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As I mentioned in my intro, I'm looking for a used KLR for this spring. Prices seem to cover a respectable range and it leaves me wondering, what do you guys think is more important to a first time buyer, the age of the bike or the number of miles on it? I've seen bikes similarly equipped and closely priced, but with a fair difference in years and miles. Any thoughts?
Thanks.
 

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Well, I'd say that condition matters which is largely a function of storage, mileage and maintenance but between age and mileage, I'd definitely say that mileage is more important. That isn't to say that KLR's won't last for many, many miles and there are lots of 100,000 mile + examples out there but the lower the mileage the better IMO. The idea that a bike (properly stored) deteriorates just from age/sitting is largely an urban myth IMO - aside from my experience with classic cars, I purchased a 2000 KLR in 2015 with 577 miles on it - all it needed to run perfectly was a battery, tires and fresh gas and it's been flawless ever since.....it's a joy to work on, honestly like working on a brand new bike....which isn't too far from the truth. I prefer Gen1's so my KLR of choice is a low mileage, unmessed with 1996 - 2007 KLR.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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The year of the bike matters to a point;

- 1987 - 1995 = the early Gen1's.....no complaints but there were improvements in 1996, some like the early gear ratios.
- 1996 - 2007 = later Gen1's, thicker cylinders, better CS sprocket mounting system, once pce counterbalance sprockets, and a few other minor things.
- 2008 - 2014 = Gen2's.....a host of changes to make them more "light ADV" and less "Dual Sport". Early Gen2's had some potential teething issues and 2008's, in particular, are noted for a propensity to develop an appetite for oil consumption...largely resolved by mid 2010. a few changes over the years, clutch, brake pedal, etc. but nothing major.
- 2014.5 - 2018 = later Gen2's = relatively minor changes but suspension stiffness was increased (springrate and damping), other than that, a different seat, new colors....
- 2022 to ??? = not much info out on these yet though what has been released suggests a similar bike to the Gen2 and continuing down the "budget, light ADV" path



Cheers,
Dave
 

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As I mentioned in my intro, I'm looking for a used KLR for this spring. Prices seem to cover a respectable range and it leaves me wondering, what do you guys think is more important to a first time buyer, the age of the bike or the number of miles on it? I've seen bikes similarly equipped and closely priced, but with a fair difference in years and miles. Any thoughts?
Thanks.
Mileage means a lot to me when looking for a KLR. I've had a few. In 2013 I was in search of a KLR and my requirements were, 1-less than 20,000 miles on the odometer and 2-no more than $2000. Of course condition played into the decision. I had to buy a 1997 to satisfy my requirements. But when I saw the condition of the bike, the age meant nothing to me. And it has been a very reliable machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The year of the bike matters to a point;

  • 1987 - 1995 = the early Gen1's.....no complaints but there were improvements in 1996, some like the early gear ratios.
  • 1996 - 2007 = later Gen1's, thicker cylinders, better CS sprocket mounting system, once pce counterbalance sprockets, and a few other minor things.
  • 2008 - 2014 = Gen2's.....a host of changes to make them more "light ADV" and less "Dual Sport". Early Gen2's had some potential teething issues and 2008's, in particular, are noted for a propensity to develop an appetite for oil consumption...largely resolved by mid 2010. a few changes over the years, clutch, brake pedal, etc. but nothing major.
  • 2014.5 - 2018 = later Gen2's = relatively minor changes but suspension stiffness was increased (springrate and damping), other than that, a different seat, new colors....
  • 2022 to ??? = not much info out on these yet though what has been released suggests a similar bike to the Gen2 and continuing down the "budget, light ADV" path



Cheers,
Dave
Dave, thanks for breaking down the Gen 1 vs Gen 2 etc. I've always wondered about this, but couldn't find enough info anywhere.
 

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I’m with Dave, condition first, then mileage. But if the owner has good records for regular maintenance amd upgrades, like the doohickey, I’ll go for higher miles.
 

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If half the 27Kmi are off-road, that guy has ridden the shit out of it. On the other hand, it has some really nice upgrades, and I would definitely negotiate the Moab shock into the deal.
 

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Those aren’t good deals. No doohickey fixes, few upgrades, not the expensive upgrades. Better off to pay more and get much more.
 

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I'm following this discussion closely. I have a 2012 KLR. It has less than 2,000 miles on it that I will be putting up for sale very soon. I put two brand new Continental Twinduro TKC 80 on less than 50 miles ago. I put on the taller Eagle Mike suspension link. I did the Eagle Mike Manual petcock valve. I put a stock kickstand back on it. When I bought it, it had a crappy universal one on it that I still have and the buy can have. I rebuilt the carb 3 years ago when I got it. She starts up easy and runs like a dream. No backfires and pulls pulls pulls!. She get's great gas mileage and I have tracked every penny that went into her and kept gas/maintenance records and everything. Clean title and everything! I'm anxious to see people try to talk me down on the price. Nope. I will be firm. I have not decide what to ask for her yet but it will be around $4,000. I baby'd this bike the whole time I had her. No T-Bob. No Doohickey. I just never got around to it because of the other bikes I have now. A total of 5. I love her but I just got my 2nd Honda XR650R and this one is street legal so I no longer have a need for a 80% street bike when I want to ride a 80% dirt bike that is street legal. God Bless My KLR!
 

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As I mentioned in my intro, I'm looking for a used KLR for this spring. Prices seem to cover a respectable range and it leaves me wondering, what do you guys think is more important to a first time buyer, the age of the bike or the number of miles on it? I've seen bikes similarly equipped and closely priced, but with a fair difference in years and miles. Any thoughts?
Thanks.
Inanimate objects can't tell time. My rule of thumb has always been least mileage and best condition = best value. Check for rust, and the condition of the hoses and wires and find the bike, car, tractor, or farm implement that has the least use/mileage. There are very few hoses on a bike and they are easily replaced if necessary. Most northeastern bikes always seem to have low mileage due to the short riding season if you can look in our area. NEVER buy a bike that has been stored outside. With the exception of cosmetic farkels like windscreens, fenders, panniers and racks, I prefer to buy bikes that are unmodified and do my own mods unless I'm very familiar with the wrench that did the work. You know the stock configuration will run well as designed then you can do your own engine, exhaust, electrical or suspension mods yourself if you choose. I've owned 3 KLRs, 2 Gen 1s and 1 Gen 2. The Gen 1 is a lighter, has more suspension travel and is a better off road bike. The Gen 2 is a better commuter that will go off road but busted fairings and other plastic is more expensive to replace after a dump, and you will dump it sooner or later if you're riding off road. I loved my Gen 1s when I was in my 40's and I love my Gen 2 now that I'm in my mid 60s. If your looking for a Gen 2 then try to find a 2015 or newer to get the heavier suspension and the factory improvements that solved some of the problems with the earlier Gen 2s. My 2cents. Cheers!

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