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What To Do? A KLR Quandary.

Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
407
Location
Austin, TX
#51
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. If you want something more dirt oriented, visit a KTM or Husky dealer. They both offer motorcycles light years ahead of the KLR for less than $9k.

I had a first gen for a couple years. I commuted on it daily and did a bunch of off road i prolly shouldn't have. It was fun riding, but i can't say the bike is any good. It's heavy, has crappy brakes, and the suspension is not very good. There was two things that was good about the bike: cheap and it had a big gas tank. If the DR and XRL came with a big tank stock, i think Kawasaki would lose a lot of sales.

Now with gen 2, they fixed the brakes and the suspension is better. However, it's still heavy and they went and dolled it up so much dropping it off road will burn up any money you saved buying a cheap bike. Plus, after 30 years of the same engine they still didn't get the Doohickey quite right, but they found a way to make some burn oil. Nice.

I can understand why people like them. They're cheap and get the job done. Sorta like stuff made in China, but i don't think it's a good value.

.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
3,786
Location
Dallas, TX
#52
Versys/WeeStrom with knobbies will prolly get you anywhere a KLR will and work better on the highway, too. .
Was about to post that. Engine guard and flush mount signals are a requirement for any DS. As many have noted though, skill will carry you much further than the machine ever can. Maybe get a cheap light bike to work on rider skill before pushing it with a bigger bike

Sent from my VZW Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,844
Location
Arlington, TX
#53
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. If you want something more dirt oriented, visit a KTM or Husky dealer. They both offer motorcycles light years ahead of the KLR for less than $9k.
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.:lol2::duck:
 
R

Red Brown

#54
So I must ask.. if you only have a test ride under you on the 800, how do you know the extra power makes it easier to power through rocks and sand?
I have ridden the 800 off-road. BTW, the 650GS I have has the 800 cc engine slightly detuned but with more low end pull than the 800. I have gone over similar roads that are sand and rocks and really feel the benefit of more HP at the rear, especially loaded with gear, water etc. compared to lesser powered bikes I have used. I would like a steering damper eventually.

BMW classifies the F650GS as a 650cc for European certification reason, when actually it has a 800 cc hiding under the skin.

:sun:

RB
 
#55
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.:lol2::duck:
When I was thinkin' Versys, I wanted something more off road capable, why I didn't get the Versys. Of course, I still have my 01 SV which still runs great and gives me a bit more on road prowess. I have the suspension pretty close on it except for the stock shock which doesn't bother me. I don't race the thing, just a street bike.

As I've aged, my requirements for power have mellowed. I do like a light weight off road motorcycle, have tons of fun on stuff like little TTR125s and such even though over any sort of jump, my fat butt bottoms the suspension, don't have to be the latest MX terror, prefer it NOT be in fact. BUT, with the KLR, I wanted good street/highway comfort, easy speed limit cruising, and ability to get down a muddy road if needed down at my place. I won't take it out IN the place away from the "road" (that's a liberal use of the word "road"..:lol2: ) like I will the 200, but I can make it down that road even in the wet, which since I sold my 4x4 Toyota, is a good thing. I'm lookin' to sell that place, have it on the market, and am planning to buy land and a house up around Rocksprings to spend my last waning years, but I'll keep the KLR anyway, and, up there, OF COURSE the SV. The roads up there actually have CURVES in 'em. :rofl: I could probably sell both bikes and buy a Versys since the land up there doesn't seem to have any actual SOIL, just rocks, but I think I like having more focused rides, less "all around". As you say, you give up one area, you gain in another. It's all in where in the compromise spectrum you feel the most comfortable with the bike. Besides, that cheap Chinese 200 is still running, even if most of the bodywork is cracked and wasted. :lol2: I don't really play ride in the dirt much, anymore, but that one is good 'nuf for it if I want to. Heck, that thing is 7 years old, now and is designed after something from the early 80s at best. :doh: But, it's still fun and capable as far as I am going to push it.

They both offer motorcycles light years ahead of the KLR for less than $9k.
OOOPS, I'm out!!!!! Not nearly worth it to ME. To each his own with his discretionary income. Me, I really don't have much of that. I see the rest of my life with USED Japanese motorcycles, not that I can't be happy with that. :lol2: Actually, part of the highway allure of the KLR is its 50+ mpg now that gas prices are going out of sight. :headbang:
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,119
Location
Harmaston, TX
#56
...It seems to me that the better suspension on the 800GS or the KTM 950/990 series plus the better power-to-weight ratio of those bikes go a long way toward negating their significantly heavier overall weight.
Except no negating any of that weight when you're picking them up off the ground alone.

