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The KLR is so slow...

2821 Views 80 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  KLR-Mule
How slow is it?

I had to run to town today in the middle of an oil change since Walmart sold me the wrong oil filter.

It was blustery and stormy but about 60 degrees, so I figured I'd take the KLR on the 30 mile round trip to town and back.

On the way back in a 60 mph zone, I got stuck behind some jerk going 55 mph. Rural 2-lane highway with lots of traffic and few passing zones.

There is a small mountain pass halfway home where the road splits into 4 lanes going up a 7% grade for about a mile.

So I just remained patient, knowing that I would be able to pass safely in a few minutes.

When we finally got to the 4 lane section, the jerk started increasing his speed. He sped up to 68 mph.

I couldn't pass him. The KLR didn't have enough power to go over 68 mph up the grade. 馃ズ

I may need more power. I have soft panniers and stock windscreen. Maybe 20lbs of gear in panniers. I was tucked down close to the tank to reduce wind drag.

But, I am 6'2" and 302lbs.

I have ridden many bikes and never encountered a situation in which I couldn't make a safe and efficient pass on the highway.

It was alarming.

I can't imagine how slow it will be this summer with all of my camping gear on it.
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I've ridden Yamaha V80, way way faster than Honda C70 but still needs a fart to make it faster.
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Getting back on a KLR after several years of riding a handful of others, I have found the KLR, if nothing else, teaches you a lesson in patience.
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I rode mine up Pikes Peak. Very near the top traffic stopped to watch big horn sheep. I was terrified that when it was time to move again I鈥檇 stall, flop it over and be embarrassed the rest of the day. Luckily I slipped the clutch enough to avoid all that. Power is lacking at sea level so it was very anemic 10-14k aka above the tree line.
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I've been in a similar situation trying to accelerate up a steep grade and could hear the engine loosing the battle. Such as life. The klr is just not built for performance.
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A few weeks back I decided to use a major Hwy to get to my starting point. It's a 65 mph hwy, trucks galore as it's direct to and frow to NYC. It was going to save me an hour and a half as opposed to using back roads but I'd have to be on it for a couple hours. I rode 60 - 62 mph, getting behind slower traffic, trucks going up hills, just trying to not stick out at less than 65-70 mph. I was also trying to keep it under 5k rpms. All went well even in the no shoulder construction, lane shift zones. I'm ok with the KLR being slow because I'm slow these days. Not sure I'd be comfortable on any bike at 70 mph, loaded for camping and heavy knobbies.
And why is it when the slow poke in front of you, where you can't pass, always speeds up when you can pass - WTF
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Did you drop down a gear or two? Or stay in 5th when you tried to pass?

I feel you on it being slow though. I knew it wouldn't be fast, but seat of the pants it feels way more sluggish than my DRZ at every point in the power curve. Probably doesn't help that I'm also coming from a F800GS which has more than twice the HP and about 60% more torque.
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I may need more power.
Said by just about every KLR owner 馃槀
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I actually don't find it that bad......but then I have a 685, jetting, pipe, airbox mods, etc. and my KLR's are 354 lbs (wet, no fuel). I also try to avoid the hwy when at all possible and don't have any paniers or luggage on the bike. That said, I've had 47 motorcycles and while the KLR may not be the slowest of all of them, it's definitely in the bottom half! LOL

Dave
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How slow is it?
7% grade, headwind, panniers, 300 lbs passenger, I understand why. Even if you had a twin, you'd have to wind that sucker out to pass anything going 70+ mph under those conditions.

I'm 180 lbs. wet, only ride with a tail bag with no more than 30 lbs. in it. Ride in the mountains a lot too. Never been in a situation where I was unable to pass anyone when my KLR was stock, or now after I've added a bit of power.

There was one situation where I was on a part of Interstate 8 near the Mexican Border. This part of I-8 is known to be "hurricane alley", always super windy, it climbs up and over a mountain pass to 4,600 ASL. It is so windy there, the area is filled with Power Windmills. I was able to maintain 75 and accelerate up to 80. But I don't believe the bike had enough to get to 90 on those climbs. I wasn't the slowest, but it was a struggle to keep up SUV's and Minivans doing 80+.

I suggest you not be too much of a boy scout and pass only in passing zones. Pass when it's safe. Pass one vehicle at a time. But don't wait until the lane opens up because that's when those assholes actually accelerate to make it even harder for you to pass them. If they're going to accelerate in passing zones, then screw them and pass them when they're doing 55 in a non passing zone!
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When I鈥檓 out on the KLR, unless it鈥檚 a transport, on a hill I鈥檓 the one being passed. Even on the flat passing takes some consideration before you make the move. A 35 HP bike isn鈥檛 going to have a lot of reserve power for big moves.
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Well, one thing about the KLR - it sure does not have too much power.
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When we finally got to the 4 lane section, the jerk started increasing his speed. He sped up to 68 mph.

I couldn't pass him. The KLR didn't have enough power to go over 68 mph up the grade. 馃ズ
You should have down shifted into 4th gear and twisted its neck.
My Gen 1 KLR can run an indicated 84mph in 4th gear, up a 6% grade with my wife & I's 300+ lbs at 8000-9600ft in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming. It will still be about 1000rpm below Red-Line.

But yeah, it won't Accelerate very quickly. And part of the trick is to plan ahead to use the draft behind the other traffic to accelerate up behind them and then over-take them swiftly. Don't slow down anymore than you have to!
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But yeah, it won't Accelerate very quickly. And part of the trick is to plan ahead to use the draft behind the other traffic to accelerate up behind them and then over-take them swiftly. Don't slow down anymore than you have to!
The NASCAR slingshot works unbelievably well.

I do this too. I keep a bit of a distance behind them, about 1.5 - 2 car lengths. When the passing opportunity arises, I accelerate behind the car using their draft, then pull out to pass. Works well every time. Sometimes these slow pokes accelerate but I'm right there accelerating behind them so they really can't get away like that since they're parting all the wind up front. Makes it easier on my KLR.
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When playing off road, or in the twisties, which would you prefer, riding a fast bike slow, or riding a slow bike fast?
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I buy oil filters on Amazon.....my KLR is still slow, but just saying. I live 1 mile from an Amazon Hub and lots of stuff get here in a few hours.
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That's a sad story, I feel your pain. I carry a passenger sometimes, and my KLR doesn't like it, especially on hills.
the only bikes i have had slower than klr were the honda 100's i had years ago. they are like klr wringem and row the shifter. like the man said it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast...:p:p
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the only bikes i have had slower than klr were the honda 100's i had years ago. they are like klr wringem and row the shifter. like the man said it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast...:p:p
The only bike I have ridden that is slower than the KLR was the Honda Nighthawk CB250 that I rode for the MSF class. But I am still finding the KLR a fun bike to own :)
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When playing off road, or in the twisties, which would you prefer, riding a fast bike slow, or riding a slow bike fast?
I'd rather ride a fast bike fast in this scenario, wait...what? Haha
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