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  #16  
Old 30 Nov 2009
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Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
I'd say all the posters here are full of it - the KLR, I mean.

Can anyone who's been on this forum point to TWO KLR's that have actually been around the world - not just Turkey to Mongolia and back, or not down to TDF from NA.

Who's actually gone over 100,000 miles, riding around the world, on this thing? Doing 100K miles in North America doesn't count - that's not same as taking it to South America and scorching the piston by riding at high altitude with the improper carb jets! (try buying KLR parts in South America lately? )

This is because this forum is mostly conformed by european people, where the KLR isn't very popular, and very diferent than the american version (pre 2007 ones)... and they have XT's and DR's... and I think that's why... for example... touratech doesn't make accesories for a KLR.

I'm planning right now a RTW trip 2up in my 2005 KLR... and I'm sick of all the sh*t people says about KLR... may be isn't to confortable but it will do the job, I'm sure

my 2 cents
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  #17  
Old 16 Mar 2010
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Agree that KLRs are the budget option - but they are exceptional value for money. Just don't flog it, nurse it on those long highway stretches, pack light, take spares and I have no doubt it will get you RTW. You will have to spend money at some point to replace parts though!

Buying in AUS? one thing to consider if you purchase a pre 2008 model is the 'C' or 'A' model. That opens a can of worms, but for the alloy rims, larger fuel tank and aftermarket parts, it is a fairly obvious choice. Purchase the 'A' model!
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  #18  
Old 5 Jul 2010
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I've rescued 2 Honda XR riders on 2 separate occassions from the sands in Mauri using the same mighty KLR.
Just my 2 cents...
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  #19  
Old 24 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
OK, I'm being a bit hard on the KLR.

All the postings on the HUBB for folks dumping, err selling, their KLR's after reaching South America had me confused.
The economics of it!
Why pay $1500 usd to ship a $2000usd bike home?

Sell it if you can and buy another when you get home.
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  #20  
Old 24 Aug 2010
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Just an update: I am now back in Quastdog's neighborhood, still astride the same KLR with 92,000 miles (150,000 km) on the odometer despite whatever piston-scorching or highway-flogging it might have endured. That's not bad for a US$5000 bike...which might answer the original question.

Mark

(from Golden, British Columbia, still heading more-or-less homeward)
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  #21  
Old 24 Aug 2010
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and I've put on 18,000 miles in the past 4 months on my slightly used ('06, 4,300mi) KLR650 now, all in the U.S., roughly 2,000 miles off-road. From the issues I've encountered with the KLR, I stick by my opinion.

The KLR is just a cheap ass motorcycle, and you'll spend many more days and hours in your travels keeping it together, fixing and tightening all the stuff that works loose, then other popular bikes. Never mind all the time and fixes you need to make before hand in order to make the bike road worthy.

The air filter/intake is over the rear wheel - sucks in dirt like something fierce - like a Hoover - cleaning air filters every couple days when doing dirt is required.

Everything works loose. Everything! (your foot pegs will fall off if you don't keep tightening them).

Wiring to the tail light is exposed (under the rear fender) and can be broken with rocks. There are all sorts of significant shortcomings with this bike.

Fan motor can be destroyed in a tip-over on the left (blade housing can be bent, blades stop, shaft keeps turning and it self-destructs).

Riding position is shit - figure on spending money on proper clamps and bars.

There are many more problems with this bike that I've encountered, in addition to the above, but known throughout the KLR community.

about the best thing I can say - I like the sidestand.

The KLR will do a continent, but it won't do the world without continual maintenance and repairs. I still stick by the claim - there are no (or few) successful long distance round the world efforts on this bike. Greg Fraziers RTW ride on this bike (or '08 upgrade was it) is without a doubt one of the shortest RTW distances ever recorded by bike me thinks.

If you're serious about RTW - get serious about the wheels. Yeah, anything will work. Just not a 650 with the shortcomings of the POS KLR

If we just stopped buying this bike, then maybe KLR might come up with a better version? I doubt it - they probably depend on the US market of cheap asses keeping this bike in production. If we stopped buying it, they might stop making it. But I really don't see the downside.
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  #22  
Old 25 Aug 2010
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Heh heh heh. You're certainly entitled to your opinion(s), but most of what you describe hasn't been a problem for me. I must say that I really do despise the kickstand.

Now, if there were a bike which better suited me available in the States, I'd buy it...but there's not. Mileages vary. Hope you're having more fun out there than it sounds!

Mark
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  #23  
Old 25 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
...I must say that I really do despise the kickstand.

...Hope you're having more fun out there than it sounds!
You haven't experienced the sidestand on a F650GSD!

And I am having fun, despite the bike.
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  #24  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Bring that bike to Bellingham in a week or so and maybe we can discuss terms. Or at least have a .

