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post #1 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question KLR 650 for new rider?

Hi ladies! I am new here

Just took my MSF course and got my license this week. Now it is time to go shopping for a bike. I was contemplating the KLR 650, as one of my college guy friends had one and I used to ride with him a lot. He loved the bike!

I was looking at some cruiser-type bikes but I am just not feeling the love. They feel so...short! I had a Honda Rebel 250 to train on at MSF. I called it the tricycle. I have sat on some Honda Shadows and some Yamaha Vstars as well. Still feel short.

I am 5'11 and about 250 lbs...not a small size woman for sure so I need something to fit me. As I mentioned, I am a novice rider. Do you think the 650 would be a good bike to start out on?

Thanks for any input or suggestions!

Vanessa
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 03:49 PM
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KLRs are great starter bikes. You're right at the height cut off, though. Depends on inseam and whether you would be willing to or want to lower it. Have you thrown a leg over one? Can you get your feet on the ground?

If you can, KLRs are pretty awesome.




"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

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post #3 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 03:50 PM
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Oh, and I am not a lady, but not many people come in here. Might want to ask the Q in the main KLR forum.




"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 #4 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curryv View Post
I am 5'11 and about 250 lbs...not a small size woman for sure so I need something to fit me. As I mentioned, I am a novice rider. Do you think the 650 would be a good bike to start out on?
KLR was/is my first bike. I don't regret that decision one bit. It was never too difficult to ride. It certainly wasn't too powerful.

But I'm 6'4" so I can put my feet flat on the ground and still have my knees bent, so YMMV. (I had a fun time in the MSF class with those tiny 250s. But even more fun was the MSF dirt bike class where I was on a 125 or something. The comical pictures look photoshopped, the scale is so far off. I really liked the dirt class FWIW. Something "clicked" while I was there and it really helped me be more stable on the dirt and gravel.)

Like Lockjaw said, I'd find one to sit on first. But if you're good with it, go for it!
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-07-2012, 07:34 PM
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I think the KLR would be a great first bike as well! Very tractable power and predictable handling... And at 5'11" I'm guessing it would be a pretty good fit for you, enjoy!

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post #6 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 08:44 AM
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I'm not a lady, either, but I saw you pose the question in another forum. In that forum, you mentioned a Gen 1 KLR (87 - 07). You got quite a few negative responses. I have an '08. Many of the complaints about the KLR were addressed in Gen 2 bikes (08 - present). Not all, however.

I love my KLR, but I would pose this question in response. Are you willing / able to do a bit of wrenching on your bike? If you are, then the KLR is worth considering. If you want to pull in to a dealership whenever the maintenance cycle says you should, I would suggest looking at a more road specific bike.

My sister, also 5'11", and around 300lbs, rides a Bergman and loves it!

JMHO

God Bless,

Cliff

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post #7 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 10:31 AM
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The KLR--at least my '01 KLR--is a very forgiving bike in that I can fully open the throttle, or fully apply the brakes, with relatively little danger of getting more gas or brake than I bargained for. To put it another way, the brakes are mushy and the acceleration sucks. (There is an upgrade for the brakes, which I haven't bothered to do.) After a few years of riding the KLR almost exclusively, I will admit I'm starting to see this bike as a sort of neurotic mother who's constantly putting a damper on things, second-guessing my decisions--are you sure you want to go that fast? Sure you want to brake that hard? However, I think all of this can only mean it's a great beginner's bike--provided, of course, you've got the inseam for it.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 10:40 AM
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Another warm welcome from the opposite sex.....lol....go figure eh....lol.

I agree with all of the above, but wouldn't rule out an earlier version bike at all. The price difference will easily allow you to make the bike your own. I think personally that the people who complain about the wind protection want a street bike type protection while having their cake and eating it too...so to speak. The KLR is what it is, a cheapmans' adventure touring machine...IMHO. That is how I use mine. I ride it tens of thousands of kms every season on some adventure each and every summer. If you realize what it is designed for and accept it for what it is, then I think you will fall in love with it too. Sure you can buy the newer version if you feel that is best, nothing wrong with either way. It's a personal choice. Personally I do not feel the KLR is a dirtbike like many do, but that's just me. It's way too heavy and poorly sprung to deal with the demands of off roading etc. Again to each their own.
Search out images etc of ewach type and judge for yourself.
They made a few good improvements on the newer versions over the earlier ones....better brakes, better wind protection, some feel better looks, stronger forks, slightly better seat( I can't see that one myself?) Much better lighting and a better swing arm. BUT....they also allowed one bad thing to happen, in some cases the earlier production bikes of the newer version burned oil badly. So beware. It is a semi simple fix not costing too much. A simple big bore kit will solve this only real issue with the newer version bikes. A 685 or 705 big bore kit are the most proven kits out there, there are a few other 658 and a 688 kit, both have good track records but not as long out on the market. Your choice on which you choose.

So there you have all the good and the ugly about the great KLR and it is still a great bike. All bikes have issues, every make and model, none are imune to these little teething problems so to speak. They are all well documented and are all easily fixable.

I don't mean to scare you off at all...just to give you a complete understanding on what the bike is all about.

Now go out and swing a leg over one.....if you can touch the ground.....you are halfway home. I think I have said before, it is easily lowered also. If you can tippy toe it, it can be lowered enough to easily get the balls of your feet to touch if not allowing you to flat foot it.

Hope this helps....

Willys
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 11:19 AM
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As a beginner rider you are not going to be riding the bike even close to its design limits for a long time. Once you get to a higher level of riding you may want to change a few things or even upgrade to a different or more capable bike depending on your riding style. Many thousands of commuterand pleasure riding miles are racked up on STOCK KLRs every year. They are an excellent entry level bike. I am 5'10" and 240 with a 32"inseam and can put my feet down on both my 2011 and my 2003. Though the bike is tall the suspension is fairly soft and compresses once you are on .
Go for it girl!!
Regards....justjeff
P.S. I had a Honda Shadow ACE and the distance from the seat to the footpegs was too short malking longer rides very cramped. jj

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!

Last edited by justjeff; 12-08-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-08-2012, 02:20 PM
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Sorry to hijack.....Damn JustJeff....I rode through your town last summer on my out to Dawson City!!....I just saw where you live!


Now back to the regularly scheduled programing......

Willys
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