Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Evansville, Indiana
It's simple, the KLR is not a $10,000 quality bike.
Lacks overall power.
Lacks off road ability.
Lacks on road ability.
What it lacks in any one category is made up by the fact it can do so many styles of riding. Sure you can get a road bike, but then you can't go offroad. Sure you can get a offroad bike, but then you can't go on road. You can get a highway tourer, but then you can't fully enjoy the twisties. You can get a sport bike, but then you won't really enjoy the long hauls.
The KLR basically will do anything, it's all a matter of rider tolerance and rider choice as to what they want to do with the KLR.
I don't think the original intention meets 90% of what people do with the KLR. If other bikes were the same price, the KLR would gather dust on showroom floors. Other bikes can't match the price because they have superior engineering, more power, more comfort, etc...
However, you hear a lot of crap about all the manufacturers.
You simply cannot ignore the vast amount of people on these forums who do obscene miles on the KLR though. It takes some work getting the bike ready for those miles, but the fact it can be done is what draws all these people to the bike.
Unless you buy a full tour bike, you'll spend money on luggage for whatever you get, so that cost is a wash. The price factor you have to add to the KLR is the cost of all the farkles to match the bike to your tolerance level.
The beauty of the KLR though, is that so many pennytech mods have already been engineered and tested. You will find lowtech, hightech and everything in between that can help mediate the cost of farkling the crap out of the KLR.
I'm not a mod freak. I have the Wolfman Explorer, Highway Pegs, Windsheild for colder weather and the HT rad guard and dirt just about anywhere a hose won't reach. I don't plan to do 1,000 mile treks on a KLR. It will be a trailer queen from here to any riding zone over 4 hours away.