KLR future, does it have one?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by amk, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. amk

    amk Been here awhile

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    Since the end of April I have ridden nearly 13000 km on my DL650. The bike has many shortcomings, but I had never ever been bothered with a thought whether it start the next time or it will not: it will. Between the oil changes I did not bother to check its level: I knew it will not burn or leak it. I never took a spare part on trips, I did some distances, I knew the only thing it may require is a tire plug. <o:p></o:p>
    Now, I test rode a 2008 KLR650. I am sold. This bike inspires me to ride off pavement. I did some serious off road travels (for me it was serious) on the Wee, but it was not fun, Wee needed to be watched very closely. KLR might run the same stuff on its own. <o:p></o:p>
    KLR cannot challenge Wee on asphalt, but Wee is not a contender for KLR off it. And I think, the difference off asphalt is greater with the big plus to KLR in comparison to what the KLR loses on asphalt. <o:p></o:p>
    However, I will never own this bike, or at least until Kawi would not cure its reputation for the lack of reliability. I know most owners have zero problems. Still there are reports for broken turn signals, burned oil, balancers which are out of balance, rotten rubbers, snapped rear shocks, you name it. I know the KLR is very easy bike to work on, I know everything may be fixed for a dime; the problem is, I do not fix or work on bikes, I prefer to ride them. <o:p></o:p>
    At this point I think the KLR is close to perfection, it has everything that I can think of, but even the slightest possibility of failure scares me off. By the way, to make a bike in 2008 without FI is a bit weird.<o:p></o:p>
    Now the question: does it worse to wait, or it would be more sensible to switch for something else? What do you think? Will Kawi address the issues of its new updated KLR in the near future? Will it replace carbs with FI? Will it drop KLR? Will a new bike be imported here (something like a Tenere)? <o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    I'd just get the KLR. Do or have someone do the necessary mods, and I bet you'll find it very reliable. The internet amplifies problems. Act now before the machine is "modernized" into something that is not quite as perfectly suited for adventure as it is now.

    Exploration off the pavement awaits you.
    #2
  3. klrmatt

    klrmatt Playing in the dirt

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    My 06 KLR has been incredibly reliable. I ride alone most of the time and go camping deep into the bush and have never been concerned with failures. 20 years of building pretty much the same bike has made it pretty much fail safe.

    That was one of the main reasons I bought the KLR.

    I have also done rides of around 2500km in 3 days and it never missed a beat.

    And if it does have a problem it is easy to work on and backed up by a large dealer network.

    There are some basic things you need to do to make sure you will be alright, but that is same with just about any bike on the market.

    In Oz it can be a long way in between towns and help, so you need to be sure the bike will be right, and one of the last things I feel the need to worry about is the bike. I am more concerned about all of the other factors that can go wrong when riding alone.
    #3
  4. RoberTx

    RoberTx Blind man ridin'

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    I've traveled over 16,000 miles on my '08 KLR. I have had zero issues with the bike. I get 57-61 mpg and it uses no oil. This is my second KLR ('06, 12,000 miles, zero issues). Never did the doo on either. The key to long life with a KLR is oil changes. Change oil and filter about every 2,000 miles.

    The US Marines chose the KLR for military duties based on several criteria, one was its reliability. Klay is correct, the internet exaggerates things. The bike is a rock.
    exaggerate
    exaggerate
    #4
  5. Jonny Utah

    Jonny Utah Been here awhile

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    after clocking just over 6k on my 08 I couldnt wait to get rid of it. aside from the lack of power that lets me get across the slab to the good stuff usually far away, like others mine burned lots of oil, the valves were tight from day one causing hard starting and the rubber rot was out of control. I did the doo my self, put a pipe on it . I liked the bike and wanted to love it but until the big K gets it right ill be on my vschlong, and ill be loving it.
    #5
  6. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    " I do not fix or work on bikes"
    I can't imagine what that must be like. Motorcycles are machines, a certain amount of maintainence/repair part of the deal of ownership for me. I expect a certain level of reliability but they're not refrigerators.
    Jim
    #6
  7. Hondo

    Hondo **********

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    No problem- keep your wallet ready regardless of the bike you own.

    Hmmmm, maybe you might consider not getting any bike, as any can have issues.

    All machines fail over time, but properly maintained, most can last indefinitely.

    The KLR650 will last as long as you want it to.
    #7
  8. Bunny Wigglesworth

    Bunny Wigglesworth Long timer

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    10 months of ownership. 10,000 miles ridden. No problems. Oh. I did have a flat. I hope Avon will address that in the future.
    #8
  9. Tymobyrne

    Tymobyrne Banned

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    My 03 KLR is fine at 26,000 miles, and for the highway i got a killer deal on a '88 Connie, and ive probably spent allot less on those two then what a new DL650 costs

    :clap
    #9
  10. desmo

    desmo Been here awhile

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    You like your Suzuki? :ear Get the DR 650:clap
    #10
  11. seriousracer

    seriousracer be a man dodge tree bark

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    i am not f***ng stupid,but i used too. niles mi.
    truthfully stay on your 650 but change it to a dr. have not heard anything positive about the 08 klr. i know read above. but lets face it some people are polarized.
    #11
  12. Hondo

    Hondo **********

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    You might want to read up a bit.
    #12
  13. Ridge

    Ridge Faster than farm equipment. Supporter

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    Methinks you have been reading the wrong reports.

