Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi ladies! I am new here :60:

Just took my MSF course and got my license this week. Now it is time to go shopping for a bike. I was contemplating the KLR 650, as one of my college guy friends had one and I used to ride with him a lot. He loved the bike!

I was looking at some cruiser-type bikes but I am just not feeling the love. They feel so...short! I had a Honda Rebel 250 to train on at MSF. I called it the tricycle. I have sat on some Honda Shadows and some Yamaha Vstars as well. Still feel short.

I am 5'11 and about 250 lbs...not a small size woman for sure :1: so I need something to fit me. As I mentioned, I am a novice rider. Do you think the 650 would be a good bike to start out on?

Thanks for any input or suggestions!

Vanessa
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
KLRs are great starter bikes. You're right at the height cut off, though. Depends on inseam and whether you would be willing to or want to lower it. Have you thrown a leg over one? Can you get your feet on the ground?

If you can, KLRs are pretty awesome. ;)
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Oh, and I am not a lady, but not many people come in here. Might want to ask the Q in the main KLR forum. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
I am 5'11 and about 250 lbs...not a small size woman for sure :1: so I need something to fit me. As I mentioned, I am a novice rider. Do you think the 650 would be a good bike to start out on?
KLR was/is my first bike. I don't regret that decision one bit. It was never too difficult to ride. It certainly wasn't too powerful. :)

But I'm 6'4" so I can put my feet flat on the ground and still have my knees bent, so YMMV. (I had a fun time in the MSF class with those tiny 250s. But even more fun was the MSF dirt bike class where I was on a 125 or something. The comical pictures look photoshopped, the scale is so far off. I really liked the dirt class FWIW. Something "clicked" while I was there and it really helped me be more stable on the dirt and gravel.)

Like Lockjaw said, I'd find one to sit on first. But if you're good with it, go for it!
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
I think the KLR would be a great first bike as well! Very tractable power and predictable handling... And at 5'11" I'm guessing it would be a pretty good fit for you, enjoy! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
I'm not a lady, either, but I saw you pose the question in another forum. In that forum, you mentioned a Gen 1 KLR (87 - 07). You got quite a few negative responses. I have an '08. Many of the complaints about the KLR were addressed in Gen 2 bikes (08 - present). Not all, however.

I love my KLR, but I would pose this question in response. Are you willing / able to do a bit of wrenching on your bike? If you are, then the KLR is worth considering. If you want to pull in to a dealership whenever the maintenance cycle says you should, I would suggest looking at a more road specific bike.

My sister, also 5'11", and around 300lbs, rides a Bergman and loves it!

JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
The KLR--at least my '01 KLR--is a very forgiving bike in that I can fully open the throttle, or fully apply the brakes, with relatively little danger of getting more gas or brake than I bargained for. To put it another way, the brakes are mushy and the acceleration sucks. (There is an upgrade for the brakes, which I haven't bothered to do.) After a few years of riding the KLR almost exclusively, I will admit I'm starting to see this bike as a sort of neurotic mother who's constantly putting a damper on things, second-guessing my decisions--are you sure you want to go that fast? Sure you want to brake that hard? However, I think all of this can only mean it's a great beginner's bike--provided, of course, you've got the inseam for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Another warm welcome from the opposite sex.....lol....go figure eh....lol.

I agree with all of the above, but wouldn't rule out an earlier version bike at all. The price difference will easily allow you to make the bike your own. I think personally that the people who complain about the wind protection want a street bike type protection while having their cake and eating it too...so to speak. The KLR is what it is, a cheapmans' adventure touring machine...IMHO. That is how I use mine. I ride it tens of thousands of kms every season on some adventure each and every summer. If you realize what it is designed for and accept it for what it is, then I think you will fall in love with it too. Sure you can buy the newer version if you feel that is best, nothing wrong with either way. It's a personal choice. Personally I do not feel the KLR is a dirtbike like many do, but that's just me. It's way too heavy and poorly sprung to deal with the demands of off roading etc. Again to each their own.
Search out images etc of ewach type and judge for yourself.
They made a few good improvements on the newer versions over the earlier ones....better brakes, better wind protection, some feel better looks, stronger forks, slightly better seat( I can't see that one myself?) Much better lighting and a better swing arm. BUT....they also allowed one bad thing to happen, in some cases the earlier production bikes of the newer version burned oil badly. So beware. It is a semi simple fix not costing too much. A simple big bore kit will solve this only real issue with the newer version bikes. A 685 or 705 big bore kit are the most proven kits out there, there are a few other 658 and a 688 kit, both have good track records but not as long out on the market. Your choice on which you choose.

