I'm new to the KLR forum,
Saw a KLR650 in the dealer and loved it, but it had some flaws.
I guess like most people would have already noticed, this bike needs a smaller, more affordable touring version!
First of all, the touring bikes are all too expensive.
Second of all, there's a huge gap between 250cc and 650cc bikes, and for some reason touring bikes are all 800cc+!
No need for all those cc's. Some people love to go touring with just an extra set of clothes, and a bottle of coke; and don't desire for a torque monster, but just something that can bring them from point A to B, in a very economical way.
Others (like me), love to just cruise. In fact, most cruiser bikes are used only 5-15% of their throttle 99% of the time. Very few people rev the $#iT out of them, and are happy to depart gently from a stop light!
250cc bikes are great econo-bikes, but I find that they are stretched to their limits on the highway. WOT riding @6k RPM for hours on end isn't a good touring experience; but neither is a 1200cc touring bike that does 30-40MPG (my Chevrolet Cruze gets better gas mileage than that).
500+cc bikes are great highway bikes (with speeds between 65MPH and 85MPH all day long), but waste too much gas in city riding; not even mentioning their weight. And bigger does not always mean better. A 400cc engine is quite upto the job for intercontinental riding. In fact, most of the 400cc bikes of the 80's, had all kinds of issues, except engine issues. their engines usually outlasted their frames.
A smaller engine should remedy some of the weight issues too, while not penalizing the rider due to lack of power to reach to the legal top speed (80MPH, while we all know the top posted speed is 65MPH).
I wanted something cheap, small, and comfy, for tall people!
My dream bike would be the orange KLR, but a 400cc version, with hard cases mounted (2 sides, one on the back, as a passenger's back support), a much desired fuel meter added, and a more comfy saddle for the long rides, and a sprocket/gearing optimized for highway riding (meaning doing 3000-3500RPM @ 55-60MPH would be awesome).
Also a radio is not out of the question, and a dashboard that has a mounting space for a cellphone or GPS device to be velcro-ed to the surface!
I prefer analog instrumentation, but if not possible at least an analog tach. The speedo can be digital, just as long as the readouts are large.
Fuel readout, speedo, tach, time, odo, trip meter....
Also, put regular street tires on it, instead of offroad tires.
They're selling those enduro bikes way too expensive. They're just dirt bikes with lights and street tires. I think if the engine would be bigger than 300cc (350cc minimum), and smaller than 500cc, you'd hit the sweet spot on fuel economy and performance. Enough performance to ride all day long within the legal speed limits (upto 85MPH), while not feeling you're pushing the bike too hard, yet it's possible to gear them for a near to 80-100MPG with an overdrive gear (6th gear, or just a very heavy 5th gear), if the gearings are on the tall side. Pair that with a 5GAL tank, and you can go cross state on one tank of gas. Who can say 'no' to that???
Instead of focusing on 100-150 miles per tank, I like the idea of having 500 miles per tank @100MPG, for a touring bike. Granted, in start stop traffic it's impossible to get over 80MPG, but anywhere from 35-45MPH it's pretty easy to ride in overdrive gear in 2 - 3K RPM, and surpass 85MPG. Been there, done that. A 110cc engine gets 125MPG, a 125cc gets 120MPG, a 229 gets 105MPG. A 400cc should be able to get 90-95MPG, possibly could do 100MPG at a constant 40-45MPH @2-2,5k RPM.
What I like about the KLR650 is the height,
I'm 6'4" so it's a perfect fit for me.
I like the colors, the shape, the design.
It would be awesome if someone from Kawasaki read this and made a bike like this!
I'm sure it'd be instantaneously popular!
The only thing I'm contemplating now is if I want it to be a thumper, or a parallel twin engine. I think a thumper would be more fuel efficient, but a parallel twin has less vibrations, lasts longer, and has higher HP's in the upper RPM band.
I'm also thinking if it should have a carburetor (with choke, yes), or a fuel injected.
If they could sell that for $4,5k, would be awesome!!!
Last edited by ProDigit; 09-14-2013 at 05:32 AM.