    Here's a positive for you. I bought my '08 KLR one year ago this coming Sept. 19th. I turned 13,000 miles on the odometer this morning on my way in to work. My KLR has covered highway stretches for what seemed like an eternity, trails without another soul on them in Moab, mountain passes at nearly 13,000 feet in Colorado and countless off-road excursions in my lovely home state. I have added nearly every farkle available for it and my mileage still sits at 50mpg w/ exhaust and mild carb mods. It burns oil only if I subject it to long stretches of interstate at sustained high RPMs. I would expect that of any single cylinder engine that relies on roller bearings. I have replaced all four turn signals with LEDs. Not because I lost them from bad rubber, but because I pitched it off a rock in remote northern Colorado.

    I have owned a DL650 and racked up almost 14,000 miles on it in about the same amount of time as the KLR. In the end, the KLR is a clear winner because of its sheer versatility. The only category in which the Wee can claim superiority is highway manners. But to be perfectly honest, I have found more scenic roads and stunning landscapes by avoiding the interstates on the KLR.

    YMMV
    #13
  14. shrikebandit

    shrikebandit Been here awhile

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    I got a DR and love it. There could be one problem though. The screws on the neutral switch whatever. Which is also easy to adress. Easier than the doo on the KLR which I had also. The KLR 2006 I had was great. No problems at all. I sold it to get a Bandit 1200 which had a few problems, then sold that one to get the DR.
    #14
  15. RoberTx

    RoberTx Blind man ridin'

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    the '09 KLR is already on sale in Canada, check it out, not much has changed:lol3
    #15
  16. Subcanis

    Subcanis Dental Floss Tycoon

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    Ive never heard anyone call the KLR unreliable. It has quirks. All bikes, reguardless of brand, have quirks.

    The doo... woopty doo. Easy fix, cheap insurance.

    Oil consumption issues... methinks people with a phobia of tools and maintenance also arent the smartest about properly breaking-in motors.

    Bar vibs... its a single!!

    etc, etc.
    #16
  17. Red08

    Red08 Adventurer

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    I bought my RED08 last June, put 2000 miles on it, made a few minor changes,Corbin seat, HB risers. Then rode to the Arctic circle and back from here in SW Michigan = 9000+ miles, two oil changes, one set of tires (Kenda)
    same spark plug, still the same Doo. For $5200 I don't see how you can go wrong.......JMHO
    #17
  18. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Kawasaki already has the Versys to compete with the DL650; Motorcyclist just named it bike of the year.

    I think the remake of the KLR650 for 2008 was a miss, but an understandable miss. Price has made the KLR650 the number one dual sport in America for many years. Kawasaki addressed the weak brakes, spindly fork, the seat, and a bunch of other things owners and magazine testers have been complaining about for decades. What the KLR still needs is 6-speed transmission and less weight. Both changes would cost too much to maintain the low price, as would changing to fuel injection.

    I see the 2008 remake as a stop gap until Kawasaki comes out with an all new big adventure single. But don't hold your breath waiting for it.
    #18
  19. buggiebuggie

    buggiebuggie Been here awhile

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    I closed this thread and tried not to respond... but it drew me back...

    To answer your question... Does the KLR have a future? Yes

    It sounds like the KLR just isn't for you. That's OK, I'm not sure why you'd want to get approval from others about your decision not to own a KLR? Or any other bike for that matter.

    The problems that have been widely published online seem worse because the forums which they appear reach out to the entire world... They are a miniscule part of the entire family of KLR owners, but when they get together in one forum, it sounds like everyone that has a KLR has problems. I bought an '08 despite the "problems" reported on this and other sites...

    This has been my experience:
    5 months, 6,000 miles... no real problems... Broken in properly, change oil frequently, 60/40 asphalt to dirt riding. I've been flyfishing every week to some pretty remote lakes and streams here in Colorado with no problem EXCEPT when I whacked the drain bolt on a rock which caused a small leak that I fixed with a new drain bolt (and a bash plate).

    My buddy who bought a similar bike(read $10k German single) but didn't want to buy the "cheap-ass" KLR has put a sum total of 1200 miles on his bike. He has had it in 2 times for warranty work totalling 5 weeks, spent as much as I have on maintainence (6k vs 1.2k miles!) and is generally afraid to take it anywhere he can't push it back home from. I really enjoy riding through his front yard on my way out of town on my "cheap-ass" KLR.

    My point? Buy what you are comfortable with. If it's the DR, so be it, if it's the KLR, great... buy what ever makes you smile....but try not to base your decision on the online chatter about problems with the bike you want.

    Oh, if you don't want to maintain or wrench on your bike, then I would suggest not buying one at all.

    B2
    #19
  20. devildogg

    devildogg Long timer

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    I usually don't respond to these types of threads but I have owned a V-Strom and put 50,000 great kilometres on it and I own an 02 KLR C model along with a Sprint ST. I can tell you that the KLR is as reliable as any bike the V-Strom (650 or 1000) has had it share of growing pains and if you think it can not fail you need to read more about the V-Strom and less about the KLR. The V-Strom is a great machine but I have read many reports of catastrophic failures, keeping in mind a lot of it is internet blather. Does the KLR have a future it does in my home and hopefully world wide . This bike some how brings me back to all the things I love about riding with out a lot of the distractions. to get in the way
    Just my $.02
    #20