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Old 11-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
Super. OP
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Question KLR650 or R100GS

I am a noob to adventure bikes, and I want a group opinion, as a first adventure bike should I get a KLR650 or a R100GS? Live in Los Angeles the land of a thousand on-ramps, but might be moving to Duluth Minnesota the land of "my eyeball fluid has frozen". I'm not interested in speed, just which one would be better for freeways and cold weather.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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Depends upon your mission. How much do you want to carry? Do you want to travel a great distance? Do you want to travel a great distance with a woman?

If you can travel with a sane load the KLR should do fine. If you need the kitchen sink then the load ability of the GS might fit you better.

Both are fine machines and have traveled most of the planet.

What is your ability? A light KLR is less in need of skill than a loaded GS on loose terain.

I have one of each and each has is use. For me if I had to have one it would be the GS for sure.

One thing to keep in mind is the KLR will depreciate, while the airhread should only appreaciate from here on out
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveling QMS View Post
Depends upon your mission. How much do you want to carry? Do you want to travel a great distance? Do you want to travel a great distance with a woman?

If you can travel with a sane load the KLR should do fine. If you need the kitchen sink then the load ability of the GS might fit you better.

Both are fine machines and have traveled most of the planet.

What is your ability? A light KLR is less in need of skill than a loaded GS on loose terain.

I have one of each and each has is use. For me if I had to have one it would be the GS for sure.

One thing to keep in mind is the KLR will depreciate, while the airhread should only appreaciate from here on out
Well that settles it, the BMW it is.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #4
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have you check the cost of parts ect. as i have a r100gs as my 1st big bike but found the parts to be costly.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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parts can be costly esp at BMW dealers,but you can still get most parts from other sources and there is a huge knowledgeable following for the GS.
For me the GS is just so much nicer feeling than the KLR. At certain speeds the big twin is glass smooth.The GS could be more maintenance intensive than the KLR.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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Bmw

BMW

Go whole hog and get the 1100GS...

Leave the 100GS for the old farts.






























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Old 11-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #7
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I have one of each,,
The 1992 R100GS is for sale.As a good friend said,,"I like it, but I am not in love with it."
My KLR is not for sale. I don't like it,,but I am in love with it.
The simple difference as I see it is this, it's like riding along and having to stop to pee.
Doesn't matter who had to stop, or where we are,, somebody has to pee NOW!

The KLR is like lean up against a tree and pretend to be looking at the lake or mountain,,
and the beemer is like looking for a place to hide to be able to pull your pants down to pee and hope no-one is watching.
Stop and piss, or go thru a bunch of changes first.
you may really be looking for a DR650, or DRZ400. Neither one has the problems of the two turds mentioned.
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peterman screwed with this post 11-24-2012 at 10:11 PM
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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well i got a bike for my OZ trip some years ago and got a klr650c but found the bike to be rubbish and wonted to get rid of it and lost so much money selling it.
but my r100gs i found it to be a better road bike but it a love hate thing. love it when it workes but hate it when it strops working.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:00 AM   #9
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I had an old KLR and loved it. If you buy them used they don't lose much value. It will cost half as much to buy as a BMW, parts and farkles are everywhere for cheap and on the rare occasion that something breaks you can fix it with a zip tie and some duct tape. Never had a problem with mine, and it was beat to shit when I got it.

OTOH...if most of your riding will be on the freeway, the KLR probably isn't for you. It's happy at 60-70 mph but above that it's a vibrating, oil consuming unhappy camper. "Smooth" is not a term that will ever describe a KLR. As my riding took me further from home and required more slab to get to cool stuff, I realized I needed something different. Hence, the Wee Strom now in my garage.

The BMW is a nicer machine, but that comes with a higher purchase price and higher maintenance.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:41 AM   #10
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In the past 20 years, I have owned one (troublesome) GS, and 8 KLRs.
That sums up my answer to your question!

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Old 11-25-2012, 05:54 AM   #11
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A KLR is by far the best bike for the money. The R100GS is by far one of the coolest bikes for the money.
And to really throw you off; the KLX250S is the best trail bike for the money.
Both the KLR and the GS are excellent hwy bikes and in the right hands decent trail machines too. Make no mistake both are heavy pigs.
The KLR is very cheap to acquire, and maintain. The GS not so much.

I just bought my third older KLR for a travel bike off the flea market here. They just make too much sense and they're a blast to ride.
I was also scoping out R100GS's but just too expensive to acquire and I know from experience they're also expensive to maintain.

That said many here like myself own both a KLR and a GS.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:37 AM   #12
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I'm not sure how you have narrowed the field down to those two bikes, as they seem to be substantially different in terms of the likely ownership experience. Both could be rugged adventure bikes for long-haul travel but the BMW will require a lot more TLC to get it right. For a first ADV bike, unless you are already a BMW boxer fan and/or have some experience with airhead BMWs, you would be better off with the KLR. The BMW 650GS single might be better for you. It is more capable off-road than the R100GS and more capable on-road than the KLR.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
The BMW 650GS single might be better for you. It is more capable off-road than the R100GS and more capable on-road than the KLR.
Thats what I did. IMO, your two choices are completely opposite ends of the spectrum. I too think you would be better off considering something like the f650gs. Good way to get acquainted with adventure riding and will give you a better idea of what youre looking for.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dochstader View Post
In the past 20 years, I have owned one (troublesome) GS, and 8 KLRs.
That sums up my answer to your question!

El Mur.
Wow those KLR's must suck.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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If I were to ride around the World it would be on a DR650 or an Airhead GS.
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