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Discussion Starter #1
Hey yall, I'm 60, live near Birmingham, AL (roll tide) - been riding since I was 12. Have fallen in love with the new 08 KLR650. Plan on doing some long rides up to North Carolina and North Georgia and wondering how this bike will perform on the Interstate highways. Mostly concerned about getting blown off the road with such a high profile. Next worry is buffeting helment (will the tallest windshield fix this?). I'm 6' tall and weigh 180 so I think I will have to stay bent over the tank to keep my helment on. Im sure these are common questions that you all have had to deal with but, would sure appreciate some feedback.

Local dealers want to stick to the $5349.00 MSRP but, havent tried to deal aggressively with them yet. I'm thinking an offer of $5,000.00 might get it. What do you think?

Thanks for the forum - looks like a lot of help - looking forward to participating.
 

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Welcome aboard Slowlane...

Good luck, just keep looking around for a good deal, we found an 07 close by at a dealer with only 700 miles on it for $3700, and they also had a red 08 for $4999. The taller windshields aren't going to help you much, they tend to throw the air stream right onto the top half of your helmet creating more turbulance, "just my experience". As for the Interstate, these bikes are not really designed for the BIG road, but more for the secondary roads skirting the interstate. I have ridden about 3 hours worth of straight interstate running between 75 and 80 and I was wiped out physically and mentally. Doing the same amount of hours on back roads and I feel great and invigorated. The bikes are a little light for that kind of travel, but they can do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rats

Rats, Just what I thought - Physically tough on the Interstates.

Now I got to use my 2 options:

1. Haul it on my Pickup truck to my riding destination.

or:

2. Run the backroads.

IF I am going to haul it on my pickup truck - - I wonder if I would be better off getting a 250 instead of a 650??? (smell wood burning?)
Thanks
 

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Welcome to the forums.

I have an 08 that I commute to work on. I do about 25-30 miles (one way) on the interstate at an indicated 75-80mph...about 70 actual.

I've never really had complaints about buffetting on any bike so I don't know that I'm a good person to give an opinion on that. I can tell you, the tall Cee Bailey windscreen has all the wind going over my helmet and it won't be staying on in the warmer months; it provides that much protection. FWIW - I'm 6' 1" with a 34" inseam.

As far as getting blown around, yes, you WILL feel it when riding on the insterstate around trucks. It doesn't bother me too bad, but I wouldn't want to ride the interstate for hours at a time though; the buzz at 5k rpm would drive me to drink after awhile.
 

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This is tough call, it's all about you the rider and what you are prepared to deal with. (is money a governing factor)

The KLR is an all around excellent, durable and dependable bike that can perform in all conditions...... but not great in any one specific area.

Interstate riding is for larger heavier bikes, for example, the BMW and or the Suzuki Strom.

I would suggest, stick to the back roads and secondary hiways, slow down and enjoy life.

Matter of fact is was out for a ride yesterday and after a half hour of being pushed around by the wind at 118KM per hour, it took off on a side road a took it easy at 100KM (60 mph).


(This is my opinion only, after owning 16 motorcycles)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There aint no perfect bike

I have been riding for a long time and have ridden a lot of bikes. There aint no perfect bike but some are more fun than others. I hate Goldwings but they are great for long trips and haul a lot of stuff. Goldwing owners love their bikes with a passion. My most favorite bike was the 98 Honda Ace Shadow Tourer. The handling was near perfect, good ride, mechanically sound, good wind protection and would haul a lot of stuff. However, the most fun I ever had riding was Dirtbikes. I'm going to buy the 08 Klr650 for it's dual purpose capability and find a way to enjoy it's weeknesses and it's strengths because I know that there aint no perfect bike. If I have to use the interstate hwys - I will haul it. Most of the time I intend to mosey around on the backroads like most of yall. I like the 08 version because of all the new updates and think it's worth the money. I aint rich but I can afford it. Thanks for your input it has been very helpfull.
MOTORCYCLES I HAVE OWNED

1950 (circa) Cushman Husky
1967 160 Honda Dream
1970 350 Honda Street
1971 350 Yamaha Street
1973 175 Yamaha Dirt Bike
1975 125 Honda Dirt
1973 360 Yamaha Dirt
1973 175 Yamaha Dirt Bike (2nd one)
1972 250 Honda Dirt
1976 1100 Honda Shadow
1993 1500 Honda Gold Wing
1998 800 Suzuki Intruder
1998 1100 Honda Shadow Ace Tourer
2000 1100 Kawasaki Voyager
1998 1100 Honda Shadow Ace Tourer (2nd one)
 

