KLR future, does it have one?

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

  1. biggyfries

    biggyfries Been here awhile

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    amk, I was going to suggest you stay away from those damned ol KLR's cuz everyone knows they take a little maintainence, but then you say you have no interest in having one-- its just a philosophical question for some reason that still isn't clear??! I say this whole thread is the result of a non-question for which there's only a non-answer--maybe we just like to talk about bikes? Then why is this discussion so non -enjoyable?

    KLR people, continue to love your KLR's (like me). KLR haters, continue to hate 'em, or dislike em, or whatever--definitely DON'T get one. Now I'm going to move on to something a little more interesting.

    Cheers!:1drink
    #41
  2. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    The KLR is no different from any other bike made by any other manufacturer - As long as the KLR is a sufficiently profitable motorcycle, Kawasaki will sell it.

    If it ever becomes non-profitable, they will stop selling it.

    Kawasaki will upgrade/update/change the KLR if they believe it to be necessary to keep the bike selling profitably.
    #42
  3. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    I have an 03 with 20200 miles and I have to say reliability has never been a question. I expect it to take me where I want and bring me back. And it does.

    TC:D
    #43
  4. Wild Rider

    Wild Rider Adventurer

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    We run a motorcycle rental & tour business in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Costa Rica</st1:place></st1:country-region> since the mid 1990's. We started out with some Suzuki DR350, but soon also had inquiries for larger bikes. Over the years, we bought several used KLR 650's from American and Canadian riders, who had ridden their bike to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Costa Rica</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The bikes were model year 1993-1994 and were ideal for the bad Costa Rican road conditions. Back then, 80% of the roads were lose gravel, the rest was pavement (often with big potholes). A perfect terrain for dual sport bikes.

    The durability and reliability of these KLR was amazing. Despite heavy usage in the rental business and constant exposure to dust, sand, mud, sea-water and potholes, close to nothing ever broke (besides the usual wear and tear, such as drive chains, brake pads. etc).

    Having this great experience, we decided at the end of 2004, to buy half a dozen newer KLR's (three brand-new 2005 models and three 2004 models with low mileage).

    What a bad surprise were those bikes!! While our old KLR's still were running without major problems, the new ones gave us headaches from the first day we got them.

    While lots of lose screws on the new bike might have been the fault of the Costa Rican importer, all other problems were <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kawasaki</st1:place></st1:city> home-made. On those 6 bikes, we had the following problems over the last 3 years:

    1. Doohickey worn out (of course) 6 times.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    2. Safety switch for side-stand defective 6 times
    [​IMG]
    3. Safety switch for clutch defective 6 times
    [​IMG]
    4. Fuse-holder broken 6 times
    [​IMG]
    5. <st1:place w:st="on">Battery</st1:place> defective within one year or less 6 times
    6. Shift lever broken 6 times
    [​IMG]
    7. Handle bar broken 1 time
    8. Gear shaft broken 1 time
    [​IMG]
    9. Thermostat switch not working 3 times
    10. Thermostat not functioning 2 times
    11. Ventilator (radiator) wings broken 4 times
    [​IMG]
    12. Ventilator (radiator) motor broken 1 time
    13. Choke cable jammed on all bikes (needs maintenance every couple of weeks)
    14. Original clutch cables only lasted a few month on all bikes
    [​IMG]
    15. Leak in fuel-tank (underneath saddle) 14 times
    [​IMG]
    16. Water pump leaking 2 times
    17. Heat guard on exhaust pipe rusted through 3 times
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    18. Major oil consumption on all bikes after 20.000 miles. We finally found out, that the material/surface of the cylinder liner is too soft and therefore wears off quickly.
    19. Distribution chain worn out
    20. Balancer chain worn out.
    [​IMG]

