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Old 05-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #16
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: West By God Virginia
Oddometer: 2,271
I had one for a couple months last year, it's pretty comparable to your old xl with a big tank and a little more wind protection. It probably doesn't run quite as well though.
03 Aprilia Caponord 06DR650
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:47 AM   #17
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Missoula, Montana
Oddometer: 385
I think the KLR is quite capable.

It all depends on what your goals are ...

for 99% of us mere mortals on KLR's, it is great.

We have a lot to do with how the world receives us.

Dr. Frazier Writing
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:17 AM   #18
Al Goodwin
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Cullman, Alabama
Oddometer: 1,369
I've had several sport/sport-touring bikes, and roadraced with WERA for 11 years. When the wife and I first got together I had 6 bikes, but now for the last 4 years I've had only 1 trusty, 37,000 mile '06 model KLR650. It is the one bike i will never be without...bullet proof engine(once the doo is done), comfortable(once the seat is re-done, taller bars installed, off-set rear pegs installed, etc..), good off-road(once the suspension is stiffened a bit), and handles well on the road also.
I recomend the KLR if you're looking at having only one bike that can do-it-all.
2013 Yamaha Super Tenere(the new girl in town)
'06 Kawasaki KLR650(72,000+ miles)
'04 Honda XR400
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:20 AM   #19
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Fort Whine Indiana
Oddometer: 6,944
I've had my '08 as my exclusive bike for over two years. (Aug '07)

For human sized people, it's not big enough for two up touring, it's not fast enough for comfortable interstate. The exception is you lucky folks with girlfriends who have an ass no bigger than a squirrel's.

If you're 70 on the interstate and want power to pass, the bike just says "Whaaaa?"

I bought a second hand FZ1 for superslab rides or for those times when you just want to be there. Unless I'm planning on dirt rides out west, the KLR will be for around town or slow touring where the only object is the direction.

FZ1 for vacation plans where the wife flys and I chase the airplane.

The greatest thing with a KLR is generally you still have money left over for more than one bike. My garage has 6 and I'm still under 10k total invested.

Insurance is dirt cheap, so are tires etc...

If I had to settle for just one bike, then yes, the KLR would remain. I'd just make sure I have plenty of time for travelling.
"Beauty sleep?" Bitch, you don't need a nap, you need to HIBERNATE!
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:59 AM   #20
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Western Mass
Oddometer: 589
Well, I recently sold my 1996 Triumph Thunderbird Adventurer, but I did not get a KLR. I got a DR650. Close enough for this conversation. The DR is more "handy". I can get it out of the garage easier, and that alone makes more difference than you would think, in terms of how much I am apt to take the bike in the morning.
The DR flicks about much easier on the back roads, and my average speed is most likely much higher. The suspension also contibutes to the higher speed average on the bumpy back roads we have around New England.
On both my Triumph and the DR, the seats are bad. To run a tankful in one sitting is not fun on either one.
Two-up, they are comparable as well. The 885cc Triumph triple had much more torque and was much more smooth, but both pull a passenger just fine.
The DR gets ridden more than the old Triumph, and I would imagine that the same would be true with a KLR, and that is the bottom line.
(I did own a 1984 KLR600 once. I was handily beaten on the ice by a DR350, so it had to go. Now that I look bak, I am pretty certain that the big KLR was just jetted too fat.)
Street bikes for the street. Dirt bikes for the dirt. Let's keep it that way.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:21 AM   #21
Joined: Jul 2007
Oddometer: 54
I sold my '79 CB750 and got a KLR.
Lately I've been thinking about getting a big fast road bike, but every time I get on the KLR I just fall in love all over again.

Plus, the more beat up it gets, the better it looks.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:32 AM   #22
East Coast Rider
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Stuck somewhere in motorcycle Purgatory
Oddometer: 4,031
Didn't sell my road bike (sorry, selling the GS ain't gonna happen )

But to answer the highway question:

I have ridden my KLR for several 800-900 mile days back to back, prior to getting it kitted out with a throttle lock and sheepskin buttpad. My arse hurt, but the bike did fine. Indicated 75mph (GPS read 71mph) with a 15 tooth CS. I like laying down on the tank bag to support my weight and tucking down as far as I can. I am not terrible big (5"10, 170 lbs.), but was carrying WAY too much crap on the trip--not again--, but the KLR did just fine. Overloaded and still got 50-51mpg. Not a powerhouse, but it will get the job done and it's reliable. (and it didn't use any oil ) It has gone from Charleston, SC to southern Indiana & back on several occasions, too, all interstate. Never a trouble.

