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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 Jun 2010
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Klx650

I have been looking around for a nice bike to start learning allroad/offraod riding and do some traveling on. Searching for the bike to meet my requirements i ended up looking at xt600/660's, TTR600, ktm 640's, klr's, Honda NX650,XR600/650, DRZ400, DR350, DR650.

And then i spotted the KLX650 (C not the R/A) and i wondered why i never heard of this bike... Its like a perfect allround bike in my eyes with good springs, mpg, reliable engine and best of all its cheap. I did some little search and i don't see people doing any long distance traveling on this bike. Is there something im missing out or is it just one of those bikes the masses somehow missed...?
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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I don't think the KLX was imported to Europe. It was imported to the USA, starting in around the mid 90's. (not sure of years)

Early versions had major engine problems, next year Kawi solved this. They continued production another few years then stopped. Kawi never really advertised this bike much. No one new about it.

I don't know of anyone who has done long distance touring on it but I do have a couple friends that ride this bike. One is famous: Wade Boyd, famous IOM competitor from San Francisco.

Good bike but a generation behind modern bikes. Can be upgraded to make a good touring bike. Like you said, cheap to buy, reliable. Needs better seat to travel. Good off road, but a bit heavy.


Wade and his KLX
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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KLX's were imported to Europe, I owned a UK spec 1994 model.

For some reason, it's the only bike I've ever owned that I didn't "gel" with?

They never really caught on, might be more popular in France than anywhere else? Having owned a DR600, if I was buy a big Jap trailie again, I'd opt for a variant of the TT600/TTR600 if trailriding or a DR650or Honda Dominator. All are aircooled & possibly easier to work on and probably have a greater choice of aftermarket parts than the KLX?
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Old 5 Jul 2010
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Yeah im still trying to figure out if i go for the NX650 or KLX. Atm im more hanging toward the klx. Price wise they cost about the same.

Although i did spot a 1990 red NX650 with e start and kick start and it looks like new! Doesnt make things easier can tell you that :P
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Old 6 Jul 2010
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One of the issues with the KLX was that the CDI box was mounted to the inside of the rear mudguard & under full suspension compression, the wheel was known to hit the mudguard & damage the CDI box. There is a fix for it I think.

Also note that KLX's require cam removal for valve adjustment. If you're in the middle of nowhere, you might appreciate the screw & locknut adjustment of the DR/NX/TTR.
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Old 23 Jul 2010
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In the end i went with a NX650. simply because i can get more parts for it and because i could get a '88 with electric start and kickstart. Its less off a offroader but it will do for now
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Old 28 Jul 2010
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Be sure to keep an eye on your oil level on the NX. I had an XL600R, same motor as the NX. This motor runs extremely HOT, so if you ever get out of the coolness of the UK, then I'd be using GOOD synthetic oil.

This motor also uses some oil normally when run hard. Check daily, and learn the correct method of checking: Bike must be FULLY HOT to get accurate level check.

Also, the electrics (for a Honda) are not great. Battery is too small/weak for the bike, DO NOT let the battery run low, it will cost you your Stator (about $400 USD). Keep the battery strong and fresh.

Sub Frame is weak, will bend or break if overloaded and then run on rough roads. (I bent mine and have seen others break when abused)

Keep eye on wheel bearings and swingarm bearings if running in water.

All else very good. Good luck!
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