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I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
 

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How many miles are on the bike now? If it still has the stock wet cell battery, get a maintenance free AGM battery.

Along with the crash bars (more to protect the radiator than the plastic) think about a skid plate. I think a torsion spring for the doohickey is a good idea not just for dirt. Everything else is just for your pleasure and comfort. The list is endless. Ride for a while and add things you like as you discover them.

I think of the KLR as more of a dirt road and two track dual sport rather than a single track bike.

Going very far off highway, you will want handy tools including flat repair items and spare tubes. I use a 16" long piece of 1" PVC with a cut off TEE on top as a jack stand. You will want places to put stuff - tail box/bag, saddle bags, tank bag.
 

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In addition to previous suggestions, I'd recommend:

Hand guards. These protect your levers, in the event of a bike nap. Plenty of adequate choices available; I find Tusk hand guards from Rocky Mountain ATV-MC versatile (fit KLRs), affordable, and crash-worthy. I ordered "spoilers," inexpensive plastic shields, easily replaceable in the event of road rash.

An alternative to crash bars (nerfs) is an IMS plastic fuel tank; protects radiator plus offers additional fuel capacity.
 

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I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
holabird,
We don't know where you are from or where you are riding, we could use some more info.
How much of what kind of riding experience do you have?

A used Kawasaki KLX250 would make a Whole Lot better Single track ride choice! Even for me, and I've been riding since 1970. It will still go 60-70 mph on the highway. (85 with a tail-wind.) :)

Rider experience makes More difference than the bike.
 

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+ 1! Not sure the KLR650 approaches an optimum 50/50 bike choice for everyone. I personally think the KLR650 rather heavy for that application for "the average bear."

Yes, some skilled riders handle the KLR650 deftly off road. That population, I would submit, is SMALL! :)

A KLX250, or a KLR250 (if one can accept kick-start only), or even a Yamaha WR250R (dare I even SAY that?) would seem a more appropriate starter 50/50 bike, to me.
 

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I was thinking of something orange that also starts with a K.
 

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I was thinking of something orange that also starts with a K.
Get thee behind me, KTM690!

No things orange beginning with a "K" were mentioned; beyond the budget of someone considering a KLR650, surely.

Rode a 690 for 100 miles last summer; it's what the KLR650 wishes it were, IMHO (excluding the price tag).
 

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Price, high maintenance and so on. I've been at accommodations in remote areas many times when there were groups of KTM as well as our KLR's. We all came in from rides and then the paths divided:
They do oil changes and such. We for a beer, then showers and food. When done some of them were still at it so we watched from the bar patio. Not just a few times. ;-)

Of course I wasn't one of those who loudly observed such as, "I bought a motorcycle to ride not work on it." .... or not often. ;-)




Get thee behind me, KTM690!

No things orange beginning with a "K" were mentioned; beyond the budget of someone considering a KLR650, surely.

Rode a 690 for 100 miles last summer; it's what the KLR650 wishes it were, IMHO (excluding the price tag).
 

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I am looking to pick up a used 2012 KLR. I want to use it about 50/50 on road and off. I realize the list can be endless but what do I need to bring the bike up to speed. I want to add some crash bars to keep the plastic looking good and I need a better tire. Other than that, what should I get to make this into a good single track bike? thanks
holabird,
Sorry our fellow members and I have kinda' ridden OFF Track.

But would you define 'on-road' as primarily asphalt or graded gravel?
Would you define 'road' as asphalt, graded gravel, dirty two tracks and rocky two tracks passable by Subaru Out Back?
Would you define 'off road' as graded gravel or dirty 'two tracks'?
Or would 'Off Road' be Rocky 4x4 two tracks and Ugly, rocky, tree root infested, occasional sippy hole mud baths on true single track trails?

A KLR650 with an experienced rider can travel most of that, with possible exception of the sippy hole mud baths. (KLR650's don't do well in sticky mud.) With an in-experienced rider, best not go too far past the Subaru, with or with-out the crash bars.
Just my thoughts to apply to a used bike for $5000 or less.
 

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holabird,
Sorry our fellow members and I have kinda' ridden OFF Track.

But would you define 'on-road' as primarily asphalt or graded gravel?
Would you define 'road' as asphalt, graded gravel, dirty two tracks and rocky two tracks passable by Subaru Out Back?
Would you define 'off road' as graded gravel or dirty 'two tracks'?
Or would 'Off Road' be Rocky 4x4 two tracks and Ugly, rocky, tree root infested, occasional sippy hole mud baths on true single track trails?

A KLR650 with an experienced rider can travel most of that, with possible exception of the sippy hole mud baths. (KLR650's don't do well in sticky mud.) With an in-experienced rider, best not go too far past the Subaru, with or with-out the crash bars.
Just my thoughts to apply to a used bike for $5000 or less.
On road would be asphalt to get to where I want to ride. Then I am looking at forest service roads. Then I will get on some nasty, rocky, wet, root infested single track with some water crossings. I had a previous DR that handled it just fine but am concerned about the KLR doing as well.

