KLR - Yes, the KLR

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by WestVirginia, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. WestVirginia

    WestVirginia Well spoke'n

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    Greetings Beastie Boys:

    Ok, there is snow on the ground here in West Virginia so I'm daydreaming about buying my first bike in 20 years.

    Top contenders (this will change every five minutes) are the Tiger 800XC and Tenere.

    The question is, should I (or anyone) buy a new KLR to get back into the scene and learn Motorcycle Maintenance 101 - or jump right into the beastie dream bike?

    One detail I should supply is that I only want one motorcycle in the garage.

    I wonder what you seasoned pros would do in my position. I'm 47 by the way, so jumping over a building or running from the cops really isn't on my agenda. Doing two up riding looks to be very limited as the wife is showing, ummm, shall we say....very little interest.

    :ear
    #1
  2. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    Get a beater then your dream bike after :thumb
    #2
  3. rustynut2

    rustynut2 Been here awhile

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    love my klr, 30,000 smiles in 3 years. That said I bought a tiger this year. Two completely different bikes. Really depends on what type of riding you plan on doing. KLR is a daily driver and dirt bike, tiger is fire road and travel bike. The klr will do the highway but it won't be very happy unless you do back roads.
    #3
  4. phillipsrog

    phillipsrog Been here awhile

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    This answer may be more philosophical than what you're looking for, but here goes. We're similar in age, and I was debating a similar question over a year ago. Should I pay more than twice what I paid for my KLR to buy a Tiger XC? My KLR was "fine" in all regards, but it was hardly my dream bike. After looking at every angle, I decided that "one of these days" wasn't getting any closer. Call it a midlife crisis if you want, but I called it a case of coming to my senses. I decided if I can afford it and I really want it, why not get what's going to make my happiest? I did, and have no regrets. Read the reviews, listen to your friends and random strangers on the Internet, then get what you want, not what's sensible.
    #4
  5. NHADV

    NHADV Been here awhile

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    I think it all depends on what you really want. I am on my 3rd KLR and love it. I wish it was more comfortable at highway speeds and had more power. For a while I was stuck on the Beemer idea but since the Tenere has come to the states it would be a top choice especially with the 2013 colors. I have not read any negative reviews of the Tenere as of yet. Make sure you test ride every bike you are interested in first. Good luck with whatever you decide!
    #5
  6. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    As a KLR and Tenere owner I say just buy Tenere. There is not much maintenace to speak of.
    It will go anywhere the KLR will. WAY more comfortable. The KLR will be a baby step towards what you
    really want to end up with. Better to buy a bike to grow into than out of. Just another internet opinion.:wink:
    #6
  7. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    KLR owner here. I would say buy the Tenere and if you do not like it then sell it and buy the KLR. If you buy the KLR it will be fine, but if you do 70+ mph you will wonder were is the extra power... I ride mine as much as possible and have since 2005 with almost 40 000 miles and love it, and will buy it again if I went back, how ever my wife does not enjoy 300 mile days, and I have a feeling that the tenere would gives that with no problem.

    What is your experience with bikes? I know it has been over 20 years since your last bike, but if then you had some fast bikes the KLR will not be for you.

    Just one more opinion.

    Damasovi
    #7
  8. Dharuma

    Dharuma The Dude Abides

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    This. When I sold my Shadow, I knew bupkis about wrenching. I bought a 98 KLR and a Clymer manual and learned how to take care of the bike. I now know a little more than bupkis. The knowledge I obtained probably won't be used much since I sold the KLR and bought a '12 Wee.
    #8
  9. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    One thing I learned about bikes is window shopping is fun but futile. Until you sit on one, and better still ride it a bit, you have no idea how it will feel to you. What I thought I wanted (Triumph Tiger) and what I bought (Wee Strom) were very different.

    I had a KLR. Loved it, but tired of it's limitations. Have to change some of the rougher riding I do to easier stuff, but there is no one bike that does it all well.

    I wouldn't buy a new KLR. Dozens of used ones out there; let someone else take the depreciation hit. Buy one pre-farkled and save even more. Ride it for a year or two. If you decide you don't like it, sell it for what you paid (if you buy smart).
    #9
  10. Big Jon

    Big Jon Been here awhile

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    First of all, the "buy a beater" suggestion is a good one depending on your past experience & wrenching skills. If those were both good experiences, then take a test ride on the Tenere and the Tiger and buy what which ever appeals most to you. Personally I feel the Tiger is far superior to the Tenere, but the Tiger fit me better. I was all set to trade my "08" KLR last winter for an 800XC and would have done so, but then I started hearing about the new Tiger Explorer and I was hooked. Long story short I kept the KLR & bought the new TEX. She's the best bike I've ever owned or ridden over the past 50 years, but I'm pretty sure I would have felt that way about the 800XC also. They are simply world class bikes.

