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Hi everyone. This is my first post here and I'm a bike newb.

I took a motorcycle course at the end of last summer and got my motorcycle license in Canada. Winter came before I could buy my first bike. This sucks, but it also allowed me to look at every single bike on the market known to humanity, new, used, custom, with an open mind. I've gone to motorcycle shows, checked out ads on the classifieds and went to dealerships but have yet to pull the trigger on buying anything.

I've finally settled on what I think I want as a first bike, as the snow starts to melt, and that's the KLR650. I've heard rave reviews about it being easy on a beginner that won't get old within a few months. It's good for riding on dirt while equally as good on the highway. I hope I never drop a bike, but if I do it's not the end of the world with a KLR.

I've been looking for new/used in the Calgary Canada area for over a month now, and I can't find any decent deals used. I'm thinking about buying new, the choice being 2015 versus 2016, a $1000CAD difference.

The 2015 KLR650 is only $6000 and I've called around to 4 dealerships, got them all to match the lowest price after PDI/Doc fees etc. Is there any reason why I shouldn't buy the 2015 KLR for $6000? The 2016 is $7000.
 

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Hi everyone. This is my first post here and I'm a bike newb.

Is there any reason why I shouldn't buy the 2015 KLR for $6000? The 2016 is $7000.
No, there is not!
I am a 'dealer'. "sshhh, mums the word, please". I suggest you should buy something else, for a couple of months. Why?

You are going to Drop IT!

In fact I will suggest that you purchase the cheapest, used POS dirt bike that you can find that still runs, with a 35 inch seat height as Soon AS Possible!
Ride it Now, while it is still snowy, muddy and ugly riding. Get used to slipping, sliding and falling down!
In other words, "get your sea-legs under ya'". Get some riding experience.
One can always re-sell a POS dirt bike if it still runs when you are done learning.

My motto, "Dirt Riders make better Street Riders. Motorcycle Riders make better Car Drivers!"
And I still occasionally fall down! Sometimes at a 'dead stop'!
 

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...uh, yes, well, even the KLR650 will get "old". Mine got old. I still love it though. It's still just as much fun as the day I bought it. Never is a long time, but I'll probably never get rid of it.
 

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Actually that's good advice as you will almost certainly fall down, especially if you don't have much (or any) motorcycle experience other than taking the course. It's much easier on the mind and the pocketbook to drop an older, experienced bike vs a brand new shiny one!

And to answer your question, there is absolutely no reason to buy the 16 over the 15 if you're saving $1K. Other than color schemes the bikes are identical. They are kind of top heavy beasties for real serious off roading, but do just fine on hard packed trails and dirt roads. Swiss army bike, does a little of everything ;).
 

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You are going to Drop IT!

In fact I will suggest that you purchase the cheapest, used POS dirt bike that you can find that still runs, with a 35 inch seat height as Soon AS Possible!
Ride it Now, while it is still snowy, muddy and ugly riding. Get used to slipping, sliding and falling down!
In other words, "get your sea-legs under ya'". Get some riding experience.
One can always re-sell a POS dirt bike if it still runs when you are done learning.

My motto, "Dirt Riders make better Street Riders. Motorcycle Riders make better Car Drivers!"
And I still occasionally fall down! Sometimes at a 'dead stop'!

I have to fully agree. Especially the part about "Dirt Riders make better Street Riders. Motorcycle Riders make better Car Drivers!"

This might be old thinking but then again I am now considered old lol. But even if it is old it does not make it wrong. :)
 

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I DISAGREE!!!!!!!!!!

Respecting the opinion, thoughtfully formed and offered in good faith, but . . . so the rider will drop the bike. So what???????

The Generation 2 KLR650 will profit from crash bars (nerfs), protecting plastic, tank, and radiator, but . . . what's a few scratches/cracks/etc.? Basically, they add character to the machine, one might say.

And . . . dropping bikes is part of motorcycling, at least it has been, and is still today, after many, many decades of riding in my own experience.

