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Discussion Starter #1
First I want you to know that I like my bike but then I liked my 1966 Yamaha 250cc Big Bear Scrambler too.

Myself I don't know what to think, I have an 06 with 11K and change on it. All appears to be well. Since buying the bike and visiting a couple of these forums I became quite cynical regarding mechanical upgrades.

As you can see by the photo of my motorcycle it has upgrades / add on's but they are of the luggage, wind screen, better seat, crash bar sort of thing. As far as thinking that I needed to change my suspension, doo hickey, exhaust pipe, or bolts that hold the bike together I passed on all of that.

I feel silly enough putting all the touring gear on a single cylinder enduro bike but I did it. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't buy the 2006 1000cc Concours and be done with it? The Concours would solve the highway problem without changing counter sprockets and they come with luggage. As for having to buy an aftermarket fairing from Britannia Composites in order to get a little protection when I take a ride to Kodiaik that fairing on the Concours would have done the trick. Too heavy for off road you say? Ever had a loaded KLR stuck? It aint like getting an RM 250 stuck is it?

Don't get me wrong, I like my KLR. Hell, we have two of them and between the two they account for about $4700 worth of after market parts and goodies. What I'm saying is that I wish the bikes were better when you buy them or that we, the people who buy them (including me) were not so susceptible to the massive marketing campaign that has controlled our minds since the first day we considered buying one. Come on admit it, you had a wish list of cool add on parts in mind before you ever bought your bike didn’t you?

If we could just face the fact that we are older guys and gals who have bought a bike that is almost too big to use as a dirt bike and too small to take across the country we would be better off.

What do you think? Have we all fell into a aftermarket money pit called the KLR 650?
 

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Interesting question, but I think there are too many variables. I rode my 73 Honda until I blew a head gasket on a long trip and realized that having a newer bike with decent brakes that didn't require a lot of work was a good idea.

I had never really entertained the notion of a KLR or any dual sport for that matter, but I asked a friend of mine who I trust (and has been riding for 40 years) the following Q: "I want a bike that I can ride and never worry about. Dependability is my primary criteria. What would you get?" He rides Ducatis. He suggested a KLR. I did some research. And then I bought one.

Now that I have it I really appreciate the little things: upright riding position, big profile in traffic, hand guards to keep my fingers warm. I changed the doohickey yesterday and the doo was fine, but there was NO tension on the spring. Definitely rides better now. But, yeah, it is hard to read about all the aftermarket products available and not buy them. But it had nothing to do with my decision to get a KLR. And I had no plans for it other than riding it. I don't even ride in the dirt. I just wanted a bulletproof bike that wasn't too big (650 is plenty for me) that was pretty cheap. I mainly use it for commuting.

I think you are right that some people approach the bike that way, but not everybody.

I bought a pig and don't even take advantage of all that it can do. Do I regret it? Not one bit. Do I want to farkle the hell out of it...only when I log on here. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lock,

You are right the $5100 price is what reeled me in and I do like the bike but next time I want one with all the bells and ringers I'm going to buy one.

Mine gets lots of attention when I let it sit in a parking lot because of all the cool stuff and still looking like a dirt bike.

I guess I wont be happy till I get one of those big GS 1200's fully loaded. I had a Yamaha XV 1200 for many years and I guess I miss it. The fairing was great in a storm and we have lots of storms here.
 

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Mine is fun and once I figured out the suspention it is much better to ride every where. Lowering link and upgraded brush guards was enough for me. i comute with mine and ride it for fun on the weekend. No regrets.

phil
 

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The klr 650 has a almost Cult following for a reason. the bike does everything it was designed to do the only flaw in the klr is the doohickey otherwise change the oil and ride. If you want a BMW then buy a BMW !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Head,

Calm down, I say this because the way you posted to this thread seems almost as if you are personally offended by my rant. Did you bother to read it thoroughly? Did you miss the part where I wrote "Don't get me wrong" or "I like my bike"?

By the way I may take your advise and try a BMW. I would say that I would look you up when in your neck of the woods (I use the ferry system) but you sound as if you don't like me already.

P.S.

