a couple prepurchase questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-27-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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a couple prepurchase questions

Considering a new KLR purchase next year. Have ridden all sorts of bikes over the years but never a KLR. Will be doing some limited freeway commuting. Does a KLR have enough HP not to get run over on the on-ramp and how severe do they vibrate at freeway speeds? Or do they make your hands fall asleep.
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-28-2013, 05:38 AM
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I would imagine your experience, as far as available power and vibration, will be compared to what you've ridden in the past. If you're going to be buying a new one, I think a test ride would be the way to go so you can see what you're dealing with.

The handlebar vibration of the KLR has never bothered me and certainly won't put your hands to sleep, at least not mine, anyway, but I don't hang on to mine too tightly on the highway.

People do it on KLR's (Cabrito posts some crazy traffic-riding videos) but were I to commute on a busy freeway, I personally would be more comfortable riding something with a little more get-up-and-go to use as a tool and an option to possibly extract myself from sticky situations rather than just moving laterally or slowing down, which is about all you can do on a KLR if the traffic's really zipping along. Depends on your particular traffic flow there, I guess. Heavy, high-speed freeway traffic is not my usual riding environment, so I'm no expert on that, but in the few instances I've done it, I was wishing I had a little more available power.

It's capable of getting up to speed on an on-ramp just as quickly as the average vehicle, I would say.

I would add that one plus to the KLR is that when you're in traffic, you're sitting up nice and high and can see things around you and ahead of you better than on a lower motorcycle. It's quite nimble, too.

The only opinion that really matters is yours, so if a test-ride is feasible, at least enough of one to get an idea of the KLR's acceleration, etc., I would try to take one before buying.



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post #3 of 16 Old 09-28-2013, 07:47 AM
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Agree with planalp.
KLR's are great do-it-all bikes. If you're not on the freeway for very many miles then the KLR would be great, if you're doing more than ~20 miles I'd look at a different bike, like maybe a Versys.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-28-2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys. The commute would only be a few miles on the freeway. During the summer would like to make some trips to the lake. That is 20 miles each way at about 65mph not a congested freeway just a 2 lane highway. Actually sounds like it will work. The dealer here doesn't allow test drives, reason for the questions. There is actually only one Kawasaki dealer for 1M people and they act that way. The purchase won't be here.

I am a bit of a Kawasaki nut. Have a 71 F7, 74 H1 and a 72 S3.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-28-2013, 08:30 PM
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It would work perfect then. If you want to lower the rpms you can always use a 16t sprocket and/or larger rear tire. Mine cruises along at 65 no problem. Google around and you'll find some local KLR riders who will let you test ride.

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-28-2013, 08:41 PM
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Yup. Good advice. My work here is dumb.




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post #7 of 16 Old 09-30-2013, 07:09 AM
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Have no problems here in Mobile,AL.
Ride mostly 2 lanes.
Have had over 70 bikes and KLR 650 is my top pick.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-30-2013, 07:02 PM
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I've ridden my 2011 on our N.H. highways at sustained 65 - 70 mph for the better part of 1 - 2 hours. Not my favorite type of riding, but my buddy lives 2 1/2 - 3 hours away, and that's the only way we can get together for rides.
I don't think vibration is much of an issue, unless you're very sensitive.

The KLR does make a little more engine noise compared to bigger multicylinder bikes, but you should be using ear plugs anyway.

I also have a 1800 Gold Wing. I find the KLR seat ( with my soft custom pad ) more comfortable than the restricted seat on the Wing. It may have something to do with the fact that my legs are not bent quite so much on the KLR.

The KLR seat is high. Make sure you can get both feet flat on the ground, unless you like picking bikes up.

I'm a conservative rider, so power is adequate for my use.

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post #9 of 16 Old 09-30-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by larry31 View Post
I've ridden my 2011 on our N.H. highways at sustained 65 - 70 mph for the better part of 1 - 2 hours. Not my favorite type of riding, but my buddy lives 2 1/2 - 3 hours away, and that's the only way we can get together for rides.
I don't think vibration is much of an issue, unless you're very sensitive.

The KLR does make a little more engine noise compared to bigger multicylinder bikes, but you should be using ear plugs anyway.

I also have a 1800 Gold Wing. I find the KLR seat ( with my soft custom pad ) more comfortable than the restricted seat on the Wing. It may have something to do with the fact that my legs are not bent quite so much on the KLR.

The KLR seat is high. Make sure you can get both feet flat on the ground, unless you like picking bikes up.

I'm a conservative rider, so power is adequate for my use.
Really sounds like the bike will work. Not sensitive and a little noise is fine. Being a single cylinder vibration is a concern. Sounds like Kawasaki removed most of it with the balance shaft. I like green too.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-01-2013, 08:19 AM
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I've never had a situation that i couldn't accelerate fast enough with my klr. And vibration is basicly on par with some other bike's i've had. If your worried about your hands going numb then put on a cruise control and take your hands off one at a time every now and again.
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