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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 30 Jul 2006
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Mozambique
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'92 XT 600 vs '92 KLR 650

Hi all, I'm still "in between bikes" after leaving my previous ride behind when returning from Africa to my home country (Argentina). I have been browsing the market for a few months, posting a thread on Dommies vs TAs, gathering some cash, and am finally about to purchase my next bike. Before getting deeper into other options, let me explain how I narrowed my list down.

Transalps/Teneres/Africa Twins/BMWs: way too expensive in Argentina (at least for my budget).
Dommies / XRLs: more expensive than XTs and KLRs, not many good ones around.
XRs: seat too high (I'm 5'6"), kickstart.
NX/XT/KLR 225/250s: Not enough power for the tarmac bits. I should be confortable maintaining 65 mph (110 kph) or else I'll end up behind trucks all the time.
DRs: I've heard that eventhough they are great bikes their engine does not age that well. So even when I should consider 5 - 10 yr old DRs, I should exclude them when looking into the 10 - 15 yr old category. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that most 10 - 15 yr old DRs have had their engines rebuilt at one point or another. 5 yr old DRs are too expensive for my budget.
NX400 (Brazilian made): looks like a street bike. probably behaves like one, too.

I finally managed to find a few options within the KLR / XT universe. Browsing through posts I figured out the following:

KLR pros: more powerful than XT, better fairing for the highway, easy to get parts everywhere, unlikely to have been raced or taken to the dirt.

KLR cons: weight, bad brakes, needs some work to correct some problematic issues (vibes, doohickey, etc.)

XT pros: lighter than KLR, reliable.
XT cons: more likely to have been raced or taken to the dirt regularly, less power/speed and fairing for the highway, less luggage capacity.

My typical driving will involve: commuting, weekend trips to the countryside or beach (90% tarmac on the way, but 10% gravel, sand, baked dirt or some mud when I get there) and maybe a trip further down to Patagonia (tarmac, gravel, wet gravel) when holidays come along.

I know both bikes will cope, I'm just looking for some extra opinions before finalizing my decision.

Thanks in advance. Cheers.
Luciano.

Last edited by lepium; 30 Jul 2006 at 23:31. Reason: to add DRs into the equation
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Old 31 Jul 2006
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SE USA
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why the KLR

I'd go with the Kawasaki for a few reasons:

1) I've never been left on the side of the road by a Kawa unless either a wreck or my abuse (broken rear axle - don't ask about the jump) was involved

2) the local Yamaha/Honda dealership is owned by the same -insert your favorite disparaging remarks here- idiot that owns the local Harley dealership ($137 US labor for changing a rear tire???? same tire $147 INSTALLED at another shop in town).

3) the local Kawasaki/Suzuki dealership is owned by a nice guy that doesn't charge all the extra profit items labled fees (setup, delivery, etc) - only bike price, taxes, and paperwork (title/tags/etc).
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Old 31 Jul 2006
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Does the Kwak "age" well?

Thanks, grimel. One further question on your point 1). What model of KLR do you own / have owned? I'm looking into a '92 with about 30k miles, so I'm kinda of interested on how the bike "ages".

Thanks again. lepium.

PS: Come to think about it, it's almost as choosing red wines...
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Old 31 Jul 2006
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No KLR's just 2 stroke DS, KZ's, and what ever their cruiser is. Everything had at least 20k on it when it left my garage. Right now my dad has a 1996 750 twin cruiser with around 30k on it.
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  #5  
Old 5 Aug 2006
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cardiff
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From my experience XTs are bikes that age very well and are virtually indestructible. A real pain on long highway journeys though (I'm sure lots of people will disagree but they might have stronger neck muscles than me).
If you're doing as much highway as you suggest I'd go for the KLR, for more dirt I'd get the XT.
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