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Old 10-18-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
Boggking OP
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Question School me on KLR's

I have been throwing around the idea of picking up a KLR for friends to use for day rides when they come for a visit. I live in the boonies out by Water Valley, and there is lots of great riding in the immediate area.

So my question is which years are most desirable years, and which are the ones to stay clear of?

Thanks in advance
BK>
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
OverlandOdyssey
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I can tell you '08-'09 have an oil consumption issue. The first gen had a long run. I bought an '07 because the way I see it the last year of a significant run like that should have most (if not all) the bugs ironed out.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
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There are web sites that deal with the KLR and have tons of info on them. This web site has a section called thumpers and there is no doubt a KLR section with thousands of posts on it.

My $0.02 on the KLR for what that is worth:
The KLR is and inexpensive bike and not too bad for the money. Many owners buy the bike and than start trying to turn it into a high end bike that it never was to start with. Lots of money is spent and in the end it is still a KLR. The KLR is top heavy, not that great off road. It can do highway OK but underpowered and shakes like the big single that it is. If you take the KLR off road and drop it you will wreck a lot of expensive stuff fast.

I would recommend looking at a Suzuki DR650 as well. It will do off road better than a KLR and still do well on the highway. If your thinking mainly off road the Suzuki DRZ400 is a good choice. Strange as it sounds the new Honda CRF250 wouldn't be a bad choice for a lighter bike that will do off road and highway but lighter. A lot depends on what you ride as well I think, and the type of riding you do.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
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What Jimmie said...

I had a KLR for about 50k of riding. It did the job, only major problem I ever had was rebuilding the rear shock, which is cheap, and not a difficult job.

The bike has incredible range with the stock tank, and a pretty good rear rack stock.

The DR650 will be a lot lighter off road, (I've ridden both bikes quite a bit), but you may want a bigger tank and luggage area than what it comes with stock.

The KLR can be ridden offroad, which I did quite a bit, but you quickly realize how poor the stock suspension is.

Overall, the bike is a great "multisurface motorcycle".

Hopping off it, and riding my BMW 650, is two different worlds, however.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:58 AM   #5
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Lots of first gen ones kicking around, can be had for cheap. Minimal work required to keep one happy. Many, many, many of us have had one at some point in time.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:23 AM   #6
Toto
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I had a new 08 for a year.
Lots of fun on secondary highways and good in city and gravel roads.
It was, however, the worst bike by far that I ever rode on the slab.
Traded it for a Wee Strom the next year...much, much happier...after I fixed the buffeting issue that is.
Pick your tool carefully. If you plan to do much interstate at all...stay away...IMHO.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:00 PM   #7
EduardoMas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggking View Post
I have been throwing around the idea of picking up a KLR for friends to use for day rides when they come for a visit. I live in the boonies out by Water Valley, and there is lots of great riding in the immediate area.

BK>
BK, you are one cool dude, buying a bike for your friends to ride when in town… or the boonies.

You settled on a KLR already and it is a safe bet for multiple riders on multiple roads or trails.
If you buy an 02 (in my opinion) and earlier model it will probably have several upgrades. Some upgrades are a must, like a chain tensioner “doohickey”.
There are Made-in-Japan vs. other country build years differences but to get into it is just splitting hairs.
Expecting to lend a bike to others, beef it up with an aluminum handlebar, barkbuster, and rad protector to prevent bruises to the bike and your friendships if/when they drop the bike.
Unless your buds ride KLRs already they will find the noodle-like forks a little vague in steering input/turn feel an inexpensive fork brace helps a lot.
If it has Rox risers the handlebar can be setup for different rider heights in a few minutes.
Some upgrades are worth it to an owner ridden bike but dangerous to others. They have to do with overriding clutch, kickstand and neutral switches. They all WILL fail eventually... so many people just jumper the contacts, but street-only riders might need them for safety.

As others said, stay in the ’07 and earlier and shop for a bike with the most significant upgrades.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drif10 View Post
Lots of first gen ones kicking around, can be had for cheap. Minimal work required to keep one happy. Many, many, many of us have had one at some point in time.
That would be a thread in it's self..... How many ADVrs have ever owned a KLR.!
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:34 PM   #9
bwokentoof
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Huh?

Why would anyone ride a KLR when there are thousands of perfectly good Virago 920's out there for cheap?
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bwokentoof View Post
Why would anyone ride a KLR when there are thousands of perfectly good Virago 920's out there for cheap?
Spoken like a trooper, and I had one of those too!!!!
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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Thanks guy for the intel guys. I have some idea what to look for now when shopping the classifieds. Now to find the right deal!

Thanks again
BK>
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:54 AM   #12
JimmieA
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If you find a bike with a lot of accessories, that you want/need you usually get the extras for next to nothing.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #13
Defconfunk
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Dumb question, but as a toy / loaner bike, why go for a 650cc at all?

Are you expecting to sit on highways above 100km/h for any serious length of time? Or are 80km/h roads done at a mildly above limit (say 100km/h) pace plus back-road / off-road excursions more the norm?

Since it isn't a bike that will be ridden often, I'd think you'd want the minimum amount of maintenenace (specifically, I'm thinking aircooled so you don't have to worry about radiator hoses or pump seals drying out), low purchase price (okay, the KLR really can't be beat on that front), and since the people riding it may be a bit rusty themselves, something light and easy to ride (in which case, the DR650 isn't bad, but a 250cc might be better.

Admittedly, many of the 250ish DS bikes are lacking in power, but can still be fun. The Super Sherpa (KLR250) seems ideal for what you want. Air cooled, reliable, easy to ride, sufficient power for 100km/h riding (26hp, 6-speed transmission).

Good luck with the search. I wish I had friends like you ;)
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #14
Boggking OP
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I would like to thank you guys for all the input and insight. I picked up a 06 EXC 450 for to good of a deal to pass up. I know it's a far cry from a KLR but we are just going to have to manage!!

Thanks again
BK>
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:25 PM   #15
JimmieA
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This is basically an off road race bike if I'm not mistaken. I know little about this bike but on the Jap stuff once the motor needs rebuilt, like 50 hours of race time, it is a major expense. Part of the reason for low resale value.

This bike is a world different than a KLR650, just saying. Not even a close comparison.
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