Old guys on KLRs - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Old guys on KLRs

I can't help but notice looking at introduction posts, and whenever age comes up, that many of us are old geezers on KLRs - what's up with that!? Also, seems many folks aren't poor (that's relative tho, isn't it), can afford nicer fancier multi cylinder whiz bang modern bikes, but still chose the lowly, old tech, tractor like thumper. What draws older guys to KLRs?

Before any of you say, "who you calling old?", I'm just short of 60, and what hair there's left, is mighty white.
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post #2 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 01:35 PM
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Location: Canada's Nortwest
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I turned 60 late last year and retired from my main job a month later. I don't consider myself to be old.
While I was still working I was looking for a smaller bike than the KLR that I could load into the back of
my service truck a Ford E450 cube van.
I used to travel to Haida Gwaii three times a year for two weeks each time. I wanted to bring a dual sport bike there with me
to do some exploring. I missed a deal on a Yamaha XT350 with very low miles and in new condition for a good price.
The next dual sport bike that came up for sale was a 08 KLR that was priced right so I bought it.
I really like the riding position and found it fit me very well. I had the 08 for a month and traded it on a new 2017 KLR.
The dealer gave me more than I paid for it and I kept the saddle bag racks and bags and engine guards for the new bike.

Sadly the last trip I made to Haida Gwaii in June 2019 my employer had hired my replacement and with all our gear and tools and parts
there was no room in the truck for my KLR.

Terry

Motorcycles I Have Owned:

Keystone Minibike
Kawasaki J1 80cc
Yamaha 50cc
Suzuki RV125 AKA Cucumber
Yamaha DT2-250
Honda CL350
Can-Am 250 MX2
Kawasaki H2 500cc Triple
Yamaha XS750
Yamaha 11 Special
BMW K100RT
BMW R1100S
Yamaha 500XT
2008 KLR650
2017 KLR650

I may have to come back and update the list as I may have missed one.
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Last edited by terry_g; 02-02-2020 at 01:37 PM.
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post #3 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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There are some pretty sophisticated bikes on that list! I've had a few multis, 4s and sixes (Gold Wing), but somehow find the KLR more engaging & satisfying, has more soul & character, never mind being easier to work on yourself, than many other motorcycles (1000 bonus points). In a word - practical.
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post #4 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 02:14 PM
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I think more of us would buy new tech bikes if there was a legitimate replacement.

I think older folks, me included, appreciate the spectrum of uses and value so much that common sense pulls us to the KLR.

Itís really a shame that Kawasaki hasnít figured out that thereís a major segment in bikes waiting for a cutting edge KLR replacement that would decimate the competition.
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post #5 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 05:05 PM
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I bought my KLR650 brand new in 1988 in London, England and rode it down here to Southern Spain where it would have cost double.

I'm probably older than most on this forum but when asked my age I always reply "I'm only 27 but I've had a hard life"

No trees were harmed creating this message, however some electrons were very inconvenienced.
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post #6 of 47 Old 02-02-2020, 11:11 PM
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Thumbs up

We are simply experienced people of refined taste and distinction. We recognize a solid value and prefer the simpler things in life.
Besides... KLR's are just cool!
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post #7 of 47 Old 02-03-2020, 10:14 AM
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I just turned 56, retired 3 years ago, I travel fulltime, and the KLR is perfect for this. I have had 9 Harleys and 3 BMW's, and the KLR is just light and fun and simple.
Having a TT the bike goes in the back of the truck, if or when I need to get a 5ver, I can hang the bike off the front of the truck/ other bikes would be to heavy. ( only reason I would need a 5ver is if I meet my next ex wife )
With the 2 paniers, and the cheep and dirty milk crate on the back, I can get a lot of groceries, without starting the truck. Beaches, gravel, roads, on the road, trails, park in the mud puddle instead of on the sidewalk out front with the Harleys, its great. Things I couldn't do with a street bike.
Just gave away my Harley jacket, and only have 2 T-shirts left to wear out. ha ha.
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post #8 of 47 Old 02-03-2020, 11:13 AM
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I am like Lineman. I put my KLR in the back of my Toy Hauler when I go camping though. I go everywhere on the bike and my truck sits. What I like about the KLR is that it has a 6 gal gas tank. All the other DS bikes I looked at have just a little over 2 gal. I do not want to be looking for gas every 100 miles. I did not want to put a plastic desert tank on a bike. I can go out all day on the KLR and not worry about it. I have been out in places where I rode all day and never saw a gas station. I just fill up off the Toy Hauler gas tank when I get back to camp. The KLR just works for being a great all around bike.
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post #9 of 47 Old 02-03-2020, 12:24 PM
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I have a KLR and an FJR ...

I love my FJR. Smooth, refined, fast, amazing long distance (get there fast) touring machine. LOVE IT ...

My KLR is more (Primal) ... It connects me to things more. Less smooth but more feel. Less fast but more fun when going slower. Less refined but more character.

Sometimes you need a refined English mistress and sometimes ya just need a farm girl ... The older I get, the more I realize that the farm girl was where it was at ...
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post #10 of 47 Old 02-03-2020, 09:15 PM
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There are basic refinements and upgrades for most bikes and KLR is no exception. When properly setup, it's great at commuting, at least fair for touring, great at adventure and exploration stuff. I generally have a couple KLRs setup for different agendas.

Because the KLR650 Gen-1 parts are largely interchangeable and because the bike was in production from '87 through '07 -that translates to generally good availability of used parts via craigslist, ebay or the forums. So if you do your own wrenching she can be cheap to keep.

Yes, you could get a better bike for any one aspect, but if all your bikes are the same base model -then the maintenance and repairs and parts interchangeability makes it much easier to keep at least one or two road worthy. So using the base model as a standard reduces the complexity of upkeep and repairs for a small fleet. Standardization makes life more simpler.

I sometimes engage in spirited riding but no longer have the need to play Ricky-Racer, nor to blaze the interstate at well past the magic ton.

The KLR provides familiarity, simple maintenance, and remains cheap and reliable.
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