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I have been looking to get a long distance tourer. I have slim down my choices, KLR650 or the VERSYS. My question in regards to the KLR650, what is the top speed on this bike? are they quick and fast enough on the free way?
 

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I have been looking to get a long distance tourer. I have slim down my choices, KLR650 or the VERSYS. My question in regards to the KLR650, what is the top speed on this bike? are they quick and fast enough on the free way?
Quick?? That's a tough one.. When at freeway speed, they'll get out of their own way fast enough, but they're no speed demon.. :)

Stock, they're more than fast enough for freeway speeds, but if you're doing nothing more than touring, I'd suggest going one tooth taller on the front sprocket to drop your engine speed a bit.

I haven't ridden the new KLR model, or a Versys, so I don't know which would be better, but my hunch would be the Versys would be a better bike for strickly freeway riding..
 

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My 08 with basic mods will get up around 100 mph on the freeway. It comfortably does 85ish. I also agree with Wanderer, though, if you're going to be seriously touring at freeway speeds, you might want a bigger, less buzzy bike.

Given, the two choices you listed, I would pass on the KLR. You check out the VStrom?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i was at the dealer today. the speedometer of the klr indicate 120mph. But with all the luggage and add on, will it be enough for highway traveling? I am interested in bike that would do both on and off road, and i don't want to spend ton of money for a bmw.
 

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The speedometer on my eff-two-fitty goes to 120, too, but with the 4.30 rear end it pretty much tops out at 95 or so. It's got torque up the wazzoo, though.

So does the KLR.

The KLR is a great bike, but marginal for loaded touring. And, in my opinion, it's not a bike for sustained high speeds.

Listen to the advice; you may be better served with a Versys or V-Strom.

Tom
 

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I think it's time to start spillin your guts and tell us what your plans are because you'll just waste everyones time by keeping us guessing. Mentioning the Versys suggested you weren't interested in off-road, but you say you are so we need to get your plans out in the open here. What level of off-road? What mileage do you mean when you say long distance touring, how often will you do the long distance touring, how often will you off-road, will you be off-roading locally as well. Spill it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think it's time to start spillin your guts and tell us what your plans are because you'll just waste everyones time by keeping us guessing. Mentioning the Versys suggested you weren't interested in off-road, but you say you are so we need to get your plans out in the open here. What level of off-road? What mileage do you mean when you say long distance touring, how often will you do the long distance touring, how often will you off-road, will you be off-roading locally as well. Spill it!

Ok, this is the breakdown of what I want to do. Long distance road trips, i live in california. Something like going cross country, and up to alaska. I like a bike that excel in both off and on road. I will do as much off road as i can at the same time i want it to be capable of hitting the highway with out lag. All of this with luggage I will be hauling. I've test ride the GS1200 by BMW and gs800, the gs800 was perfect compared to the larger gs1200 dual sports. But its kinda pricey for a bike. So i thought something of litre dual sportbike would be to much for the application I like to do? I see many picture of KLR owner taking the bike long distance. maybe its just enough for What i need?
 

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Mine has the standard 16 tooth sprocket, airbox opened up, dyno jet kit, and MSR exhaust and it gets to 110 indicated with me tucked in on the tank....and thats a bit scary on a KLR.

Lefty C
 

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I'm all stock with a few drops and a duct taped left shroud, and bent handle bars. (Get the crash/rad guards) I get the speed wobbles over 140 Km/hr on occasion. You burn a lot more fuel doing that speed running down the highway. At 70mph I'm at 5000rpm and it is comfortable but it after 3 hours your gonna feel it if you don't have a corbin seat, which I don't. I have had it up to 175 km/hr if your looking for top speed. It was on flat ground and I still had another couple hundred rpms before red line.

Oh and I have some cheap saddle bags on it as well.
 

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I'm not sure of what you are asking? Are you asking how fast they will go? I've had mine over 90 mph once but was not looking at the speedometer so I can't say if it was right on 90 or 95 or 96, etc.

I use a 16 T front sprocket and that helps. When that speed happened I was wearing Michelin T66's on my rims and they were a faster tire than the MEFO's I run now. I seldom exceed 70 mph on my KLR. High speed is not only uncomfortable but it is extremely unsafe. I do a lot of gravel road riding and some real trail riding. I live in Wasilla Alaska so when you get on a trail it gets rough and wet. Sometimes I must abort the ride because the conditions are too rough and I really don't want to beat the hell out of my bike. I like the looks of it without any major damage.
 

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I like a bike that excel in both off and on road. I will do as much off road as i can at the same time i want it to be capable of hitting the highway with out lag.
The KLR doesn't excel at anything! It's a compromise in all aspects in order to be able to do all aspects. If you gear up more for on-road you lose off-road ability and vice versa. Sounds like you need the 650 V-strom at $8,000 or BMW G650GS at $7,670.00. Both have enough power for sustained road touring and should still be manageable off-road. Even the mighty KTM 530exc is that price and it's road ergonomics isn't much better then the KLR and maybe worse. You'll need to bump to the KTM 990 Adventure for a more comfortable road tourer and capable off-roader (With some skills and strength).

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/bmw/2009-bmw-g650gs-review-87721.html

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/suzuki/suzuki-vstrom-650-17909.html
 

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You are right on with that.

If I had the money to buy a KTM 990 I would love to have one of them. The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage is a KTM dealer. Whenever they have one I stop by and drool for awhile. As it is I don't ride as much as I did when I was younger, it seems that with the home in Wasilla and the cabin out in the Bush I'm working too much. I have a lot of nice stuff but a 990 isn't in the cards until I'm too old to really put it through the paces. I can't ride off-road like I could when I was twenty anymore. The KLR does what I need, it is a motorcycle and compared to my 1966 250 CC Yamaha Big Bear Scrambler it is a Cadillac! As a matter of fact I've had a lot of motorcycles that were not nearly as comfortable as my KLR. Hell I took a 1978 GS 750 Suzuki on a 11,770 mile ride in 5 weeks back in 1981 with no panniers, no trunk, just a little bolt on wind shield and a huge duffel strapped to the back! The GS was faster than my KLR but on long trips it was no picnic.
 

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I own a bone stock 2009 KLR 650 and it will comfortably cruse at 80-85 all day long. Anything above that is stressing the bike, I say this because I notice a dramatic increase in oil usage and a decrese in gas milage.

The bike will sprint over 100 but I wouldnt maintain it over long distances.
 

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Most Klrs can easily cruise in the 130-150 mph range. The '09s can top the 200 mph mark. If you can't believe that then try this...Google "KLR650 road test". I'm not going to say "what's so hard about that?"
 

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... The '09s can top the 200 mph mark. ...
It's gotta be the red one that can do that, but a color called "Sunbeam Red"? - c'mon...

Tom
 

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My bike goes the speed of light. Well, the headlight does.
 

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The KLR is the ONLY bike in it's class ($$$$) that can manage BOTH off and on road travel. It is a SIGNIFICANT traveler off road. And as has been stated already, it does ok on road. It is NOT a V-STROM or a VERSYS. It is a KLR. The benefit is that it can go just about anywhere in the world, whereas the other two, definitely Can Not.
 

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Have heard they can get a high speed wobble well I found that out between 85-90 mph.Very scary.80 mph is as fast as I will ever see on it from now on.
 
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