Why klr? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-06-2010, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Why klr?

So I have been thinking about getting a klr because of it's offroad and freeway capability. I will probably get a pre-2008 version from craigslist.
From what I have read so far, the klr can be a great bike if you put an extra 2000 on it. The main concerns about this bike are probably the doohickey, weak brakes, weak suspensions, weak headlight and taillight, less than useful skidplate, oil consumption problem, and bad color ( this maybe personal preference)
The klr can be the best bike ever, but shouldn't these problems be addressed by Kawasaki instead of having to spend so much to remedy?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-06-2010, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by therosntl View Post
The klr can be the best bike ever, but shouldn't these problems be addressed by Kawasaki instead of having to spend so much to remedy?
It's the "pay me now, or pay me later" syndrome. You can buy a bike without these issues for more money, be that a KLR with the issues addressed, or a different manufacturer's bike that costs more, or you can buy a KLR and address the issues.

There's also the ignore route, too..

Also, look at what you're talking about as far as fixes. The only one I consider manditory is the Doohickey.. $50, and a little time and that's solved. If you ask, someone in your area would be happy to assist and it's a good way to meet riding friends and also learn about your bike.

As far as the rest you mentioned, none are required. The headlight works fine, and while it could be brighter for night riding, it does work.. If you want it brighter, I'd suggest going with a relay kit from Eastern Beaver http://www.easternbeaver.com/ for $40.

Taillight is perfectly good, and it's just as bright as every other 1157 bulbed tailight on 80% of the bikes on the road. If you want it brighter, an aftermarket LED unit can be had for $50 from various vendors, including http://www.cyclenutz.com/ Cycle Nutz.

Brakes are a bit squishy but work just fine (or DOT would make them fix them) and can be made better with a set of brake lines for $75 or, if you're really itching to stop, an oversize rotor kit for $215ish.

Skid plate isn't an issue unless you're doing a lot of offroading and wish the extra protection from rocks kicked up from the front tire. $95 fixes that issue.

Suspension works fine also, depending on how much you push your bike.. If you need it, a set of Progressive front springs can be had for $80 and a bit of heavier oil will also help. The rear isn't that bad and I know many who're very happy with the way it works.. Or you can go very high quality aftermarket for $600.

Oil consumption on the Gen 1 bikes is hit or miss. My 02' uses a little oil, while my friend's 98' uses none.. Both have 20K+ miles and neither have changed how much oil they desire. With mine, I check and fill before longer day rides, and if I'm going to be gone for a few days and putting on more than 1000 miles during the trip, I take along a quart of Rotella, or stop at Walmart and buy a quart..

As I mentioned, none of these, other than the Doohickey HAVE to be done to have a fun motorcycle to ride.. What I didn't mention is that all the mods I show here, I've done to my own bike to make it more fun for me. (I only have braided brake lines, not oversized rotors)

I put several thousands of very enjoyable miles before doing any of these mods. I could have purchased a KTM for $2-3000 more and not needed the mods, but I didn't have the money when I bought the KLR slightly used for $3000. And looking back, I think the KLR has given me a lot of smiles, and I've learned a lot while installing the mods I've done..
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-06-2010, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paper View Post
It's the "pay me now, or pay me later" syndrome. You can buy a bike without these issues for more money, be that a KLR with the issues addressed, or a different manufacturer's bike that costs more, or you can buy a KLR and address the issues.

There's also the ignore route, too..

Also, look at what you're talking about as far as fixes. The only one I consider manditory is the Doohickey.. $50, and a little time and that's solved. If you ask, someone in your area would be happy to assist and it's a good way to meet riding friends and also learn about your bike.

As far as the rest you mentioned, none are required. The headlight works fine, and while it could be brighter for night riding, it does work.. If you want it brighter, I'd suggest going with a relay kit from Eastern Beaver http://www.easternbeaver.com/ for $40.

Taillight is perfectly good, and it's just as bright as every other 1157 bulbed tailight on 80% of the bikes on the road. If you want it brighter, an aftermarket LED unit can be had for $50 from various vendors, including http://www.cyclenutz.com/ Cycle Nutz.

Brakes are a bit squishy but work just fine (or DOT would make them fix them) and can be made better with a set of brake lines for $75 or, if you're really itching to stop, an oversize rotor kit for $215ish.

Skid plate isn't an issue unless you're doing a lot of offroading and wish the extra protection from rocks kicked up from the front tire. $95 fixes that issue.

Suspension works fine also, depending on how much you push your bike.. If you need it, a set of Progressive front springs can be had for $80 and a bit of heavier oil will also help. The rear isn't that bad and I know many who're very happy with the way it works.. Or you can go very high quality aftermarket for $600.

Oil consumption on the Gen 1 bikes is hit or miss. My 02' uses a little oil, while my friend's 98' uses none.. Both have 20K+ miles and neither have changed how much oil they desire. With mine, I check and fill before longer day rides, and if I'm going to be gone for a few days and putting on more than 1000 miles during the trip, I take along a quart of Rotella, or stop at Walmart and buy a quart..

As I mentioned, none of these, other than the Doohickey HAVE to be done to have a fun motorcycle to ride.. What I didn't mention is that all the mods I show here, I've done to my own bike to make it more fun for me. (I only have braided brake lines, not oversized rotors)

I put several thousands of very enjoyable miles before doing any of these mods. I could have purchased a KTM for $2-3000 more and not needed the mods, but I didn't have the money when I bought the KLR slightly used for $3000. And looking back, I think the KLR has given me a lot of smiles, and I've learned a lot while installing the mods I've done..
Agreed +1

Klr is not a full dirt bike. If you want to ride it like one then get a full out dirt bike. We all mod the KLR's to our riding style to a point some more than others. The bottom line the The KLR or DR650's are good all around bikes to get into places with out having to truck your bike in.

