Now that I'm getting the bike, some questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Bend OR, Bellevue ID
Posts: 96
Now that I'm getting the bike, some questions

A few questions for you gents. I've read through some other newbie question threads and have been quite impressed with the input, thought I'd do my own!

As a fire fighter I understand the value of good personal protective equipment so I've got a decent helmet to get going with and am on the hunt for the other stuff.

Question: I'm 6' 220# and have tried on a few jackets in XL and they feel like a damn sausage casing. Any brand known to fit a little bigger. I'm really broad across the back and a little spare tire.

I've seen a few links to online retailers (MC gear .com) any others out there you guys like/trust?

Any specific youtube or other source for riding tips?
I've got a bit of experience from a long time ago and am a regular mt biker, but know that isn't the same. I'm going to keep it on dirt roads and back country pavement till I get a feel for the thing.

Anyone from Oregon and know of a good riding class/training school?

I hope you guys understand just how valuable and appreciated your experience and knowledge is.

Thanks a ton!

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Bend OR, Bellevue ID
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Also, is there any specific insurance carrier folks like? My auto company doesn't cover bikes.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 03:41 PM
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Location: Ashland, NH
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Hey LouisPK, welcome to the forum. There is a lot of good information here and some extremely knowledgeable (and helpful) people.

Jackets: I wear a LG/Tall, so this may not apply to your XL question, but it might help. I have two jackets. One is a mesh Tourmaster Sonora and the other is a Firstgear Kilimanjaro. The Tourmaster fits true to size. The Firstgear fits a lot looser (I wanted that so I could wear multiple layers under it).

Online Retailers: I have had good luck with Revzilla, Motorcycle Superstore, Dennis Kirk and (my favorite) Whitehorse Gear (because they are local for me). Eagle Mike is great for specialty KLR upgrade parts. I have had great service from all of these. For OEM parts, I have used Partzilla (delivery is slow, but the prices cannot be beat).

Riding Tips: There are lots on YouTube. Search KLR or Dual Sport. If you want to read, the bible for dual sport riding tips is "The Essential Guide To Dual Sport Motorcycling". There use to be a copy being shared by our forum members, but I think it came up missing. It can be bought through White Horse Gear at http://www.whitehorsegear.com/the-es...t-motorcycling

Oregon: Sorry; can't help you.

Insurance: I use Progressive. Good prices, but I have never had to file a claim. Others my have different opinions.

Ride safe!
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 04:53 PM
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Location: Northern Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisPK View Post
A few questions for you gents. I've read through some other newbie question threads and have been quite impressed with the input, thought I'd do my own!

As a fire fighter I understand the value of good personal protective equipment so I've got a decent helmet to get going with and am on the hunt for the other stuff.

Question: I'm 6' 220# and have tried on a few jackets in XL and they feel like a damn sausage casing. Any brand known to fit a little bigger. I'm really broad across the back and a little spare tire.

I've seen a few links to online retailers (MC gear .com) any others out there you guys like/trust?

Any specific youtube or other source for riding tips?
I've got a bit of experience from a long time ago and am a regular mt biker, but know that isn't the same. I'm going to keep it on dirt roads and back country pavement till I get a feel for the thing.

Anyone from Oregon and know of a good riding class/training school?

I hope you guys understand just how valuable and appreciated your experience and knowledge is.

Thanks a ton!

Welcome to our little corner of the internet! I joined up on a few different KLR message boards - but this is the only one I still frequent. Much less drama here, and the folks are pretty damn good at helping out!

Regarding riding gear: I purchased one of the "package deals" from Cycle Gear this spring in the "Sand" color scheme. I like it, but it doesn't breathe well enough for me to use it during the summer. Here's a link:

Link to the Cycle Gear "BILT Explorer (waterproof)" package.

Next spring, I plan on purchasing the "Explorer Air" package - or at least the pants and jacket. They've got mesh for greater air flow during the warmer months. The waterproof package is good material, and I was wearing (with different gloves, not the ones from the package deal) it in temperatures down at / below freezing, and I was still quite comfortable - and that's without the "quilted liner" in the jacket or the pants. That's what I'll go back to wearing in September when things start cooling off a bit. Barring snowfall, I plan on riding until overnight temps are down to about 30 degrees - because 45 to 50 mpg on the KLR beats the 15 to 16 mpg in my truck.

Oh, and currently I'm wearing a mesh jacket that I picked up from an online retailer for about $60 - I don't remember where I bought it. It's okay, but I want something a little better. The current jacket has the cheap armor inserts in the shoulders, elbows, and down the center of my back - and the material is supposed to be abrasion resistant everywhere else. I always wear at least the mesh jacket, gloves, jeans, boots, and my helmet every time I mount up for a ride - it doesn't matter how hot it is, I always wear the gear.

For the record, I'm about 5'10", and 250 lbs (but I don't look like I weigh that much). My waist size on my jeans is a 40", but the Explorer overpants in a 40" were too big. I had to exchange them for a 38" waist, and they slip over my jeans without any problem.

One thing about Cycle Gear's "BILT" line of stuff, it has a 5 year warranty. So they do stand behind their gear.

It's not the highest quality stuff, but it fit my budget, because I can't afford to pay $500+ for a coat, plus another $500 for a set of pants.

Oregon: Can't help you - I've never been there.

