2nd Bike:CB500x or KLR650???

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by DariusX, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. DariusX

    DariusX Been here awhile

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    A bit of background...

    1) Current Bike: 2006 VFR800 w/45k miles
    2) Location: San Diego County CA
    3) Rider: 6'3"; 200lbs, 20+ years riding
    4) Style: Moderate, weekend trips up to 500 miles

    I will definitely keep my VFR, just want to add a lighter, fun bike that is better for in town with friendlier egros and 50+ mpg. I don't plan on riding in the dirt but Southern California has some interesting backcountry trails that I might consider, but not a priority.

    Advantages of CB500x...Honda refinement, fuel injection, better mpg

    Advantages of KLR650...Off-road capability, roomier for taller rider, more "character"?


    Any of you had to make a similar choice? I would appreciate hearing your opinions!
    #1
  2. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    You might as well get the KLR. You are big enough to handle it plus you already have a good road bike. Might as well not limit yourself in your offroad pursuits.
    #2
  3. DariusX

    DariusX Been here awhile

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    That's what I was thinking as well. But I have always had Hondas and kind of wary of the carbs and quality.
    #3
  4. bdonley

    bdonley Been here awhile

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    I've ridden both. Go with the KLR. Classic, reliable, and furthest from the VFR. The uber commuter/adv bike. Opens up a lot of possibilities....
    #4
  5. bungees

    bungees epsilon semi-n00b

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    KLR...and hit a few of those trails! :clap
    #5
  6. DariusX

    DariusX Been here awhile

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    What didn't you like about the Cb500x, out of curiosity?
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  7. bdonley

    bdonley Been here awhile

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    I liked the 500. It was a tough call between it and a Multi. I ended up with a 620 Multistrada for much less, so it won. I have a lot of Ducatis in my history, it was an easy choice for the money {$3500.00 @ 6k miles}. The valve adjust looks easier on the 2v Duc then the Honda! But, in your case, the KLR'd be better on dirt, taller in traffic (better vision and visibility), much cheaper to maintain, more parts available. Just an ADV classic!
    #7
  8. DariusX

    DariusX Been here awhile

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    Okay, got it... I was thinking that the Honda with longer service intervals (8k oil/16k valves?) would be less expensive to run.
    #8
  9. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2015 Subaru Forester

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    Wise words.

    You are tall enough to handle the MC.

    I recommend a first gen.:deal
    #9
  10. doogiepooch

    doogiepooch Been here awhile

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    Wise words. :D

    I've had both, wish I'd have kept the first gen. My dads had both, he wishes he'd kept the first gen.
    #10
  11. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle ADV enthusiast

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    The CB5X has a lot more zip than the KLR . . . and much much smoother. A thumper is a thumper . . . Is a thumper . . .

    I think if I had tried TKC80's on my CB5X . . . I would have kept it . . . Maybe get a set of spokes.

    KLR's put my rear to sleep.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. mojave

    mojave Been here awhile

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    Or get a DR650SE if one pops up in the neighborhood at a good price. A little lighter and more dirtbike like than the KLR and it cruises highways just as well. You'll need a larger tank for longer range, the KLR already has that.
    #12
  13. mojave

    mojave Been here awhile

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    I think it was mentioned up thread but with the KLR you'll not have to ponder turning back very often. I used to live in SD and rode in the mountains and deserts quite a bit. I commuted on a string of motorcycles from Ramona to Delmar (Highland Valley Road, etc), and actually enjoyed my 2 hours of commuting per day.
    #13
  14. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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    It would be the CB500X for me. Alloy wheels for easy puncture repair, modern fuel injection, less vibration, and the ability to flat foot when stopped are the clinchers for me. With proper tires the CB500X can handle all the gravel roads you can throw at it. If you want to make it more dirt oriented the nice folks at Rally Raid will soon provide the bits to help with that.

    I'm also thinking about adding one to my garage. I've owned a '09 KLR in the past and don't want to go there again.

    Paul
    #14
  15. DariusX

    DariusX Been here awhile

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    Since the '09 KLR was supposed to be improved, what unhappy experiences did you have with it?
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  16. dogjaw

    dogjaw plays well alone

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    The CBx is a great all rounder, I wouldn't hesitate to load mine down with camping gear and be gone for weeks; if dirt isn't in your future, I would definitely go CB500X; if it is, go KLR or DR, as you already have the multicylinder angle covered. I have the X as well as a modded DR, and I can't see parting with either.
    #16
  17. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man

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    Damn, that makes me miss my yellow DR... best. bike. ever.

    The CB500x is a friggin' tall bike. My friend had one, and I was shocked to see how big it was. I am 6'4", and it looked like a much better bike for me than him (about 5'9"). He was barely able to flat foot it. It seemed like a great bike, nothing awe-inspiring, but seemed to do everything pretty well. AND it actually looked pretty cool in-person. I was not impressed by the pictures, but in the flesh it was nice.
    #17
  18. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    Really? The white 2014 X that I rode certainly wasn't. It seemed substantially more compact to me than a current generation KLR, for sure.

    For the riding the OP wants to do, between a CB500X & a KLR I'd strongly suggest the the X over the KLR. The X likes to rev, the KLR is wheezy...strictly comparing unfarkled new bikes, I personally found the X far more entertaining for 2-lane twisties.

    The X might even turn the VFR into a garage queen.
    #18
  19. d2wing

    d2wing Been here awhile

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    Road scum may be thinking of the xl650. The 500x is much shorter than the KLR. If it were me I would go 500x. I have had a KLR and liked it.it was a road bike you could ride in the ditch. It isn't a serious off road bike. Because it is very tall it is a little awkward as a street bike. I have not ridden the 500 x but I expect it is a little more nimble and rider friendly. Also it should be sportier and faster. But it will not be as able as the KLR on extremely rough trails.
    I was disappointed with the KLR on dirt back roads as the front tended to washout. Even my Sportster was better. The 500x should do better in the role of country exploring.
    #19
  20. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    The cb500x looks really cool.

    But I know too many happy klr650 owners to recommend anything else.

    I have a lot of time on klr650's old and new. I think the current one is just fantastic. Hop on, ready to work, a proven platform, unpretentious, can go many directions with it given the add-ons, inexpensive.

    Kawi's top selling bike for obvious reasons. Just my $0.02.
    #20