The KLR is just a good all round tractor and can carrie your gear into a area where dirt bikes can't.....use it for what is is , not what it is not!

Kurt

Mind over Matter:
If you don't mind, then it don't matter!

Def. of a man:
We spend 9 months trying to get out and the rest of our lifes trying to get back in!\
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-06-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therosntl View Post
So I have been thinking about getting a klr because of it's offroad and freeway capability. I will probably get a pre-2008 version from craigslist.
From what I have read so far, the klr can be a great bike if you put an extra 2000 on it. The main concerns about this bike are probably the doohickey, weak brakes, weak suspensions, weak headlight and taillight, less than useful skidplate, oil consumption problem, and bad color ( this maybe personal preference)
The klr can be the best bike ever, but shouldn't these problems be addressed by Kawasaki instead of having to spend so much to remedy?

Buy one that's allready had the upgrades you want, probably hard to find a Gen 1 that's stock!

Aftermarket parts typically don't hold their value so don't let sellers hold that over you. Yea the bike might have $2000 in upgrades but realistically it only adds about $500 to the selling price.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-08-2010, 12:11 AM
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The klr is a tinker toy you can ride the mods are half the fun.....
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-08-2010, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Agree I can probably fix those issues by myself cheap
But I have never worked on a bike b4
I'm afraid to f things up
Regardless, the thing bothers me the most about the klr is that let's say I'm into cruiser.
I will get a Harley glider or sportster or even a yamaha vstar, and the bikes will run perfectly without any mods.
Getting the klr though, I keep seeing people complaining about this and that.
The actual cost I'd actually 3500 plus a lot of work.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-08-2010, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therosntl View Post
Agree I can probably fix those issues by myself cheap
But I have never worked on a bike b4
I'm afraid to f things up
Regardless, the thing bothers me the most about the klr is that let's say I'm into cruiser.
I will get a Harley glider or sportster or even a yamaha vstar, and the bikes will run perfectly without any mods.
Getting the klr though, I keep seeing people complaining about this and that.
The actual cost I'd actually 3500 plus a lot of work.
Your dealing with alot of different riding styles and folks on the foruim. Some ride harder than others, your going to wear out parts on any bike.
Riding bikes on or off road has a price tag to it just like any hobby.

All bikes from the dealers these days have been detuned by epa standards. We just re tune to run the way they should.

Any deul sport will take you to places you would not put a street bike threw.
The KLR has been proven to be a good all around tractor for the money.

The sport bikes, crusers, dirt bikes, enduros all come with there price tag. Pick the one that fits the way you want to ride and get to it.

I have three different bikes for the type of riding for that day.

Kurt

Mind over Matter:
If you don't mind, then it don't matter!

Def. of a man:
We spend 9 months trying to get out and the rest of our lifes trying to get back in!\
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-08-2010, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therosntl View Post
Agree I can probably fix those issues by myself cheap
But I have never worked on a bike b4
I'm afraid to f things up
Regardless, the thing bothers me the most about the klr is that let's say I'm into cruiser.
I will get a Harley glider or sportster or even a yamaha vstar, and the bikes will run perfectly without any mods.
Getting the klr though, I keep seeing people complaining about this and that.
The actual cost I'd actually 3500 plus a lot of work.
Don't shy away from the gen 2 bike most of the problems have been fixed, doohicky up grade a big one not as good as aftermarket but I think you could buy a gen 2 with no mods and be happy and they are out there cheap with warranty still on them....So that would be good to have if you ended up with a oil burner...The mods I did to my 09 were to over come the EPA stuff that all bikes deal with today...Down side of a gen 2 to much plastic for off road down side to all KLR's low power for a 650 dirt bike.. a trade off for better cooling is more plastic I guess.. I do like sitting at a lite in the summer in Arizona knowing that the bike is running cool, not so much on an aircooled bike..Hope this helps I like my bike but I'm an old man at 52 who still can hang with the kids in the twistys and try to in the dirt... I'll never grow up still a toys R us kid
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-13-2010, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gone14s View Post
The bottom line the The KLR or DR650's are good all around bikes to get into places with out having to truck your bike in.
Hey! You left out the XR650L.



All three of the Japanese 650 dual sports need a few modifications to get them to work a bit better for all around use. Very few Honda riders, for example, have kept the stock fuel tank. I looked for a used bike that already had all of the modifications that I wanted to do, then just cleaned up a few worn items, like the seat, and I was all set to enjoy riding the bike. You're much less likely to break something if you crash an XR650L off road than doing the same with a KLR650, by the way. But it's a little taller, which is a consideration for some people. I bought mine for $2500 and have spent less than another thousand on it including all maintenance items like tires, oil, and so on, in the two years that I've owned it.

Find the right bike that has already been modified the way you want it. Good luck in your search.

Scott R. Nelson, 2001 XR650L, and a KTM 990 Adventure, Folsom, CA
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-13-2010, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott R Nelson View Post
Hey! You left out the XR650L.
While a great bike, my beef with my old one (had a 1994 model) was the fuel range. 90 miles, and I was looking for gas, HARD!!

I thought about aftermarket tanks, but at the time the choices were few and they only gained another gallon.. I'd still be looking for fuel at 130 miles...

I know it's not a big deal for some guys, but I HATE stopping for gas.. It's a personal issue.. I like 200+ miles of fuel range in my bikes, and currently, all of them can squeeze 200 miles on a tank.. Even my FZ6 has gone 220 on the interstate and still ridden into a gas station under it's own power.

With the KLR I don't think about fuel until 220ish, and will still pass up a crowded station without touching the reserve and not be concerned..

The XR is a darned good bike, though.
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