Mark

(From Omak, of all places. I came screaming down the switchbacks out of the Monashee Mountains singing Mama Tried at the top of my lungs....the border guard glanced at my license, then at me, then at my license and said "You're a dead ringer for Merle Haggard when he was young. Have a nice trip!" No questions about where I'd been ,where I was going, what I was bringing back, or why I was riding a lowly KLR, all tattered and torn. Easiest border of my entire 11 month journey.)

"That leaves only me to blame 'cause Mama tried...."
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  #25  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
and I've put on 18,000 miles in the past 4 months on my slightly used ('06, 4,300mi) KLR650 now, all in the U.S., roughly 2,000 miles off-road. From the issues I've encountered with the KLR, I stick by my opinion.

The KLR is just a cheap ass motorcycle, and you'll spend many more days and hours in your travels keeping it together, fixing and tightening all the stuff that works loose, then other popular bikes. Never mind all the time and fixes you need to make before hand in order to make the bike road worthy.

The air filter/intake is over the rear wheel - sucks in dirt like something fierce - like a Hoover - cleaning air filters every couple days when doing dirt is required.

Everything works loose. Everything! (your foot pegs will fall off if you don't keep tightening them).

Wiring to the tail light is exposed (under the rear fender) and can be broken with rocks. There are all sorts of significant shortcomings with this bike.

Fan motor can be destroyed in a tip-over on the left (blade housing can be bent, blades stop, shaft keeps turning and it self-destructs).

Riding position is shit - figure on spending money on proper clamps and bars.

There are many more problems with this bike that I've encountered, in addition to the above, but known throughout the KLR community.

about the best thing I can say - I like the sidestand.

The KLR will do a continent, but it won't do the world without continual maintenance and repairs. I still stick by the claim - there are no (or few) successful long distance round the world efforts on this bike. Greg Fraziers RTW ride on this bike (or '08 upgrade was it) is without a doubt one of the shortest RTW distances ever recorded by bike me thinks.

If you're serious about RTW - get serious about the wheels. Yeah, anything will work. Just not a 650 with the shortcomings of the POS KLR

If we just stopped buying this bike, then maybe KLR might come up with a better version? I doubt it - they probably depend on the US market of cheap asses keeping this bike in production. If we stopped buying it, they might stop making it. But I really don't see the downside.
So what's your next bike gonna be?

Sounds like some serious bad luck or maybe PPPP? I don't make a living following RTW KLR riders but do know many that have gone well over 18K and not had the litany of probs you claim. Now why is that?

I've owned two KLR's, one beat on '92 and a brand new '98. The '92 was set up and probably had all the crap fixed on it. Many years ago, but the worst thing that happened on that bike was when my soft bags caught fire on the Freeway Melted plastic side panel. I had too many bikes then, so sold it to a buddy .... cheap. It needed some overdue maintenance but was basically sound. Had about 35,000 when sold. (I only put maybe 10K on it) I beat the living crap out of it ... rode it wide open everywhere (just to keep up with manic group ...a real slug compared to my '87 XL600R.

With my '98 I spent a week prepping it like I would an Enduro bike. Only put 8K miles on the bike before selling. But did do the length of Baja and quite a bit of washboard, rocks and whoops there and then traversed Copper Canyon and down into S. Mexico. Just 5500 miles that trip. Only problem was when the boys in Vallarta changed oil they didn't replace the Copper drain bolt washer ... so it started leaking oil. I finally noticed it and fixed it. No other problems ... even after a few tip overs in deep sand. (it sucks off road with stock tires) A few bolts came loose but no big deal and no major issues at all ... except burning through tires. Never noticed the air filter getting all that dirty?? Of course it was cleaned once in a while, but this years ago ...

But much of what you say is TRUE. It IS a pretty cheap ASS bike and well overdue for a re-do. I agree ... Kawi should drop it and START OVER! But they won't ... at least not anytime soon.

I don't mind the riding position actually. This a Subjective area. But I've only owned 20 or so dirt/dual sport bikes to compare to. The seat needed help but not a torture rack. I rode ten hour days for about two weeks on my '98. Standing position was not great as I recall, but I managed somehow.

I would look a little closer at Dr. Greg's Sexploitations on KLR's and other bikes. He's got a few bikes stored in various places. Flys in, rides, flys away. He may have owned a few KLR's? Recently he had a KLX250S. Much better put together bike than a KLR. (I have a KLX For Sale!)

Quite a few HU folks have done some pretty good miles on KLR's, mostly without problem. There were 35 of them at one of the Copper Canyon HU meetings. Only guys with problems I heard about down there was a KTM
640 (worn out chain, water pump) and a BMW F650 (dead battery). One KLR guy did crash badly, they had to drive him out. Forgot what happened to his bike. He went over the side going from Creel down to Batopilas, IIRC.

I really saw a lot of the shortcomings on the KLR after working on prepping one. Compared to my DR650 (sat next to the KLR) they were a real pain to work on, poor access and the lack of quality on some assemblies was obvious. The DR is a gem by comparison, IMHO.

