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Old 03-08-2012, 11:45 AM   #61
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Arrow Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Originally Posted by SilverBullet View Post
Sure under ideal circumstances. Now have Grandma or even a bodybuilder try that in a mud hole or in deep sand. Not that easy.
_
It sounds like you guys are crashing too much!

Seriously, picking up a heavy bike off-road is no fun. For me riding is a inward struggle of the ego. It is very easy to get confident on a big bike on a mild class 1 road. Then a class 2 pop's up and you say to yourself, "I can do it", because I am doing pretty well now! Then the class 2 slowly changes into class 3 and you are now deep into the trail...suddenly the front washes out on your bike and you're stuck on a very challenging "road" with a heavy beast. You then proceed to pull off the extra luggage with the hopes you can get enough leverage to lift your bike.

I remember vivdly going through this same scenario in Colorado as my v-strom went high speed into a muddy bog. I had to get a passing dude to help me extricate the bike from the pit....had it been a WR, I think I would have managed it fine by myself. I have to say, the WR250R with an aftermarket tank, fully loaded pushes almost 390 pounds.

For me, the source of my crashes tend to come from my lack of using good judgement. Basically, it was my hubris or excessive confidence in one's skill. Let's face it, most of us are mediocre riders, including myself, especially when compared to some of the hardcode bretheren on Advrider who can make the GS1200 dance up a steep rock hill. I think it is imperative, you match the style, weight of the dual-sport you are riding with the terrain. The other problem I see is on certain dual-sport group rides...is you will have one guy on a really heavy GS style bike trying to keep pace with his friends who are on lightweight thumpers. At the risk of being perceived a newbie, the GS presses on only to have a crash after pressing the limits of the bike's performance curve.

It is important to realistically appraise the scope of one's own riding ability/limits and to make sure the dual-sport bike you select is ridden with that in mind. Taking a dual-sport class and learning how to rectify various "what-if" scenario goes a long way.

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Old 03-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #62
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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This is the whole quandary though. My Wife owns a Versys, and I own a Strom (albeit a 1000 not a 650) and neither one will TOUCH a KLR in the dirt. So when you get better road manners you will lose dirt prowess. The same when you buy the new, cool looking KTM or Husky. They are much better than the KLR in the dirt but can't touch it on the street.

Nevermind.... just go buy something, that'll fix all your problems.
On class 2 roads that the OP is doing, i really don't see the KLR having much advantage. Once back on the road, the Versys is a better ride.

Not sure why you think the KLR is better on the street than KTM or Husky. They make SuperMoto versions of their dirt bikes by simply changing the wheels and front brake. You can buy bigger tanks, softer seats, and fly screens if you want to relatively cheaply. See how much it costs you to make a KLR lighter, more powerful, better braked, better suspended, and add a 6th gear.

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Old 03-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Moekazi View Post
Not sure why you think the KLR is better on the street than KTM or Husky.
well, here's one reason:

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Originally Posted by Moekazi View Post
They make SuperMoto versions of their dirt bikes by simply changing the wheels and front brake.
KTM and Husky SM bikes make great SM bikes, and why the Japanese don't put 6 speeds on big thumpers confuses me. But a KLR on the highway is a lot better from a comfort POV than a dirt bike with street tires.

And this is coming from somebody who WANTS a dirt bike with street tires (have had dual sported XR250, KLR650, DR650)
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #64
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The reason for the missing 6 gear is because at initial design speed limits were 55, where 5 is perfect.

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Old 03-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #65
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Buy a different bike. Preferably one designed in the last two decades. A Versys/WeeStrom with knobbies will prolly get you anywhere a KLR will and work better on the highway, too.
So you mean like the old damper rod style forks, right? Oh wait, both the Versys and the Strom share the same tech there. I know.. the shock... oh wait, same tech again. AHHH, I got it, the motors are light years ahead of the KLR. Oh wait, you mean they are all DOHC motors.... disc brakes, well all three in my garage have them.

I'm glad to see that we have come oh so far in the past 20 years.