    <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
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    I would be a complete idiot if I would purchase a KLR again after all those troubles!! Of course we are aware that our bikes had to function under difficult conditions with sometimes careless riders.
    After a lot of researches we switched back to Suzuki DRs. There definitely is a difference in bikes that are assembled in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Thailand</st1:country-region> or <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Japan</st1:country-region></st1:place>!
    After being back on a DR I have to admit that I miss the KLR on the highways and during rides with my tica.
    #44
  5. kawagumby

    kawagumby Long timer

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    I guess there's a reason why the bikes are so inexpensive! LOL...but seriously, none of the problems, other than the cylinder hardness, are things that are much beyond an easy fix. And none of those problems seem to relate to where the bike is assembled...more about design specification and alloy choices. Having owned scores of japanese bikes of all brands since the sixties, I can tell you that many times a particular production run, including parts (good or bad) that are supplied by a subcontractor, do not necessarily represent the defining characteristic of any particular model in the long term.
    My 08 KLR is the best bike for me, I love the way it practically steers itself, the broad flat torque curve, and the way it forgivingly handles just about all kinds of riding situations. It is confidence inspiring to ride when you're tired IMO.

    I think it will continue to be a leading sales item regardless of the lack of FI, doohickies, or the limited run of a bad batch of rubber parts. I like its primitive simplicity.:clap
    #45
  6. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    True 'nuff, although I think the KLR is probably a bit heavier than a DR650.. :D
    #46
  7. Wild Rider

    Wild Rider Adventurer

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    We had KLRs before and those models where made in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region>, there quality was much better! That is why we guess that it is better to get bikes that are assembled in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region>.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>Good for you, I hope it stays that way!
    #47
  8. Jeffer

    Jeffer Been here awhile

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    True that the KLR's are a special type of bike, however it's like a woman. Yes you'll have some problems, and yes they :deal require maintainance. If you work through the issues they are a lot of fun. I suppose you could just keep trading them both off for another model, but who's to say you'll be satisified with that one either?

    Jeffer
    #48
  9. Timo Explorer

    Timo Explorer Trail Wizard

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    I love my '08 KLR. Its not the best bike at anything, but it will do everything. It is simply the most proven dual purpose bike in the world.

    More riders have chosen KLRs for adventure riding than any other bike. Must be a reason they keep selling. If they where not reliable they certainly would not still be a top seller twenty years later.

    Where ever you go adventure riding, you may see Suzukis or KTMs or Beemers or XRs, but definately you will see KLRs for sure.

    May not be the best bike for you, but I am happy with mine. Lets ride.
    #49
  10. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Outside of the doo, you are talking normal problems.

    Did alot of you guys take the KLR as your first bike?? I see these kind of problems and worse with all motorcycles. Sometimes it makes me wonder, thats all.
    #50
  11. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    +1
    #51
  12. amk

    amk Been here awhile

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    [FONT=&quot]The major factor is its low price. No other motorcycle capable for highways and 4wd roads out of the crate is so dirty cheap. It simply does not have any direct contenders right now; all other adventurers are significantly heavier on money. As soon as something else would be imported with the similar, not exactly the same, price tag, KLR in its 2008 form will have gone.[/FONT]
    #52
  13. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I havent studied up much on serial problems with the 650 Strom,Just curious as to what needs to be replaced on a wee right out of the box such as a doo or ? I keep hearing about 100,000 mile wee's and vee's with no breakdowns what so ever. probably just the internet blowing it out of proportion.:ear
    #53
  14. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    You REALLY like KLR'S eh?
    #54
  15. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    I gotta know, did this just take a hard hit right to the shaft or was it actually a factory flaw (bad casting) that caused it to fail?

    that's pretty ugly in the field :lol3
    #55
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    Parts availability is as big or bigger factor than low price.
    #56
  17. Tymobyrne

    Tymobyrne Banned

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    Make note, never rent my KLR :rofl
    #57
  18. carburated

    carburated Been here awhile

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    except sell :lol3
    #58
  19. amk

    amk Been here awhile

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    Dirt wise may be even more. What about road? Just add a decent capacity fuel tank, luggage rack, a bash plate, hand guards, a fairing (is there one for DR?), and a wind screen, then count.

    Out of the crate DR is not an adventurer.
    #59
  20. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    KLR's have been made in Thailand for years. Probably starting right about the time of your "new" rental bikes came along. They are not just assembled there, but frames and ..... I think ... motors made there too.
    #60