KLR: how many miles a day can YOU do?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by steveWFL, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    Is it realistic planning for 500 miles a day travel on a KLR with dual sport tires? I prefer to ride a bike 2,000 miles vs hauling it in my truck :D

    I can go 16-18 hours day on my comfy Concours14 with the Airhawk on the seat and cover big miles, just not sure what to expect from a KLR at 70-75 MPH
    #1
  2. Gunner45

    Gunner45 Out on the trail

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    I have done several 600+ miles day on my KLR with Kenda K270s.

    The longest day we did was a run from Orem Utah to Glenwood Springs Colorado for lunch. We took a round about route, so it ended up being a 729 mile day.

    Long ride for a good steak.
    #2
  3. trailNtent

    trailNtent Been here awhile

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    It can be done for sure. It's probably not going to be much fun. Especially if you're trying to do it in four days time.
    #3
  4. DPelletier

    DPelletier Been here awhile

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    I agree: I don't even like riding that long on my Electraglide, but it can definitely be done.


    Dave
    #4
  5. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    Thanks, I love eating some miles on a bike, but never "did a KLR" on a trip. And i wouldn't try to do this in 4 days, even on the Concours14 I allow an extra few days in case I get burned out, bike drama, etc

    Although i I have made it to Phoenix in 4 days on the big bike from Tampa :D

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Yes, most certainly. It's done regularly. Deal with the wind protection up front, make the seat a little more comfy, and swap on a 16t countershaft (front) sprocket for the slab. Drop down to a 14 or 15 for the gravel. If you take the tools and learn how to do the swap, it takes about 20 minutes, and make everything that much nicer. The KLR will cruise all day at 75 with a 16t no worries. It is much more tractable off-road with a 14. There's enough adjustment in the chain to accommodate both sizes.

    A low front fender really helps slabbing in the wind. Arrowhead Motor Sports has them. You need to make some spacers for a clean install with enough clearance.

    http://www.angelfire.com/ut/moab/‎

    For me, the roomy and upright position on the KLR is very comfortable. A couple of guys did hyper-Iron Butt rides on a pair of KLRs and wrote a book about it. As I recall, they did about 27,000 miles in one bite.
    #6
  7. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    Those riders were Alan Leduc and Tim Yow, and they both rode Gen I KLR bikes.
    Alan wrote a book about the experience and can be bought for $2.99 here
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006O1IP88

    Here is a description:

    Book Description
    Publication Date: December 18, 2011
    Two motorcycle riders, one age 68 and the other age 60, ride 23,000+ miles, with over 2700 miles of the most notorious gravel roads in North America, circumnavigating the United States and Canada in 48 days.

    Mike Kneebone, President of Iron Butt Association, says:

    In the world of motor-sports, challenges are often measured in miles. Whether it is the Daytona 500 or the IBA SaddleSore 1000, miles count. Miles are simple to measure and everyone can relate to them.

    Alan and Tim’s ride has miles, so many in fact that the mere mention overshadows everything else. More than 23,000 miles in 48 days to the very far corners of the U.S.A. and Canada – many motorcyclists who have ridden around the world have traveled fewer.

    But as impressive as they are, the miles covered are not what make this ride epic. It is the reach to the remote areas of Canada and Alaska. Their adventure takes them to places far removed from civilization, far away from any reasonable person's comfort zone. Being prepared to face a freezing cold night on the side of a desolate road with a broken motorcycle — or worse, a broken leg — with help hundreds of miles away, takes a unique outlook on life.

    Many riders will never reach the likes of Goose Bay, Inuvik or Prudhoe Bay, but to do so in one ride, to reach the far corners of North America’s arctic regions down isolated, dangerous dirt roads filled with swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes, while the clock is running redefines the meaning of extraordinary. Alan’s strict engineering sense and Tim’s resourceful easy going nature are a rare combination that works as it takes a bit of both to complete this epic ride. Their intense mile-eating story of the ultimate circumnavigation of the U.S.A. and Canada should encourage all of us to seek out an adventure to make the most of the wonderful gift of life.
    #7
  8. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    Thanks!