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Originally Posted by Moekazi View Post
On class 2 roads that the OP is doing, i really don't see the KLR having much advantage. Once back on the road, the Versys is a better ride.

Not sure why you think the KLR is better on the street than KTM or Husky. They make SuperMoto versions of their dirt bikes by simply changing the wheels and front brake. You can buy bigger tanks, softer seats, and fly screens if you want to relatively cheaply. See how much it costs you to make a KLR lighter, more powerful, better braked, better suspended, and add a 6th gear.

.
Number one, I don't go TX Adv riding so I have no idea what you call a "Class 2" road. But if they are anything like the sand and pea gravel roads of Big Bend I will ride with anyone on any Strom or Versys and we'll go see just how much fun they have. This is coming from someone that actually OWNS both. My Strom has 92k miles on it so I'm pretty sure I know by now what it is good at and what it isn't good at.

Anywho, like I said before... I think everyone should go buy a KTM or Husky. They are awesome at everything because they look cool and are expensive. That means they are better, right? Like I've said before, they are this generation's "mid-life crisis Harley". Me, I think I not buy into the hype since I've been there done that with a street legal dirt bike before.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:59 PM   #66
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Originally Posted by DFW_Warrior View Post
So you mean like the old damper rod style forks, right? Oh wait, both the Versys and the Strom share the same tech there. I know.. the shock... oh wait, same tech again. AHHH, I got it, the motors are light years ahead of the KLR. Oh wait, you mean they are all DOHC motors.... disc brakes, well all three in my garage have them.

I'm glad to see that we have come oh so far in the past 20 years.
The Versys has upside down forks. I don't understand the point you're trying to make. The only way it makes any sense is if you believe all parts are the same.

As for the rest of it, i'd argue that the KLR is more of a hype bike. People hear it can do everything and are cheap, so they buy them. Then like the OP, they find out they are just sorta OK, and start looking for something else. I'd even argue that the main reason they're so cheap is because the market is flooded with KLRs that people bought on hype and then saturated the market when they got rid of them.

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Old 03-09-2012, 05:52 AM   #67
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Originally Posted by Moekazi View Post
The Versys has upside down forks. I don't understand the point you're trying to make. The only way it makes any sense is if you believe all parts are the same.

As for the rest of it, i'd argue that the KLR is more of a hype bike. People hear it can do everything and are cheap, so they buy them. Then like the OP, they find out they are just sorta OK, and start looking for something else. I'd even argue that the main reason they're so cheap is because the market is flooded with KLRs that people bought on hype and then saturated the market when they got rid of them.

.
Not to argue, but then why does the military use them in combat? Hype bike, indeed?! What the KLR provides is a value in an all-purpose motorcycle that's cheap and easy to work on and fix, with great ergonomics and a standard seating position. The smiles per dollar on this machine are hard to beat!
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:10 AM   #68
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

This has been a very interesting thread. One question remains. If you are going to trailer to the dirt, why would you trailer a KLR instead of bringing a 250cc?
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:16 AM   #69
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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One question remains. If you are going to trailer to the dirt, why would you trailer a KLR instead of bringing a 250cc?
Er, What is, "because you don't have a 250cc?"

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:17 AM   #70
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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This has been a very interesting thread. One question remains. If you are going to trailer to the dirt, why would you trailer a KLR instead of bringing a 250cc?
Morning Hap, I grew up in Lytle......
And, I trailered my KLR once last year (deduct manly points) because my wife wouldn't ride the couple hundred miles there and back.......and I love her more than manly points.
For strictly dirt riding.....you wouldn't. Unless the KLR was all ya had........
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #71
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #72
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The Versys has upside down forks. I don't understand the point you're trying to make. The only way it makes any sense is if you believe all parts are the same.

As for the rest of it, i'd argue that the KLR is more of a hype bike. People hear it can do everything and are cheap, so they buy them. Then like the OP, they find out they are just sorta OK, and start looking for something else. I'd even argue that the main reason they're so cheap is because the market is flooded with KLRs that people bought on hype and then saturated the market when they got rid of them.

