Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The KLR receives a lot of abuse on other forums for being so heavy and underpowered. I have been looking at weights lately -- I like the shaft drive I have on a CX500 and would like a shaft dual-sport. They come with mfr claims of 520 to 600 Lbs "dry" or even more.

A 1200GS weighs about what my bike weighs packed for hot + cold riding and comfort camping. I could take twice as much gear to get to the weight of a Super Tenre. Those bikes DO have broad torque plateaus that are double the 705 KLR peak torque. No need to even look at peak horsepower. I don't really need more horsepower.

On the other hand, I've been riding ATV trails solo. This winter a neighbor bought a DRZ400 and I'm looking forward to having someone to help me lift. :nono: Er, I mean someone I can show where I've found the more interesting trails.

The DRZ, however is 100Lbs lighter than a stock KLR and I've attached all the Gold-wing-like pieces I wanted for a gravel-road tourer. The top box is usually not mounted, but those side cases are really handy any day. And the lights are great. And . . . This neighbor has an old-school trials bike from back in the day, so I'll certainly learn some things this year.

Now that you've read this far, you see that there's nothing of importance in this thread; just the ramblings of a winterbound rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
KLR is good is good all around like you put it!!! I was looking at the 800 and 1200 GS's but for the price of the KLR I couldn't pass it up. $6,100 out the door brand new a few weeks ago. After about the $1000 I've dumped into it to comfort items, some lighting/electrical gadgets, and some luggage, I still have less than half the cost of the BMW. I call it a win. More $$$ for gas and riding adventures.
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Agreed. And keep rambling. Spring will be here soon. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,319 Posts
By todays rider 'standards', It may actually be an Under Weight Touring Bike!

"I get Blown all over the road" "It just isn't Very Stable" etc..........
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
The KLR IS heavy and underpowered....compared to a KTM500EXC. OTOH, both bikes (while technically dual sports) have vastly different missions; one is a full blown offroad race bike that you won't get locked up for riding on a mile of pavement between trail sections and the other is a go-anywhere adventure bike that is cheap, simple and lasts forever.

What makes a good dirt bike also makes a crappy street bike and vice versa....it's all about compromise in the world of dual sports.

As far as weight goes; the KLR is what it is.....but the weight can be overstated; a first gen KLR weighs 399 lbs full of fuel which puts its wet, no fuel weight at just under 360lbs. 2nd gens are about 17lbs heavier. Before a bunch of people chime in that their bike is heavier, I would mention that most people have added a bunch of weight with all kinds of "stuff" like crash bars, center stands, paniers, etc. etc.

I went the other way on my Gen 1 and put it on a mild diet; a silencer change lost 5 lbs and a battery swap to an LiFePO lost another 9. I then removed 3-5lbs worth of other misc. "stuff". she ain't exactly light, but she's right around DR650 weight now....except with more wind protection, liquid cooling, bigger tank and a luggage rack.

2 cents,
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,738 Posts
And . . . gasoline weighs about 6 lbs. per gallon . . . thus, a full tank amounts to about 36 lbs. of elective weight . . . run half-full, and you trim 18 lbs. from the GVW! :)

I jest. Truth be told, the KLR650 is kinda heavy; at least, compared to a composite carbon-fiber framed and wheeled trials bike with helium in its tires . . .

Is the KLR650's ponderous weight critical to its operational performance, within its typical service spectrum? I don't think so; those who do have lower-weight choices.

Under-powered? Robust enough power, as far as I'm concerned; again, mightier engines await those who would buy them. Nothing against hop-up, but . . . doubt anyone ever touches the skirt of an out-of-the box Husky/KTM/BMW of similar displacement, or even a Kawasaki Versys.

I'll dance with the KLR650 who brung me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,319 Posts
I've been 'Dancing' with mine for 26 1/2 years.

On Interstate highways, I call it the 'KLR Shuffle'!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,596 Posts
Guess it depends on who you are. I've ridden with guys who could run rings around me on a KLR650 even if I was riding a Honda CRF250.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts

·
Lifetime Member
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
Lol, if I want my KLR to feel really light I just ride my old Goldwing around for a while... Then when I hop on my KLR it feels almost as light as a mountain bike! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
I have yet to see a BMW or KTM "adventure bike" on any of the trails I've been on. I had a state park ranger in Kalifornia tell me that I was the first adv bike he'd ever seen out there. With top case, side bags and all my crap nonetheless. I will take the big pig anywhere and I will be smiling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,596 Posts
If I lost 40 pounds my KLR's would feel a whole lot peppier!
I hear 'ya. I could stand to lose about 6 or 7 Stock Exhausts Worth, myself. Let's face it: how many of us are fit and well-conditioned riders who push even the KLR to its limits and are unable to conquer a particular section of trail because of the limits of the bike?

I'm certainly not one of those people. The only thing that bugs me off-roading on a Gen2 KLR is the fact that the front of it is so wide compared to other dualsports I've ridden and that's not truly a hindrance but I think more of a psychological thing. The huge gas tank (even if only partially full as Damocles suggested) and the bloated, protruding fairings, although virtually weightless, just make the thing seem a lot more awkward than it really is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
And . . . gasoline weighs about 6 lbs. per gallon . . . thus, a full tank amounts to about 36 lbs. of elective weight . . . run half-full, and you trim 18 lbs. from the GVW! :)

. . .

Is the KLR650's ponderous weight critical to its operational performance, within its typical service spectrum?
I've made the mistake of filling up before hitting the ATV trails. But the trails lead to places that are 60 miles from any gas and that's in the "wrong" direction, so there's some comfort in the extra weight.