Insurance: I go through SafeCo Insurance for my house, autos, RV, and motorcycle. I used to have Allstate, but switched to Safeco when I found that they had equal or better coverage for literally 50% of the cost of Allstate. I also did my online checks for customer satisfaction, and Safeco scored higher than Allstate.

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Last edited by acidman1968; 07-23-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 06:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I would recommend that you take some time and go to different stores and dealerships and try on a lot of different types/brands of gear. Once you decide the brand that fits you best buy it there or shop online for the best deal. I believe this is the best way to determine what fits you best. If gear doesn't fit properly, you won't wear it! Same recommendation for helmets!

As far as a training school, I believe OR uses its own program, not MSF. Probably similar curriculum and always good to take.

Good luck.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 10:50 PM
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Location: Midland Or
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Go to a local bike shop they usually have pamphlets on classes or go on line and look up Team Oregon. good luck be safe and have fun

Randy
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Bend OR, Bellevue ID
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I've checked out Team Oregon and will be taking a class from them in the fall. Gear sounds like all the other pursuits I have, just like to know if people have faves.

Thanks for all the good info/advice. Been tinkering with it a bit and getting in a little ride time to get used to it.

I think I'm gonna like this.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-23-2014, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Bend OR, Bellevue ID
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidman1968 View Post
Welcome to our little corner of the internet! I joined up on a few different KLR message boards - but this is the only one I still frequent. Much less drama here, and the folks are pretty damn good at helping out!

Regarding riding gear: I purchased one of the "package deals" from Cycle Gear this spring in the "Sand" color scheme. I like it, but it doesn't breathe well enough for me to use it during the summer. Here's a link:

Link to the Cycle Gear "BILT Explorer (waterproof)" package.

Next spring, I plan on purchasing the "Explorer Air" package - or at least the pants and jacket. They've got mesh for greater air flow during the warmer months. The waterproof package is good material, and I was wearing (with different gloves, not the ones from the package deal) it in temperatures down at / below freezing, and I was still quite comfortable - and that's without the "quilted liner" in the jacket or the pants. That's what I'll go back to wearing in September when things start cooling off a bit. Barring snowfall, I plan on riding until overnight temps are down to about 30 degrees - because 45 to 50 mpg on the KLR beats the 15 to 16 mpg in my truck.

Oh, and currently I'm wearing a mesh jacket that I picked up from an online retailer for about $60 - I don't remember where I bought it. It's okay, but I want something a little better. The current jacket has the cheap armor inserts in the shoulders, elbows, and down the center of my back - and the material is supposed to be abrasion resistant everywhere else. I always wear at least the mesh jacket, gloves, jeans, boots, and my helmet every time I mount up for a ride - it doesn't matter how hot it is, I always wear the gear.

For the record, I'm about 5'10", and 250 lbs (but I don't look like I weigh that much). My waist size on my jeans is a 40", but the Explorer overpants in a 40" were too big. I had to exchange them for a 38" waist, and they slip over my jeans without any problem.

One thing about Cycle Gear's "BILT" line of stuff, it has a 5 year warranty. So they do stand behind their gear.

It's not the highest quality stuff, but it fit my budget, because I can't afford to pay $500+ for a coat, plus another $500 for a set of pants.

Oregon: Can't help you - I've never been there.

Insurance: I go through SafeCo Insurance for my house, autos, RV, and motorcycle. I used to have Allstate, but switched to Safeco when I found that they had equal or better coverage for literally 50% of the cost of Allstate. I also did my online checks for customer satisfaction, and Safeco scored higher than Allstate.
Thanks bub!
There is a Cycle Gear in PDX I'll be checking out when I move back to Oregon in the fall.

I'm the same, I like decent gear, but can't break the bank for it. Need to get a decent mesh for the summer then get something more in the fall. Snow hits around Thanksgiving so I can get in a bit of commuting to school before busting out the Soob.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-24-2014, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
Posts: 5,337
When ordering clothing or helmets, I always look for a place like Rocky Mountain ATV with their "Free Fit Guarantee." If you get something and it doesn't fit, you can return it for a different size and they pay both the return postage and the postage to send you the replacement item.

They're not the only online retailer that offers this service and most that do note it prominently at the bottom of their home page as a selling point.

Any good gear should last you for years if properly cared for. The weak links are the zippers and the velcro if applicable. If possible, look for real Velcro and YKK zippers.

It took me 30 years to drop coin on a nice jacket when I picked up an Olympia Moab a couple of years ago. It will most likely last me the remainder of my riding career and I wear it year-round.



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post #10 of 11 Old 07-25-2014, 06:38 AM
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I have had good service from Motorcycle Gear http://www.motorcyclegear.com/ although when I've ordered pants in 2 sizes and didn't like the fit of either, I paid the return.

I am SOLD, however on the professional fitting and alterations of Aerostich. Their Darien jacket is cut large for extra layers or airflow and works with their Darien pants as an absolutely rainproof setup.

The Roadcrafter suit is more "rain resistant" since the zippers are more exposed.

But as much as the gear, it's the staff who are professionals at turning measurements into recommendations for their gear. My 38 Darien jacket and 32 Long Darien pants fit great. I didn't believe them when they said I needed a 40 Regular for the Roadcrafter I ordered so I ordered a 38 Long too. They were right. I was wrong. They're the professionals.

They offer alterations -- extra room here, extra length there, extra bend elsewhere.
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