.
Upside down or not, they are still damper rod forks on all three machines. You were claiming that the other two were more modern, and I would like to see your proof. So far, you have done a poor job of it. Oh, the Wee Strom you suggested....conventional forks, damper rod style just like the KLR. So I'll keep waiting for your proof. But just remember that I have all three in the garage and do all the work on all of them so chances are I probably will be able to call BS on this particular thing quicker than anyone. But go ahead prove to me that the two bikes you "say" are more advanced really are.

Oh....aluminum frames...those are modern, right? Oh wait, KTM uses all steel frames on all of their bikes? Really? Well there goes that theory.....LOL
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #73
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:49 AM   #74
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

For the KLR haters you need to read the post below and the linked BAJA trip report and then the whole thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...52&postcount=3

Please pay particular attention to the first sentence. Newer, fancier, and high tech is not always best for adventure travel.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:13 AM   #75
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

Thanks everyone so far for a really interesting thread. If I was a manufacturer this would be invaluable market research, but then I'm not sure they actually listen to those of us who ride the bikes!

I think it boils down to either spending some $ on the KLR (improve suspension, lose the oil burn & lighten the load) or spending more $ on the 650GS. Still not sure but mental bike shopping is cheap & fun.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:43 PM   #76
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

The Marines use them because they were the cheapest, simplest proposal offered when they went looking for a motorcycle. A military KLR isn't a stock KLR. They throw most of the engine in the garbage along with the stock suspension. They then add hand guards and an even bigger tank. So, the real question is "Why does the contractor who builds the Marine KLR throw away most major components?"

Statements like "What the KLR provides is a value in an all-purpose motorcycle that's cheap and easy to work on and fix, with great ergonomics and a standard seating position." and extended trip reports to exotic destinations don't mean anything. You could say the same things about a DR or XRL and travel all over the world on just about any bike.

On top of that, look at all the mods the guy had to prep it for Baja. The weak front brakes = replaced. That wonderful air screen making highway travel so much better than other DS bikes = guess he needs a bigger one. Those handy stock handguards = replaced for some that actually work. That comfy seat KLR owners say is better than other bikes = replaced for a custom one. Those wonderful radiator fins that like to rip off in a crash = get some beefy crash bars to protect them. That's stuff i can see was changed just by looking at the picture. Who knows what's buried underneath. Prolly RaceTech or Progressive in the forks and a new shock. Implying that the Baja trip was done on a stock KLR is BS. If that wasn't implied, then it's still BS because you could do Baja on many bikes given similar mods.

A stock KLR works for a lot of people and they enjoy them. What bothers me is when people say how they're great for everything. If anything they're just adequate for everything.


DFW_Warrior, i don't appreciate trolling. I have to assume you're doing this because you claim to have all three bikes, yet you didn't know a Versys has upside down forks. Then you mention aluminum frames and don't know that the Versys has a steel one. Either you don't own one, or you don't know your own bikes.

I also wonder about your suspension knowledge because you dismiss the inherent benefits of upside down forks. You also don't seem to understand what effect fork size and length has on a bike even if the internals are the same. You also fail to mention the KLR's glaring suspension advantage over the Versys. The KLR's rear suspension has linkage while the Versys does not.

Troll less, prz. K, thnx.

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Old 03-09-2012, 09:42 PM   #77
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Er, What is, "because you don't have a 250cc?"

Dirt bikes for 400, Alex

Let's take another approach. I'm 67 and weigh 167 or is it I'm 167 and weigh 67' I keep forgetting. Anyway, I've figured out that I can no longer throw a 1200 GS around (and have the scars to prove it). I enjoyed the Big Bend trip and want to do more. With a clean slate would you purchase a KLR again, knowing you'll throw it on a trailer? Or would you get a lighter, more task specific bike?
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #78
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A linkage is a glaring advantage? Man, you might want to tell KTM that they are doing it all wrong on their off road bikes. Obviously they didn't consult you prior to making the new class of woods bikes. LOL The few that are getting raising rate linkages are getting mixed reviews from riders saying that they would rather have the older PDS stuff back. You just stated "upside down forks are better" and I am sorry but you are wrong. They are different, and have different pros and cons. Just like linkage based rear suspensions.

