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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been on this forum and advriders and love the klr because of its long legacy and the price. Ive only ever ridden 125 dirtbikes and not very experienced on them. My question is: Would a 650 be too much or should i go for a 250 or even another maker. I would like to buy knew as of right now. I do plan on taking a msc before i even think harder about buying. I want this style of bike because i plan on doing cross country rides eventually and my family has a cabin in se missouri on a back road and its all gravel and there is river access that requires an atv or 4x4 that i could take my bike to. Thanks.
 

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Ive been on this forum and advriders and love the klr because of its long legacy and the price. Ive only ever ridden 125 dirtbikes and not very experienced on them. My question is: Would a 650 be too much or should i go for a 250 or even another maker. I would like to buy knew as of right now. I do plan on taking a msc before i even think harder about buying. I want this style of bike because i plan on doing cross country rides eventually and my family has a cabin in se missouri on a back road and its all gravel and there is river access that requires an atv or 4x4 that i could take my bike to. Thanks.

Hey welcome to the forum!

my .02... buy a used bike to learn on. You'll drop it alot off-road! The KLR is much heavier than a 125 dirt bike, >150 lbs. It's better on the road of course but is much more work off-road. Find a used street legal 250-400 dirt orieinted bike (WR, KLX, DRZ, etc.) and ride the snot out of it. When you get tired of it on the road then go for a KLR.
 

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Ive been on this forum and advriders and love the klr because of its long legacy and the price. Ive only ever ridden 125 dirtbikes and not very experienced on them. My question is: Would a 650 be too much or should i go for a 250 or even another maker. I would like to buy knew as of right now. I do plan on taking a msc before i even think harder about buying. I want this style of bike because i plan on doing cross country rides eventually and my family has a cabin in se missouri on a back road and its all gravel and there is river access that requires an atv or 4x4 that i could take my bike to. Thanks.

Hi Chev,

To add to what Spec said, ... He's probably right on the issue of getting a smaller bike to peddle around on.... just for the sake of being lighter and all. Heck, why not just go for the big one?... its not any more quick snappy than the other smaller ones..... just a lot heavier. It takes a lot of oomph to pick it up, especially inverted on a hillside.....yep ... been there...So, maybe get an older KLR? if you only want to deal with it once that is. you will be breaking things however new it is or what model/size. Get good armor in either case. Riding jackets with elbow/shoulder/back padding, and pants with padding in the hips, knee areas can help save your bacon. get a good helmet too...Shin guards.... I'm not fond of the MX helmets as the chin piece sticks out too far and can wrench your neck in a high speed incident..... my two cents worth.
:13:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ya an older 250 sounds to be a good start for me. I know i will drop it and it will allow me to get used to riding on the road and it will do the job.
 

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Ya an older 250 sounds to be a good start for me. I know i will drop it and it will allow me to get used to riding on the road and it will do the job.

plus: he will have a small bike in his garage thats paid for when he gets his new KLR. The best of two worlds.
 

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don't be worried about the power of this 650, i would bet that pound for pound those little 125's have more horse power. but like the other have said a smaller bike like the klr250, drz400, wr250, xt250 or crf230 may be better to get experience on. BTW I am in st. louis also (Hazelwood). if you want to check a klr out, maybe get a better feel for it pm me.
 

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my first bike was the klr so i cant really say whether or not to go smaller first. i seem to do fine, and yes also been there on the hill. even worse was there was a 1 1.2 ft deep water drainage cut in the hill where we went down. had to sit in the hole and lift...even worse.
 

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Why not the KLR first?

You know how to balance, steer, shift.
Start careful n' cautious, and get the bike you want.
(Just another thought to put in the soup.)

I think you'd tire of a mid sized bike quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ive been reading alot the past couple days and it seems that a one time purchase of a 650 makes more sense for me. I will keep it off major roadways for some time to help build my skill and i really enjoy looking how much people change thier bikes to match what they need out of them. Im not a speed freak so a sports bike isnt for me and i have atvs that are for off roading but in place of both of those a klr fits nice. It seems to hold up strong for 10's of thousands of miles. I am graduating college in may and looking to get into my first career so my bike purchase wont come for a little bit in time so i have plenty of time to ponder my ultimate decision. I have 2 questions in the mean time.
1. Where is a good place on line for good safetry gear?
2. What is the 650 competition like out there in terms of suzuki honda and yamaha for dual sport/ adventure bikes? Ktm and bmw i hear are freat but initial and mainence prices are high.

Thanks for your input so far and helping out a newbie.
Ps kt seems there are a few motorcycle saftey courses around, but they require pants jacket boots helmet and a bike.
 

