Giving klr a second chance - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-22-2017, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Giving klr a second chance

People, talk me into giving KLR's a second chance. Around a year ago I sold my 2005 klr. I smiled seeing it leave because in 2 years and around 28k miles I had to change the gas petcock, rear shock, oil/water seals and catched the doohickey on time (it was already broken). Did I have bad luck? Or is this what it takes to maintain this bike? I'm looking around for Honda's Africa Twin, Yamaha Tenere and Suzuki Vstrom but in spite of having a bad experience with the klr I can't get it off my head.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-22-2017, 05:34 PM
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The doohickey is the only failure that couldn't happen to those 3.

And a fuel injection pump is a whole lot more expensive than even a complete KLR650 vacuum operated petcock.

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post #3 of 9 Old 11-22-2017, 06:32 PM
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I’d say you got what they used to call “a Friday assembly”. Was a car put together on Friday when the plant workers just wanted to knock off for the weekend.

From browsing the klr forums, those problems you had seem rather unusual, except for the doo.

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-22-2017, 06:50 PM
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In reality, 30k on any bike is going to have its problems, not to mention a dualsport that is presented with much harsher conditions. I've owned a 15' KLR and it remains one of the best bikes I've ever owned. I'm currently on a XR650L and given 30k, I'm sure that's gonna have its issues as well. However, all that being said, the bikes you mentioned aren't even in the same planet as the KLR, or my current ride. These are simplistic machines that can basically do almost anything......And in near stock form.....And at nearly half the price. I wouldn't think twice about owning another KLR, though it was a bit too big and heavy for my experience in Florida sand. That's just me. I moved onto a road bike at the time, but I always missed skirting off the pavement. It was like a seed that just kept growing in me. So I went back to a dual sport, but figured I give the Honda a try. Now that being said, if we didn't have so much sand down here, I probably may have gone back to a KLR. Though I do enjoy the screw type valves on the XR. But man the KLR was definitely more comfortable, and it actually "felt" more powerful, even though it was near 150lbs. heavier the way I had it fitted. Bottom line, the KLR is an awesome ride that is very reliable and affordable, yet rewarding, and man do I miss that 6 gallon tank.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 09:56 AM
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I'd echo the earlier comments; I've owned 40 motocycles over the past 44 years and they ALL have their own issues....particularly as mileage increases. The petcock, shock and doohickey are all known weak links - every bike has them.

the new bikes you've mentioned are great bikes too....but they will also have thier own issues though they may not rear their heads until you get some miles on them as well. The KLR is a budget dual purpose bike that has been in production for 30 years; it isn't as good as those other bikes is some areas but it has unmatched simplicity, reliability, longevity and support IMO. I can fix the "weak links" (and I have) but I can't make a new bike simpler or easier to fix out in the middle of nowhere. All bikes are compromises, pick the ones you can live with. ;-)

All that said, a KLR can't compete with the bikes you've mentioned for long distance road comfort so it really depends what you're doing.

Cheers,
Dave
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 10:03 AM
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Also, I'd note that I have 30k on my 2001 and haven't experienced ANY issues yet.......however I knew what the problem areas were and so I had replaced my doohickey (which was broken but hadn't caused damage), my shock and my vacuum petcock preemptively.....along with removing the sidestand and clutch safety switch, swapping to an IMS tank and a bunch of other upgrades. I chose not to wait for failure on those items and I now have great confidence in my KLR's....there isn't a bike I'd trust more to head off into the great unknown.

Dave
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 10:44 AM
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Wouldn't recommend a KLR650 for the thread-starter.

That said, agree with all comments so far.

Why NOT recommend a KLR? The guy has a bad taste in his mouth from a previous KLR. Further, he's considering motorcycles with operational capability far in excess of the KLR's, even under the best of conditions. I fear disappointment looms, should a KLR enter the scenario.

Thus, I see incipient buyer's remorse in any future KLR transaction for this consumer. "Once burned," and all that.

Yet . . . when his fuel pump, EFI, CPU or etc. fails while riding solo in the middle of the Gobi Desert on his new non-KLR, he may think back on the comments posted!

Last edited by Damocles; 11-23-2017 at 10:47 AM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 12:01 PM
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I will also add, that IMO the bikes mentioned are not really dualsports, but "Adventure" bikes. I can't imagine going into deep sand or mud, let alone a National Forest with those rides in stock form. I had enough trouble turning around the KLR on a very narrow forest trail with deep sand. I can't imagine those bikes. I think you have to figure out what kind of riding your going to be doing and what kind of terrain you plan on tackling. Only then will you have an idea of what bike really meets your criteria. I will also add to the above mentioned, that if you have to be talked back into a bike, then its probably the wrong bike.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-23-2017, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Back2Kawi View Post
I will also add, that IMO the bikes mentioned are not really dualsports, but "Adventure" bikes. I can't imagine going into deep sand or mud, let alone a National Forest with those rides in stock form. I had enough trouble turning around the KLR on a very narrow forest trail with deep sand. I can't imagine those bikes. I think you have to figure out what kind of riding your going to be doing and what kind of terrain you plan on tackling. Only then will you have an idea of what bike really meets your criteria. I will also add to the above mentioned, that if you have to be talked back into a bike, then its probably the wrong bike.
well said and definitely chose a bike based on what you'll be doing. All three of the bikes mentioned have vastly superior on-road performance, especially under load, high speeds, long highway rides, etc. ....but the S10 and V strom aren't very good when the pavement ends. The AT can do a pretty good job at both and though it's heavier than a KLR, it has better stock suspension, brakes, power, etc. so it can probably outperform the KLR in both environments...for most people. For me (and I'll admit my use is atypical being heavily offroad biased and my bikes are not stock) the AT still carries too much weight for what I do....just like all the twin cyl ADV bikes.

Cheers,
dave
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