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Old 01-10-2015, 10:51 PM   #1
jtw000 OP
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 566
Opinions on KLE500 as dual sport

I'm looking for a competent all-rounder and have come across a KLE500 for the right price. I'm tempted, I've had one before and liked it but only used it on tarmac.
I'm living in a 3rd world toilet with crappy roads, horrible traffic and no real laws. Consequently I need something that can handle stop-start traffic, speed bumps and potholes (big enough to swallow a car), sandy roads, dirt, mud, floods up to the waste, etc. I also explore the provinces so I need something that can handle a dirt track occasionally but I'm mostly after something that's fun to ride with low down power (top end is effectively irrelevant), can handle well and deal with whatever horrible things the locals throw at me.
I'm also doing a tour in March, out from Cambodia (bad roads, lots of braking for idiots, giant potholes, sand, roadworks and being run off the road by buses driving on the wrong side of the road), Thailand (long straight boring roads, few potholes, medium speed, avoid the occasional idiot driving off the road into a ditch) and Laos (mixture of brand new roads and occasional dirt tracks, little traffic, slow speeds.)
I reckon the 500 will serve me well, my friend had a 250 which had blown valve seals, piston rings and gaskets and he got all the fixed very cheaply so I know I can get parts.
It looks the part too, it's a nice looking machine and the specs work well enough for me. I'm hoping that with knobbly rubber it will be a solid all-rounder.
Can anyone drop their opinions, ideally someone who's owned one and punished it a little bit. Thanks, guys.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:47 AM   #2
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There is a full KLE500 thread here. Use Google to search.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:23 PM   #3
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: North East UK
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With the right tyres the KLE is passable as a dual sport. I took mine along a few of the easier trails locally, it only lacked in ground clearance really.

If I had took it out more it would have HAD to have had a bit more rear travel/ground clearance as a bare minimum. So long as your not asking it to carry too much they are decent little bike for the pittance they cost (at least around here they are cheap as chips)
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:40 PM   #4
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Brisbane Northside, OZ
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Travel or ground clearance isn't something I'd be calling out as a limiting factor, they were way down my list for a 70/30 bike for fire roads and Forrest tracks. Suspension quality isn't great but ample travel for the bike when sprung to weight.

My 3 tips to make sure your happy before buying
Power, a little underpowered but cheap to open up improvement with a pipe and air filter
Suspension quality, a little air in the front, wind up the back spring to weight
Brakes, a braided front line needed, and back if you wish

Do those and you have a decent 70/30 bike at a budget price, I used to call it my poor mans Tiger.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:49 PM   #5
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
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We never did see that bike in the US but Rally Raid is working on building the 500X into one.

If it was imported, you can bet the aftermarket would have built many mods to improve upon it.

The Weber's built their Rally Twin bike around that engine
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:54 AM   #6
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Croatia
Oddometer: 7,097
I've seen KLE discussed in a few threads, people who tried both KLE and KLR
usually prefer the KLE. It's a very reliable bike with a VERY soft (undersprung)
suspension and barely adequate brakes. Fine otherwise but most people here
never saw one.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:04 AM   #7
jtw000 OP
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 566
Thanks for the comments. I pulled the trigger on it. The soft suspension works perfectly. I'm in Cambodia, the roads are horrible, potholes and gravel and many are just sand and dirt. The suspension keeps her stable in corners and usable in the rough stuff (the rider is heavy). The brakes seem adequate for the above reasons, plus the average speed here is low, it's rare I can get up to 100kmph. All in all, it's a sexy little bike, I'm happy to add it to the stable. I got it for a mate to use, I'm a bit jealous, I want to ride her myself. I'll just have to make do.
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