Pretty in Pink, dunno why
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
There were many "improvements" made to the '08. Some folks will look at those improvements as a step backwards for the KLR, other see them as true improvements.
Essentially, the KLR got some engine improvements, slightly larger forks, and a whole new style. It got a bit more road worthy, and perhaps a bit less off-road worthy.
It got a better headlamp system, better brakes, better wind protection, the seat is rumored to be a bit stiffer and more comfortable, retuned suspension, etc.
The new shock in the rear and the larger forks may give better control offroad, but at the same time it lost and inch of ground clearance. They changed the plastics on the fairing and shrouds to a more brittle plastic that is more prone to breakage than the old "Tupperware" pieces.
I guess I'd go for the '08 (OK, I've got one) for the many improvements it has. You should check, though, on it's date of manufacture. Kawi managed to build a bike with quite a few known issues in the early '08 production, I think most of them were fixed by the fall of '07 or thereabouts. Issues to look for - turn signals that fall off because the rubber rots (a lot of the rubber gets kind of rotten, but this seems to be the big issue), shock adjusters that break the first time you use them, an electrical harness that can short out, exhaust systems that fall off, an automatic compression release that can cause cold starting problems, and probably a few others that don't come to mind right now. I don't think any of them consitute more than a pain in the butt given the price of the bike, but you should be aware of them. If you buy an early '08 and it's out of warranty, the most dastardly issue would be if you went to adjust your shock and the adjuster broke, as I don't know if Kawi would cover it. Best bet there is to ask the current owner to adjust the shock for you so you can see that it isn't broken.
On the other hand, the pre-'08 models (especially the '07) are certainly tried and true and 2400 miles is nothing on a KLR. By the way, if the '07 happens to be a black one, that's, in my mind, the best looking KLR ever made...
Irrespective of which one you choose, if you decide to go offroad with the thing you should plan on investing in nerf bars and skid plate. And farkle to your heart's content...
Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 04-15-2009 at 05:29 PM.