By comparison, my 28 year old Suzi (GS1100EZ) is a freaking starship in the smoothness and speed department, and gets comaparable mpg when ridden sanely but I still love the KLR for what it is.
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Me: Hey Dan-O. Just wanted to say howdy and Love ya!
Dan: Howdy and Love you too. Doin' good and feeling good.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:50 AM   #23
Jeep Overlander
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 1,471
I went from a 2005 KTM 950 Adventure to a 2008 KLR650. The KTM was just too big for the type of riding I do. Most of my time was spent worrying when it was going to break next. Add to that the expensive constant maintenance and it was no contest. The KLR won out! The deal breaker was a trip to Deal's Gap. A bunch of us rode down for a week. I was on the KTM and a buddy had just purchased a new '08 KLR. I'm barely getting 30 mpg and he's getting 60 mpg. He paid less than 5k and I had over 13k in mine. My preparations cost me over $650 at the dealership and he spooned on a new $70 rear tire onto the KLR. When I looked in my rearview mirror that KLR was right there with the rest of us, on our V-twin motorcycles.

All of this got me thinking, do I really need the 950 and all the hassles that come with it? The KTM just didn't add up for me anymore. The answer was to simplify my life and get the KLR. I tried to trade the 950 in on a new '08 KLR. Honestly, the dealers all laughed at me and asked, "what would we do with that?" Great motorcycle alright! It's still sitting in my shop!

My time now is dedicated to making the KLR better with a new suspension.

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Old 05-04-2010, 07:12 AM   #24
You rode a what to where?
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Western NC
Oddometer: 1,336
Not exactly, but I did offload a Tiger in favor of a DRZ-400.

It worked out great - no regrets at all. Light weight and simplicity beats power any day.

I'd rather have a KLR than any big multi-cylinder bike, for street or offroad usage. YMMV.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #25
Jon B.
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Rice County, Minnesota
Oddometer: 584
I bought an '04 KLR last week but am hanging on to the Road King.

The KLR is just for fun riding; for long road trips, I'll use the Harley - like next month's ride around Lake Superior (1600+ miles).

The KLR is a whole 'nuther riding experience; I'm having to learn how to ride all over again. The nice thing about a 6-year-old bike (and inexpensive!) is that I don't shed any tears when I dump it on its side. Heck, it's all plastic, and the color goes all the way through the pieces!

Mine's equipped with Dunlop 606 tires front & rear, so they're noisy on the highway. I'd prefer something more appropriate for long highway trips, I think.

I do intend to 'farkle' it up a bit - tank & engine guards and a skid plate. It could use better hand guards, too.

Jon B.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:53 AM   #26
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: USA- St. Louis Metro area
Oddometer: 68
Purchased an 09 KLR intending to sell off a Vee strom. Enjoy the KLR but will be keeping both.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:06 AM   #27
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Franklin, NC
Oddometer: 455
Swapped an '05 Bandit for an '09 KLR, still have an ST1300 in the garage.

Loved the Bandit but don't miss it. I doubt I'll tour on the KLR, really, why bother with the ST on hand for that? I'm enjoying the KLR very much for day trips into the Western North Carolina mountains, and when I get into the back country, I know what they mean when they say a KLR on these roads will destroy a sport touring rig. It's true. It's very, very true.
Start each day with a smile and get it over with.

09 Super Sherpa
09 KLR650
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:43 AM   #28
I'm scared hold me
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Underachievement Nexus of the Universe
Oddometer: 5,838
Four years ago I went from a '97 TL1000S to a '00 KLR650. No regrets. I really liked that TL and it gave me no problems over the course of 6 years and 20K+ miles; but it wasn't very comfortable, and it sure wasn't much of a dirtbike. The KLR does everything that I need it to do--more power and taller gearing to match would be nice, of course, but it ain't really necessary. I'm planning on keeping the KLR until it's worn out, and that's probably gonna take a while.

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Old 05-04-2010, 10:22 AM   #29
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Front Range, CO
Oddometer: 27
I personally don't like doing 80mph or whatever on my KLR. Even with a larger front sprocket, 75mph is around 5k rpm, and I don't like that.

But, really, it handles the freeway cruising I do (65-75 indicated) just fine. My take on it is it's no 85mph Midwest mile-eater, but it handles the freeway just fine and better than the DR and XR.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:48 AM   #30
Mentally Retired
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Joined: May 2004
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 1,811
I have multiple bikes now but back when I could only have one, I'd always keep my KLR (back to 87'). Of all my bikes currently, the KLR gets out the most.
I commute, run errands, bar hop and adventure tour on my KLR loaded with camping gear. Yes, it struggles some above 70, gets blown around by the wind and sounds like a VW bus. But for me, it's the perfect bike for a little of everything.
Some won't agree, but then I like Oysters, some people don't... go figure!
West - "Oeste Sanchez"
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