Always proof read your post if you are going to give me the devil about something. You should check both spelling and grammar and I'll respect your complaint more if it is free of errors.
 

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The way that I see it, the KLR is a blank slate. It comes from the factory vanilla. With a few modifications you can make it perform the way you need it to. Gear it up for dirt and you have a great trail bike, gear it up for the street and it can do some touring.

I bought my KLR for a specific purpose. I am doing a trip to Inuvik with my brother this summer. I really cant think of a better bike for a trip like this (baja, AK, Inuvik, South America, etc) for the money. If you can let me know. I looked at the v strom, but they are 2K more for a bike in similar condition, and parts/maint is more as well. Plus they are crap off road. Believe you me, I would love a little more on the highway, but I think the KLR will manage just fine.

Oh and yes, I did buy the KLR with a few mods in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some of you fellas are missing one very important point, I own a KLR 650 Kawasaki and like the bike.

I ranted a bit about all the dough we dump into them but closed saying that I like mine.

If I want to spend the money I think I would like a GS 1200 more. For now the KLR is fine. I paid $5,195.00 for mine and have put another $2000 in upgrades on it. Soon I'm going to replace the front springs with progressive springs. That will be another $100 and my whole point was that by the time I have all the things I need or the ones I think I need I will have 8K in the bike.

The next bike will have all the stuff when I pick it up. Things like panniers, hot grips, a good fairing, metal skid plate, etc, etc. I was just trying to start a conversation to see if anyone else thought the same way as I do, not to see how many people I could piss off.
 

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NO OFFENCE....you did read this right...?

NO OFFENCE.....


But..the way you have worded and posted your original post it sounds a lot like you regret buying and owning your KLR...it seems in more than my eyes.
Yes you could have riden your bike bone stock for as long as you wanted or forever. BUT..you decided to buy the other stuff, fluff, or whatever you want to call it to make it something it wasn't the day you decided to lay the money down. You didn't need to ..panniers=backpack, windshield=full faced helmet, better suspension=get over it-it's a $5800 bike.....it will never be a Concours....you know it and we know it.....so you can't compare...can you.?
It's a cheapman's adventure touring dirtbike...nothing less nothing more....it does everything well but nothing great...if you do what we all do...change it!
Yes you need to spend to accomplish this..yes you have $8000 total into your bike.....what else can you buy for $8000 that has the capabilities of your bike? I'd like to know as many other would too I imagine. A BMW..?
As stated ...the KLR is a blank canvas for you to make your own....yes you can not choose to change or add to it but yes you can add and change it too to make it a total package to enjoy. IMHO
But to post up and wine about it...why??? You much know you are hitting a hornets nest with a stick doing so....no?
Not to mention ...saying..make sure your grammar and spelling is correct to take one seriously??? OK sure...?

Yes you say you like your bike...so stop complaining and compring it to obviously different bikes that really you can't compare it to.

Either ride and add to your bike and enjoy it totally.....or sell it and move on!

Sorry rant over....and no I don't check for grammar and spelling!! Sorry!:mad0235:
 

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Hey guys calm down a little please.


Change the doo on a KLR and ride it the way you want to. Its cost is low enough to add the farkles YOU WANT.

The bike will do anything, I have ridden mine from coast to coast, (from KY to each coast) and I have had it all over the mountains of KY.

Yes I did many things to mine to make it the way I wanted it, but I did it because I wanted it not necessarily because the bike needed it.
 

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Im not getting huffy to Hardyreels in any way. I am simply trying to show him why the KLR is a good bike to me.

My brother has a 08 GS 1200 A and guess what, pretty much every weekend he is over at the BMW dealership buying crud for it. He bought saddle bags and a trunk as well as a mounting kit. This three box set up with hardware and liners cost as much as I paid for my 05 KLR with 1600 miles on it (almost 3K). Also, he finds the stock seat not too comfy, and the stock windsheild not tall enough, etc. So the point is that bikes are personal, no matter what bike you buy if you plan to ride it lots you will need to make a few changes or deal with the quirks of the stock set up.

