless those numbers are outdated.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-28-2013, 08:58 PM
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pull the trigger on a klr i promise you wont be dissapointed.

Never ride faster than your angels can fly
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