Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I road out with a friend to get his BMW serviced. While I was there I took the GS800 and friend took a GS1200 for a ride. Only about 30 miles but did fide some dirt. Here are my thoughts on the GS800 compared to KLR.

GS800 has more low-end tork and a 6th gear.

Bigger tires seemed to make the cracks and tar-snakes disappear, which we have a lot of here in the northeast.

Has ABS brakes, hand warmers, AC outlet, twin fuel injection (easer starts for the cold days), great setup for side bags and trunk. All around it is more bike than the KLR. With that said, I’m not sure it’s worth the extra 7Gs.

Before I could ride any distance I’d need to purchase a new seat. It is MUCH worst than the KLR’s. More narrow and angled down. Great for off-road but the worst design for a DS. Also the stock skid plate doesn’t seem to offer enough protection.

If I was to buy a new bike it may be the BMW GS800 but currently, I’m not unhappy with my KLR. I’ve had really good luck and enjoy riding it.

Anyone else ride one of these? Thoughts?
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
Never ridden one, but I've read a lot of comparisons and your impressions seem in keeping with what I've heard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
I road out with a friend to get his BMW serviced. While I was there I took the GS800 and friend took a GS1200 for a ride. Only about 30 miles but did fide some dirt. Here are my thoughts on the GS800 compared to KLR.

GS800 has more low-end tork and a 6th gear.

Bigger tires seemed to make the cracks and tar-snakes disappear, which we have a lot of here in the northeast.

Has ABS brakes, hand warmers, AC outlet, twin fuel injection (easer starts for the cold days), great setup for side bags and trunk. All around it is more bike than the KLR. With that said, I’m not sure it’s worth the extra 7Gs.

Before I could ride any distance I’d need to purchase a new seat. It is MUCH worst than the KLR’s. More narrow and angled down. Great for off-road but the worst design for a DS. Also the stock skid plate doesn’t seem to offer enough protection.

If I was to buy a new bike it may be the BMW GS800 but currently, I’m not unhappy with my KLR. I’ve had really good luck and enjoy riding it.

Anyone else ride one of these? Thoughts?

I haven't rode the GS800, but have comments anyway!

To my way of thinking if one really needs off-road capability (not just dirt roads) and a big motor a KTM 950-990 is the only choice. It has quality adjustable suspension that the BMW lacks. Good suspension is the most important consideration off-road. How BMW could produce the 800 without user adjust is beyond me.

If dirt roads are all the off-road you are going to do get a Wee Strom and use the money saved to get a real dirt bike for anything more technical.

Now if you want to talk about the wisdom of riding an expensive 450lb + bike off-road...
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
I totally agree, Spec.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,751 Posts
You have to remember that 97% of the people who buy a 800GS will NEVER ride gravel with it, let alone take it off road.

In 1993 I traded in my 1992 R100GS for a 1992 R100RS, and bought a 1984 Honda XL600R on-off so I could actually ride my dual sport motorcycle off road. The GS was terrible on gravel, but was a great streetbike as long as you didn't mind replacing the rear tire every 2000 miles.

Seldom are BMW dual sports used for anything worse than occasional gravel riding.. I like my KLR on the gravel..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Consider this. Our local Victory/BMW/KTM/Yamaha dealer has an 02 KLR as his personal all purpose kick around play bike. When he enters a desert race he is on his KTM 990, when on the highway touring with the wife, he is on a full dressed Victory. Racing motocross? a Yamaha 250 etc. He never rides a BMW. The KLR is the perfict bike for his weekend playing in our local mountains. If it breaks, it is easy and cheap to repair compaired to the other brands and if it is beyond repair, he can walk away from it without much invested and get another one. He says, you just can't beat the KLR for what it is intended to do.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I thought this topic would spark some good comments. Great stuff!

How are the KTMs for reliability? I’ve heard from three separate riders (non are KTM owners) that they have mechanical issues. I’ve never ridden one. May be interested for the longer road trips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
KTMs are highly tuned and tend to lean towards the racing side of riding. This usually requires more maintence in order to keep them in prime condition. KLRs and DRs seem to require less tinkering and less expensive work to keep them going. This means more riding time and less down time.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I like this thread. My other bike is an 05 Ducati multistrada. "Many Streets" or whatever multistrada means is kind of a joke. I suppose it is capable, but as expensive as it is to repair, I would never (again) think of taking it off road or even FS roads. This is exactly the reason that drew me to the KLR for a 2nd bike (but as it turns out is really my 1st bike now). Low cost initial investment, easy to work on, probably more fun to ride than my MTS (although clearly not as fast), and you really can make quick work of the twisties with KLR to the point of making the sport bikers a little green. And at $5k brand new... I mean this has to be the best deal in all of 2 wheel-dom!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I have ridden the GS800 and I really liked it. It has everything the KLR doesn't, including a steep price tag. I rode it before buying the KLR and ended up buying the KLR primarily because I'm a noob off road. My buddy, on the other hand, had a KLR and bought the GS800. We're going to ride the Shadow of the Rockies trail in August and he's nervous about it. Not nervous about his abilities because he has the experience I lack, and he got it all on his KLR. What he's nervous about is the cost he's going to have to pay after he drops it, and we both know we're going to drop our bikes. Just the nature of the beast.

However, I would love to have the power his GS has. I told him that if I got through this ride without dropping the KLR I would go out and buy one of those GS'. I'm fairly confident I won't need to worry about having a GS in the garage. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
I thought this topic would spark some good comments. Great stuff!

How are the KTMs for reliability? I’ve heard from three separate riders (non are KTM owners) that they have mechanical issues. I’ve never ridden one. May be interested for the longer road trips.
Go over to ADV in the bikes forums and do some reading. Every brand has issues, the know issues can be dealt with. The GS800 is fairly new and the owners are still discovering issues. Is a KTM a reliable bike? Probably if you take care of the known problems. KLRs have issues like the doohickey, safety switches, etc. that affect reliability (don't get me started on the new models burning oil!).

I'm not one that thinks hi-tech is a liability on a motorcycle. I'll take fuel injection, ignition mapping, ABS, etc. any day. Bikes are far better now in terms of reliability, rideability, safety, etc. than they ever were.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top