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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 18 Feb 2009
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KLE 500 v Tenere 660

Hi, New to the Bike world...Apart from having a Yahama XT125 (using it getting to work n back etc..)
Just passed my test after all these's years in a car

Now looking to grow up abit even tho im 44..! .. so im not out to show off etc, just a great bike to still use for work, but now Weekends, Holidays etc..

Been looking at my 1st love, the Great Tenere and got to say the new 2009 Black is very sexy!
but now just seen the my local Bike dealer The KLE500... which also looks a great bike...

The thing is I dont want to jump into the deep end and up face down on the Tarmac if i cant handle the Tenere and waste loads of money or killing myself!
Or
Shall i go for the KLE500... looks a great 1st timer bike and easyer to handle and is more forgiving then the Tenere.. but have read so many things about it .. more BAD points then good..! and again waste money if i get bored with it within 3 months or so..!
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  #2  
Old 18 Feb 2009
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I found the KLE to be a great first bike
If you are restricted to 33hp you may want to change the exhaust and maybe mod the airbox to get rid of the dangerous flatspot at 7000RPM which makes overtaking a bit risky
Some other adjustments to get the most out of the bike is to put 20psi in the front forks and put the rear shock on the highest pre-load this gets rid of the wallowing round corners which the std setup gives when riding spirited
After these adjustments it handles well enough to match a street bike round tight corners although a bit lacking in the straights and long sweepers
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  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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Go for the Tenere. I have one (the new XT660Z Tenere). It's forgiving and very easy to live with. It's a bike to grow with as your biking skills improve. Goes anywhere. Low maintenance costs and fairly easy to tinker with yourself. Doesn't know the KLE other than having tried it a couple of times. It's not my cup of tea, but I'm sure it's a good bike too. Not on par with the Ten, though - in my humble opinion. ;-)
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  #4  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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Had my KLE for 3 years now and its a very solid dependable bike. It doesn't eat tyres, the fuel consumption is OK, and it can take you all over Europe. I live in London, and it is perfect for the crap roads around here as the suspension is very soft. However, it is crap off-road.

I haven't ridden the XT660, but if its still got that Rotax 660cc single in it, then I have ridden bikes which have the same engine (notably the Aprilia Pegaso 650). Personally, I didn't like the engine as it had no real top-end and ran out of revs very quickly even though it was marginally more powerful.

In an ideal world, I'd say get the KLE and sell it after two years. However, if you're planning on keeping the bike a bit longer, go for the XT.
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  #5  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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I think this is one of those 6 of one half dozen of the other type questions.

ive a friend who is in the process of doing his test and ive pointed him more towards the KLE as its cheaper to buy and isnt brand new meaning its cheaper to insure. But ive read many reports and talked to many owner who say they are a really good bike as long as you dont want to go silly speeds on bouncy roads, and unstand its not a race bike so its never going to go really silly speeds that fast, or get there that quick. But if your restricted these really dont matter.

How ive read quite a few storys about corrosion which wasnt the best.

On the other hand theres the Tenere which i havent ridden yet i own an XTR which uses the same engine so should be too far away. It does run off of puff but its a 660 single so is never really going to go off the wall fast, but has plenty to show up some people who look down at you as "oh its only a single". Handling is good with quality suspension, probably slightly more wind protection and a better finish, but still not 100% great. Down side is price, and this is the big one, they are only new out so your more than likely looking at getting a new one, which means £4800 or so.

Compare this to £2500 or so for a 2 year old 4-8k mile KLE you your saving alot of money.

Personally i would say if your going to stick with the bike for a while stay with the Tenere and may the investment, if you want to maybe keep the bike for a year or so then get some thing else go for the kle (only down side with the kle prices dont stay that high so a year down the line with alot more milage its gonna be hard to get rid of for a good price)
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  #6  
Old 19 Feb 2009
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An idea maybe to get a cheap KLE (£2000 2nd hand or £3500 brand new at some dealers) to get use to a big bike and it doesn't matter if its dropped since its cheap bike.
Then save up and get a tenere in a year or so if thats what your hearts set on and just use the KLE as a commuter/winter bike (if you ride in the winter)and keep the tenere for weekends and holidays

As for corrosion a tub of assorted stainless bolts will replace nearly all the visible bolts on a KLE. The other place a KLE rusts badly is the welds on the exhaust High temp paint should help or full stainless system

speedwise a KLE does 91 MPH restricted but will comfortably cruise at about 75 MPH over 80 and fuel economy suffers quite a bit
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  #7  
Old 24 Feb 2009
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If your heart is set on the Tenere then get it. Both are good bikes in their own rights.

