well went from a 2006 kawi ninja 650R. loved that bike but wanted to try a cruiser. Had a 2007 V-Star 1300 tourer. It was fun but not my style. Always rode dirt bikes when I was younger so after watching "Long Way Down"....I know there are a lot of opinions about that show but it just reaffirmed that a dual sport was the ticket for me.
I traded off the cruiser and have been in bliss ever since. Only have 800 miles on her and have installed a sw motech skid plate, packrat pannier rack and pelican 1520 cases. Next is going to be handlebar risers, Im 6'3". I am also checking out the 1 inch raising links and doing a fork oil swap and/or front spring cut to stiffen them up a bit. my biggest complaint would be rear brake seems weak, and the front dive annoys me. I know its not a friggin race bike but if the front was a little stiffer I think the majority of the road riding would be better. I have taken her off road twice. Once was more like mud bogging becaus eit rain and got myself in a position where I had to deal with it. It only had 100 miles and it took me two hours to clean it. I laid it down bout 6 times in the mud it was ssoooooooo slick. But i didnt break anything and she ran like a top. second time was national forest scenic roads. Mostly gravel and rocks but off road nonetheless. so I have some plans to do a section of the TAT with my father and brother in-law in 2013.
Overall i love the bike and its fun personalyzing it. if money was no option I would get a BMW. I went ahead and put on some KLR BMW emblem stickers and it just makes me laugh. i actually had a guy at work think it was a BMW even with Kawasaki emblazened across the tank and shroud. He drives a BMW car. What a moron.
I plan on running this Kawi through its paces but a cross country trip just seems a lot to expect from a single cyclinder but I watched Mondo Enduro and those guys did the long way up down and around on single 350's so I guess I need to just shut up and ride. It hauls my butt down the slab at 75 mph just fine. need to stay off the slab anyway right? I think the people that end up buying and keeping the bike probably owned others and just get drawn to the dual purpose bike because they were meant to ride dual sport. Just like people who ride cruisers or sport bikes. Everyone has thier preference. I dont think I have ever ridden a motorcycle and got off and said to myself, "well that just sucked" give me a mini bike and it will put a smile on my face.
Any ways the KLR is great. I love it. its a simple stupid machine that I can work on and maintain. what else could you ask for. wish my cars were like that.