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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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Old 7 Nov 2001
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Location: Altamonte Springs
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R1150GS vs KLR650?

Hello to all
I am a frequent reader of this an other web sites and i'd like to ask you travelers, the same question you have heard many times before.
Which bike??!!
let me start saying that mi only experience with bikes is an old 83 Honda Shadow VT750 , cruiser type,that i rode loaded and 2 up for 2 years on any weather and roads , in Ecuador SA (not easy) ,... yes Grant, during terrible El Nino, all over coast and mountains.
I have felt the urge to go back to riding and expand my travels a little bit, one or two countries at a time, and i'm doing my research on which bike and i want to know you opinions.
I haven't ridden any bike yet so far but after reading many bikes reviews i feel inclined for the BMW R1150GS but the main problem is that people say it's too heavy, on the other hand, a lot of people like the KLR650 because it is light and more an off road bike and i like the price too, but i don't know if it's capable of 2 up or if that's is a good idea.
I know that i have to test ride them but your opinion is very valuable.
i'm looking on a long term bike/human relationship, my plan is to ride anywhere, anytime, any weather condition.
Europe, N. America and S. america are on my future plans.
Am i making a mistake with the GS or should i go for the KLR650?



[This message has been edited by JDDG (edited 06 November 2001).]
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Old 7 Nov 2001
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: London
Posts: 161
Let me try and predict Grant's reply. I shall have to be imaginative, as I own a GS but have never taken it off road, and I've never ridden a KLR-sized bike 2 up with luggage.

In a nutshell: the addition of a passenger puts the KLR at a big disadvantage. It will struggle with 2 persons and their gear. Its off road advantages over the heavier GS will be almost totally negated. So you might as well be comfy and take the GS. It will get you to the same places, be much comfier on long days on the road and require a bit less maintenance. Packing will be less of a nightmare. And if you do BMW's off-road course you might surprise yourself with what you and the GS can achieve, despite the bulk of the thing.

How's that Grant?

Grant - Couldn't have said it better myself! (took me a while to spot this entry for some reason...)

[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 28 January 2002).]
If a thing is worth doing, it\'s worth doing to extremes.
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Old 12 Nov 2001
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Nomadic Man
Posts: 41
Are you rich? If you buy 1 GS you will spend enough to buy 3 KLR's. Then you will have to change some things to make it suit your needs better, i.e. seat, panniers, shocks etc. I own an 1100GS and have had it off road many times, it is a pig especially when loaded with Jesse panniers and top case, 41 liter Touratech tank almost full and camping gear. The bike weighs well over 300 kg and I ride solo. Add a pillion to that on less than ideal road conditions i.e. ruta 40 in Patagonia and your asking for less fun and more work. I love my GS and can recommend it for durability and comfort but be prepared for expensive parts and tires that are such a goofy size they are hard to get.

Safe Travels

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Old 12 Nov 2001
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Posts: 28
I like the 1150 but i am a pure offroad guy i have been and still do motocrossing
with a passenger i would defenetly go for the 1150 but suppose when i am riding alone how big would be the difference from the klr(which i didnt ride yet, i had tenere for a while)
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Old 28 Jan 2002
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 239
On the $ front, the longer you are planning to keep a bike, the less of a factor purchase cost is. Over the long run maintenance, economy, and (mainly) riding satisfaction become primary factors. If you are planning to tour for many years, get the bike that excites you and will keep you on the road. I have friends that have done substantial trips on KLRs, they are a great machine - one up. Loaded with two people and gear for an extended trip I believe your choice in more in the realm of New GS, older GS, Triumph, or other large enduro. Just my opinion.....

[This message has been edited by Timo (edited 28 January 2002).]
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Old 28 Jan 2002
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Location: Country NSW Australia
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I own both an 1100GS, and the original Kawasaki 600KLR.

I've done some long outback trips in the Australian desert on the KLR solo, and a lot of road touring two-up on the 1100GS.

The GS is a great road bike, but way too heavy and big for me to handle in off-road situation. I rode one in Africa and just could not handle it in a few deep sand patches. I'm 175cm tall and 65Kgs.

The KLR is great in the dirt but I would not want to ride it two-up for too far.

In my experience the best of both worlds is served by the BMW 650GS. I've just completed 4800Kms in New Zealand on one of these, two-up with luggage. Its nimble and very easy to handle, yet has a great turn of speed. It will run to 100MPH easily. My regular passenger tells me the seat is better than the 1100GS.

We toured in company with others on road BMWs (850R) and found nothing lacking at all.
Comfortable for both, good performance, ridiculous fuel figures from the electronic management system. A bit tall was the only problem for me.

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