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the '08 on the highway

hey Slowlane.... the KLR is NOT a Gold Wing, or an ST1100 ( my other bike), but it'll go ok on Interstate.Just don't get too close to semi trailers. Don't bother with the tall windshield. I got it and it is quieter without it! I'm gonna cut down my stock shield . I got tank panniers and they really shield legs/ body . I got the $36. ones from "Quadgear" made for ATVs. Very well made. I have Nelson Rigg CL850 bags ( about $85.) on all the time-- they make the bike " bigger" so cars are more aware. I wear full face helmet ( light color) and full gear and ride at 70+ all the time-- in Montana, you pretty much have to.
Don't get it if you are just gonna put it in a pickup truck-- that defeats the purpose of dual- sport, doesn't it?
And don't forget the Wolfman......
After riding my KLR a little, when I got on the ST1100 it felt like a low rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hey Slowlane.... the KLR is NOT a Gold Wing, or an ST1100 ( my other bike), but it'll go ok on Interstate.Just don't get too close to semi trailers. Don't bother with the tall windshield. I got it and it is quieter without it! I'm gonna cut down my stock shield . I got tank panniers and they really shield legs/ body . I got the $36. ones from "Quadgear" made for ATVs. Very well made. I have Nelson Rigg CL850 bags ( about $85.) on all the time-- they make the bike " bigger" so cars are more aware. I wear full face helmet ( light color) and full gear and ride at 70+ all the time-- in Montana, you pretty much have to.
Don't get it if you are just gonna put it in a pickup truck-- that defeats the purpose of dual- sport, doesn't it?
And don't forget the Wolfman......
After riding my KLR a little, when I got on the ST1100 it felt like a low rider.
Its about 250 miles up to the mountians from where I live and the riding is incredible/unbeleivable/fantastic. Getting there is the problem - heat - by the time you get there you got nothing left in you to ride (it all melted off) Dont even think about leathers and full face. So, I ride in comfort to the mountians, unload, ride, beverage, ride, load and go home. My game plan may change once I get a 650 but the heat will still be there to deal with.
I'm 60 and my cooling system is low on coolant. With all that said - my latest conundrum is deciding whether to go with a smaller 250 or 400 Dualsport. Thanks for the info on the windshield - makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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heat-yes it is miserable

i didn't know where you lived. yeah 250 miles of heat on a KLR would be no fun. get one of those cooling vests-- from a forestry company they are less than 20$, opposed to the 70$+ for a motorcycle specific one. under a MESH ( forget the leather in summer) jacket they will cool you for 2-3 hours, then you soak it down again. a cool-off necktie (3$) and you're good for awhile. I have good riding less than 10 miles from home.
 

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How to get to those far away destinations is a constant battle for me also. I can ride the KLR to LBL which is 120 or so miles. I have four options.

First, take all minor roads which allows me to really haul it in some places and have fun, but still adds time because you cannot maintain 70 like the interstate. Figure 3/4 additional hours. Lot more if you follow speed limits.

Second, take state roads which makes it 130 miles and adds 1/2 hour of time because you can't really haul it.

Third, take the interstate and finish on a highway. I'm wore out after a couple of hours of straight 70+ interstate riding. Fatigue sucks when you have a full day of offroading planned. Then you have to get back home.

Fourth, trailer the sucker and be comfortable in a vehicle. Listen to the radio, pass the time and be fresh for a good days ride. Then, you can really have fun off road or whatever without worrying about getting too wore out for the ride home or busting something up that leaves you stranded. Stick it back on the trailer and be comfortable for the 2 hours back home. Can also bring along a chair, cooler, camping gear without having to carry it all on the bike. Lot of bonuses for having a vehicle as homebase. It's also nice for anyone else riding down carrying extra gear. They can unload everything in my vehicle instead of carrying it around all day.

Seeing as biking to LBL is already enough for me, anything else further away would require the trailer without a doubt. That is unless I decide to make the trip down and back somewhere the actual ride and wasn't planning on much additional riding at the destination.
 

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Wind, interstate

I bought my 2008 with anticipation of going on long interstate rides. I belong to a couple other forums and a lot of people ride these cross country. They are built for any type of riding, that is why they are considered an adventurer touring bike/dual sport. Stock weight with gas is at least 420 lbs. Yes they are heavy bikes but not a Goldwing. I have been pushed around a little on the highway by good gusts of wind but you just have to be ready.

