My KLR feels loose on gravel - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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My KLR feels loose on gravel

I have an '18 KLR with 1800 miles on it. I've done about 600 miles on gravel and I just cant get over the fact that it feels awful. Front tire is constantly sliding and feels loose. I have to take corners really slow. The front tire is at 21psi and its stock. I've ridden dirt bikes for the past 15 years in all sorts of terrain and never ridden a bike that feels so loose and squirly. It gives my an uneasy feeling and I have no confidence.

Any ideas? Is it the tires?

Last edited by Hagan; 08-19-2018 at 12:51 PM.
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post #2 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 01:47 PM
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Great question. My 16 felt like this from day 1 on stock tires, and I’ll confess that I haven’t been in dirt or gravel much since then, even though I have changed to different tires, I just hadn’t gone off road much since then because of the dissapointing squirlleyness and the unnerving feeling of it all.

Curious what others have to say.

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post #3 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 05:58 PM
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Try a Dunlop 606 on the back and a Pirelli MT21 on the front. Seems to be the favourite combo for gravel travel.
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post #4 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 07:13 PM
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Hagan, did any of those dirt bikes weigh 400+lbs.? I am new to the KLR and in my mind it was going to behave like a dirt bike, which was the last motorcycle I was on. I pictured riding trails, blazing across open desert, roosting, all that shit. In reality, it is a heavy beast that just threw me down on a straight road. Ride it for what it is, KLR650 and enjoy. I was freaked out how squirreley it is(was, I replaced that horrible oem tire) on highway at around 75. Again its the nature of this awesome beast and have become accustom to it.
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post #5 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 07:23 PM
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Sit back a little on the seat and ride it like you had a few drinks and just don't care. Let it skate around a little.

PS: Don't fill the tank.
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post #6 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan filipi View Post
Great question. My 16 felt like this from day 1 on stock tires, and I’ll confess that I haven’t been in dirt or gravel much since then, even though I have changed to different tires, I just hadn’t gone off road much since then because of the dissapointing squirlleyness and the unnerving feeling of it all.

Curious what others have to say.
Both my brother and I bought new KLR's and dont feel confident around corners. We were both thinking it's the front tire.

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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
Try a Dunlop 606 on the back and a Pirelli MT21 on the front. Seems to be the favourite combo for gravel travel.
Thanks! I was looking at the D606 and I'm very interested in swapping the stock tires out. They dont look like they are going to last very long anyway.

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Hagan, did any of those dirt bikes weigh 400+lbs.? I am new to the KLR and in my mind it was going to behave like a dirt bike, which was the last motorcycle I was on. I pictured riding trails, blazing across open desert, roosting, all that shit. In reality, it is a heavy beast that just threw me down on a straight road. Ride it for what it is, KLR650 and enjoy. I was freaked out how squirreley it is(was, I replaced that horrible oem tire) on highway at around 75. Again its the nature of this awesome beast and have become accustom to it.
Most of my bikes were XR600's (~330lbs) and were very well planted. Very confident in gravel and turns. My last bike was a '14 Wr450f that I bought new. Felt loose at times but learned that was the nature of the beast and was confident. After 1800 miles I don't feel confident on my KLR.

I realize it's not a dedicated dirt bike but I'm being passed by a bike that weighs 150lbs more than my KLR on a less aggressive street tire. I never saw him once slide around any turns and struggle as much as I did.
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post #7 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 07:44 PM
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What was he doing? I hope you find your comfort zone. You are trying to stick it out . Are you go back to 450? I thought the KLR would have been more dirt friendly but I use it on highway enough that I dont think a 450 or 400 would have given me what I needed. Ride safe
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post #8 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 08:39 PM
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My next set will be the most aggressive street legal tire I can find for my trail exploring if the damn weather ever cools down here.

2016 KLR 650
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post #9 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beamwalker View Post
What was he doing? I hope you find your comfort zone. You are trying to stick it out . Are you go back to 450? I thought the KLR would have been more dirt friendly but I use it on highway enough that I dont think a 450 or 400 would have given me what I needed. Ride safe
Never mind his bike 460lbs dry. So ~5 gallons of fuel would make it 100lbs heavier. We were doing the same trail riding next to each other. He had no problem keeping up with me. This has been my favorite bike I've owned. The most enjoyable to me so I'm keeping it.

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My next set will be the most aggressive street legal tire I can find for my trail exploring if the damn weather ever cools down here.
What tires are you looking at? I've seen TKC 80s and 606's. Both look appealing to me.
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post #10 of 86 Old 08-19-2018, 09:22 PM
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The 606 I think is considered a 90/10 which looks favorable. I’m still looking before hitting Buy Now. I want as wide as will fit in back also.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
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