So, I'd say . . . get that 2015 KLR650 (if you're going to keep it a while, the condition will be more important in determining resale than the $ 1000 model year premium). That first scratch may be painful, but . . . will witness some learning and skill development.

Dirt bikes and dual-sport bikes WILL get dropped; get in the game and deal with it.

Welcome, and best wishes with your new bike!

Again, respect the contrary opinion offered in good faith and to the purpose of your best interest, but . . . I disagree! :)
 

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Dirt bikes and dual-sport bikes WILL get dropped; get in the game and deal with it.

Welcome, and best wishes with your new bike!

Again, respect the contrary opinion offered in good faith and to the purpose of your best interest, but . . . I disagree! :)
Damocles,
ENOUGH Said! Thank You!

You disagree with WHAT part of my suggestion and WHY?
 

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Welcome mcrackin.

The reason drops are an important consideration with the KLR is that the bike, laying/falling on its left side, would be entirely supported by the radiator and fan. I linked a picture below so you can see it with the side cover off. New or used, I'd take this particular issue seriously as replacing those two items with factory parts is over $1,200, just in parts!

The good news is that there are a bunch of guards available to cover that exposure and for as low as $US160.

The KLR is a cool bike. I'm having a ton 'o fun with it. Good luck!

KamoKLR: KLR650 Crash Bar Options


______________
 

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Damocles,
ENOUGH Said! Thank You!

You disagree with WHAT part of my suggestion and WHY?
I disagree with the advice (as I understood it), NOT to buy a new 2015/2016 KLR650 because, you predicted, the OP will DROP IT.

My alternative advice: Buy a new bike and drop it anyway; drops are part of motorcycling. I recommended crash guards/nerfs to protect tank/fan/radiator/plastic.

Surely, YMMV; no offense intended.
 

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The choice is obviously yours but as everyone has said you will drop it! If you can deal with damaging a new bike due to your inexperience the go for it. If not then get an old POS as already suggested. The fun factor will probably be greater on a good running POS as you won't have any concern about dropping it. Just to reiterate, if you ride in the dirt you WILL go down. Especially a newb like yourself. It will also depend on what type of riding you plan on doing. Single track, double track, gravel, etc... Single track it mostly for the experienced and crashes are likely. Double track mostly depends on how much mud and sand you will hit. Gravel, well if you crash there then......

I was on one ride last season and there was two fellers there with brand new triumph 1200's. They really did not have too much fun as they were new riders and obviously over concerned about damaging their new fancy rides. Me....nah! I got my 2000 KLR for $1900. I was not concerned. On this trip my shift lever did break and I had to travel 30 miles on double track and gravel at speeds of 55mph+. The KLR did it and I was not so concerned about the bike as I was to maybe have to walk for a couple dozen miles. Got it welded up and off I go again!

Get all the crash guards with any bike you buy and have fun! FWIW I crashed about 12 times last season on my KLR and wee strom. All due to slick as hell mud and deep sand. I expect to go down in mud, muc, sand, etc....in tight riding areas at least once per adventure. Some are very soft crashes with no damage, others are not so soft with minor damage. AFA the bike getting old I suppose that depends on how much stimulation you need to remain excited. Calm down now big dog!

I have owned numerous bikes and have at my mid to late stage in riding settled on three. For touring and nice torquey fun it is the bandit 1250. The wee is great for two up gravel with my wife. We do all dirt on weekend camping trips. For just me and a bit of mc camping it is the KLR. I spent $13K on these three bikes total and probably have more fun than those that spend $20K on some big fancy adventure touring machine. Sure I have more maintenance, tire purchases, and mods but this is what I do.

My best advice to any new rider for a first bike is go cheap. Learn to ride, know your limits, likes, dislikes, and have fun. It may end up that you will hate the KLR and dirt riding. You may really like sport touring and getting a bandit fully dressed at $3k might be what turns your crank!

For me I could not stand having just one bike. Two or three is so much better!
 

