When I flip on the light in the garage the bike there now is a 2007 KLR650 I bought used already "fixed up"; springs, the do, 4 " taller shield, aftermarket seat, bags, LED rear light (and lowering links, low seat - these I switched off, but you can easily lower a KLR to get your feet on the ground)...added a pelican case for a top box. Got minimal $ investment, but a big return as far as ease of work, cost of any parts/work, and I enjoy the mount for what it gives me...which is about 50/50 street and trail (old fire roads, gravel trails, cleared trails...not single track). It can do the interstate if needed, but really that was not "the destination" I am aiming for these days.
I came off a HD Classic (full fairing, bags, etc.)...and prior to that a BMW R100RS (sweet, smooth, fast!). I would not ask the KLR to do the types of road work I used these bikes for, just as I would not want to take the HD or BMW into gravel or mud...although for many years I would ride to HD across my snowy yard to make my kids think Santa's sled had been there!
It's been said before...the KLR is like the Leatherman tool...can do a bit of everything...but there are better single function screwdrivers/pliers/knives out there...but if you have to carry just one tool in your pocket...the Leatherman or a KLR is a good choice.
I also considered a KTM's, Honda, and the DR650, my final choice was steered by 1: knowing my essential criteria AND 2: finding a cared for, already farkled bike at a fair price...when those stars line up...buy it & and ride it!
FAW3 screwed with this post 02-08-2011 at 08:59 AM
Reason: added stuff about suspension links/seat