18,000+ miles on '08 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-26-2008, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Texas Panhandle
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18,000+ miles on '08

I'm Robert, aka ScareCrow. I bought my '08 on June 13th, 2007. It uses zero oil, gets 57-61 mpg. The bike has been absolutely trouble free for the last 18,000 miles. Issue wise the bike is quite boring, my '06 was the same way, no issues.

I broke the bike in as the manual said. I change oil every 1,500-2,000 miles. I use either Mobile 1 10-w40 synthetic or Rotella T 15w-40, I like both. I'm on my 3rd set of tires and 2nd chain/sprocket set up with 15/45 ratio. I put sound insulation in the fairing and radiator shrouds to quiet down the cockpit. At about 10,000 miles while going down the interstate a baseball size object ricocheted like a pinball down the road bouncing off cars and crashed into the underside of the bike smashing the engine guard. Nothing else was damaged. I bought a $125 Whitehorse guard to replace it. The stock Kawasaki plastic guard is about $400 dollars !!!

When I put Avon Gripsters on it I found that the larger rolling circumference of the front Avon was large enough to correct most of the speedometer error. My brother's gps confirms that an indicated 70 is actually 68-69 mph. At 70 the bike is glass smooth. The seat has become more and more comfortable lately. Either that or my butt has become more tolerant.

As far as the economy of the bike is concerned it paid for itself in a year in fuel savings over my Ford F-150. I average 1,200 miles a month on the bike.
I have to say it's the best purchase I ever made and it saved my behind when gas prices went over $3 per gallon. If the bike fell apart right now I would still be way ahead of the game money wise.

Last edited by ScareCrow; 09-26-2008 at 08:32 PM. Reason: gwammer
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-26-2008, 08:31 PM
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Assuming $5,500 for the bike, you still have another 16,000 miles before the bike has paid for its base price. Add another 600 miles for every $100 worth of accessories, gear, tires, oil, insurance, maintenance. Probably at 17,200 with the 2 sets of tires 18,400 with the sprockets and chain, 19,000 with the guard. Misc expense.. probably looking at another 21,000 miles and you'll be getting closer to breaking even because you'll have more tires by then, oil and whatever else. Then add the fuel cost and mileage back for every fun mile that otherwise wouldn't have been ridden in the truck.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 09-26-2008 at 08:35 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-26-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWanderer View Post
Assuming $5,500 for the bike, you still have another 16,000 miles before the bike has paid for its base price. Add another 600 miles for every $100 worth of accessories, gear, tires, oil, insurance, maintenance. Probably at 17,200 with the 2 sets of tires 18,400 with the sprockets and chain, 19,000 with the guard. Misc expense.. probably looking at another 21,000 miles and you'll be getting closer to breaking even because you'll have more tires by then, oil and whatever else. Then add the fuel cost and mileage back for every fun mile that otherwise wouldn't have been ridden in the truck.
You seem to be assuming I have loaded down the bike with accessories, not so. And you apparently didn't see the part about the Ford F-150 comparison. Compared to the Ford, in fuel savings it has paid for itself. I paid $2,200 for the bike with a $3800 trade in for '06 which was a leftover that cost me $4,400. You should be using $2,800 dollars. The bike has paid for itself. You assumed wrong.

Last edited by ScareCrow; 09-26-2008 at 08:49 PM. Reason: gwammer
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-26-2008, 09:49 PM
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You can't just toss out the expense of the original bike. $3,800 doesn't just go poof in to thin air.

$4,400 for initial bike.
$2,200 for new bike.

That puts you at $6,600 total. You had 12,000 on the 06'. You needed at least 23,500 miles to cover the initial 06' bike cost. That would then leave you at the new expense of $2,200 and you would have covered its cost at 11,000 miles. That would leave tires, oil, insurance, gear, accessories from the start of owning the 06' through the 08'. However, you have 11,500 miles to make up from the 06' bike. You have a total of 30,000 miles between the bikes which means you only need another 4,500miles to cover the initial expense of both bikes. That leaves tires, gear, accessories, oil, tires from the from the start of owning the 06 through the 08. And still need to take in to consideration how many fun miles vs replacement miles.

