This is what I have to blame.............. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
KLR & Other Motorcycle Related Discussion Grab a seat and discuss whatever you like about the KLR or other related topics. Within reason.

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post #1 of 24 Old 10-03-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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This is what I have to blame..............

Thought up a nifty title so people could explain how they ended up getting a KLR..........or any other bikes! O.K., the doctor is in.........tell me what's on your mind!

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post #2 of 24 Old 10-03-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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20 years ago this past month I purchased my KLR650 (Barbie/Barb) brand new from Kawasaki of Rome, GA! Happy Anniversary old girl!


In 1994, I had been reading articles in Cycle World Magazine about the different DualSport bikes made by the Japanese......Honda XR650L, Suzuki DR650, Yamaha XT600E, Kawasaki KLX650 and KLR650 in a shootout between them. After reading these articles, thinking about the type riding I was interested in (I was coming from a Katana 750, which I used as a Sporty Sport-tourer) and studying the Kawasaki publications below, I decided to go with the KLR 650!!! It's been a journey.............

These are pics of the brochures I still have:



















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post #3 of 24 Old 10-03-2014, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Little did I know at the time, but 19 years later I would own a KLX650R










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post #4 of 24 Old 10-04-2014, 11:58 AM
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Okay, I'll play...

I believe it was back around 1999 or so that I first came across an article about the KLR650 online. It was a story about four friends who all owned KLRs, who got together and rode from somewhere here in the United States to the southernmost part of Chile that they could. When they got there, three of them had their bikes crated up and put on a ship to send them back to the United States. The fourth guy said screw it, and rode back while the other three flew back.

At that time, I'd been married for about nine years, I had some bills and such I was trying to pay off, and I hadn't ridden a motorcycle since about '87.

Fast forward to 2007.

I'm still working for the same company, but my bills are paid off. I'm starting to think about getting a bike, but I'm a little leery about purchasing something too big (the biggest bike I'd ridden to that point in my life was a 1971 Honda CL350). So to get back into the riding mindset, and get my skills back to where they should be, I ended up purchasing a 2007 Yamaha Virago 250 to commute back and forth on. It was a great little bike - nicknamed "Piglet" (because it wasn't big enough to qualify as a "Hog") - and it literally paid for itself by getting 75 mpg, far outdoing the 15 mpg my Dodge Ram 2500 was getting. After about four years and 7,800 miles on Piglet, I decided it was time for something bigger.

Begin the search for a KLR - or at the very least, a dual sport bike, because I'd learned to ride on enduros, and I missed the ability to just take off on dirt to see where that road went.

The KLR was definitely high on my list, because I was still paying attention to them and reading about them - and I really liked the look of the new Gen II bikes. So I did my reading, research, etc. about the KLR - as well as pricing them and comparing those prices against the other available dual-purpose bikes. I didn't like the look of the Hondas, and while I didn't mind the look of the Suzukis, there was something about the KLR that kept calling to me... I really liked the thought of the six gallon tank, and I just really liked the bike.

In September of 2012, I ended up driving 95 miles south of Tooele to Delta Sports Center in Delta, UT to make my purchase. I went for the longer drive so I could support a smaller business, and because their prices were at least $400 less than anyone in the Salt Lake Valley. Brought the bike home, and promptly fell in love with it. Sure, at times she's a bit ungainly and top heavy, but damn! I love that bike!

So here I am, almost exactly two years later, with just over 8,800 miles on the bike - and still lovin' it! I just get bummed at the thought that the weather is turning and it will soon be time to fill the tank, pour in a half can of Seafoam, ride her around for about 20 miles to get the Seafoam worked through the fuel system, and move her to a back corner of the garage until spring. Heck, as things stand now, I'm often the only bike parked in the "Motorcycle Only" parking area at work. All the Harley riders apparently think it's too cold to be riding. Sure, it's getting into the low 40s or mid 30s overnight, which makes one direction of the commute a bit cool (I've got the cold weather gear, so I'm good), but the ride the other direction is absolutely stellar! Generally, the temp is in the 60s, and it's extremely enjoyable!


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post #5 of 24 Old 10-04-2014, 01:12 PM
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I moved to Sausalito from the city. I had been riding a Kymco 150 and a 73 Honda CB450. I'd ridden lots of bikes. The 450 was terrifying on the Golden Gate Bridge. I did it on the scooter. ONCE. So, I decided I needed a new bike for the commute. My wife agreed.

I asked my friend Scott Nelson (that man knows bikes) what would be a good bike for a commute that would be bulletproof and easy for me to work on (I was just starting minor wrenching). He suggested the XR650 or the KLR. The XR was too dirt oriented. I decided on a KLR. The new 08s had just come out and I grabbed the last green one in the Bay Area.