_
 
R

Red Brown

#58
Except no negating any of that weight when you're picking them up off the ground alone.

_
...even a grandma can pick up a fallen Goldwing!

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQhQWT7pNQ"]Picking up a fallen Goldwing - YouTube[/ame]

The morale of the story is don't fall if possible.

:rofl:

RB
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,119
Location
Harmaston, TX
#59
...even a grandma can pick up a fallen Goldwing!

Picking up a fallen Goldwing - YouTube

The morale of the story is don't fall if possible.
Sure under ideal circumstances. Now have Grandma or even a bodybuilder try that in a mud hole or in deep sand. Not that easy. My old gen DR650 probably tips the scales at over 400lbs fully loaded. By the third time I picked that bike up in the dirt I was spent for the day. It is a compounding issue, go down once and then getting it back up tires you out some making you ride sloppier and easier to crash the next time, rinse and repeat until your lucky to get the bike back upright again. Now this is talking about riding single track like SHNF which beats you up quite a bit more on a big bike than the type of riding at BB and such.

_
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,974
Location
Austin
#60
Except no negating any of that weight when you're picking them up off the ground alone.

_
Well, yes, except for that part. My strategy is to always try to ride with some big fellows, like Big A, so they can pick my bike up for me when I crash.

I know even Grandma can pick up a Gold Wing that has fallen over in parking lot. The challenge is I never seem to crash in a parking lot. I always seem to fall over on the side of some steep, knarly hill. The bike ends up upside down and I can't find any decent footing to leverage it up by myself.
 
Last edited:
R

Red Brown

#61
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! :-P

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.

The GS boy
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
407
Location
Austin, TX
#62
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.:lol2::duck:
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.

.
 

jqueen

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
3,185
Location
Denton, TX
#63
Not sure why you think the KLR is better on the street than KTM or Husky.
well, here's one reason:

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)
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
3,786
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Dallas, TX
#64
The reason for the missing 6 gear is because at initial design speed limits were 55, where 5 is perfect.

Sent from my VZW Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,844
Location
Arlington, TX
#65
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.

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.:trust:

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? :yawn: 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.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
407
Location
Austin, TX
#66
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.

.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
7,032
Location
T'orndale!
#67
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? :trust: 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!
:sun:
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
100
Location
Devine TX
#68
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?
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
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T'orndale!
#70
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........:sun:
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,844
Location
Arlington, TX
#72
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
 

philipbarrett

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
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Dallas, TX
#75
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.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
407
Location
Austin, TX
#76
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.

.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
100
Location
Devine TX
#77
Er, What is, "because you don't have a 250cc?"

Dirt bikes for 400, Alex

:lol2:
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?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,844
Location
Arlington, TX
#78
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.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
8,805
Location
Cibolo, Texas
#79
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.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,974
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Austin
#81
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.
That's a great point, Bob.

If the capability for significant amounts of street riding is eliminated - i.e. I'll trailer the bike rather than ride it to and from - then what is required from the bike will have changed, opening up new possibilities in motorcycles.

When a bike has to do both dirt and street then some compromises have to be made. It's like a Spork. Sure it can function as both a spoon and a fork but it's never going to be a great spoon or a great fork.


I think the KLR is amongst the best Sporks available. Phillip is really asking which is the better decision - modifying the KLR to make it a better spork or buying a different spork. My answer is that as long as you need/want a spork the KLR is as good or better of a choice as any other spork out there.

Deciding to trailer the bike instead or riding it to the destination essentially eliminates the need for a spork.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
8,805
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Cibolo, Texas
#83
Deciding to trailer the bike instead or riding it to the destination essentially eliminates the need for a spork.
I'll add to this something else you told me.

You fielded my question about getting better about riding sand, and having more confidence in it. Your response was to consider those guys who ride the dunes out in California and other places. Gunning it in the sand all day long.

In other words, if you train for it, it can be fun. Not, "Oh Crap! Sand!"

Then I talked to Hap, who said that at Rawhide, they put their students in a sandbox and taught them throttle control and how to "let loose" on the stearing i.e. not lock up on the arms etc.

Rock ledges, baby heads, etc. fine. Loose sand = outriggers for me.

What I need is a place where there nothing but sand, and train with the KLR for a while, and I'll probably not be eyeing other bike offerings so much.

Maybe I just need to find a school that teaches soft surface riding.

What Hap went through at the advanced Rawhyde class :giveup: I could never survive. Winching GS1200s through canyons and eating the brains out of rattlesnakes, nah, I'm not made out of that kind of steel.
 
R

Red Brown

#85
If the capability for significant amounts of street riding is eliminated - i.e. I'll trailer the bike rather than ride it to and from - then what is required from the bike will have changed, opening up new possibilities in motorcycles.

