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Old 10-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
WhicheverAnyWayCan OP
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Humor me: Sportster vs KLR650 through Central and South America?

If you are in my shoe and you own a 2006 KLR650 with 685cc and a 1998 Harley Sportster 883 that is upgraded to 1200cc with high compression 10:5.1 piston meaning fuel would have to be premium all the way..

What would be your choice? A Harley or a KLR??

This story of Rob on Road King was inspiring to me..

Of course, if it was a harley for me, I'd probably go RTWDoug's avenue converting sportster into 'Dirtster' and first try to see if I can get a 5-gallons fuel tank. Doug used KTM 300 fork on his Dirtster and it is $120+shipping on ebay. That will help light up the weight a bit. I'd change the rear shock and go up to maybe 15". Belt to Chain. Convert high compression piston back to low compression piston through Wiseco That should probably do it?

Or just stick with the KLR??

So humor me and bring it on!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
Capt_Gruuvy
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I would figure out how many parts outlets exist for both brands.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt_Gruuvy View Post
I would figure out how many parts outlets exist for both brands.
KLR is ready to go now if I leave right now..

And parts existence for both brands are PLENTY!! KLR been using same design for 20+ years and Harley has plenty as well..
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
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Easy choice; KLR. Huge tank, runs on shit gas, and just about anyone with a 7th grade education can fix it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #5
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Klr
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:04 AM   #6
Mr. Canoehead
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Seriously? A high maintenance, high compression bike with no fuel capacity and no suspension travel or a go anywhere, do anything, maintenance free workhorse with a huge tank?

If you are going to do all that work on the Harley, wouldn't it be better to just buy a Buell XT?

Take the KLR. You don't want to have the kind of experiences you'll get on the Harley.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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RTWDoug seems to have done well with a few Harleys, tho IIRC none of them were the high compression needs good gas variety.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Seriously...take whichever bike speaks to you...no right/wrong or rational answer

It'll be a memorable journey either way (thoug you might lit lower comp pistons int he sporty if you do take it)
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:19 AM   #9
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Klr.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #10
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Gas choice alone would push me to the KLR. You don't have to go far off the beaten track here in Mexico before Premium isn't always available. I imagine it might be worse further south.

Add in the ubiquitous "stealth speed bumps" and suspension travel would be another major factor.

I basically chose the Strom over an M109 for the suspension travel alone. Having ridden with Harley riders, and tried an Intruder, I think I made the right choice.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxermoose View Post
Seriously...take whichever bike speaks to you...no right/wrong or rational answer

It'll be a memorable journey either way (thoug you might lit lower comp pistons int he sporty if you do take it)
This.

If you want practical, fly an airliner to a resort.

I used to bicycle a lot. My most memorable trips were on lousy heavy bikes.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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I think the premium fuel requirements pretty well remove the HD from consideration for this trip.

If the HD were stock and could take regular/crappy fuel I would consider it as well, because one advantage it has over the KLR is that it's air-cooled. No worrying about coolant leaks, water pump problems, etc.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:13 AM   #13
Murphy Slaw
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The KLR is less likely to get you knocked in the head and stolen.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:29 AM   #14
Ginger Beard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Canoehead View Post
Seriously? A high maintenance, high compression bike with no fuel capacity and no suspension travel or a go anywhere, do anything, maintenance free workhorse with a huge tank?

If you are going to do all that work on the Harley, wouldn't it be better to just buy a Buell XT?

Take the KLR. You don't want to have the kind of experiences you'll get on the Harley.
Wow,! Lots of speculation and ignorant regurgitation of internet "facts" in this one. No more google for you!!





To the op:

If the Sportster was a stock 883/1200 I would say that it would be a tough choice. I own 2 of them and they are great bikes. Fuel efficient and about as maintenance free as a motorcycle can get. As others have stated, with the 10.5:1 setup you may have issues finding fuel. That reason alone would have me picking the KLR. The inconspicuous nature of a KLR could also be an advantage though much of the crime you hear about in the media is sensationalized.


In the end just pick the one that will make you smile the most while you are traveling. Be sure to post an RR!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:27 AM   #15
kraven
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Most of the fuel in Mexico is filtered through dogs or horses. I'd take the KLR or put some low comp slugs in the sporty.
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