Shortly after, Darin Moore (SLO-KLR) introduced me to KLR kindness by literally tearing my bike apart and putting it back together in front of my terrified face. He also forced my hand in the dirt, which is something he was good at. And something he did for a lot of people.

I'd ridden Trail 50s as a kid and I used to ride a Honda Rebel all over my Grandpa's land, but I had never ridden "off road" in the way I think of it now. My first experience was the gnarliest singletrack I could have imagined. Darin took Mark B4, Tom Schmitz and I on a bitchin' off road ride. It destroyed Mark's muffin, but it was a good ride. And nothing off road has seemed all that intimidating since.

I had no idea when I got the bike what I was getting myself into. Sometimes you just make a decision and get lucky. I love my bike and I love my brothers in the KLR world. I honestly can't think of a decision I've made that turned out as well.

I should have gotten the left over 07 for half the price, but I still don't regret it.




"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

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-04-2014, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Nice stories, guys! Anyone else???

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post #7 of 24 Old 10-04-2014, 06:16 PM
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Cool brochures, cherokee chuck. Thanks for postin' em.

Starting back in the early '90's I rode a Suzuki SP600 then got a Honda XR650. I had to sell the Honda and when I was able to get another dualsport, I'd been thinking of the KLR because I knew a guy who had a Tengai and he was a hardcore rider and went all over the place on that thing.

I knew my days of riding mountain trails were over and wanted something a little more comfy for my 60-mile work commute and just riding around here on gravel and dirt roads so opted for the KLR and don't regret it.

I bought mine new in 2009. I'd dropped by the Honda dealer to check out the latest XR's but they wouldn't budge on the price. It didn't matter, because I wasn't really serious about buying one. I got my new '09 for $4400, a thousand bucks less than the Honda place wanted for a new XR.

Now having ridden both extensively, I prefer the KLR over the Honda for the kind of riding I do now.



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post #8 of 24 Old 10-04-2014, 07:09 PM
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My story

Back in 1978, I lived next to a sand pit where my neighbors would ride their bikes. (Some Italian thing, and an old Harley single.. I think?)
Kept saying to my wife, "I should get a bike" Like a great wife she said, " go ahead, you work for your money" ( I was 40 then. Never had a bike before. )

Well I brought an old Honda XL175 home, and the rest is history. Before the summer was over I had a 1974 Honda CB550 - 4
Then, over the years, a Suzuki 850 , some XL250 Hondas, a Cavalcade, then a GL1800.

In 1993 I found a 1990 Honda NX250 with 3K on it. Since then I've been exploring old abandoned roads, and trails on that NX. I still have that NX250. We've been in some fantastic places.

It's a great bike, but it isn't that great going more than 100 miles from home. It'll do it, but I wanted something that would keep up with highway traffic, and still take the back roads.

It came down to the Suzuki DR650, and a KLR650. I couldn't decide until I was in my local dealers looking at new KLR's, when the sales guy said they had just taken in a (almost new, 389 miles) 2011 KLR, and it was down in the shop. Almost a $1000 off the new price, and it was orange & black. ( Now being a Halloween baby, and partial to orange, how could I resist. )

With the more comfort things on the KLR ( rack, seat, faring, larger tank, etc. ) it won out over the DR650.

I've never been sorry I made that choice. The KLR does almost everything the NX can do, except turn around in real tight places. ( We've got roads that disappear into swamps, and ponds! )
Now I can explore places much farther from home.

Ageing Gracefully



2017 Yamaha XT250
1990 Honda NX250 (Green/White)
2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Orange & White )

My KLR Page..http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm

Mod's to KLR:
Power socket, L.E.D. Battery Indicator, Camera bag holder
Custom Saddlebag frames .
Louder horns, Firstgear Onyx tail bag.
Custom Aluminum Skid Plate.
Cut down seat with Custom pad.
Go Pro Camera mount.
Doo-Hicky
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post #9 of 24 Old 10-05-2014, 09:30 AM
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As noted by acidman above, the larger gas tank was also a big selling point for me. I always had to carry a one-gallon gas tunk bungeed to the rear rack of the Suzuki and the Honda and used it quite regularly.



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post #10 of 24 Old 10-05-2014, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
As noted by acidman above, the larger gas tank was also a big selling point for me. I always had to carry a one-gallon gas tunk bungeed to the rear rack of the Suzuki and the Honda and used it quite regularly.
Yeah, I forgot that, too. That factored BIG into my decision.




"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

PPMC #1.
Soon, we ride.

AKA JD Mader or you can call me "Dan" just not early for dinner.

Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
-------------------
2008 KLR 650
RIP DM - Soon, we ride.
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