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All of the single cylinder 650's of Japanese make are worthy bikes, I just prefer my KLR. You really can't go wrong with any of them, it is a personal preference. You are right, KTM and BMW are nice but the prices are high. Hit Motosport.com or Motorcyclesuperstore for a good look at gear. If you are new to bikes a safety/riding course is a good idea... Welcome to the world of the most versatile bikes available.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Versatility and really i love the looks of these bikes is the whole point why im going to buy one and im sure most people on here have bought one. You cant go wrong with the looks and the simplicity. I have grew up on honda atvs my whole life and chevy vehicles and i feel that the honda atvs are the most reliable and long lasting out there. We have an 87 that is still going strong. And nooke can doubt that the 350 chevy engine is a workhorse and the best amall block engine ever created. And as far as dual sports i feel that the klr has earned its reputation in the dual sport world and that is shy it is so poular and almost unchanged untill recently
 

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...

Thanks for your input so far and helping out a newbie.
Ps kt seems there are a few motorcycle saftey courses around, but they require pants jacket boots helmet and a bike.
The MSF Basic Rider Class supplies the bike and helmet. All they ask of you is to wear foot wear that goes over your ankle.

I would recommend that you read David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well. IMHO it's the best real world motorcycle book out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It seems the only ones around are the harley davidson ones and they charge 325 and the require all the gear but provide the bike so thats a bit of a turn off
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I live just outside st louis missouri. Ive looked on a few sites and read about the permit rules and the liscensing rules and it says you dont need a course. But i know how much a course would help with basic techniques, but in reality i just need to get to saving some money and get my gear and a used bike and drive around with a permit and a temporary motorcycle liscence.
 

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I live just outside st louis missouri. Ive looked on a few sites and read about the permit rules and the liscensing rules and it says you dont need a course. But i know how much a course would help with basic techniques, but in reality i just need to get to saving some money and get my gear and a used bike and drive around with a permit and a temporary motorcycle liscence.

You may survive, most others have.

Get David Hough's book at least, invest $20 in your safety.
 

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I agree. Jump in and start swimming....

if you want a course, then get a video on the type of riding you want.

there are some various ride tech. vids that can teach you what ever you want to know, here's one on DUAL SPORT RIDING:

http://dualsportriding.com/index.php?id=724

they offer three varying degree's of skill mastery for about 30 bucks or so....
surf around on YouTube and start studying other's ride vids.... pay attention to the motions of the rider vs. the machine and just pick out things that catch your attention.
thats a cheepie method. I.E. --- watch crash vids to learn what to avoid if possible.

Stay away from slippery road items when cornering... like manhole covers and white stripes in walkways.... especially when wet... you know, just physics stuff.

People NEVER see you. put that in your head and drive defensively according to the power ability of your machine....in other words, put a cushion of egress around you when you ride. Things like dogs and deer come to mind. don't speed past a farmhouse in a rural setting... most likely, fido is off his chain waitn for you in the middle of the street to say hi. FYI
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ya thats the best way to learn i feel, just get out and experience the ride and learn as you go. I like to watch ewan mcgreggor and charlie boormans series, but i have been watching instructional vids. On you tube
 

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Get David Hough's book at least, invest $20 in your safety.
Agreed. I've taken both the MSF Basic course and have read this book. Nothing against the MSF Basic course, but you'll learn much, much more by reading this book as opposed to taking the course. Before I read this book, I thought I was a pretty good rider. After reading it, I realized that maybe I wasn't all that great and needed to think about a great many more things while riding. And, I do every time I ride.

You can "learn by reading" as opposed to "learning by doing." You just have to make it a point to execute and practice theories and techniques that are explained in the book. I mean, $325 for the course, even if they supply the bike, seems pretty steep to me. Just my opinion.

My belief? You want to master the machine before you take on more complex environments such as traffic. Find a place you can ride and get comfortable on the bike without distractions: accelerating, shifting, decelerating, down-shifting, braking, swerving, fast-stopping, counter-steering, etc.

Ensure riding is second nature before you start dealing with other traffic, etc. You don't want to be trying to process riding the motorcycle while you're processing the ever-changing environment around you if you're on a busy highway, an interstate or riding in city traffic.

If you have any available, a good old asphalt-type highway or "two-lane," as we call them, the kind with maybe a few faded center-line stripes and no shoulder stripes are the perfect place to ride. I ride them quite a bit and will still pick out a pothole in the distance and wait until the last second and either swerve to avoid it or slam on the brakes in a full-bore panic stop just to practice doing it. It's actually a hell of a lot of fun.

Riding cross-country to get there? I'd prefer the 650. The trail you want to ride once you get there? I'd prefer the 250.

Good luck you and hope you're on 2 wheels soon! That's all that really matters.
 

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+1 Mr. Hough
 
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