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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am brand new to the site and the machine. The bike I am looking at is a 2009 with few miles and a fair price. I know this question has probably been asked 1,000 times, but I couldn't find the answer so here it goes:

Can anyone tell me what year(s) rims front and rear will fit on an '09, so that I may have a set of tires for mostly road riding (commuting) and a set of tires geared more for off the pavement? I don't have dreams of breaking new trails with the bike but I would love to be able to confidently ride on established dirt roads as we have a lot of those in Maine.

It's easy to find used rims on Ebay, but it isn't going to do me any good to buy something that doesn't bolt right up.

Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Best to stick with KLR wheels. Gen 1 wheels should fit too unless I'm missing something. Spokes are heavier on the Gen 2 rims.

A simpler solution would be to get a set of tires that fit your needs.

I have an extra set of wheels and went in with the same thinking as you. Now find that I'm lazy and switching wheels doesn't happen as often as I thought it would. I have to ride on pavement to get to the back roads anyway so I'm wearing off the knobs before I get there.

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Best to stick with KLR wheels. Gen 1 wheels should fit too unless I'm missing something..
Front brake disk diameter greater on Generation 2s, IIRC. If so, a Generation 1 front wheel might not match up with dual-piston Generation 2 caliper set up for larger-diameter disk.

Unsure about rear-wheel compatibility between the generations; Generation 2s have dual-piston rear brake calipers, vs. Generation 1 single-piston calipers (despite what Kawasaki "official" specifications say), don't know if a compatibility problem exists here or not.
 

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Good points but couldn't you move the brake rotors to the other wheels?? Chances are any wheel you buy won't include them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have an extra set of wheels and went in with the same thinking as you. Now find that I'm lazy and switching wheels doesn't happen as often as I thought it would. I have to ride on pavement to get to the back roads anyway so I'm wearing off the knobs before I get there.

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I'm glad you included this in your reply because I have been wondering too how much my laziness factor will kick in when it comes time to actually start swapping wheels around just for a day ride.

I'm beyond the point in life where I want to ride a bike like it's a motocross machine. I have no desire to go places better suited for an ATV. The best thing for me will probably be a decent 50/50 tire. I want something that will navigate dirt roads without having to worry too much about slipping out from under me too much. I'm anxious to get a bike so I can start riding more places than just up and down the tar.
 

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Yup, and not only that, a spare set of rims can cost you a small fortune! I've seen gen 2 rims going for $300-$400 each! Better to just pick a tire suited to your riding plans, there's a ton to choose from :)
 

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I'm glad you included this in your reply because I have been wondering too how much my laziness factor will kick in when it comes time to actually start swapping wheels around just for a day ride.
The reality is that it just doesn't happen. Probably take me 2 hours to swap out wheels and adjust chain etc. Too much work for a day ride and then switch them back again. And my spares have rotors and sprockets attached. I'd rather spend the time riding.

I was fortunate when I got my extra set. I wasn't really looking, they crossed my path, and I got them for a song - well maybe two songs. I couldn't pass it up. Could probably sell them for 3 songs now.

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I run 60 / 40 on my 2011 KLR. I also like to explore on abandoned roads here in N.H. ( I've even done a few in Main, and Vermont.) I don't go through deep mud, but sand, gravel, rocks don't bother me ( or the KLR ). My KLR goes just as good on paved twisties, and highways.

If you aren't doing real rough going, you should be fine with combination tires.
 
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