Contemplating KLR purchase - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Contemplating KLR purchase

Ok, so I'm about ready to buy a KLR. However I have some important questions I need to know first.

First some background. I have been driving my Honda xl200r for about 5 years now. Although generally reliable (for a 30 year old bike) the Transmission has conked out on me. So I'm looking for a new bike.

I will use it primarily for in town commuting with some trail rides sprinkled in.

So for my questions, is a jump from a xl200r a big jump? It seems like it to me. I am very comfortable riding bikes I am familiar with, but I seem to get tentative on a new bike.

This may be a hard question to answer, but how many miles is a KLR typically good for, assuming a good maintenance schedule is kept? From classifieds I have looked at, most bikes i have seen get up to about 20k.

Also, aside from the Doohickey upgrade, am I correct in assuming the KLR is a fairly reliable bike?

Thank you very much for your time and any advice.

Edit: I found a great link that suggests that many KLR's will get in excess of 60k. However most people typically rate the bike at 30k.

Last edited by steferf; 06-20-2010 at 11:04 PM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by steferf View Post
So for my questions, is a jump from a xl200r a big jump? It seems like it to me. I am very comfortable riding bikes I am familiar with, but I seem to get tentative on a new bike.
The KLR weighs about 400 pounds and is a pretty tall bike, so it's going to be a bit of a handful compared to the 200. However, performance-wise, it may not be all that different for around town type stuff. KLRs don't make gobs of horsepower.

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Originally Posted by steferf View Post
This may be a hard question to answer, but how many miles is a KLR typically good for, assuming a good maintenance schedule is kept? From classifieds I have looked at, most bikes i have seen get up to about 20k.
They can easily run up to 60K miles. Stories of more mileage are common.

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Also, aside from the Doohickey upgrade, am I correct in assuming the KLR is a fairly reliable bike?
They're as good at being a reliable motorcycle as a rock is at being a rock.

Tom

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 06-20-2010 at 11:18 PM.
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post #3 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 11:10 PM
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If you have 5 years riding experience on the XL the jump to the KLR won't be a problem. My starter bike was a six cylinder Honda CBX 1000 - now that was a beast of a bike to learn on.

The KLR will easily last for 60,000 if you take care of the maintenance items. I've heard of them going longer than that. Really depends on use and care of the owner.

The KLR is a very reliable bike. I'm a fan of the older models because the oil consumption issues around the new model bikes are not something I think I should have to deal with.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 05:51 PM
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If you are only driving in town and some dirt try something different, I am on my second klr and I wouldnt take anything for it. I live in the desert of california where temps reach 126 degrees and things are 100s of miles apart, hence the klr. It is great for the freeway as far as dual sports go, and it works in the dirt, but the sand and loose stuff is its enemy! I was raised a dirt rider and have been doing this for over 30 yrs and if I were doing what you are and live where it never reached 110 I would probably go with the dr 650 suzuki, cost is $200 less (in california) and it handles much better in the dirt and is easy to throw around in town, but as far as the freeway it sucks! it has a narrow seat that is not comfortable for long runs, but that is what makes it good around town and in the dirt. Hope this helps, I would never own another, but my situation is different than yours. 1moremile

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post #5 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thank you very much both. This site has been a great resource with some great links.
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post #6 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1moremile View Post
If you are only driving in town and some dirt try something different, I am on my second klr and I wouldnt take anything for it. I live in the desert of california where temps reach 126 degrees and things are 100s of miles apart, hence the klr. It is great for the freeway as far as dual sports go, and it works in the dirt, but the sand and loose stuff is its enemy! I was raised a dirt rider and have been doing this for over 30 yrs and if I were doing what you are and live where it never reached 110 I would probably go with the dr 650 suzuki, cost is $200 less (in california) and it handles much better in the dirt and is easy to throw around in town, but as far as the freeway it sucks! it has a narrow seat that is not comfortable for long runs, but that is what makes it good around town and in the dirt. Hope this helps, I would never own another, but my situation is different than yours. 1moremile
I will certainly want to want to go on long drives, however my primary focus would be in town. I have a 200 mile round trip I do about ten times a year exclusively on state highways and back roads. That is why I was initially intrigued by the KLR.
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-21-2010, 07:10 PM
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Any of the Japanese 650's - KLR, DR, or XR-L - are not powerful enough for the power to be much of an issue coming from an XL200R. The weight and height will be bigger issues. All three are quite reliable, work well in town, and can certainly do your 200 mile round trip no problem. I would expect any of them to be good for at least 50,000 miles with mostly regular maintenance.

You'll notice the weight difference the first time you take one into the dirt.

Scott R. Nelson, 2001 XR650L, and a KTM 990 Adventure, Folsom, CA
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-22-2010, 11:48 PM
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I just picked mine up today and its a very friendly ride, easy powerband, light weight for what it is. If you intend on riding 60/40 Street/Dirt or more street its a fine bike that appears like it can do it all. Goodluck deciding

DesmoKLR

Ride Safe........
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DesmoKLR View Post
I just picked mine up today and its a very friendly ride, easy powerband, light weight for what it is. If you intend on riding 60/40 Street/Dirt or more street its a fine bike that appears like it can do it all. Goodluck deciding
Sweet! Two new KLRs in one day! Congrats! After getting mine, everywhere I go I am looking for KLRs trying to find someone close to ride with.
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post #10 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 12:16 PM
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I picked my 2007 up a month ago and have put 1000 or so miles on it.
I love it - it feels light and responsive to me ... but i just came off of
a 1500 Kaw (what a sow)
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