But so many guys have done big trips on them ... I just go with the numbers. Listen, I'm no KLR fan, but facts is facts. If the bike was such a POS how come Pancho Villa and many other rental outfits use it as a rental to go to Mexico on? Why does that guy in S. Africa use them (or did?) And what about all the ride reports going back twenty years involving KLR's?
Hey, guess what? Guys rode RTW on KLR's before internet forums.

The fact is, I sold my '98 KLR the week I got back from my trip ... and never looked back. But in recent years I've had the opportunity to ride a few really nicely set up ones. Like a different bike, IMHO. Would I buy another? Nope. Not until Kawi build a WHOLE NEW BIKE. then ... maybe.

Yes, you do have to go through them with a fine tooth comb and get rid of all the crap and replace with better components but once done I believe they aren't any worse than most other dual sports ... and don't often have the typical catastrophic failures of shaft drive and some other bikes.

The basic electrics are OK, and can be improved
The water pump and cooling system is generally trouble free
The bearings hold up reasonably well
The wheels are pretty tough
The frame and sub frame can sometimes crack but this is not common

With all the things above we could get into how these things fail so regularly on certain "other" bikes. So those who live in Glass Houses should not throw stones.

The KLR is a cheap date for many who otherwise could not travel at all.

But I still wish KHI would dump it and build a serious, modern dual sport. The '08 up grade is a cruel joke. Better, but still way off the mark. KHI have the ability to build any bike they want. They are one of the most incredible engineering firms in the world. Motos are childs play for them.
But they won't do it unless it will pay ... and at this point it won't.
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  #26  
Old 26 Aug 2010
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I think the KLR is the original Marmite bike - many hate the old barge, but there are a lot of faithful followers


They are a cheap deal (for a reason) and overall solid - if a bit lacking from the showroom


Pays yer money, makes yer choice
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  #27  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Hey Chuck, you sure you aren't just missing your Beemer ?? You had some memories on that old girl.

I think the reason for so many being dumped in South America is that they are CHEAP to buy in the US, ride to bsas and dump there. Just not worth shipping it home if you're not in love with the thing. Loads of "one trip heros" do just that...

I've never owned a KLR650 but know plenty who do. Although a budget bike, it doesnt take much apart from a bottle of loctite, a doohicky and maybe a fork brace to transform it into a reliable budget mile muncher.

I still think the XT600E is far better made for the same kind of cash but it's not as quick or comfortable as the KLR and not available in the USA (or even made now anywhere else).
I guess if you could get an XT660R in the states, it would probably be just as popular for overlanders.

I'd have no quarms about doing serious miles on one if I had to buy a bike in the states, but in Europe they aren't as many about as we have alot more choice ! (Apart from the DR650SE which im very miffed about caus I REALLY want one.)
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  #28  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by Pigford View Post
They are a cheap deal (for a reason) and overall solid - if a bit lacking from the showroom
Have you seen the new version in person? Ridden one? Might surprise you. I only ask as they are not sold in most of Europe ... including UK.
So how would you know anything about them regarding the "Showroom"?
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  #29  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Have you seen the new version in person? Ridden one? Might surprise you. I only ask as they are not sold in most of Europe ... including UK.
So how would you know anything about them regarding the "Showroom"?
The U.K has a HUGE import market...

You can get ANY bike here if you want it....

KAWASAKI KLR 650 650cc

This is the new one as far as I know ??????
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  #30  
Old 27 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
and I've put on 18,000 miles in the past 4 months on my slightly used ('06, 4,300mi) KLR650 now, all in the U.S., roughly 2,000 miles off-road. From the issues I've encountered with the KLR, I stick by my opinion.

The KLR is just a cheap ass motorcycle, and you'll spend many more days and hours in your travels keeping it together, fixing and tightening all the stuff that works loose, then other popular bikes. Never mind all the time and fixes you need to make before hand in order to make the bike road worthy.
Hey Chuck, interesting observations. You'll certainly risk incurring the wrath of the KLR owners by saying stuff like that

One could argue that you're being a bit tough on the KLR, as it is a budget bike after all and probably doesn't perform that much differently than an XT or a DR for long distance overlanding. But I would say that anyone who has spent the last 3-4 years riding around the world probably has a pretty decent experience base to comment on bike durability and their expectations of any particular bike model.

The other thing that I thought was interesting was that you broke the mold and bought a different bike make than you had been riding and actually were basing your opinion on comparative experience.

Most people on here have the usual, expected biases to their own brand and exhibit the typical attachment. Also, there are a few crackpots that we all know and love that have made up their mind centuries ago about the evils of certain manufacturers and will use any opportunity to rail against them while loudly pimping their own favourites.

So, while some may think that you are being a bit harsh in your judgements, those that have met you on the road would know that it's an honest, unbiased opinion so keep 'em coming. Just because your conclusions are different than what some others may come to, doesn't mean that we wouldn't all do well to be open minded and give a listen but still come to our own conclusions.

Peace out.
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