KLR vs GS800 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
Rider Reviews Give a review of the KLR in your opinion.

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post #1 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Post KLR vs GS800

I road out with a friend to get his BMW serviced. While I was there I took the GS800 and friend took a GS1200 for a ride. Only about 30 miles but did fide some dirt. Here are my thoughts on the GS800 compared to KLR.

GS800 has more low-end tork and a 6th gear.

Bigger tires seemed to make the cracks and tar-snakes disappear, which we have a lot of here in the northeast.

Has ABS brakes, hand warmers, AC outlet, twin fuel injection (easer starts for the cold days), great setup for side bags and trunk. All around it is more bike than the KLR. With that said, Iím not sure itís worth the extra 7Gs.

Before I could ride any distance Iíd need to purchase a new seat. It is MUCH worst than the KLRís. More narrow and angled down. Great for off-road but the worst design for a DS. Also the stock skid plate doesnít seem to offer enough protection.

If I was to buy a new bike it may be the BMW GS800 but currently, Iím not unhappy with my KLR. Iíve had really good luck and enjoy riding it.

Anyone else ride one of these? Thoughts?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 10:51 AM
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Never ridden one, but I've read a lot of comparisons and your impressions seem in keeping with what I've heard.




"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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Click my handle for a link to my homepage/blog...which has nothing to do with MCs. Free literature and music! Viva La Revolucion!
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy View Post
I road out with a friend to get his BMW serviced. While I was there I took the GS800 and friend took a GS1200 for a ride. Only about 30 miles but did fide some dirt. Here are my thoughts on the GS800 compared to KLR.

GS800 has more low-end tork and a 6th gear.

Bigger tires seemed to make the cracks and tar-snakes disappear, which we have a lot of here in the northeast.

Has ABS brakes, hand warmers, AC outlet, twin fuel injection (easer starts for the cold days), great setup for side bags and trunk. All around it is more bike than the KLR. With that said, Iím not sure itís worth the extra 7Gs.

Before I could ride any distance Iíd need to purchase a new seat. It is MUCH worst than the KLRís. More narrow and angled down. Great for off-road but the worst design for a DS. Also the stock skid plate doesnít seem to offer enough protection.

If I was to buy a new bike it may be the BMW GS800 but currently, Iím not unhappy with my KLR. Iíve had really good luck and enjoy riding it.

Anyone else ride one of these? Thoughts?

I haven't rode the GS800, but have comments anyway!

To my way of thinking if one really needs off-road capability (not just dirt roads) and a big motor a KTM 950-990 is the only choice. It has quality adjustable suspension that the BMW lacks. Good suspension is the most important consideration off-road. How BMW could produce the 800 without user adjust is beyond me.

If dirt roads are all the off-road you are going to do get a Wee Strom and use the money saved to get a real dirt bike for anything more technical.

Now if you want to talk about the wisdom of riding an expensive 450lb + bike off-road...
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 11:04 AM
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I totally agree, Spec.




"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 #5 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 11:36 AM
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You have to remember that 97% of the people who buy a 800GS will NEVER ride gravel with it, let alone take it off road.

In 1993 I traded in my 1992 R100GS for a 1992 R100RS, and bought a 1984 Honda XL600R on-off so I could actually ride my dual sport motorcycle off road. The GS was terrible on gravel, but was a great streetbike as long as you didn't mind replacing the rear tire every 2000 miles.

Seldom are BMW dual sports used for anything worse than occasional gravel riding.. I like my KLR on the gravel..
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 12:18 PM
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Consider this. Our local Victory/BMW/KTM/Yamaha dealer has an 02 KLR as his personal all purpose kick around play bike. When he enters a desert race he is on his KTM 990, when on the highway touring with the wife, he is on a full dressed Victory. Racing motocross? a Yamaha 250 etc. He never rides a BMW. The KLR is the perfict bike for his weekend playing in our local mountains. If it breaks, it is easy and cheap to repair compaired to the other brands and if it is beyond repair, he can walk away from it without much invested and get another one. He says, you just can't beat the KLR for what it is intended to do.

Greg
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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I thought this topic would spark some good comments. Great stuff!

How are the KTMs for reliability? Iíve heard from three separate riders (non are KTM owners) that they have mechanical issues. Iíve never ridden one. May be interested for the longer road trips.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 06:50 PM
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KTMs are highly tuned and tend to lean towards the racing side of riding. This usually requires more maintence in order to keep them in prime condition. KLRs and DRs seem to require less tinkering and less expensive work to keep them going. This means more riding time and less down time.

Greg
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 09:12 PM
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I like this thread. My other bike is an 05 Ducati multistrada. "Many Streets" or whatever multistrada means is kind of a joke. I suppose it is capable, but as expensive as it is to repair, I would never (again) think of taking it off road or even FS roads. This is exactly the reason that drew me to the KLR for a 2nd bike (but as it turns out is really my 1st bike now). Low cost initial investment, easy to work on, probably more fun to ride than my MTS (although clearly not as fast), and you really can make quick work of the twisties with KLR to the point of making the sport bikers a little green. And at $5k brand new... I mean this has to be the best deal in all of 2 wheel-dom!
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 09:36 PM
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I have ridden the GS800 and I really liked it. It has everything the KLR doesn't, including a steep price tag. I rode it before buying the KLR and ended up buying the KLR primarily because I'm a noob off road. My buddy, on the other hand, had a KLR and bought the GS800. We're going to ride the Shadow of the Rockies trail in August and he's nervous about it. Not nervous about his abilities because he has the experience I lack, and he got it all on his KLR. What he's nervous about is the cost he's going to have to pay after he drops it, and we both know we're going to drop our bikes. Just the nature of the beast.

However, I would love to have the power his GS has. I told him that if I got through this ride without dropping the KLR I would go out and buy one of those GS'. I'm fairly confident I won't need to worry about having a GS in the garage.

De inimico non loquaris sed cogites
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