Should I buy this 2003 KLR650? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Should I buy this 2003 KLR650?

Hello,

Never owned a KLR650 but am looking to get this bike for an upcoming cross-country trip in a month and a half, Washington to Vermont. I'll have a lot of time before then to get wrenching and set up for the journey.

Checked out this bike which was listed at 1500 OBO, and seller is willing to take 1250.

2003 KLR650 with 29k miles, plus a parts bike with 11k miles which for obscure reasons, he was unable to title in Washington because it came from out of state.

Does anyone have impressions -- things to look out for? Thanks so much!






Last edited by porttownsend; 08-10-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 08:26 PM
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I see a lot of good stuff there. It looks to be a well-though-out bike.

Listen to it run, watching for any odd noises such as rhythmic knocking or grinding sounds of any sort.

Ride it and see if it has good acceleration. No hesitations or flat spots.

Carefully inspect the drain plug for evidence of cracking or a crack repair or stripped drain plug.

Pull the tank and valve cover and inspect the exhaust journals in the head.

You would want to make sure that the balancer lever has been taken care of.

Take it for at least one long day ride where you get it up over 5000rpm for all day and watch the oil consumption.

If you buy it you will take care of brakes, tires, oil, worn bits and pieces, etc.

$1250 for two bikes, luggage, and some spare parts seems like a very good price. Almost too good. You could part the second one for more than you'd have into the deal, even after fixing up the first one.

Is there more to the story?

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Tom,

Thanks for the list, will definitely check these items out. I saw the bike briefly and took it for a spin around the block, and didn't have any noticeable flat spots, idle sounded strong and regular, no knocking. Never ridden a klr650 before so can't comment on power. Turning felt a bit odd at one point, but I assumed that was because of the lowering links, handling more like a chopper. Will definitely look into equalizing that if I get the bike.

The rest of the story -- I just learned that the parts bike donated its front fork etc to the black and red bike pictured, because the owner before the current seller crashed it. Current seller took the front from the parts bike and installed it on this one. So I'm definitely somewhat concerned about any damage to the rest of the frame, and will do a rudimentary check for trueness when I return to see the bike on Sunday.

It definitely feels like a good deal; I've been watching Craigslist in the area for the last couple months and if the bike is not hiding something big, is much better than anything else I've seen. Seller says he doesn't enjoy riding on the road, was his first road-oriented bike, and is just beginning to coach football 5 nights a week, so there's motivation for a quick sale.

Thanks again for your thoughts!
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 09:24 PM
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Better purchase it quick. You just increased the advertising a fair bit! Seems like a very good deal, from my perspective.

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post #5 of 18 Old 08-10-2018, 10:19 PM
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I agree with Paul, but if you could have someone familiar with a KLR ride it they could tell you if the handling seems off.

What concerns me is that you say if felt a bit odd in turning and it was once crashed and the front end replaced.

At the very least have a look at the frame near the head tube and along the down tube. Look for any wrinkled metal or cracked paint.

One wonders why the goodies weren't transferred to the other bike...

Tom [email protected]

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post #6 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
One wonders why the goodies weren't transferred to the other bike...
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. I assume it's because the frame carries the VIN, and he said he couldn't register it in WA.

Well, I'll put it through the paces on Sunday and hopefully come home with the bike!
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 10:42 AM
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Follow the sage advice of Paul and Tom.

I would add/reinforce two things:

1.) There is absolutely no reason why an out of state bike can not be titled in another state. California has some restrictions with respect to low mileage (less than 7,500) vehicles being brought in, in an attempt to skirt emissions regulations, but that's about it. Some states don't even require anything beyond a bill of sale past a certain age. Often you can call the state DMV or the state police with the VIN and they can at least advise you if it's ever been reported as stolen. Not very likely, but probably better safe than sorry.

2.) IMHO, any impact strong enough to require that the front forks be replaced has almost certainly tweaked the frame to some degree. To quote Wednesday from the Adams Family movie: Be afraid . . . be very afraid!
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 11:17 AM
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I'd be more inclined to suggest that LOW tire pressures or dry/mis-adjusted steering bearings may possibly be the slight steering issue.

Check the tire pressures and set them at 32 Front & 30 Rear before your next test ride. It can make a World of Difference!
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
1.) There is absolutely no reason why an out of state bike can not be titled in another state...
The seller says that the PO, from Oklahoma, initially agreed to go through a lost title process with the seller but then decided to blow him off. A while later, the seller called DOL in Oklahoma to see what the story would be but was told that it was xxx days after the date of sale, and there is a progressive fee for late title transfer, so seller decided it was cost prohibitive to retitle that bike / frame, and moved the front wheel to the bike that had been crashed. I'm pretty sure this is what seller told me, but as I write this it feels like the main problem is just that it would be impossible to transfer title if PO wasn't cooperative? I'll have to get this straight.

I think he was initially expecting to ride what is now the parts bike, but because of this decided to begin parting it out, and transferring parts to the main bike now. Parts bike was complete when seller bought it from PO, as I recall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
Any impact strong enough to require that the front forks be replaced has almost certainly tweaked the frame to some degree. To quote Wednesday from the Adams Family movie: Be afraid . . . be very afraid!
Yeah... maybe I can see if the seller has any pictures of the bike before he did work on it? He is a nice guy, and feels trustworthy, but definitely want to make sure I'm not getting a bike I can't trust on a XC trip, which is what I will ask of it.

The steering was just in a slow corner, and felt even otherwise. It was just a couple minute ride last time -- this time will be sure to get up to speed and try some more tight maneuvering. Going to do a frame trueness test IE (framestraightsystem.com/Motorcycle%20Frame%20Check.htm). Will do close inspection of frame at stress points, and all else suggested.

I have to say, I'm very glad to have posted here! Wasn't sure I'd get any response in time for showing Sunday, but this has given me a good footing to check out the bike.

Totally prepared to walk away, but hope it all checks out.

Last edited by porttownsend; 08-11-2018 at 02:27 PM.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-11-2018, 07:35 PM
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Even if you paid full price you could part out the bikes (fun... NOT) and double your money!

BUY!
Details later...

REALLY. These DisMantlers on eBay are not only outfitting all of us with good stuff at (mostly) good pricing, but they're PROLIFERATING (moreNmore of them, and they are SELLING).
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