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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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  #16  
Old 29 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaqhama
I'm going to look at larger tank options.
There are no larger tank options for KLE 500, the only way
is to make bigger tank by yourself.
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  #17  
Old 29 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnteK
There are no larger tank options for KLE 500, the only way
is to make bigger tank by yourself.
like me: http://web.vip.hr/nikola.mrakovcic.vip/bike/bike.htm
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  #18  
Old 22 Jun 2006
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Smile My new KLE500

[I've just posted this somewhere else, but it may be more relevant here]

I've recently purchased a brand new '06 KLE500 and I'm extremely impressed with it. Alright, I'm not a very experienced biker and it is only the second bike I've ever owned, but don't take my word for it - my father who has 30 odd years of biking experience liked it too and he competes in trials competitions and lives and breathes classic Triumphs.

So far I've clocked up 1400 miles in 6 or 7 weeks which included my daily 2 mile commute and a trip from London around Dartmoor and I can confidently say it handles traffic, motorways and rough trails with relative ease. It can cruise at 90mph although the windblast gets quite tiring over 70mph. The screen doesn't do much over 60mph and seems to direct the wind directly into your face so goggles or a full face helmet are advisable. The front brake is woeful and I've managed to knacker the front pads in only 800 miles around London, although I can't help really hammering them anyway. The more sensible amongst you might be able to resist that particular temptation and I can still get another 1000 or so miles out of the current pads.

The major problem with this bike from a design point of view is its lack of identity. It can't decide whether it's a commuter bike or a trailie which in some ways is in its favour as it seems to handle both with relative ease although surpasses in neither category. The new model is down on power on previous versions due to tighter emissions regulations, however it still has plenty of usable grunt, especially around the 5,000 rpm mark. Two-up is a bit of a hassle (especially with the high exhaust), but 30-40kg of luggage shouldn't be too much of a problem. A big issue for me is the lack of a centre stand. This means I'll probably get a scott-oiler and an old rug to make servicing easier as there seems to be no obvious place to fit a centre stand as it has a large bash-plate and the exhaust ports run right under the bottom of the frame. I still haven't worked out how to service many aspects of the bike yet, but pads and oil seem easy enough. Stock tyres are Dunlop Trailmax which seem OK and have the benefit of being tubed type which made my first puncture easy enough to repair. This puncture occured due to me filtering too much and leaving the rear tyre over inflated. The reason the rear tyre was over inflated is that I couldn't work out how the hell I was going to get an air jack into the valve due to the tiny rims, chunky rear disc and sprocket. It does require some thought, but is possible.

Being so tall, the bike is a bugger to get on and initally feels very heavy. To coin the cliche, all that weight disappears once it's moving. No, really, it does, this bike handles like a 125 once in first gear and the high riding position is easy to get used to. It does feel a little twitchy off road, but this stabilises at speed or with a generous amount of rear brake. I tried it following 4x4 tracks, but it should handle smoother surfaces better and isn't too heavy to pick up again, unlike a R1150GS for example. Unfortunately, all that lack of weight is deceptive, and I had a couple of hairy moments when I forgot that I was riding a 190kg motorcycle and not a 10 kg bicycle and needed a fair amount of upper body strength not to drop it.

To conclude, if you want a bike that really will do everything, then this is the one. Although it doesn't excel in any one area, it really does have all bases covered and has a good reputation for reliability. If any indication were needed, try finding a secondhand model.

PS: It needs a much bigger tank. Current range for mine is around 100 miles before I hit the enourmous reserve. A little more thought was needed there.

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Current Bikes - Kawasaki KLE500 '05 (May 06)
Previous Bikes - Hyosung GF125 (Oct 05 to May 06)
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  #19  
Old 28 Jun 2006
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I'm pleased to see that others have positive thoughts on the KLE500.

I'm looking at setting up a bike rental business here in Otago, NZ and am seriously looking at the KLE 500, as well as the Honda transalp and the BMW F650.
My target market would be international travellors (and locals) and I'd see the bikes being used for 1-6 days for easy adventure/touring on sealed and gravel roads - not off-road or motorways (don't do them here :-) Therefore they wouldn't need to do the hard-out, loaded down thing many tourers do, nor would they need to do high-speed distances.They'd be kitted-out with panniers and I'll offer helmets, clothing, etc.

My prioity is reliability, fuel efficiency, ease of riding and appeal to a (possibly fussy) hirer.

I would appreciate your thoughts on if I've covered the bases and if the idea would appeal to you when you visit "Gods Own Country" - surely the best motorcycle destination in the world !!!
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  #20  
Old 28 Jun 2006
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Wink Good choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howiezowie
I'm pleased to see that others have positive thoughts on the KLE500.

I'm looking at setting up a bike rental business here in Otago, NZ and am seriously looking at the KLE 500, as well as the Honda transalp and the BMW F650.
My target market would be international travellors (and locals) and I'd see the bikes being used for 1-6 days for easy adventure/touring on sealed and gravel roads - not off-road or motorways (don't do them here :-) Therefore they wouldn't need to do the hard-out, loaded down thing many tourers do, nor would they need to do high-speed distances.They'd be kitted-out with panniers and I'll offer helmets, clothing, etc.

My prioity is reliability, fuel efficiency, ease of riding and appeal to a (possibly fussy) hirer.