As for the KLR being great at everything I actually think you are the only one that has said that. Everyone else is saying they are adequte for everything and represent the best compromise out there. And that is pretty close to the truth. They are about as dead in the middle to being a decent pavement bike and a decent off pavement bike. Everything else either leans to one side or the other. And like has been discussed before, better at one means worse at the other. There isn't any getting around that. So hey, whatever floats your boat. Go have a blast on whatever street bike you want to toss down a sandy road and I'll have fun riding my $1500 KLR anywhere it'll take me.

Just an FYI, go back and quote to where I gave incorrect information about which bike and what equipment I got wrong. How about doing that before making anymore BS claims. I was making generalizations about the two "modern" bikes that have way more up to date technology, so you say, then the KLR. Of which, other that EFI, they do not.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:24 AM   #79
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

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Let's take another approach. I'm 67 and weigh 167 or is it I'm 167 and weigh 67' I keep forgetting. Anyway, I've figured out that I can no longer throw a 1200 GS around (and have the scars to prove it). I enjoyed the Big Bend trip and want to do more. With a clean slate would you purchase a KLR again, knowing you'll throw it on a trailer? Or would you get a lighter, more task specific bike?
Definitely a lighter, more task specific bike.

The KLR was bought on the recommendation of Richard. It was a good recommendation and Richard still had his KLR at the time. It fit the bill which was to be able to ride to the destination and ride the ride, and then ride home. I've taken this KLR from my garage in Cibolo to Galeana, ridden such trails as "The Unknown Ride", and then back home.

This last trip to BB, I trucked it out to Terllingua and took it on some routes I've always wanted to do such as Black Gap and River Road (BBNP).

It gets the job done, and I have fun on it, but I think I'd have more fun on a more "task specific bike".

However, what to do? Ron's WR250? Arnolds KTM 530? Rich's Husky TE610? Milton's DRZ400?

I'm not where I want to be vis a vis skill on dirt although I like it a lot. Like Ron with his WR, I've sunk a lot of $$$ into the KLR such as Moab shocks, bash bars and plates, seat, bolt upgrade and many more.

The only aspect of off-road riding I think a more task specific bike would actually be better is deep, loose material. Sand and loose gravel. Other than that, the KLR does very fine for what I ask it to do.

Again, for Philip.....I don't know how you can really evaluate how you and your KLR are suited for each other and off-road unless and until you put the right shoes on that horse. Try your KLR with a better choice of tires for the region.

To pick another bike, I'd have to once again forfeit a chunk of my investment in the KLR and then spend more $$$ buying and farkling a new bike, to be able to start to train in the sand with a tool more suited for the job. I'm not saying I'm going to do it and I'm not saying I'm not.

But yes, to directly answer your question:

If one is going to truck or trailer to these rides, one eliminates the need to look for a dimension of comfort for highway miles. If starting from scratch and shopping again, consider a better tool for the job.

With that aspect eliminated, it makes perfect sense to focus on a much lighter, highly dirt capable machine from the get go.

PS I'm happy for Philip in that he took pride in the fact he rode his KLR home to Dallas from Terlingua. I had no problem in October coming home from Mazatlán and Durango, Mexico via Ojinaga, Terlingua and Alpine, but I was glad to be on a GSA and not on a KLR. I'll say this, Philip had tires better suited for this commute than for dirt riding.

So, I probably would not purchase a KLR again having morphed in my experiences and having focused my desires, but now that I have it, and have modded it, I'm fine with it and will probably keep riding it out in Big Bend and on the Junction rides.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:24 AM   #80
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Re: What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

Yea, well my KLR's uglier than yours, Bob!!
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