Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was spurred to start this thread after participating in another thread about what other motorcycles people owned besides their KLR.

Why do you get into DS? Is it just a branch of motorcycling to explore while you still ride other bikes, either dirt or street? Are you strictly a DS enthusiast or do you embrace other motorcycling "disciplines?"

What other DS bikes have you ridden in the past and why did you choose the KLR?

Personally, I've never gotten into "street bikes" and while I've ridden a very few, have never owned one. I've never been a "dirt bike guy" because I don't possess the skills to make the most of owning one and don't really have a nearby place to practice riding one: plus I'm old and fat.

I've owned a Suzuki SP600 and a Honda KLR650L before taking a hiatus and then picking up the KLR I currently own.

I can't afford anything beyond "The Big Three." I'll freely admit it, I chose my KLR because of the price and its long history and reputation. The Suzuki 650 is purported to be better off-road than either the Honda or the Kawasaki, based on reviews and internet info, for what they're worth.

The Honda "looks like" a premium DS machine, but having owned one, it's really not much better off-road than the KLR and costs a hell of a lot more and sucks to ride on the highway if you need or want to.

Share your thoughts: I'm interested.
 

·
Threadjacker
Joined
·
6,768 Posts
I bought my KLR because I wanted a simple, bulletproof, cheap bike that could hold a lot of gas. And I like to sit upright. Dirt hadn't entered my mind. Now I appreciate that aspect of it, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
My background is in motocross racing. That’s where I start. I think you are always more comfortable on the first bike you ride… Meaning, if you Learn how to ride a bike on a Honda rebel, you will most likely end up riding a Fat Boy. If you rode dirt bikes growing up you will feel at home on a dual sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I wanted something more versatile than my SV650. I really like having the ability to cruise down the highway then cut through the ditch and head off down a gravel road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
I wanted something more versatile than my SV650. I really like having the ability to cruise down the highway then cut through the ditch and head off down a gravel road.
When I started riding, there were no "dirt bikes", just bikes. I used to do just that with my bikes. It was how you rode them not the bike itself that made the adventure work.
If you wanted a dirt bike it was off with the lights and mufflers, on with a skid plate (made from a fallen highway sign) and maybe a knobby on the rear.
Then and now...All fun stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I have owned 2 XR650L's and have a fair amount of seat time on various YZ250's and other mx bikes. The deciding factor in getting a KLR and not another XR for me is comfort. The XR is a better dirt bike, no question, but if your dirt spots are seperated by 100+ miles of 65+mph highway, I found the XR to be miserable. So for me, the KLR is a comfy streetbike with enough offroad ability to be entertaining. The KLR's reputation for reliability and ease of maintenance didnt hurt either, and they are cheap (bonus!!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
In 2001 I moved to a house where I had a mile and a half of dirt road to negotiate. It got old pretty quick riding a Gold Wing in the mud on the rain days, so I looked for an alternative bike for poor road conditions. I chose a KLR based on an article in Motorcycle Consumer News by Dr. Greg Frazier, price and gas tank capacity, and bought one in the spring of '02.

Liked it so much I bought another one in '04 as a spare.

The Gold Wing has pretty much been relegated to collecting dust - and mice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
When I started riding, there were no "dirt bikes", just bikes. I used to do just that with my bikes. It was how you rode them not the bike itself that made the adventure work.
If you wanted a dirt bike it was off with the lights and mufflers, on with a skid plate (made from a fallen highway sign) and maybe a knobby on the rear.
Then and now...All fun stuff!
Wish I would have read about your fallen highway sign skid plate idea before I shelled out the $ for an aftermarket one for the KLR.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Why the KLR? Versatility, plain and simple. Ive owned a BMW R1150RT, maintenance ate me up and the GS was just plain out of my price range, short term and long term. My '08 C14 has been heavily modified (Full pipe, PCV, and Auto Tune) which produces somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 at the back tire, I have a set of ZX14 throttle bodies waiting to go on. I use her for street touring, commuting (40+ MPG), and I've had her on the track a few times. The YZ450F allows me the ability to connect with my youth on an old RM250, wild and on the edge, insane power. I think I've found my wifes limit on bikes. Good thing is, they are all tax deductions, another benefit of being an instructor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
My first "real" motorcycle was an early '70s' Honda SL 100. It was a dual-sport, but they weren't called that back then. Maybe that's why I like my KLR 650 so much. It's the same bike for big people. Bulletproof and just stupid fun!!

You can keep your Harleys', (GAG!), gold wings and whatever else you ride. To me, the KLR is an everybike. High gas prices? LESS IS MORE!!

Had:
Honda SL 100
Honda CB 360
Kaw Z1 900
Honda V45 Magna
HD FLH '79'
HD Wide Glide '84'
Yam YZF 600R '94'
Honda Superhawk 996 '98'
Honda CBR 929 RR '00'
Yam FZ1 '01'
HD FLHTCUI '01'
Kaw KLR 650 '09' (black, the fast one)

Keeping the KLR, too cheap to trade, too attached to sell, A keeper.:character00201:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
The KLR is like the modern version of my first brand new bike. It was a 1967 Norton P11 Scrambler I bought when I was home on leave from the Marine Corps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
My KLR is the most road oriented bike I've owned so far. I grew up on dirt bikes and still have 2-3 in the garage.

My last dual sport was a DRZ 400S and after about an hour on the road I was ready to get off. I'm up to about 4 hours on the KLR! Bigger tank, better seat, better road manners (Gen 2) it all helps.

Weird thing is I'm wanting a Wee Strom now. Must be getting old I can't even keep up with my 17 year old on a dirt bike anymore or don't want to!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I started out on sport bikes. I enjoy riding but it seems like I'm alway dodging SUVs and the like. I've always enjoyed traveling, I've driven my truck across the country more times than I can remember, I do it well and efficiently. I am also into mountain biking, I love climbing and bombing hills, nothing better in my opinion.