I think that people who like to tinker are attracted to the KLR for the very reason of being able to wrench on it. I for one am the type of person who like to have a little project to look forward to and my KLR is typically just that.

One last note, if I had 22k I would be on a GS in a second, not a KLR, but I dont. I have a wife who wants to buy a house in the next year, so its a KLR for me. Sorry for the long response.
 

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I gotta agree with Daddyjoe, the KLR is a good bike that needs an upgrade (why Kawasaki hasn't figured it out and fixed it at the factory is beyond me) but it's a good platform for building up the bike you want and at a price that leaves you with some cash to do so. Used saddle and tank bags, a duffle bag held on by bungie cords for a tail bag and I've had a lot of fun putting on 5100 miles in less than 5 mo. I do want to add a 16 tooth front sprocket and maybe a thermobob but I still spent less than a friend spent on a used V-Strom and he's spnt more to farkle it out and is still trying to get it to match a KLR off road (his stated goal, not my assumption) Hardyreel, I kn ow what you're trying to say, I'm not offended and see no reason why manyone else should be, your bike is YOUR bike, it's set up and performance expectations are individual and to each his own. And I'd like to meet you even if others don't. How about next moose season? Can you introduce me to Sarah? And a moose, a BIG moose?
 

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I already put my two cents in, but let's round it up to a nickle. Looking at the responses to this thread there are several things that strike me.

One, it says a lot of the KLR that people defend it so vehemently.

Two, it is hard to communicate on a forum sometimes...I think some wires got crossed here that caused offense that would not have in person.

Three, it IS a different mentality we are talking about. It is akin to my brother in law. Dude LOVES cars. Owns probably 12 at any given time (nothing fancy, trucks mostly). He has also built a rat rod. He loves the thing. And it is pretty cool. Not my cup of tea, but I'm impressed by anyone that can build a vehicle from scratch. All the time people are telling him to paint over the primer...put rims on it...etc. That's not what he wants...he wants a primer gray rat rod. Which is what he has. Is it an 80K porsche? No. But that wasn't the point. Kind of like the KLR. Personal preference is a sticky area, because we all have different personal preferences.

I, for one, am still interested in the original question. And I think Daddyjoe is right. But I also think some toes felt stepped on that didn't GET stepped on. This is a forum....that's where you ask hypothetical questions like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lock,

Truly eloquent in both your observation and your additional thoughts.

As I tried to make clear in previous posts to this thread I enjoy the bike. I was and am surprised at some of the (Love it or leave it) posts that the thread has generated. My whole point was to ask if anyone other than than I felt that the bikes could be a little better from the company. I would rather have paid $8,000 for it as it is now than have to build it. That's all I was saying.

Thank you for your fair and balanced insight,

Ard
 

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Sure. I think you brought up a good point for discussion, and I hope more people chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thought this was interesting, found this post dated 2006 on another forum I belong to. I think this sums up why I bought a KLR 650. I admit to questioning my judgment from time to time but this fellow hit the nail on the head.

"Ok, yes a KLR will cost you less....but ther are so many accessories and extras it will potentially cost you more...So Why a KLR?? In my experiences most KLR riders are cheap, but are also tinkerers and do it your selfers. Yes you could buy a KTM adventure, but you would have no money left over for extras like luggage, pipes, guards, etc....

A KLR rider buys the KLR, can afford the initial price or payment, but will...over time...accumulate aftermarket parts and occupy his or her spare time modifying or installing the items. This activity is a stress reliever and emotionally satisfying to the typical KLR owner. Much like Harley riders constantly install new parts and gadgets, KLR riders constantly buy new parts and accessories to suit their riding styles. We are enthusiasts, just on a budget and can't afford it all at one time!! It is fun getting to know your motorcycle on an intimate basis. KLRs allow the fun of Harley accessorizing, the thrill of BMW adventure touring and the youthfullness of dirtbiking all in one bike. At least thats why I have mine!!"
 

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Hey Xtreme: Thanks for the web-site link. I was nervous about doing my Doo with out help but after seeing that it doesn't seem like something I can't handle. That's gotta be the most detailed yet simple instructions I've ever seen for wrenching anything. Thanks again, Steve
 
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