Who sold their big, powerful street bike and bought a KLR650?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by brucifer, May 3, 2010.

  1. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Are you kicking yourself? Happy? How is it as a STREET bike? Not concerned about it's off road worthiness. Talk to me about it.
    #1
  2. BobbyLee666

    BobbyLee666 Been here awhile

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    I had a 2005 Kawasaki Concours that I traded in for the KLR650. For the type of riding I do (mainly commuting and back roads), the KLR has more than enough power and is much more nimble. I really enjoy riding the KLR much more.
    #2
  3. LngRidr

    LngRidr Been here awhile

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    i sold a 2000 kawasaki concours. i miss the custom russell sadlle that i had on it. On the highway the concours rules. the klr, not so much. the difference in power is immense. Once i get a better saddle the klr will be good as far as all day comfort goes. Now that i dont live in south florida and dont have to go 500 miles or more to get to fun riding areas (or rarely have to ride on a highway) the klr suits me fine. i kind of always had the mindset for exploring and the klr lets me do that regardless of terrain. My klr still lets me pack as much or more crap for camping than i really need. It handles better in the twisties than the current riders ability, heck, same off road too.
    #3
  4. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    Well I traded in a 2006 GSXR-1000 for a 2008 KLR-650. Of course I still had a 2002 RC51 hanging out in the garage. No real regrets because the GSXR-1000 was so over the top and so without character that I never really clicked with it. Great bike and very fast and handled great too but....?
    I have to say I had more fun on the KLR.....until....I started doing tougher off road stuff. Then I started thinking the KLR was going to kill me one of these days due to the top heavy nature of the bike and marginal (even with upgrades) suspension. Goodbye KLR and hello KTM 690r. I really LOVE my 690r. I ride the RC51 maybe 10 times a year. Mostly I am on the KTM and having crazy fun. So I dunno, no regrets trading the GSXR for the KLR but what I was really after was a KTM690r enduro and not a KLR-650, but I had to ride a KLR for awhile to figure that out.

    As you are interested only in the street then the KLR and KTM are not that far apart. But I would never buy a KLR for street only riding. Get a Versys unless you have plans to ride to Alaska or Patagonia or something. The KLR does highway OK but not much passing power at highway speeds. I can't see ever buying another KLR but the one I had was reliable and versatile but boring. The KTM is NOT, I repeat, NOT boring!
    #4
  5. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Agreed, there are much better pure street bikes than the kLR.

    As far as boring...............LOL well now that just depends on where you are riding, and how you are riding.:D

    My last street bike was a kz700. Last pure dirt bike was a yz426.

    NO regrets in the power department for the kLR, none at all.
    #5
  6. squatingdog

    squatingdog Been here awhile

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    sold my pristine 1991 r100 rt and bought an 2009 klr 650 i loved the bmw but i really enjoy the klr more .rode from grass valley ca to loreto mex in feb 2010 and rode back with my wife on it ,ran great you just have to plan on slower passing their so cheap you can buy two . right now the kawasaki dealer in sacramento has 2009 klrs $4890 out the door
    #6
  7. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    Well I had some pretty intense shots of adrenaline with the KLR:D
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  8. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    I have to admit, if your on a straight away, and gas the old KLR, you may not feel light headed:lol3

    But if you do that on single track, or trying to climb a huge technical uphill, or downhill, you just may get that ol adrenaline rush:D

    Or it could be the rush of "just what am I doing with this thing" :lol3


    Its all fun.
    #8
  9. blatant

    blatant Been here awhile

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    trying to sell my bandit 1200 but after a quick jaunt today I'm pretty sure I like just motoring around on the KLR. Even though the bandit is pretty much above the klr's top speed in 2nd gear, and definitely in 3rd. I've discovered I'm just more of a dual sport sort.

    It's really two different animals. If I were to commute 30 miles each way I would prefer the bandit. I may regret it but I'll still try to sell it.
    #9
  10. Sturgell

    Sturgell Urban dirtbiker

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    Not exactly what you asked but I sold my 2004 ZX6R 636 that was piped, geared, and PCIII'd for a DRZ-SM and I don't think there is any question that I made the right choice by getting rid of the SS bike for an anemic little dirtbike. An XRR might have been more fun but I couldn't find one.
    #10
  11. propower418

    propower418 2009 KLR 650

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    Sold my Buell XB9SX and bought a left over 09 KLR and have not looked back........

    Way more fun and comfy than the Buell. (not that I don't like the Buell, would have bought a Uly if Harley had not pulled the plug on them)
    #11
  12. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Thanks for the replies so far. :thumb
    I'm a big fan of the "old tech" Japanese thumpers (check my sig. lol) and what appeals to me about the KLR is: some wind protection, huge fuel tank -stock- , it's the heaviest of the Big 3, and most importantly to me, lots of legroom.
    The biggest unknown for me is; how is it at cruising down the freeway at, say, 70 mph +? And, how is it when you throw gusty head and side winds at it on top of the 70 mph? It's pretty windy here often times.
    #12
  13. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Now it gets abit tricky.

    At 70+ its too windy for me. Sure I can do it, but not for long stints without better wind protection. Throw a huge wind shield on, then you are straining the motor. With any 650 this is so. It doesn't bother some, but it does me.

    I rode 7 hrs straight with the KLR at 80actual mph. It was not fun, but I did it.
    I rode 8 hrs straight on my brothers bandit 1200 at 95actual. Wasn't fun but I did it.

    side wind wise. My KLR handles side winds better than a gold wing in my op.
    #13
  14. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum

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    I had the same experience. Side winds not too bad.
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  15. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    I still don't know why I did it (longing for another Dual Sport I suppose) but I traded a 92 K75S for a 08 KLR. As a road bike the KLR doesn't completely suck. The engine however, sucks; low power, not so torquey, and compared with just about anything its a thrashing machine. The KLR engine to a K75 is a WWI radial to a modern turbine. Okay, its apples and oranges in engines, but its crude in comparison to just about any other single out there. Maybe this is just me as a kid resenting having to do chores with implements with basic engines, ala Briggs & Stratton, et al.

    The KLR is a hassle to get on and off when doing street bike sorts of errands.

    That said, the KLR handles tight twisty roads much betterthan a K75 and you sit higher so you can see what the idiots are going to do in their cars sooner than a regular street bike. I get fatigued on the KLR after 200 miles (65 mph), while I could triple that distance at 75mph and just start to feel it on the K75. But that's the trade-off of having one bike.
    #15
  16. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

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    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. :lol3
    #16
  17. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    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.

    #17
  18. Al Goodwin

    Al Goodwin Long timer

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    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 bike...my 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.
    #18
  19. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    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.
    #19
  20. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    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.)
    #20