So there you have all the good and the ugly about the great KLR and it is still a great bike. All bikes have issues, every make and model, none are imune to these little teething problems so to speak. They are all well documented and are all easily fixable.

I don't mean to scare you off at all...just to give you a complete understanding on what the bike is all about.

Now go out and swing a leg over one.....if you can touch the ground.....you are halfway home. I think I have said before, it is easily lowered also. If you can tippy toe it, it can be lowered enough to easily get the balls of your feet to touch if not allowing you to flat foot it.

Hope this helps....:13:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
As a beginner rider you are not going to be riding the bike even close to its design limits for a long time. Once you get to a higher level of riding you may want to change a few things or even upgrade to a different or more capable bike depending on your riding style. Many thousands of commuterand pleasure riding miles are racked up on STOCK KLRs every year. They are an excellent entry level bike. I am 5'10" and 240 with a 32"inseam and can put my feet down on both my 2011 and my 2003. Though the bike is tall the suspension is fairly soft and compresses once you are on .
Go for it girl!!
Regards....justjeff
P.S. I had a Honda Shadow ACE and the distance from the seat to the footpegs was too short malking longer rides very cramped. jj
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Sorry to hijack.....Damn JustJeff....I rode through your town last summer on my out to Dawson City!!....I just saw where you live!


Now back to the regularly scheduled programing......:t1204::13:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Okay.....all the guys out of the ladies area....Geez didn't you'all see the sign:animal0022: :animal0021:

I think I'm taking the Airstream and the KLR to Arizona........big girls and bikes......my kinda town.:thumb:

Goodluck Vanessa (nice name......Curryv, LOL) with whatever you choose and don't forget good boots and gear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
Okay.....all the guys out of the ladies area....Geez didn't you'all see the sign:animal0022: :animal0021:

I think I'm taking the Airstream and the KLR to Arizona........big girls and bikes......my kinda town.:thumb:

Goodluck Vanessa (nice name......Curryv, LOL) with whatever you choose and don't forget good boots and gear.
OOPs! Sorry Mam!
Regards....justjeff
 

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
Okay.....all the guys out of the ladies area....Geez didn't you'all see the sign:animal0022: :animal0021:

I think I'm taking the Airstream and the KLR to Arizona........big girls and bikes......my kinda town.:thumb:

Goodluck Vanessa (nice name......Curryv, LOL) with whatever you choose and don't forget good boots and gear.

Lol, darn! Kicked out again! Keep your eyes peeled, think I saw Skeeter skulking around here somewhere too... :16a:

I retreat back to the boys side :animal0019:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
OOPs! Sorry Mam!
Regards....justjeff
Okay I can see how the mix up happened, but last time I checked I was still in posession of my "man card". Not to say coming back as a big boned lesbian and also like "big girls and bikes" wouldn't have its advantages, as in I could kick some guys a$$ and no judge would throw me in the slammer, LOL. I was just giving Willys and you'all a hard time for being in the girls section.

Willys is just pissing himself laughing right now. I'm going to hear about this. :t1202:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,009 Posts
i am like beejjorgensen, my first was a klr and i am 6'3 so no probs either. however my old man is 5'10 and he rides his just fine stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Great bike. Buy one used. Keep street tires on it. Do not add Farkles until one year of riding it.
Shout out to my brothers: My wife bought a Burgman!!

M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
As far as a good learner's bike, excellent if you can reach the ground. If you are looking for a cushy road bike. ...no. If you are looking for a great dirt bike....no.

A good starter road bike if you must have something bigger and stronger than a rebel is along the lines of a 1986 Honda Shadow 500. (VT500C) It is not like newer Shadows at all. That is if you have trouble reaching with the KLR.

As for off the road, this bike is heavy and work. It will do much of it, but not as effortlessly as a pure purposed bike.

If you do not plan off road excursions at all, 500-650cc streeters will make you happier.

I bought my KLR for the following reasons
1-easy to work on
2-cheap to own and work on
3-frame geometry - knees hurt bent tight. 4-Occasionally like light off road excursions
5-It is a good disaster/fall of society bike.

For the road only, I will take a BMW K series anytime.



Sent from my SCH-I605 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I dont see any problem with the bike you want. It seems everyone learns how to ride on the Rebel 250s. I took my MSC on a rebel too.. interesting experience to say the least. Definitely a slow little bike.

No problem with the KLR as long as you get comfortable with it before doing anything crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
a chance to borrow a friends klr would be the best option, but other than that relying on some well founded advise here ain't bad. Been touring many years on Goldwings and sport tourers and just the other day rode basically a maiden, day voyage of 735 mi. nuff said? The others have much more wind protection etc, but the klr will feel like riding a m/c opposed to a cager.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top