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  #1  
Old 13 Aug 2007
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rtw with KLE500

Hi All,

I will do a rtw within two years and now i am doing the rota and try to choise the right bike. I have read almost all KLE threads, but still have some concerns.

Initially, I was thinking to buy a Honda Transalp and do the rtw with it. Last week I have seen a Kawasaki KLE500 on the road and had a search about it.
The reason why it became an serious option for TA is:

-500 cc
-2 cylinder
-low consumption
-lighter
-narrower
-cheaper
-will be brand new, rather then second hand
-carbs. (i know TA has also carbs)
-relatively new tecnology

but my concers are:
-not very common as TA
-Kawasaki hasn't got lots of dealer-service as Honda has
-Never heard anyone RTW on KLE
-Parts avalabilty all over the world
-Not much aftermarket parts (racks, centerstant, tall screen, etc)

Can someone convince me that the RTW is achivable with an KLE500? I know that anybike will do rtw, but the point is doing it with less mechanical problem.

My route will include Mediteranian coast on Europa, West Africa (from Morocco-Sahara-Down to South Africa), South-Central-North Amerika, AU, SouthEast Asia-India-Iran-Turkey.

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by ozhanu; 13 Aug 2007 at 14:05. Reason: misspelling...
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  #2  
Old 13 Aug 2007
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This is only my 0.02 cents (and I havent done a rtw trip)...

for me, the only Kawasaki that I´d consider to take, would be the KLR. The KLE indeed looks too fragile, but like you said, you probably can do it on any bike. Its just that one bike is more suited to that than the other. Even though the KLR seems to be quite reliable, Im not sure that applies to the KLE. Maybe someone whos owned one longer can comment on that.

I think the Transalp (or Africa Twin) beats the KLE in everything except weight maybe. And 1-up it might be just a bit more powerful, but 2-up I would think it goes the other way round, because the v-twins have more torque. 2-up, with all sidebags you can carry, etc., the KLE could be even more badly on its knees I think.

Getting a brand new bike is of course good, but I´d still ride it 5000, or 10000kms at home before setting off, just to make sure everythings working well.
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  #3  
Old 13 Aug 2007
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Ozhan hi;

Just got back from a long 10 days trip, me on a KLR (2004 model 25.ooo kms) and a Catalan friend on a TransAlp (1996 model 138.ooo kms). I was 2up on a single and he was 1up on a twin. Both bikes seemed to get on well with each other whatever the road conditions were. I must admit that TA was slightly better on climbing tricky mountain curves (remembering that I was 2up). BTW, my friend had done 3ooo kms in 3 days, from Barcelona to Istanbul, on that considerably old TA, just before our trip.

If I was in your shoes (motorcycle boots :-)), I would go for KLR (any model from 2000s) or TA (from 1996 to 2000). IMO TAs from 2000 on can not beat the reliability, touring ability, and engine performance of older models. And I still do prefer the outlook of the old TA model when compared with the latest ones.

Regarding KLEs, you better ask someone else.

Still hoping to meet for s.

can ozcan (from Izmir)
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Old 13 Aug 2007
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ozhan, i'm overlanding from Holland to Namibia on a KLE. starting half september. finishing end of december taking the east route. after that i'll can tell you all. by the way someone hase done dakar on a KLE so cant be that bad. maybee for the real offroad you be better of on a KLR of XT 660 but then again there will still be a lot of (bad) tarmac between the ofroad stuff. i'm going with a mate wo rides a africa twin so we can compare bikes. but it's thruth there is not much aftermarket stuff for the KLE but that just ads to the challenge i think.
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Old 13 Aug 2007
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HI All,

Thank a lot for reply.

Luuk, I am really looking forward for your comments after your Africa Trip. Africa Twin is a bit heavy and tall for me.

cozcan, I was in Izmir during last weekend, actually in Gumuldur. Hope to have a next time. About KLR: There is no brand new KLR and if i buy a 2005 this will be abut 4 years old before i go to rtw. This means lots of maintaince and part costs. Same for TA pre-2000. will be too old, most parts need to be changed etc.. Actually, my biggest concern is servicing and parts around the world. Honda dealers are everywhere. I thing I will save a bit more and go for one-year-old TA with extras.

pecha, i think you are right. TA beats KLE in every aspects, except wight and "price".
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  #6  
Old 13 Aug 2007
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Being a few years old does not necessarily mean a bike needs half of its parts changed. Speaking of Transalp and Africa Twin (I´ve had 5 Africatwins myself during the years!), they are among the most bulletproof machines on the face of the earth, if properly maintained, I wouldnt hesitate going on a big trip with one. Some report having ridden them for 100 or 200 thousand kms, with no major problems.

Sure, when you buy a brand new bike, then you can be 100% sure nothings been neglected.. but its price will deteriorate quickly, especially if you go on a trip like this, because it wont look new after that.

If you buy second-hand, then its all about the previous owner(s) commitment to the bike. A 1-2 year old Transalp sounds a like pretty safe buy, though.
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Old 13 Aug 2007
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ozhanu, i'm passing trough Turkey in the end of september, so iff you want to see a fully loaden KLE and get some idea how it would be to RTW on one, we could meet up and have some s.
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Old 13 Aug 2007
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thanks for the advices and comments again.

Luuk, you are always welcome. not only for a , also for stay. drop me a line before you come. i am ok for september but will be away on october. I live in Ankara.

pecha, i have heard that the honda engines are really good. so you are probably right and buying a honda machine 1-2 years old with 10K on the clock will do the job I guess..

thanks
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2007
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Klr 2008

Ozhan hi;

Just a quick note on KLRs. Though you do not see them in recent years' Kawasaki dealers' lists in Turkey, there exist 2007 and even a brand new 2008 models. The thing is KLRs are not that much popular (mostly because of emmission regulations) in EU. It is a kind of a similar case with Yamaha XTs (not because of emmission regulations but purely marketing strategy) in USA.

Just for your interest take a look at 2008 KLR 650 Pics @ The DUAL SPORT ZONE

can
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  #10  
Old 14 Aug 2007
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One of the drawbacks the KLE has is the small tank size, 15l compared to the 20+ litres of the other bikes. But if you are planning to carry extra fuel, or work your route out around the distance, it should not be a problem.
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Old 15 Aug 2007
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Hi Luuk,

If you pass through Bucharest .... maybe we can met and ...... drink a
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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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thanks for the invitation, i'd like that. but were on a tight schedule. have to doe the whole trip in 3 and a half month. but i'll see if we can make it. i'll let you know.
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Old 16 Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luuk View Post
thanks for the invitation, i'd like that. but were on a tight schedule. have to doe the whole trip in 3 and a half month. but i'll see if we can make it. i'll let you know.

Luuk, are you going via South Africa?
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  #14  
Old 17 Aug 2007
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If you have not already had a look, the ADV rider web forum thingo has a lot of KLE500 riders, less RTW, however lots of info etc.. also I was told on Wednesday this week the KLE500 in Australia is no longer being brought in / made (not sure if one or both) and the new 650cc road beast is the change over model.. however I dont think that it would be an issue on parts etc for they are still ebing sold new here until stock runs out.. best of luck and happy travels Al
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  #15  
Old 17 Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicki View Post
Luuk, are you going via South Africa?
maybee. we either end our trip in south africak or namibia (i'f got relatives there) depends a bit on what is the easiest country to schip the bikes home from, and of course time and money
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