The "typical service spectrum" for the KLR is pretty broad. Weight again brings comfort -- a smoother ride for long road trips. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

On Interstate highways, I call it the 'KLR Shuffle'!
I've read about a weave at high speed. Do you truly have something like that? I have ridden for short times at 75 mph and neighborhood and don't have a weave. (Short time because I don't have a windshield either.) Montana is a place where speeds like that are legal.

If I lost 40 pounds I'd be in a hospital. And I'll drop and chop more trees today so I'll have heat next winter. I'm not a triathlete any more, but I keep in fair condition.

Let's face it: how many of us are fit and well-conditioned riders who push even the KLR to its limits and are unable to conquer a particular section of trail because of the limits of the bike?

I'm certainly not one of those people. The only thing that bugs me off-roading on a Gen2 KLR is the fact that the front of it is so wide compared to other dualsports I've ridden and that's not truly a hindrance but I think more of a psychological thing.
I'm still a noob and I'm sure I am unable to push the KLR to its limits. It seems that in many activities, noobs learn on the most awkward equipment then move "up" to the good stuff later. By that time they have the skills to better use the awkward equipment. (Not a perfect rule; there are plenty of noobs who buy the best, lightest "pro" gear for their first try.)

I would have an additional psychological problem with a gen 2: the plastic is not only wider (really wide) but somehow seems less flexible and forgiving than gen 1 plastic. (True? False?) Again, for the road that width may provide a little wind protection for the legs (or maybe not).

Don't get me wrong; I like my KLR. I just started thinking because of the prospect of taking it (and all the Gold-wing attachments I've added) out on the ATV trails with a trials rider on a lighter bike.

Thanks for the discussion.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,596 Posts
Yeah, the Gen2 plastic is pretty brittle and easily prone to damage.

The best unsolicited advice I can give you is that if you're riding the KLR along with a highly skilled rider on a smaller, more agile machine, don't try to do what he does if it makes you uncomfortable. If he's aware of your limited experience, he should know better than to push you or lead you into trouble, too. Hopefully he'll take the time to teach you some stuff, too. There's no substitute for experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I seem to have misled you. I'm looking forward to these rides. I'm chomping at the bit. I'm vibrating with excitement. My neighbor has shown immeasurable support and patience -- he's Canadian after all. One example: we rode together to an event at Mt. Washington where we camped. It's a fair day from where we live. He rode his Hayabusa and I rode my CB360. He got excellent gas economy at the speeds he traveled that weekend. We've had other mismatched rides: R100RT + CB750K, Kawasaki H2 + CX500, Concourse ZG1000 + KLR

But even knowing that the KLR will work fine, and knowing that my neighbor will also enjoy the rides as long as I don't suddenly decide to whine or sit in the trail and pitch a fit, I'm also casting my eye around the web at CRF, DRZ, and WR in smaller sizes. But I know I don't "need" those.

EDIT: My neighbor knows that he will benefit from the many hours of "research" that I've put into finding which trails are dead boring and which are more interesting or challenging and what surfaces or obstacles he's likely to encounter there. There are lots of trails here and they're not all equal. Some that are legal for motorcycles are clearly passable only when there's more than a foot of snow (i.e. snowmobile trails). I would challenge even a trials rider to cross a swamp with hummocks of scrub.

Plus he gets a fuel tanker following him.

EDIT 2: Did I write "many hours of research" above? Many days. Many days of 300 miles and some longer. Trying this ATV trail then that one. It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
I just saw a great photo of a KLR towing a GS. Dang if I can't find it, though!

I have yet to see a BMW or KTM "adventure bike" on any of the trails I've been on. I had a state park ranger in Kalifornia tell me that I was the first adv bike he'd ever seen out there. With top case, side bags and all my crap nonetheless. I will take the big pig anywhere and I will be smiling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,596 Posts
Sounds like you've got a good riding buddy there, Grinnin.

I will freely admit that if I could afford it, I would like to have even a KLR or XR 250 to take on some of the more gnarly terrain around here.

Good point about the fuel tanker; kind of a two wheeled KC-135!

By the way, we'll expect photos of your adventures........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Pictures. Yea.

I pooched a camera taking the pics shown in the Trip Reports subforum. When I got a new camera I made trips to these ATV trails to specifically show the bright fall colors and the gnarly trails I conquer on the KLR. I failed on both counts.

For trails, when I'm in something difficult, Maslow's pyramid has me focused on something other than artistic fulfillment.

Then, my neighbor and I don't usually inflict our cameras on each other. I'll post pics of two motorcycles instead of one though.

Some of the tedious research so far:

This is a rail-trail and not all that interesting, but it has different varieties of gravel to help a noob learn.


More rail-trail.


This is by Meddybemps. It is only by finding this bridge that I was able to locate the trail north of here that had some GREAT rocks. I'll be dragging my neighbor that way this year. No pics of the rocks, see Maslow, above.


They say "lift with your knees" but the hump of dirt to the right of the end of that rut fit just behind the handlebars. There was no place to stand except in front of the bike. I twisted it upright by the handlebars.


I keep hoping that I'll capture the beauty of this area and nature of the trails, but that's pretty hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Sounds like you've got a good riding buddy there, Grinnin.

I will freely admit that if I could afford it, I would like to have even a KLR or XR 250 to take on some of the more gnarly terrain around here.

Good point about the fuel tanker; kind of a two wheeled KC-135!

By the way, we'll expect photos of your adventures........
We have some state forest trails that are sometimes used for enduro competition that I only would ride on with my KLR250, not my KLR650.

That said, neither bike is equal to a real off road racer, and for me the 650 is more fun than the 250 for almost any riding except those tight trails.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top