Twenty oh' 7 or 8 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Twenty oh' 7 or 8

Hi there... after hours of working numerous part time jobs (a teaching salary doesn't pay for toys) and having had to surrender that stimulus check to the mrs. long-long ago...I finally have the funds to buy a KLR. I have found two used ones in my area...one is a 2007 with 2400 miles and the other a 2008 with 900 miles.... the '07 is going for 3700.00, about 800 less than the '08. I was just wondering if there are any major advantages with the '08 models over the '07. Neither have any accessories or add ons. Both are described "like new". Just wondering what the wise man (or woman) would do? Thanks. Skavdog.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 02:31 PM
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Skavdog-

Tastes Great!

Less Filling!

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...

Tom

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 04-15-2009 at 04:29 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 04:23 PM
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Considering what the KLR mostly gets used for, I see the KLR.2 massive fairing changes to be a big mistake. Many have already broken them with minor incidents, so if you plan to go offroad with an 08+ then rash guards are a requirement which makes the bike even bulkier up front.

For the KLR.1, it's always been the left side that can have issues with the rad, but an unobtrusive happy trails rad guard solves that. Fits inside the bodywork. During my learning stage, my 06 has been down many times of all different extremes, beaten to hell and hasn't broken anything other then a clutch lever and mirror. If I had the KLR.2 fairing, it would have been completely destroyed within a month.

I consider the KLR.1 a true 50/50 dualsport where the new KLR.2 seems more 70/30 street/dirt now.

Overall though, it's all personal preference and only you can decide which bike will make you happy.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 07:37 PM
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You already got two great answers, but I gotta expand a bit.

I have an 08. Recently rode a pre-08 for the first time.

The bike I rode was already hooked up (new seat, good brakes, etc).

I'm going to stop, Tom and Wanderer really did say it all. All I will add is that for me it would come down to usage. If I was going to be going off road, I would go with the 07. If not, DEFINITELY the 08. I like them both. But I think it is really that simple. Dirt=get the pre08 and hook it up. Road=get the 08. One man's opinion.

Also, you can tell if you have the right signal mounts. The good ones say TOKAI or something on the signal lens. Too lazy to go look. I can check if you want, or google it.

Keep in mind, unless the brakes have been upgraded on the old bike that is something you are going to want to do right away. You SHOULD change the doohickey on the 08. You MUST change the doohickey on the 07. If it hasn't been done. It's not too hard.

I like both bikes. I considered buying a hooked up older model. I am very glad I didn't...I like my 08 a LOT, but the thing's a pig. If I was going off road, I would want the old one hands down.

One final thought. If they are stock, you are looking at putting at least a few hundred bucks and a lot of hours into accounting for the changes Kawi made. Or accepting the shortcomings.




"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!
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RIP DM - Soon, we ride.

Last edited by Lockjaw; 04-15-2009 at 07:43 PM. Reason: caffeine
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 10:14 PM
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I always forget about that Lockjaw... Doesn't the KLR.2 weight 40lbs or so more? Man, that's a lot on top of an already 400lb bike when your messing around off road.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 10:19 PM
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Yeah, it's a good road bike you can take offroad, not the other way around.




"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 #7 of 15 Old 04-15-2009, 10:57 PM
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Lockjaw -

So true.

I can't help but wonder, though, how many of us come anywhere near 50/50.

Anytime I take mine out for a real trip the final destination is dirt, and as much as I can get.

So far, my best ratio was 325 miles of slab for ~100 miles of dirt.

Of course, I don't have the benefit of living in a rural area where I can hit the dirt anytime I want.

I chose the KLR precisely because it was the best option for me; I couldn't imagine riding a truly more dirt oriented bike on-road as much as I do the KLR.

Last Friday I took a quick blast down to Sandy Eggo and back. 250 miles in one afternoon, and there were some neat lookin' dirt roads that I saw as I passed Camp Pendleton... that's as close as I got to dirt. It was a great ride, though.

Tom
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-16-2009, 12:08 AM
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Yup. I looked at a sweet used xr650...so glad I didn't get that bike. I would have been miserable.




"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 #9 of 15 Old 04-16-2009, 03:24 AM
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Lockjaw -

Geez, the XR was my dream bike for such a long time - until I started comparing the Honda, Suzuki and the KLR.

I was looking at a DRZ 400S in the parking lot yesterday. The forks looked as big around as my thigh. I'd love to have a set of those on a KLR, but wouldn't want the rest of the bike. Seems they forgot to put a gas tank on it...

Tom
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-16-2009, 10:36 AM
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Tom,

I went through the same thought process. I trust Honda. But the xr is too 'dirty' and I HATE stopping for gas.

D




"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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