Kawasaki KLR 650 questions

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by elkgrichard, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    Sold my Suzuki 650 a few years ago and have realized I made a mistake. Should have kept that beast.

    This time I'm thinking about picking up a used KLR650. Just wonder what changes were made to the bike in the last couple years? Would it be better to pick up a newer one with the changes or were the changes cosmetic only?

    Been away from these bikes for a few years. Lost track of what was going on with em.
    #1
  2. Silver King

    Silver King Maita'i roa ae!

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    There's yer answer. Just sayin'.


    if'n you really want a KLR, look for a well farkled older version '06 or '07.
    #2
  3. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    Why an older version?
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  4. shrikebandit

    shrikebandit Been here awhile

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    Let us know why you'd get a KLR and not a DR650 again?
    I had a KLR, sold it for a Bandit1200 which I sold to get a DR650. I never regretted selling either the KLR or the Bandit, I know now I should have got the DR in the first place. It would have been less expensive for me.
    #4
  5. subybaja

    subybaja Long timer

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    'Cause the older ones don't have the silly-looking, BMW-wannabe, brittle new plastics. They've got unbreakable Tupperware.

    The older ones don't have the new oil-burning rings, or rotten rubber.

    The new doo is better than the old one, but still not up to the EagleMike standard.

    KLRvsDR is a whole different question...mostly based on how you'll use it. KLR is more road oriented, heavier, longer range.
    #5
  6. MotoBoss

    MotoBoss Old Dog

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    Welcome back to the thrill. :freaky

    IMHO it depends what you want to do with the bike. The KLR is a great "all 'rounder", mostly concrete and gravel riding with some light trail and fire roads thrown in ( 70% on-30% off, maybe 60-40). If this is your type of riding I suggest an older, '98-05, well farkeled version. The newer bikes have had some issues that the older models don't seem to have. As well you can get an earlier model well equipped for under 3K. A newer model runs 5K and you still have to put on the stuff you want.

    On the other hand if your going to ride 60% off and 40% on road then a DR650 might be the better choice. Either way you get a similar bike that will do near the same thing and it's just a matter of choice.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to steer you away from the KLR, which I own a '98, but only toward a motorcycle that will make you happy years after you bought it.
    #6
  7. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking about the KLR, I just like that fact it has that big tank, but then again I had my Dr set up with the 5 gal. IMS. I was just thinking it would be one less thing to buy for the KLR, since it would already ahve a 6 gal tank.

    When I had the DR i was on the street maybe 90 percent of the time and the other ten percent was dual track fire roads. Couple times I went into single track with it, I thought I would have to call up for a chopper to hoist me on out...LOL Got into that situation about 5 times. I'm slow to learn. LOL.

    Over all I had no complaints about that DR, maybe I should just stay with what I already know. SOmetimes the grass ain't greener on the other side.
    #7
  8. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    You will go down on these bikes if you get off road, that brittle stuff ain't good for bikes like this, you need the Tupperware soft plastic on these type bikes. Sounds like they are trying to turn this thing into a BMW wannabee.
    #8
  9. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    I'm on my third DR650. The first was a 91 the second a 97 and now a 2009.
    I'll just never grow tired of the DR650 despite other other bikes I've owned.
    Reliable, simple maint...and everything the KLR650 is with a small MRA windscreen, and IMS tank; without any of the negatives I've read about the KLR having.
    I've never blown third gear, had head gasket problems or broken off the upper chain roller on any of my DR's and I've gone just over 100,000 miles combined mileage on the 91 and 97 and have no reason to suspect my 2009 DR wont also see 50,000 + miles without any problems.
    (B.T.W. the 91 was traded in on the 97 and the 97 was totaled out...still going pretty strong!)

    All the above having been said...you owe it to yourself to at least test ride a KLR650 and see if it's for you as many owners love theirs so there must be a reason.:freaky

    (edit) I'll also second the comments about the older KLR having better bodywork for off road use.
    #9
  10. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    I'm starting to think I should just go with another DR. I had over 60,000 miles on that Dr and never had an issue at all. It was rock solid.

    One thing I have already noticed after test riding a new KLR, they lack power compared to the DR. They don't have the same punch. The other thing I noticed it felt top heavy as compared to the DR. It may just be another DR for me. One thing I did like on the KLR is that wind protection, good to have that on them cold mornings.
    #10
  11. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    What year did they start burning oil with them rings? ) 08 and beyond?
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  12. subybaja

    subybaja Long timer

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    Yep. So says the innerwebs- no personal experience. I think I heard that the '09s fixed it.

    Re: wind protection- get an aftermarket windshield for the DR. IMHO, that's a pretty small criteria to base a purchase on.
    #12
  13. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

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    If you go with a KLR, stick with the pre-08 KLR's . My riding partner has an 08, and is in the process of putting in a 685 kit to stop the ridiculous oil burning (10,000 km on bike, burns 1.5 litres tank). I know of two other 08's that are doing similar things. Kawasaki should man up and recall these things. The pre-08's are proven.

    Mine is an 01. Zero issues.
    #13
  14. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    Ive been riding for almost 20 years, but never had a dual sport. I started researching a couple years ago, and believe me, I looked at everything, DR, BMW, XR, KLR, KTM, etc... Don't listen to the jerks who have nothing good to say about anything that is something different that WHAT THEY DECIDED WAS BEST FOR THEM.

    I bought an '09 KLR. It had a factory recall for the wiring harness. So what. Its been perfect FOR MY PURPOSES. I love it, 20 years of riding and I have learned more, improved my riding skills, and been more places in the last year than the previous 19 combined. The KLRs are slightly better on the road than the DRs, slightly worse off. I'm happy with my choice and so are many others.

    OK I'm off the soapbox....
    #14
  15. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    Oh yea, I might shy away from a real cheap used '08. :evil
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  16. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    Well stated, I've always thought they were good bikes. I guess they had a little snafu in 08, no big deal, they fixed it in 09 from what I've read. I'll still keep it on the llist and avoid the 08's.
    #16
  17. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    Trying to work out a deal on an 07 KLR. Just need to see if this guy is willing to off set a difference in value between a trade deal I'm trying to work on with him. He told me he has to talk to his wife. O lordie!!!!!! I hate it when the wives get in the middle of the bikes, they always think these things are just toys.

    I love to go hang out in the garage and just look my bikes over, women don't understand that.
    #17
  18. faceman

    faceman currently ADV-less..

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    check the 01-03 KTM 640 ADV......:fitz
    #18
  19. elkgrichard

    elkgrichard Been here awhile

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    Sort of like the one that got away, I know how it feels. I have dreams about some of my bikes that i've lost through the years. SOmeone should start some type of forum so that a guy can re-locate some of the lost loves in his life. I wonder what they look like now?
    #19
  20. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

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    If I didn't have one already, I'd definitely pick up an oil-burner if the price was right. The fix is 250 bucks in parts.
    #20