I would appreciate your thoughts on if I've covered the bases and if the idea would appeal to you when you visit "Gods Own Country" - surely the best motorcycle destination in the world !!!
The KLE500 ticks most of those boxes, except it is a little tall and novices under 1.70m (i.e. women and short men) may have serious trouble getting on board especially with panniers. I'm nearly 1.80m and when it's got my soft panniers on, I struggle. Also, tank range isn't much better than a sports bike, but it does have a generous reserve. I should note that novices may be a little confused by the reserve tap as it has 3 settings and none of them are off. However, if they're not straying too far from the road then 175km before hitting reserve should be fine.

Oh and it's pretty (everyone says so), has reasonable fuel economy (about 50mpg whatever that is in metric), bullet proof reliability and is well deisgned to survive knocks (just look where the gear change lever connects with the gearbox) and is very easy to ride. Most of the grunt starts around 5,000rpm, so tell your riders to keep it under that until they get used to it. Good luck. I may call on your services one day.
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  #21  
Old 28 Jun 2006
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Thumbs up

Thanks for that reply and you raise a valid point on seat height - are there any 500 - 650 size "dualies" that have a genuine low seat height ?
I'm also 6" tall and noticed the stretch when getting onto the KLE I recently test rode. Must check if the seat can be lowered.

Fuel tank range wouldn't be too much of an issue here with lots of small town suppliers.

Start saving ...
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  #22  
Old 2 Jul 2006
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Thumbs up

Is there anyone out there who has had a KLE500 for some time and has a maintenance history with one - I'm interested to know how they take a bit of hard work. I've read somewhere that regular oil and filter changes promise a long life - has anyone got any horror stories ?
Also, has anyone opened out the air filter and put a better (open) exhaust on one - would love to know ?
Cheers
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  #23  
Old 4 Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howiezowie
Is there anyone out there who has had a KLE500 for some time and has a maintenance history with one - I'm interested to know how they take a bit of hard work. I've read somewhere that regular oil and filter changes promise a long life - has anyone got any horror stories ?
Also, has anyone opened out the air filter and put a better (open) exhaust on one - would love to know ?
Cheers
KLE 500 is very comon bike in my area and a lot of friends ride it.
Puting open exhaust is usual what we do due to increasing of
performances. KLE 500 is a reliable engine, if regular maintened no
problems to reach 100.000 km without opening an engine. Just use
semisinth or sinth oil, avoid mineral oil. Regulary changing filters
every 6000 km and do valve adjustments every 12-15.000 km.
KLE will not give you up you on the road. Weak points are poor
brakes and too soft suspensions, especialy front. Altogether, very
reasonable choice due to cheap price of bike.

AnteK, XTZ 660
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  #24  
Old 6 Nov 2006
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Kle

I own a KLE 400, and have about 22000 kms on the clock. So far no hassles. Attended an off road course with all the BMW guys, and found that the lighter bike is much easier to handle than the 650 and 1200 BM's

The only problem I had was the rubber hose between the carbs and the block moving and allowing air to seep in. Resulted in a flat spot at about 6000RPM, and quite a shocking backfire with smoke coming out the front of the bike with the loss of one cylinder. Gave me quite a fright, but was easy to fix once I found the loose clamp.
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  #25  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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Kle 500

I see some Kle 500s around touring long distances.
But don't know the details of gas tank,etc.
It's 2 cylinders and am sure must be very comfortable to ride by lacking of vibration. Though my preference is something else.
Regards,
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  #26  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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well the engine is used in the ex500 gpz500 gpz500s el500 and the kle500
but more people use the engine...http://www.rallytwin.com/
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  #27  
Old 14 May 2007
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Unhappy F650

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukerobyn View Post
hi all
due to the lack of availability of the new kle500 and the price people seem to want for the older second hand kle's I'm swinging towards spending a bit more on a f650.
However I am still keeping my eye on any kle's that come up for sale just in case something good turns up, I'm still a bit tempted by the reduced worry of taking a cheaper bike.
Would be very interested also to here how your trip goes on the kle Blacjack
Hi All,another newbie to the forum, just ordered a new kle for commuting and fun, and noticed the coment from luke, now i'm not anti bmw but my son had a lovely condition and maintained f650 and wanted to sell it on to finace another machine, but, 2-300mles before it's third service the engine bluw up the bmw mechanic said that the valve clearances are very critical and MUST be done at the service intervals or you get this trouble so instead of a selling price of about 2-2.5k ukpounds he got £200
so just letting you know lads....
lookin forward to gettin my kle it'll look nice parked beside my TDM900 in the garage
TDMalcolm
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  #28  
Old 14 May 2007
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Yes please give some feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack View Post
Hi All, well after months of indecision on what to get, I decided on the new KLE 500.
reasons being,If I was going to spend just shy of 5K (transalp) Id seriously think of another sports 600 instead.
But the KLE is not really sexy or high tech, just a basic reliable bike, and pre registered it was a bargin at £3299, for a brand new anything thats not bad.
My old pegaso was needing ongoing maint and it was not enjoyable anymore. The benefits of a new bike means atleast if I get motivated to do a trip this autum, not too much messing about, panniers on and go.
The speed was not too much of an issuse but the economy of a parrel twin could be useful.
Anyhow i shall give more opinions when i pick it up next month
Did you took it ? I seen the posting since 2005. I am interested to get an KLE. Which is your oppinion abou this bike now after some years ? Are U happy ? You regret ? Could be another choice ? etc

Best regards

Petre
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