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My '09 spends as much time on it's side as it does on the kickstand.

This is with 35 years riding experience. Never once crashed on the road,
nor ever been hurt other than a few scrapes and a busted lip in all that time.

It's because I learned in the dirt, and still regularly fall off. LOLOL

The bike can handle it, and it's a great machine overall. With the crashbars
my scooter still looks very much nice, even though it loves to buck me off.

The thing is very stable and controllable on road and it only gets more fun
as experience is gained. Then one day the wheel starts coming up, the bike
is getting itself into controllable slides, panic stops are just to cram the
passengers boobs into your back, ahh, riding a KLR.

CheapAndStillInOnePieceOnAKLR.
 

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A 2016 KLR now costs 7 grand? Good Lord. I paid $4600 out the door for my then-new '09.

I hope it lasts me a lifetime because I couldn't bring myself to pay that much for a new KLR, even if it was the last year they were going to be made. As much as I like it, anything over 5 grand would be a no-go for me. If I had to buy another one, I'd have to go used.

I see the MSRP for the 2016 KLR is $6899 so am guessing one could be had for quite a bit less than that? Research shows the MSRP the year I bought mine was $5599. I acquired it for $1,000 less than that: no hidden fees to complicate the equation.

The 2016 Suzuki DR650 is listed at $6499 for this year while the Honda XR650 goes for $6690.

Not that I've paid much attention over the past few years, but the Honda has historically been priced well above the Suzuki or the Kawasaki. In fact, that's what made me decide on the KLR over another XL.

Since buying the '09, I've contended that the KLR is a much better overall machine than the Suzuki or Honda (I've ridden all three) but I'm surprised to see it's now the most expensive of the Holy Trinity Of Low-End 650 Dual Sports.
 

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Even with it's faults and errors, the KLR650 is one of the 'best buys' in all of motorcycling, IMO only.
 

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mcrackin, I have one other thing I thought of. The 2015 and 2016 KLRs have improved suspension and seat over prior year models. I don’t have much to offer by way of comparison, but I can say that these are two areas on my 2016 that have, thus far, exceeded my expectations.

I see the MSRP for the 2016 KLR is $6899 so am guessing one could be had for quite a bit less than that?
MSRP for the 2016 with the Digital-Camo Option like I have is $6,899. The base model is $6,599. I got through my deal at $7,000 OTD like mcrakin’s getting offered.

All motorcycles have become ridiculously expensive imo; not just the KLRs. When I bought a 2015 Versys 1000LT earlier in 2015 for $12,600 out the door (a "cheap" bike by all accounts), there were three new 2015 model cars with lower msrps. Even considering economies of scale there seems to be an imbalance in that picture.
 

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Not enough info to really comment. Where are you going to ride? Trails? Roads? Interstate? How tall are you? The KLR is tall.

Personally I think new riders need to start off under-powered on a smaller, lighter, easy to handle bike. Maybe a XT250 or XT225. Yes you will outgrow the bike in one summer but buy it used and resell it. Consider it a trainer. If you buy it at a reasonable price you can ride it a summer and get all your money back when you sell it. They're on Craigslist all the time.
 

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You will be "forever thankful" if you start small. Just because you passed the course doesn't mean you are ready to ride off into the sunset. I'm not being discouraging just practical ...
 

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I dunno, but based on what he wrote, seems to me the guy did his homework and wants a KLR650. Personally, I think the KLR650 would be perfectly fine for a new rider. Good choice! :smile2:

.....it also allowed me to look at every single bike on the market known to humanity, new, used, custom, with an open mind. I've gone to motorcycle shows, checked out ads on the classifieds and went to dealerships but have yet to pull the trigger on buying anything.

I've finally settled on what I think I want as a first bike, as the snow starts to melt, and that's the KLR650.......
 

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Just sayin' In '73 I did my research (was on a Honda 90 at the time) and decided I wanted a CB 750 but took some advice and wound up with a DT 250, smartest move I could have made ...
 
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