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Discussion Starter #1
Well, took the bike for a spin in the NV hills. Wanted to ride the dirt to VC but had to turn around once getting to a creek draw that I was not capable of riding up. After turning around I got on another trail and had to turn around there because I ran/drifted off the trail in a uphill turn. I could not make traction to get moving up the hill. Got turned around again almost losing my sh*t and my bike. Running OEM tires that are low on tread and the 16t sure these items do not help my cause. Time to find a dirt/off road class.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do have my share of scratches and broken plastics. I like my bike I really do not like put more big scratches in it. Today I think was a success on that point. Did bang the frame on a rock though.
 

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They are kind of heavy bikes for serious off roading... I used to have an old 250 enduro that was a lot more nimble off road, not nearly the workout that the heavier bikes are.
 

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Yeah, same as above, it's a tank of a bike in the dirt. Lotta weight on the front wheel, and pretty top heavy with a full tank of gas. Consider mine a dirt road cruiser. But man it's not short on power off the pavement. I got a 16t on the front too for better highway riding, and would like to have the 15t sometimes off pavement, but it's a compromise as it's a long way to any dirt roads from where I live. Tires... The stock OEM tires are pretty nice on the pavement other than the fact they are el cheapos and wear out quickly. They suck in the dirt, esspecially at highway air pressures. Like riding on marbles. Airing them down would probably help. I've had my Shinko 705's down to 15 psi front and about 22 in the rear and the dirt handling was much better, esspeically for a smoother touring tire. That's as far as I was willing to go without rim locks and hoping not to pinch flat hitting rocks etc... Definately helped. I carry a small hand pump for flat repair and pumping the tires back up for highway.
Also, there's probably a lot of riding tip stuff on YouTube etc... but hands on instruction is hard to beat.
 

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I live at the top of Geiger Grade. Were you on the Old Toll Road? I've taken my KLR on all the hills around VC. You are correct. Poor OEM/low tread tires will mostly spin in the loose rocky conditions up here. I used to run Dunlop 606's which were great off road, but not so good on the pavement. I'm using Kenda 270s which seem like a good balance. On the really steep stuff, the KLR is a big bike and as mentioned, not as nimble as a lighter bike.
 

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It's a great offroad adventure bike, but I have a terrible time in the whoops
and ruts. They are indeed elephants in the dirt and just as hard to steer. lol


I have a blast but avoid anything resembling motocrossing and mud. KLR's hate
mud over a few inches deep.

Worth a mention.....I run and love my Michelik T-63's. One less knobby and
they would be illegal. They are soft and only good for 3-5 thousand miles on pavement.
Makes for some killer lean angles tho. Ye hah. Can't break the back end loose when
they are grabbing good.

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeap
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I live at the top of Geiger Grade. Were you on the Old Toll Road? I've taken my KLR on all the hills around VC. You are correct. Poor OEM/low tread tires will mostly spin in the loose rocky conditions up here. I used to run Dunlop 606's which were great off road, but not so good on the pavement. I'm using Kenda 270s which seem like a good balance. On the really steep stuff, the KLR is a big bike and as mentioned, not as nimble as a lighter bike.
I was in the jumbo grade area east of Washoe lake. Sure you know of the area. I was aired down on the tires but still steep terrain and not knowing the area crept me from riding to VC via the dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tried again!

Well, with the same crappy tires, more bike protection( sw motech bars and plate) I was able to make the trip. I did lay it down twice not fun at all. The first time where I turned around last time and on further up the trail. I did get some help from a group of riders that came upon me and my dilemma. They helped me to the top of the grade. Can't say thanks enough to them. They gave me the much needed help I needed. What a ride I still need more practice. This is a big pig to be out in the hills around here. I Just don't like steep and/or big rocks. Thanks again to the group on the KTMs, Hondas and a 4wheeler. Mind you one they say was 70 years old. He showed me what good health and great riding can do for you.
 

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Interesting article, Teacherman. I had no idea a KTM990 weighed only 60 pounds more than a KLR. I've only seen one up-close and it seemed so much larger.

I'm in the class of KLR riders that would never even notice an improvement from the stock suspension, but still a good read......
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Attempt #3

with robnreno along for the ride we made the jumbo grade run. I with a new tire the shinko 705 and rob with the shinko 244. We had a good run, rubber down for the full ride. Made it through the steep creek crossing that has been my nemesis for this ride with no problem. I was running on a schedule so was unable to hang out and around in the hills. But we will be back again soon.
Thanks for the ride rob and glad you had your coin brother #170

Tim
The brotherhood of KLR riders #70
 

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Truckee, CA-experienced senior rider looking for riding buddies. Lots and lots of fire roads etc here, would be runner and safer with company
Phone/text 916-612-5009
 

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Thank you Tim for the great ride, so want to go back and enjoy Virginia City a little more.
The Coin means a lot to me and I believe you still owe me a drink. It goes were ever I go , Thank you. I understand we may be riding at night now that your new gig has you staying up late and I'm game for that . A whole new adventure. Take care my friend!
 

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Agreed on the D606 comment - amazing off road, but less than enjoyable on pavement. I got 4,000 miles out of the front, and the 1,200 miles or so on pavement miles killed them so quickly. They cupped up fast and the vibrations had to have contributed to the death of my front fork seals (the originals lasted about 4,000 miles of dirt-bike behaviour, and the second set (non-OEM) lasted about the same distance, mostly gravel and single track fyi). the flip side was their off-road work - not once was I unable to climb or turn in mud, sand, or dirt. To cut the rear loose took a determined stab on the throttle and a weight shift over the front end. They are also flat resistant (in my experience) and mounting requires some attention to technique! (recommended tool: Baja no-pinch)
 

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Hey guys

Just saw this thread and that some of you are in the Reno area. Joined this forum several weeks ago. I have a 2005 KLR 650 which I'm setting up for some road trips. Any technical upgrade ideas would be great. Just did the Doohicky and panniers.

Thank you,
John
 

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Interesting thread, a couple comments;

- training and experience make a huge difference; keep practicing!

- while you can't make a KLR into a KTM500EXC, they can be made FAR better offroad. I have two Gen1's that have been extensively modified (within reason) to be better offroad; full Cogent suspension and about 50 other mods.... about 375 lbs wet w. 6 galls of fuel.

- I see that article periodically and while it's interesting, they didn't do very well on the suspension upgrade....if you are going to even TRY to compare a KLR to a $20,000 KTM, you should at least upgrade the front suspension with more than a cheapy set of progressive springs.

- D606's aren't the best on the pavement; particularly the front....it is loud and suffers from a weird wear pattern. OTOH, I use my KLR's mostly offroad and I like decent offroad tires (plus I seldom get stuck on the pavement! ;-) ) My current "go to" setup is a D606 rear and a Pirelli MT21 front. The MT21 offers similar offroad grip but is quieter, wears better and lasts longer.

- John, If you are interested in offroad mods, let me know and I may be able to share some thoughts.



Dave
 

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Thank you for the offer Sir. I'm about a 95% on-road rider. I just put on some new Heidenhau K60 Scouts as the knobbies I had on it were not good for wet roads. Most of my future riding will be on-road as well at this point in my life.
 
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