    The KLR is a fine "do it all mule" and are fairly good at most things, but not fantastic at anything. They are simply in a different league from the Tiger or the Tenere and there is nothing wrong with that. It all boils down to what suits you best @ this point in your life.
    #10
  11. WestVirginia

    WestVirginia Well spoke'n

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    Geez, what a great group of guys! Thanks very much for the ideas. Everybody makes a good point so my head is swimming a bit. And, yes, the Wee Strom looks tempting. Maybe I'm Chicken Little, but wish it came in a color that didn't perfectly match the road surface.

    As a college graduation gift I bought myself a Yamaha dual sport 250. Great fun, no maintenance due to low miles, but always felt "naked" on the highway. Sold it after about a year or two when I moved just outside Washington DC. You'd be surprised at how few off road trails there are in D.C. :D

    I hear people talk about a test ride, but I'm not so sure. Lots of things feel awkward at first, then great later.

    I hope motorcycle reps visit this forum as it is my #1 source of information on which bike to purchase.
    #11
  12. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    Whatever you do don't buy a brand new KLR. in 2 years it will depreciate about 50%. Don't ask me how I know. However a 2 year old KLR for 3500 bucks is not a bad way to get back into it! I would look elsewhere considering my own KLR ownership experience, but lots of people do like them.
    #12
  13. phillipsrog

    phillipsrog Been here awhile

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    The irony of KLRs is nobody here has anything bad to say about them (myself included), but nobody wants one. If you want rah, rah about KLRs, head over to the KLR forum. What people here have said about them is true to my experience. They provide great bang for the buck, but you also get what you pay for with the "modern" ADV bikes. They're amazing, and we may quibble about which is best, but they're all damn good bikes.

    Good luck in your decision. Have fun.
    #13
  14. sTE610vE

    sTE610vE Long timer

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    When I was making a similar decision a few years back my wife left me a note that said "Life is short, buy the motorcycle you want!" best advice I ever got :D That note is hanging up in the garage to this day.
    #14
  15. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

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    I'd get the Tiger 800XC or BMW F800GS.

    I was in a similar situation to you and bought a Yamaha XT660Z Tenere; OK, can't get 'em there, but the principle is the same. Great bike and will use it for a long trip but if I had my time a gain I'd have bought one of the two above.

    Just take it easy when you start out again and perhaps do a safety/re-training course.

    Ride on.
    #15
  16. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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    Skip the KLR.
    I was choosing between Wee-strom and KLR and picked the KLR because it was on sale. On the first ride I wished I had bought the bike with power, brakes, wind protection and functioning counterbalancers. A month later the DL650 was on sale and I was even more pissed at myself.
    #16
  17. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    :topes

    Bought a brand new 09' at 4900 OTD, sold this summer for 4400. What you DON'T want to do is farkle the sh!t out of it. Thankfully I either bought used or fabricated my own farkles. Check out the ammo cans for instance...

    [​IMG]


    Ammo can thread...
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=746395
    #17
  18. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    My 2 cents.

    Going from a 20 year old (with a 20 year gap) 250 to a Tenere seems like a HUGE jump to me.

    Learning moto maintenance on a carburated, chain drive, tubed tire non-ABS bike so that you know how to work on a FI, shaft drive, tubeless ABS bike seems a bit odd. I think the only maintenance items that are similar would be fluid changes and checking the tire pressure.

    Start with a used Wee. It's fast enough for now, and so much better than a KLR on fast pavement. If you buy it used, you can ride it for a year and sell it for the same money (this works well if you decide to get a faster bike, or decide bikes aren't for you).

    I've never quite understood the "I want to get into motorcycling, so I'm going to buy a $15,000 bike" mentality. On the other hand, I want to thank the people who buy nice things, take care of them, and sell them to me at less than half price a few years later. Perhaps you have a financial situation where none of this matters.

    In any case, have fun and ride safe.
    #18
  19. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    I quit riding my ZRX1100 when I turned 60 because it was getting more & more uncomfortable each day. I replaced it w/ a 2008 DL1000 V-Strom, which is extremely well suited to Kentucky's paved back roads as well as its interstates. Only fly in the ointment was that it's a pig on dirt & gravel roads. Or maybe I don't have enough punches on my man card.

    Keeping the Strom I found a used Honda XR650L. It's a major hoot on Forest Service and dirt roads, but it's not happy at much over 60 mph.

    If I had it to do over again I'd think hard about a 2 year old KLR. Lots of upgrades are available and the first one I'd do would be the 705cc displacement increase. That would probably get me back to one bike - not as "dirtish" as the Honda and not as highway-oriented as the Strom, but it would cover about 90% of the riding that I currently do.
    #19
  20. BigIron

    BigIron Tenured Prof - Leghump U.

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    Yup, buy a used KLR, ride for a year, drop it a few times if necessary, and then go shopping.

    A KLR will take you everywhere and anywhere you want. I had a great time on mine.
    #20