Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > North America

North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 Apr 2008
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,295
KLR650 vs 400cc Thumper for Trans Am trail and Baja California?

Hi guys

I am planning a couple of trips to North America during my holidays. I’ve got long holidays: Christmas/New Year: 3 weeks, summer: 8 weeks. One of the pros of being a teacher...

I want to ride:

1. Baja California over Christmas/New Year 2008/9 (solo)
2. Parts of the Trans Am Trail, possibly combined with parts of the Shadow of the Rockies Trail (solo in summer 2009)
3. Doing some general road touring with my wife in West Coast USA (summer 2009)

At home I ride a big dual sport bike and a thumper (Honda Transalp and Suzuki DRZ400) and I have a lot of experience with both. Also, I have a fair bit of off-pavement experience on the DRZ, including sand.

I want to buy a bike to use (Probably in the San Diego area). I know the DRZ could do everything I want, except 2-up with the wife. A KLR650 seems a better compromise. I rode one in South America a few years ago and really liked it a lot.

If you’ve been to the Baja or have ridden Sam Correro’s routes, how many tracks/routes do you think I am excluding myself from by riding a KLR650 (because of bike weight, running gear/ suspension issues)? I can put a fork brace and use appropriate tyres/ chain/sprocket combinations for the terrain. I'll be riding light weight, with a minimum of luggage/soft bags.

Many thanks for your time.


Reply With Quote
Old 15 Apr 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denmark - Copenhagen
Posts: 263
I am in Bolivia now on a KLR 650 and also did Baja (including the offroad).

The KLR is a very capable bike and I would say your best option if you also want to do two-up.

Screw the fork brace though, it is not worth it.

Doohicky, brakes, handprotectors and you are set.

One more reason to choose the KLR 650 would be that the old model is bound to be a cheap buy now. I bet you can find a tour ready one on Craigslist.org for a good price.

That said I wish I had a lighter bike sometimes. Especially when I have to pick it up from all my crashes (-:

But I have punished my klr and it has held up very well to it and it really is a great dual purpose bike.

The main problem is that baja, on dirt roads, is torture if you can´t stand up in the pegs. I rode a little with a couple from SF on a 990 KTM Adventure and the pillon did not enjoy it, even with the nice KTM suspension.

Lots of washboard and rocks.

Just my 2 cents
Peter Kongsbak
South East Asia, USA, Central and South America and Scandinavia.
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Apr 2008
Statdawg's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 95
Here is a nice ride report of the west Trans America Trail.

The Trans America Trail does me - ADVrider

The KLR 650 looks to be a good choice.
Reply With Quote
Old 20 Apr 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 148
you can't go wrong with the KLR... sure, it's heavy for hard core off-roading, but for two-up, it's OK. It will take you anywhere you want to go and you can fix it with a hammer.
Jeremy Kroeker
Reply With Quote
Old 4 May 2008
Statdawg's Avatar
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 95
Nice TAT Info

Brian's Bliss
Reply With Quote
Old 4 May 2008
DLbiten's Avatar
HU California Meeting Organiser
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Camano is. USA
Posts: 443
You may want to look at a Honda XR dual sport and the Suzuki DR650 gust as other options there a bit more dirt bike.
The KLR has a good size tank and kiting it out in the USA is cheap and easy.

All the bikes can be had used cheap and in a good shape if you have the time to look around. None are going to make your wife to happy on the back and there not grate road bikes.

Do go to Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum the trip your looking to do is what there all about.

Dam that many weeks off, I need to go back to school to be a teacher.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BAJA - Southern California brclarke Route Planning 12 4 Nov 2008 16:33
trans america trail skateblade North America 7 1 Jul 2006 19:51
X-mas in San Felipe, Baja California Twintraveller Travellers Seeking Travellers 3 4 Dec 2004 01:57
Complete Trans Am Trail davidlomax Honda Tech 1 12 Aug 2003 04:23
Trans Am Trail ekaphoto Route Planning 0 8 Jul 2003 09:32


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:23.