At 12,000 miles on the 06, I imagine you were on the second set of tires.
You already mentioned 2 more sets on the 08, so that's 3 sets of tires at avg $100/set.. that's another 500 miles (I was wrong at 600) per $100 for a total of another 1,500 miles. Insurance.. roughly $200/year? Another 1,000 miles per year owned..(3 years?) that's another 3,000 miles. So we are up to a total of 9,000 more miles.

"brush chains, aluminum skid pan, diode pair and electronic flasher for LED turn signals, LED tail light and instrument lights, power plug for a CyclePump, 1 inch handlebar risers, center stand, 15/45 gearing"

That stuff isn't free.... figure another 500 miles per $100 spent on the above accessories.

How much on riding gear the last 3 years?... another 500 miles per $100 for that stuff.

By the time you rack up that final 12,000 miles you'll have a couple more sets of tires to add in and another year of insurance and maintenance costs and how many more fun over replacement miles... these add up!!!


BTW, I'm not being a dick.... just curious about the numbers! So many people are getting MC's for mileage and it's good to do the math and let them see what it takes to justify the purchase.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 09-26-2008 at 10:25 PM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-26-2008, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I paid $4,400 for the leftover '06, I got back $3,800 when I traded for the '08. I got 86% of my purchase money back on the '06. The magically disappearing $3,800 was applied to the '08. That plus $1550 machine cost and another $650 for TTL and such.

Brush chains were made out of #16 trailer chain, 20 ft roll purchased 20 years ago for maybe $3, if that much. Led conversion $30, Radio Shack and SuperBrightLEDs.com. Power plug $2, Auto Zone. Bar risers were about $25 from RoxSpeed. Chain and sprocket set, $80, TPI I think. For the stand ($125) and skid plate($48 I think, sale price), from Whitehorse (get on your vendors' mailing lists for close-outs and sale notifications). My helmet was included with the '06 purchase. ...Riding gear? What riding gear? The same boots I work in are the same boots I ride in. The jacket is a nice Carhart, $40, 3 yrs old. It's my work jacket also. If you want to spend $300 on a jacket for just riding go ahead, it's your money. I paid $190 for 2 sets of Avons , 2 fronts and 2 rears, bought through Sharp's Honda, they located a clearance sale, I got 2 sets, I've used one set up. They last 10,000 miles. Insurance, $60 a year through Progressive. The cycle pump is not just for the bike, it inflates truck tires also. So should it be considered a truck expense also? The screw driver I bought that tightens the hose clamp on the washer also tightens the screws on the bike...bike or washer expense? You're not figuring in the 86% recovery of the '06 purchase price and over estimating maintenance and modification cost. Fuel cost for a while exceeded $4 gallon, that drove the savings up over the truck quite a bit also.

You're not being a dick. Look at this way, I paid about $4,400 for the '06, and about $6K for the '08 for a total of $10.4K. I recovered $3,800 in the trade-in. Subtract that and get $6,600. Divide that by 2 and get $3,300. I've owned 2 brand new KLRs for about $3,300 apiece and rode them both 30,000 miles. It cost me about a $1,000 to operate one KLR (fuel and maintenance, insurance, etc.)for 15,000 miles, so call it $4,300 apiece. It cost nearly that much just to fuel the truck over a shorter 12,000 miles without figuring in insurance. That's why I say the bike has paid for itself, the real money saved has exceeded its actual sticker cost, $5350 when all relevant expenses are considered.

Last edited by ScareCrow; 09-27-2008 at 05:34 AM. Reason: gwammer
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-28-2008, 04:43 PM
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You still haven't mentioned fun miles vs replacement miles.

You can't include gas expense again in the base expense because that's what the formula is based on.

F150's avg around 15mpg. For simplicity we'll round your KLR 06mpg and 08mpg to an avg of 56mpg and use $4.30/Gallon.

Truck is 4.3/15 = 0.29 cents per mile.

KLR is 4.3/56 = 0.08 cents per mile.

Difference is 0.21 cents per mile.

$4,400 + $1,550 + 650 = $6,600 Base Bike Expenses
$30 + $25 + $80 + $125 + 48 + (190/2)95 + (3x60)180 = $585 extra bits
$585 + $6,600 = $7,185 Total Bike Expenses

$7,185/0.21 = 33,807 replacement miles needed.