The bike is a stock 2012 with 16000 miles for $3200. It will need to be upgraded to even try and tackle some of the trails I want to ride.

I have been riding for over 40 years and currently have a BMW K1600 GTL and a Ducati ST3s. Should I pass on the KLR and do a DR or better?
 

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Skid plate is a must but you will already know that.

I'd say the thing is to find a KLR in your area and ride one which is already done. It's pretty tough to advise an experienced rider about the difference between a KLR and DR, especially in another area as conditions can be very different. I never had any trouble "seeing off" DR or XL on trials but the neighbor's young daughter on her off road bike always left us all for dead. :)
 

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Damocles: you seem to have made a serious mis-statement in the post below. You posted,
" That population, I would submit, is SMALL! "

I am certain that what you meant to say was:
" That population, who will admit, is SMALL! "

Always watching your back. :wink2:





+ 1! Not sure the KLR650 approaches an optimum 50/50 bike choice for everyone. I personally think the KLR650 rather heavy for that application for "the average bear."

Yes, some skilled riders handle the KLR650 deftly off road. That population, I would submit, is SMALL! :)

A KLX250, or a KLR250 (if one can accept kick-start only), or even a Yamaha WR250R (dare I even SAY that?) would seem a more appropriate starter 50/50 bike, to me.
 

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On road would be asphalt to get to where I want to ride. Then I am looking at forest service roads. Then I will get on some nasty, rocky, wet, root infested single track with some water crossings. I had a previous DR that handled it just fine but am concerned about the KLR doing as well.

The bike is a stock 2012 with 16000 miles for $3200. It will need to be upgraded to even try and tackle some of the trails I want to ride.

I have been riding for over 40 years and currently have a BMW K1600 GTL and a Ducati ST3s. Should I pass on the KLR and do a DR or better?
That all depends on how far away your chosen single tracks are?
This is the kind of info that is needed to make suggestions.
I would probably 'attempt' to ride it ALL on Avon Gripsters.
But you would probably be better served by something similar to Kenda K270s.

SW Motec or Nomad Rider fairing guards could be a good choice.
Happy Trails or JNS skid-plates seem to be preferred.
I'll let someone else suggest which brands of Hand/Lever Guards fit a 2012 KLR650 the best.
 

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The KLR has two main disadvantages on singletrac. The first is it's weight. A gen2 2008 and newer is 430lbs with fuel. The second is suspension. It just isn't a good setup for gnarly singletrac. You can upgrade the suspension like I did on my 2003 but it is very difficult to impossible to reduce the weight any significant amount. The KLR 650 is an excellent dualsport bike but a singletrac bike it is not!! Maybe if it could lose 150lbs it would be OK!!

This is my '03 with the KXf450 front suspension installed. Great improvement but the bike is just too heavy.
 

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Price, high maintenance and so on. I've been at accommodations in remote areas many times when there were groups of KTM as well as our KLR's. We all came in from rides and then the paths divided:
They do oil changes and such. We for a beer, then showers and food. When done some of them were still at it so we watched from the bar patio. Not just a few times. ;-)

Of course I wasn't one of those who loudly observed such as, "I bought a motorcycle to ride not work on it." .... or not often. ;-)
Hey Normk,
Just to set things straight the 690 Enduro is a different animal than many of the other KTM dirtbikes. For example the oilchange interval on the LC4 engine in the Enduro is 10000km. These engines will go just as many miles as a KLR without needing a rebuild.
Regards....just jeff
 

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Hmm; I find myself conflicted in this conversation. On one hand, I agree that a KLR is not the best choice for gnarly single track. .....however a properly modified KLR is more capable than some would believe. Same with the weight comment; there is a fairly big difference between a Gen2 with panniers and a bunch of add on goodies and a Gen1 with a few smart upgrades. My 2000 is only about 40 lbs heavier (wet, no fuel) than a 690 which, although significant isn't all that much....especially considering the KLR's much larger fuel capacity, luggage rack, windscreen, etc.

Is a KLR the best choice for single track? no, of course not.....but it can be adequate and even compare to the 690. My Gen1's are not as "good" as a KTM690....but they are close enough that if you can outrun me offroad, it isn't the bike....and I've kept the inherent simplicity, reliability, longevity and other positive KLR attributes. I've ridden the KTM (and I've owned three orange bikes including my last offroad racebike, a 300XCW) and while I'm a fan and can afford one, I found the ergonomics of the 690 to be odd and the fuel range is very limited with no good options (IMO) to fix it. A great bike, but like all dualsport/dual purpose bikes, one with it's own set of compromises.



Cheers,
Dave
 

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Nice rig, Colonel Jeff!

Don't tell him he forgot to put on his side shield. Shh........
 

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I didn't forget! That was a well thought out weight reduction mod.!!
Just for comparison, my setup 690 Enduro


JJ
 
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