2,000 mile (or so) trip.......my thoughts
Greenville SC up to Clayton NY. I then headed over to Saranac NY. From Saranac NY I then traveled back to Greenville SC. The trip up took two days and the trip back down took 3 days. I spent about a week and a half visiting my parents.
It did an awesome job! About 1/2 way up the bike would stall at stop signs but I think it was due to bad gas since the problem cleared up with time.
It seemed happy at around 4000 to 5500 rpms. The motor purrs like a sears sewing machine. The more you hear it the more you like it. It grows on you.
Never once did the bike leave me stranded. During the time that I had some bad gas the motor still ran. This might be a great reason as to why some people take the bike around the world and gas up from some questionable gas stations.
(A helpful hint to those traveling long distance) gas up every 100 miles or less. If you do this and happen to gas up with bad gas, you will still have a lot of good gas in the tank and the bike will still run.
If you are traveling 1000 miles or more on a stock seat as I did, your butt will be sore! Be sure to get an aftermarket seat. The KLR will be able to travel long distances and will hold up........but will you be able to hold up?
THE FOLKS I RAN INTO:
Most bikers waved. Most bikers talked to me at rest stops. Drivers of cars seem to rarely talk to each other. I like riding a bike for that reason.
At one rest stop I was stopped due to heavy rain and electrons in the air. A family invited me into their motor home. I believe their name was the Patternsons or Petersons. The guy had a stroke and realized that spending time with his family was most important. He had a son, daughter and a wife in there with him. Great conversation. I did a magic trick for them and sad to say but the skies cleared and we parted. I'll never forget the kindness they showed.
Most bikers are some of the nicest people you'll run into. 95% of the bikers I ran into shared a smile and some words. Only 5% ignored me when I said "Hi".
Some Harely riders allowed me in their groups. I ran with other riders from time to time as well. Most gave a thumbs up!
You'll have more fun if you don't try and make x miles per day. I slowed down for one BMW rider and rode with this guy for a while. At a rest stop I found out that he had just moved here from Germany.
Lots of Honda riders out there.
Mostly interstate. The KLR can run on any road. In clean air it soaks up the miles and is fun to ride. The bike came into its own when I found a twisty road around a lake at the base of a small mountain. The mountain had a sandy trail going about 1/3 the way up it. Of course going from pavement to sand is no problem for the KLR. It was fun. On the sand the bike gripped and begged to be leaned around the corners. For those more on the wild side I'm sure the bike could have made it up the mountain goat trail. I was 1000 miles away from home and didn't want to hurt myself so the goat trails were left alone.
Big trucks on the interstate can be delt with. Stay 100 yards back or pass them. Otherwise your head will bounce around a little.
A cruiser would be better for long interstate travel but then a cruiser can't do what a KLR can.
My first aftermarket do-dad that I was going to get was going to be storage compartments. After this long trip I took, a seat has moved into first place. Perhaps lower the bike an inch or two.
For storage I put a 5,500 cu cm pack behind me and layed it down on the seat. The only problem was lifting my leg high enough to get it over the pack. The side saddles would get rid of this problem or at least allow me more storage.
Plattsburgh NY was having it first biker rally. Some nice custom bikes there! One was dedicated to fallen Marines. Again, nice people.
I had a great trip. I traveled with one pack that was strapped to the seat and rack.
Would I do over 2000 miles again? The answer is Yes but I would change a few things. (the things I'd change are only for 1000 trips)
1) Change the stock seat. 100 or 200 miles is nothing. But 1000 miles one way............change the seat.
2) I would get side saddles ASAP for storage. I would go for lockable storage. I didn't have a problem with people touching my stuff but it was always in the back of my mind that someone would take my pack while mother nature called me. Yes I could take the pack off but unhooking bunge cords and lifting a 50 pound pack (when you don't have to) gets old. Keep in mind that you have to rehook those cords again.
3) If they make a bigger shield, depending on price, I'd get it. Clean air was no problem but in running down a big truck your head moves a bit from the cross currents of air.
***Again these are things I'd change for only a long trip. For short trips the bike is perfect.