The bike is not broken in all the way yet so I haven't been on the tollway yet. I plan on riding my bike up into Canada and possibly Alaska one day. It looks like I may have a long trip into Texas next year to visit a friend.

I plan to remove those large handguards and replace with a more low profile set which will help with the wind. Also I hope to put a low fender on the front which will also leave it more aero dynamic on the highway. The Euro bike like this mostly have low fenders in the front and that is the look I like.

If you want to trailer a bike I would get something smaller or a strickly off road bike like my Honda XR.

:58:
 

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If you want to trailer a bike I would get something smaller or a strickly off road bike like my Honda XR.
I absolutely disagree with that 100%.

With the KLR, even if you trailer you increase your overall riding radius from your starting point. So if you trailer 7 hours to your starting point, you can still venture out another 3 or 4 hours on the KLR. I don't like the idea of 7 hours of intercrap and then trying to be excited about riding the next few days only to have to ride 7 hours of intercrap back home again. If I did ride and stuck to backroads relevant to my direction, add 2 hours both ways. That's a lot of shit riding to get to the good stuff.

IE.. from here it's 6 hours of intercrap to the north side of the smokies. At that point I can jump on the KLR and explore all the way through and around the smokies. Ozarks is 8 hours of intercrap before the good riding locations.

Plus, I still have the option of heading out from home and backroad touring for however many hours I want.

KLR is simply the most versatile bike out there even for those of us who would rather trailer the intercraps to get to the better riding locations.
 

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Any thoughts on the latest models of GPS UNITS FOR THE KLR with minimal modification to the handlebars and also powering the unit.

thanks
Right now you can pick up the recently discontinued Garmin 2610 for $180 (originally sold for $700+). A RAM mount will run you $50 and a power cord will run another $25 and a 2gb compact flash card is another $15ish..

I just bought one and will be replacing my semi local Garmin Quest. The 2610 is pretty much the standard for bike use (waterproof) and I'll be using it on both my Wing and my KLR.. It does a great job for routing and still gives you the full features such as moving time, speed, etc..

A bike version of the Zumo will run you 3 times as much..

I've been told to stay away from the 2620, as it has a hard drive that doesn't like any vibration. I didn't want Bluetooth or a MP3 player, but will give you mapping for the entire US and Canada on the 2GB card, with room to spare. :cool0012:
 

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I could have purchased one for around 5350.00 out the door from a distant dealer. Trouble was that my local dealer is two blocks down the road from work. I played the price game with my harleys over the years and drove far to get them. It's nice to have the selling dealer so close. Something to be said about community. I paid around 5460.00 delivered for a lime green which seems to have had an impact on the price as opposed to blue or red when I bought mine. Not to worry, They're all good. Also, Two lane roads for me. No problem finding them here in Iowa! Good luck on your purchase.
 

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I have 08 and I have put over 3K miles so far this summer. I live in Arkansas and I have been riding the bike throughout AR and I took the bike to Ouray, Colorado ans I am leaving next week to go back to Colorado.

I have 5 bikes and the KLR is by far the most rounded bike that I have ever owned. I put 360 miles on it in one day from Ouray, CO to the four corners, Mesa Verde, and then on to Pagosa Springs, CO with my girlfriend on the back and fully packed. The bike did better than expected on the highway and in the back country at 13,000'.

I have ridden the bike on the intersate many times at a 75mph cruise and although it is not my bike of choice it holds its own ok. I personally prefer not to ride on the interstate regardless of the bike just because biking to me is off the beaten path. I trailer to Colorado so that I can drive there over night with my buddies and make it quicker through the plains to have more time in the mountains. I would not ride more than 360 miles in a day on a KLR.

I would not be afraid to take this bike anywhere and I can not describe how much fun it is to pass a Harley on a dirt bike!!!
 

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I can not describe how much fun it is to pass a Harley on a dirt bike!!!
HaHaHa.... same here! I love it when they try like hell to get away from me and I end up right next to them at a light anyway. Then I hear them rev and rev and rev the whole time at the light. I'd like to think it was them trying to get my attention, but I think it's just a standard "look at me" thing. Either way I don't give them the slightest glance. They take off thinking their heavy hardly is gonna leave me sitting, but I just laugh and keep up a few car lengths behind them like an annoying little bug that won't go away. I've seen them hit the throttle and change 3 lanes and zig zag cars just to get away and a few miles later I'm still around... LMAO!
 
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