The Ten is bigger sexier and better off road. - its tall

The KLE is older cheaper and probably similar on road.

why buy a bike to loose money in a year or two time when you realise you actually wanted the other bike in the first place.

How tall are you ? the Ten is a high bike but I have one am 5,7 ft and have fitted the off the road lowering bones and dropped the front fork height and it fits me fine now.

Either bike will be a great buy, but just to throw a spanner in, have you considered the new BMW 650 gs ?
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  #8  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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The new Ten is a great looking bike - very important! - but I (6' 1) too found it on the tall side and top heavy (tracks/tight roads with luggage, this is).
A new rider may get intimidated, like the bloke I bought it off after 200 miles who clearly fell for the looks, and then fell over...
I would have lowered it if I had I kept it and softened the suspension too.

My report here: XTZ 660 Tenere review - Adventure Motorcycling

Interestingly to Mitch, I have just replaced it with a bike very similar to a KLE 500 (or it will be soon). I'm with ShaunJ: don't be in a rush to be flash, you're only 44! Get a bigger cheap bike like a KLE and then step up to a Ten when the time comes. You may appreciate it more then.

Ch
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  #9  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
The new Ten is a great looking bike - very important! - but I (6' 1) too found it on the tall side and top heavy (tracks/tight roads with luggage, this is).
A new rider may get intimidated, like the bloke I bought it off after 200 miles who clearly fell for the looks, and then fell over...
I would have lowered it if I had I kept it and softened the suspension too.

My report here: XTZ 660 Tenere review - Adventure Motorcycling

Interestingly to Mitch, I have just replaced it with a bike very similar to a KLE 500 (or it will be soon). I'm with ShaunJ: don't be in a rush to be flash, you're only 44! Get a bigger cheap bike like a KLE and then step up to a Ten when the time comes. You may appreciate it more then.

Ch
Hey Chris,

So no more XT660Z for SibirskyExtreme ?
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  #10  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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Some good balanced opinions already, so let me be more succinct...

If you are tall enough not to feel intimidated by the new Tenere, just get it - it is so far in advance of the KLE in every respect that it is literally in a different century...

That is my (not very) humble opinion...

xxx
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  #11  
Old 27 Mar 2009
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Having been a Kawasaki dealer and sold plenty of KLE's, I can say that there is no comparison.

The XT660Z is far superior in every single way....

The KLE's are old, thirsty and not as reliable as people think.

yes, they are very basic and easy to repair which is great for overlanding in some respect but a few BRAND new ones we sold were back in less than a few weeks with things falling off them and things failing.

The new FI Yam engine is LEAGUES ahead of the KLE lump and the suspension and handling on the KLE500 belongs back in the 80's. The whole KLE package is cheap and nasty, hence why they sold £3500 BRAND NEW !! (if you look around)

Just my opinion of course !
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  #12  
Old 27 Mar 2009
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Xtz

Bear in mind that the XT-R and XT-Z are very similar, I can vouch for corrosion on the XT-R. Engine cases blister at the edges and around any holes. For a bike that's only a couple of years old it really should not get this kind of corrosion and I gather some dealers have been replacing covers for people (xt660.com)
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  #13  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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a BIG Thank You

Just like to say a BIG Thank you for all your kind words and time over the last few months.

Still doing my nut in tho, I think I need to go and see if I can get a test drive which is going to be hard!

Like I said I really love the look of the Tenere but i know its going to be to tall for me.. even tho im 5:11. might go for a older one which I know I can handle.

or KLE...

well what ever i get i will post and let u all know so u can laugh or take the ****

Yours
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  #14  
Old 17 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitcham Madman View Post
Still doing my nut in tho, I think I need to go and see if I can get a test drive which is going to be hard!

Like I said I really love the look of the Tenere but i know its going to be to tall for me.. even tho im 5:11. might go for a older one which I know I can handle.
Have you looked at XT660.com? On that forum there are a few threads saying which dealers have got bikes in stock, and increasingly there are demos at more dealers now...

I would say that at 5'11" the Tenere won't be too tall for you (I'm 5'9") - sure it's taller than your average street bike, but all the trail/off-road bikes are a similar height, and the Tenere carries it's weight well.

Try and get a test ride somewhere, I'd be surprised if you don't get along with it?

xxx
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  #15  
Old 18 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitcham Madman View Post
Like I said I really love the look of the Tenere but i know its going to be to tall for me.. even tho im 5:11. might go for a older one which I know I can handle.
5:10 here and I have no problem handling the Tenere, like JMo says it carries it's weight exceptionally well.
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