For the longest time I planned on getting a FJR1300 to start traveling on bike. I did a lot of research, joined a forum, asked the questions but never pulled the trigger on one. Lately I've been thinking about a dirt bike but I really didn't want to have to drive somewhere to go riding. I already had a sport bike that I wanted to keep and I didn't really want a stable full of bikes (or engaging the boss everytime I wanted a new bike :)).

So One day it hit me like a Brick,... dual sport. I started looking at the BMW r1200gs and thought it was just too damn heavy for me to enjoy in the dirt, not to mention the cost. Then I started looking at the KLR and POW that was it, a do everything. go everywhere bike. Although I am at the beginning of my love affair with this new bike and riding style, I think it'll be a long journey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Why Dual Sport; I've seen spectacular sights, met incredible people, had great adventures on the pavement of this great country.

Then I realised that I was missing half the fun.

Why the KLR; I bought a 2008 Honda CRF230L a little over a year ago because I thought the big bikes were too tall for me at 5'6". Great trail bike, not so great street bike to get

to the trails that are far off. A friend bought a KLR a few weeks ago and let me try it. One ride off-road and I was hooked. Got mine last week, put the low Corbin

seat on it yesterday, and now I'm thinking I might not need a dedicated street bike anymore. Let the Good Times Roll!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Why dual-sport? Cuz I live in dual-sport heaven!!! The mountains of BC and their myriad of forestry roads leading to amazing views, clean clear trout-filled rivers and streams and lakes forced me to buy a dual sport. I have put on 15,000 kms in the last two summers and staring to rack up some more (going on a recon trip tomorrow to find a sneaky back door trail....the final link on a two day backcountry trip I want to do later this summer). All I can say is look out all you trout!!!

Why KLR? Cuz I am 6'5" and needed a big ride. I put Eagle Mike's 1" RAISING links (yes I said raising) and a heavier spring on my rear shock and love the ride. The KLR was made for cruising the secondary forestry roads and can still handle the off road, that is why I will keep it forever!

Oh yeah, and since I am cheap the KLR fits me well in this aspect as well!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Why dual-sport? Cuz I live in dual-sport heaven!!! The mountains of BC and their myriad of forestry roads leading to amazing views, clean clear trout-filled rivers and streams and lakes forced me to buy a dual sport. I have put on 15,000 kms in the last two summers and staring to rack up some more (going on a recon trip tomorrow to find a sneaky back door trail....the final link on a two day backcountry trip I want to do later this summer). All I can say is look out all you trout!!!

Why KLR? Cuz I am 6'5" and needed a big ride. I put Eagle Mike's 1" RAISING links (yes I said raising) and a heavier spring on my rear shock and love the ride. The KLR was made for cruising the secondary forestry roads and can still handle the off road, that is why I will keep it forever!

Oh yeah, and since I am cheap the KLR fits me well in this aspect as well!
Same here. I went with the raising links, myself and love 'em.

I wouldn't consider it dualsport heaven where I live, but riding a DS bike opens up about 99% of the surrounding countryside for exploration. I would quickly tire of riding a street bike down the same paved roads we have around here and I don't get many opportunities for longer trips.

So, it's mostly dirt roads for me, and there are thousands of miles of them in my county alone. I've never ridden a street bike on gravel and don't know what it's like, but it's no problem for the KLR even at 50-60mph if I want to go that fast. Some roads I can hit 70+ on with no problems.

My wife's sister, who rides with her boyfriend on a Harley was visiting one time and as we were driving through the country, I pointed out a few of my favorite roads. She'd never seen my KLR. She was just incredulous to the point of accusing me of lying that I would actually ride a motorcycle on gravel roads and talked about them like they were covered with a film of diesel fuel rather than gravel.

For me, it's simple: I greatly increase my riding opportunities by not being limited by paved roads. If I couldn't ride the local backroads, I probably wouldn't own a motorcycle at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
My first bike was a '72 Kawasaki 125. Loved it, but it fouled spark plugs like you wouldn't believe. That's what I learned on...well, that and my neighbor's 50cc Honda that we'd ride around the back yard.

After high school I picked up a little 125 to ride to work. I sold it after a few months.

Then began the long wait with no bike. After being married a few years I picked up a very used Virago, but only kept it a few months because it had too many problems. Then, another few years with no bike.

Finally I decided I wanted something that I could ride to work and take camping, that would also be reliable. I've had enough junkers and wanted something I could count on and have some fun. After research, looking, reading online, etc. I decided a KLR seemed great. I found a good deal on a used one (128 miles when I picked it up) and have loved it ever since. I like the high riding position. Wish it had a 6th gear, but oh well. Love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
I started with a Briggs engined Mini-Bike with a voracious appetite for friction clutches. I graduated to both a 74 CL360 dressed as a CB360, and a 78 Vespa Piaggio Bravo moped. I rode on my friends farm with his Bultacos. I had a 78 Kawasaki 400cc twin road bike, an 86 VT500c shadow, and a 90 K100LT and a 82 Yamaha Maxim. The KLR handles better than any of them, has the power characteristics of the CL360, almost the simplicity of the Mini Bike. I got it new. It was cheap for a new bike. It will go almost anywhere the Bultacos would go. The BMW definitely eclipsed it for road comfort, but that will be worked out. I suspect that I may have had the same issues with the BMW nowadays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I started out with a Honda Rebel and then wanted to upgrade. My cousin and a good friend of mine had KLR"s and I like the look. The bike is tough as nails, good on the highway and the trails plus I stand out when I ride with the Red Knights lol Now I have a dual sport I won't go back its an awesome bike
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top