Now... that is figured at a high of 4.30 throughout 30,000 miles which you know wasn't the case. As the gas price drops, the replacement mileage needed increases. Pick a reasonable number in the middle somewhere to avg out the gas expense from 06 to now and that puts you around 41,500 replacement miles.

At $4.00 you are at 36,342.
At $3.85 you are at 37,758.
At $3.50 you are at 41,535.
At $3.25 you are at 44,729
At $3.00 you are at 48,456

Again, this is all without fun miles taken off your overall KLR mileage. Fun miles can rack up quick and you have yet to mention a possible figure. All those miles you spend on backroads and trails add up quickly. None of those count toward gas savings or paying for itself. Until the replacement mileage is reached, you haven't saved even a penny.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 09-28-2008 at 04:56 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-29-2008, 09:28 AM
 
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The bottom line is if your happy with what you have, thats what really counts. It's hart to figure in the fun factor. Thats priceless.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-29-2008, 10:08 AM
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No doubt waverly and that was never in question here. I bought mine only for fun factor. Just got back from thrashin LBL forest roads as a matter of fact.. lot of fun factor!

I was merely explaining the finer points and reality of why the "paid for itself" claim is not true just yet. Another 10 months at 1200 miles a month and he'll finally make up the difference. That is if he doesn't spend any more money on it. He wants to dismiss the $3,800 because of trade in, but that's not true. He is still paid that $3,800 just not on the current 08', it's carried over from the 06'. the full expense of the $4,400 06' still exists with the $2,200 08' added to it. If I gave $500 cash for a MC and then came back a year later to buy another motorcycle for $1,500 and they took my existing MC and deducted $500 (100% value), the new price would be $1,000. However, I still have $1,500 invested because the initial $500 is still there, but in the form of a motorcycle trade in instead of cash. In his case, $600 is completely lost/used up on the 06', but still has a value of $3,800. He still has $4,400 invested in the 06 no matter how he looks at it. They reduced the 08' by $3,800 and he spent another $1,550 to make up the price difference. That's $5,950 plus the $650 tax/license for a total of $6,600 investment between the two bikes.

A lot of people think they are instantly saving gas money buying a motorcycle that gets 50mpg and it's simply not true until the entire expense of the MC has been made up first. If they paid cash for the MC, then the instant monthly gas savings fools them. It is deceiving because they ignore the fact they spent the initial $5/6,000. If they finance the MC then it's even worse in the long run because they have to make up the interest on top of the base MC price and now they also have a monthly payment on top of still needing gas to fuel the MC.

Avg Joe/Jane isn't going to be riding anywhere near 1200 miles a month like Scarecrow, so showing how even at his rate it can take 3 to 4 years, makes reality hit much harder for those who only ride say 300 miles a month. They would be looking at 12-16 years before a glimpse of hope of evening out and even more if they financed the MC. Cheaper the MC, the better their chances though.

Anyone can quickly calculate the replacement miles needed and do a reality check.

Take the gas price per gallon divided by MPG of original vehicle and MPG for replacement vehicle and figure the difference. Take the expense of the replacement vehicle and divide by the difference. Expenses should include anything purchased due to purchasing the replacement vehicle. Helmets, jackets, insurance, tires, accessories... everything except gas. Then they must remove any mileage where the replacement vehicle was used for entertainment/fun vs replacement of vehicle. It's easier just to figure what is required to replace $100 and use that as a reference. Say at 85mpg they need 455 miles per $100 spent. For $1,000 scooter, they need 4,553 replacement miles. That's a lot of scooter miles! That's just making up base price of scooter... they need a helmet (455 miles) and then purchase insurance and plates every year. And 85mpg is on the high side... most are around 70ish/mpg.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 09-29-2008 at 11:09 AM.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-29-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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15/45 setup and getting 57-61 mpg. Must do alot of puttin' around.

You'd definitely be burnin' oil at highway speeds with that setup, regardless of the year model. imo, no engine uses 0 amount of oil. Some are less noticeable than others. Well, unless you never start it maybe.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-30-2008, 07:19 PM
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Did you happen to check the valves yet?
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