    Just wow!
    #8
  9. CA Stu

    CA Stu Thanks Super Moderator

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    I've done 700+ miles from Moab to my home in Riverside, CA, and I was absolutely beat at the end of the day.

    For maximum touring fun (rather than trying to set an endurance riding benchmark), I reckon 350-400 miles per day is plenty.

    I mean, I'm sure you can manage 500+ miles per day forever, but you ain't gonna enjoy it. :D

    Make sure to at least glance at the oil level window every fillup. :deal
    #9
  10. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    If you can afford one, the Britannia Composites fairing makes a KLR into a mile-eating maggot. I suffered with the stock fairing, and read lots of ways to make it better, including inmate Wheatwhacker's mod. Finally, I got a big lump of cash in from an overdue account, and bit the bullet. It's kind of hard to spend $650+ on a fairing for bike you only paid $3500 for. It's one decision I've never regretted. I bought the HID lights with the fairing. They are superb, as is the rest of the fairing. It's thin, light, and rugged. The windscreen works exceptionally well, and is adjustable for varying degrees of ventilation through a simple, positive system.

    Not too many ways to go wrong here.
    Ian's URL is:

    http://www.britanniacomposites.com/‎

    If you drop a message to Ian with questions, you'll get a call back and he'll answer any question you have.
    #10
  11. KamLeeR

    KamLeeR Animal Adventurer

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    I've done plenty 500-600 mile days.
    TCK 80s.
    Sargeant seat, Happy trails rally screen mount, MRA windshield, highway pegs.
    Added 1 litter of oil everyday. Average speed 70-75 loaded.
    Just normal tired each day, not too bad. But I'm not used to riding anything that is comfy.

    KLR is MUCH better for all day hauls vs. my 950...............
    #11
  12. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    Your URL didn't work.
    This is the correct URL
    http://britanniacomposites.com/
    #12
  13. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I'll trade the TKC80s for T63s any day. The TKC80 is a great tire at first, and then gets all pear-shaped after about 1500 miles. The T63 does the same thing, but much later in the game.


    #13
  14. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    I have TKC80s on my F800 and the front tire gives me a wobble at higher speeds.
    I have MT21s on my KLR and have no such wobble, but the rear tire gets loud after so many miles.

    And for the OP, I have ridden my KLR about 400+ miles in a day and it wasn't bad at all.
    The seat is actually comfy and the highway pegs let you stretch your legs when needed.
    #14
  15. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I stand corrected, thanks. Good product, despite my fat fingers.

    #15
  16. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Last time I needed to get 2,000 miles away I spent 4 days doing it on the KLR with camping each night and some gravel roads. But I don't have a windshield which makes 75 an exception rather than a rule.

    I have done a few "days" of just a hair over 1,000 miles, but those were destinations that were just a hair over 1,000 miles away. "Day" in this usage includes lots of night riding.

    For day after day with camping, 400 miles is comfortable and 600 miles starts to be a long day. Those distances are about camping more than about the bike.
    #16
  17. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

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    I have indeed "done it", the 500 mile day thing. Couple times.

    Even on a Sargent seat with an Alaska leather sheep to sit upon, it gets to be a very long day.

    It aint no Pacific Coast..... :cry

    The next morning can be rough.

    IF your old. :deal

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I've done a little over 1100 miles, but I have a DR.
    #18
  19. XpressCS

    XpressCS Must. Have. Lumens..

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    Most I've ever done in one day is 150 miles, my back can't handle the longer rides.
    #19
  20. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    As part of a 4 day trip, I did two 700 plus days back to back returning to OR from TX a few years ago, stock seat, gen 1 bike. It wasn't something I planned on doing, I just felt like I wanted to keep going to get home. Wasn't terrible, but I'd go slower the next time.
    #20