KLR -- the overweight dualsport - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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KLR -- the overweight dualsport

The KLR receives a lot of abuse on other forums for being so heavy and underpowered. I have been looking at weights lately -- I like the shaft drive I have on a CX500 and would like a shaft dual-sport. They come with mfr claims of 520 to 600 Lbs "dry" or even more.

A 1200GS weighs about what my bike weighs packed for hot + cold riding and comfort camping. I could take twice as much gear to get to the weight of a Super Tenre. Those bikes DO have broad torque plateaus that are double the 705 KLR peak torque. No need to even look at peak horsepower. I don't really need more horsepower.

On the other hand, I've been riding ATV trails solo. This winter a neighbor bought a DRZ400 and I'm looking forward to having someone to help me lift. Er, I mean someone I can show where I've found the more interesting trails.

The DRZ, however is 100Lbs lighter than a stock KLR and I've attached all the Gold-wing-like pieces I wanted for a gravel-road tourer. The top box is usually not mounted, but those side cases are really handy any day. And the lights are great. And . . . This neighbor has an old-school trials bike from back in the day, so I'll certainly learn some things this year.

Now that you've read this far, you see that there's nothing of importance in this thread; just the ramblings of a winterbound rider.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 08:58 AM
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KLR is good is good all around like you put it!!! I was looking at the 800 and 1200 GS's but for the price of the KLR I couldn't pass it up. $6,100 out the door brand new a few weeks ago. After about the $1000 I've dumped into it to comfort items, some lighting/electrical gadgets, and some luggage, I still have less than half the cost of the BMW. I call it a win. More $$$ for gas and riding adventures.

2013 KLR

16 Tooth sprocket, Doo done, DirtRacks Crash Bars, Bestem 929 top case, Kawasaki tall winscreen, Acerbis Supermoto front fender, LED dash lights and license plate light
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 01:29 PM
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Agreed. And keep rambling. Spring will be here soon.

"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

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post #4 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 05:29 PM
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By todays rider 'standards', It may actually be an Under Weight Touring Bike!

"I get Blown all over the road" "It just isn't Very Stable" etc..........

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 02:41 PM
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The KLR IS heavy and underpowered....compared to a KTM500EXC. OTOH, both bikes (while technically dual sports) have vastly different missions; one is a full blown offroad race bike that you won't get locked up for riding on a mile of pavement between trail sections and the other is a go-anywhere adventure bike that is cheap, simple and lasts forever.

What makes a good dirt bike also makes a crappy street bike and vice versa....it's all about compromise in the world of dual sports.

As far as weight goes; the KLR is what it is.....but the weight can be overstated; a first gen KLR weighs 399 lbs full of fuel which puts its wet, no fuel weight at just under 360lbs. 2nd gens are about 17lbs heavier. Before a bunch of people chime in that their bike is heavier, I would mention that most people have added a bunch of weight with all kinds of "stuff" like crash bars, center stands, paniers, etc. etc.

I went the other way on my Gen 1 and put it on a mild diet; a silencer change lost 5 lbs and a battery swap to an LiFePO lost another 9. I then removed 3-5lbs worth of other misc. "stuff". she ain't exactly light, but she's right around DR650 weight now....except with more wind protection, liquid cooling, bigger tank and a luggage rack.

2 cents,
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 07:06 PM
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And . . . gasoline weighs about 6 lbs. per gallon . . . thus, a full tank amounts to about 36 lbs. of elective weight . . . run half-full, and you trim 18 lbs. from the GVW!

I jest. Truth be told, the KLR650 is kinda heavy; at least, compared to a composite carbon-fiber framed and wheeled trials bike with helium in its tires . . .

Is the KLR650's ponderous weight critical to its operational performance, within its typical service spectrum? I don't think so; those who do have lower-weight choices.

Under-powered? Robust enough power, as far as I'm concerned; again, mightier engines await those who would buy them. Nothing against hop-up, but . . . doubt anyone ever touches the skirt of an out-of-the box Husky/KTM/BMW of similar displacement, or even a Kawasaki Versys.

I'll dance with the KLR650 who brung me.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 07:19 PM
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I've been 'Dancing' with mine for 26 1/2 years.

On Interstate highways, I call it the 'KLR Shuffle'!

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 07:21 PM
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Guess it depends on who you are. I've ridden with guys who could run rings around me on a KLR650 even if I was riding a Honda CRF250.

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post #9 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 09:04 PM
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If I lost 40 pounds my KLR's would feel a whole lot peppier!
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by anyexcuse View Post
If I lost 40 pounds my KLR's would feel a whole lot peppier!
I know the feeling...

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
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