Deciding to trailer the bike instead or riding it to the destination essentially eliminates the need for a spork.
This is what sweet daddy has been saying in this post.

1. I would also suggest if Phillip can swing it from a budget perspective, he will find the 800GS vastly superior on the highway and as adept off-road as the KLR.

2. If he is limited in his new bike budget, then keeping the KLR and throwing a few thousand more in mods makes sense, although he may find the first generation KLR better in it's off-road manners.

3. Another budget consideration for what is a better out of the box experience than the KLR is the Suzuki DR650 and arguably more positive component integrity. The DR650 is more agile off-road than the KLR, but the KLR seems to offer better wind management protection for extended highway driving.

...for off-road use only, WR250R can't be beat for superb quality and requiring the least amount of maintenance and is pretty darn good for road action cruising nicely at 75 MPH all day long. The main problem is availability. They tend to go fast on CL! If Phillip has deep pockets, the KTM 690 seems like a very impressive off-road bike that has decent road credentials as well.

Sweet Daddy signing off...
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
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Cibolo, Texas
#87
2. If he is limited in his new bike budget, then keeping the KLR and throwing a few thousand more in mods makes sense,
A few thousand more? Or thousands and thousands more for another bike and mods to that one? Maybe.

Maybe not.

The cheapest and best option might be to mount the KLR with the correct rubber for dirt riding and also train for dirt (loose surface) riding.

One can buy buy buy other bikes and components until the cows come home. Proper tires and air pressure for the conditions and especially training to fully enjoy what one considers the most challenging aspects of off-road, may be the 90% solution.
 
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#88
Bob, come up here one weekend with the KLR in tow. We will go up to the sand pit at Red River and I will show you everything I know about riding in sand. You can start out on Rachel's XR before moving up to my YZ and then to your KLR.

The whole key is proper technique and confidence which is so much easier to achieve with a lighter bike. (Which funny enough is why I am against buying even heavier bikes than the KLR, like I have been saying from the get go.)

Anywho, if you want to the offer will always be open to you.
 
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#89
In fact, Richard, something to consider in a future Around the Bend is if someone would take "students" to a nice sandy stretch like exists on Old Ore Road, a stretch without rocks on both sides of the road, and spend some time running it back and forth and getting critiqued.

Call it "Sand School" or whatever. For riders who want :help: getting better in the loose stuff. I think it would be fun to see how riders can take the bike they currently have and optimize it and their skills. Wouldn't hurt to film it and use the video to improve also. I'm imagining that this type of thing would also be a great pairing for the different skill level riders.

And on the theme of this thread, I would like to see myself get as good as I might on the KLR before I cave in and think just by buying another bike I'll suddenly be "Sand Superman".

IIRC, that stretch on Old Ore is bordered by creosote bushes. I wouldn't mind crashing into those
 
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Cibolo, Texas
#90
Bob, come up here one weekend with the KLR in tow. We will go up to the sand pit at Red River and I will show you everything I know about riding in sand. You can start out on Rachel's XR before moving up to my YZ and then to your KLR.

The whole key is proper technique and confidence which is so much easier to achieve with a lighter bike. (Which funny enough is why I am against buying even heavier bikes than the KLR, like I have been saying from the get go.)

Anywho, if you want to the offer will always be open to you.
Wow, nice offer. I posted below your post about the Sand School idea before I read your post, but suffice to say, what you propose here is right up that same alley. Pair a skilled guy with a guy like me who looks at sand like a guaranteed biff.

The Red River Sand Pit is what I need :clap:
 
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Sep 25, 2007
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Cibolo, Texas
#91
The Texas Adventure Company Off-Road Riding Academy

One Weekend a year staffed by twtexan instructors who will teach you to take the bike you have and optimize it and your skills for the sport we love and enjoy.

Only $85 per day including lunch but free for Tricepilot who thought up this great marketing idea. :lol2:
 
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Harmaston, TX
#92
since your bike is plated just take a day trip south to the beach and ride, ride, ride. It's not the fine sugar sand that you'll sometimes encounter at Big Bend and other places but the technique is all the same. And no trees and limited rocks to hit if/when you crash.

_
 
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#93
since your bike is plated just take a day trip south to the beach and ride, ride, ride. It's not the fine sugar sand that you'll sometimes encounter at Big Bend and other places but the technique is all the same. And no trees and limited rocks to hit if/when you crash.
That is a fine idea. Somewhat counter to my fear of appearing like the dork that I am in front of beach chicks, but a fine idea.
 
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#94
For those of us w/o a lighter, heavily favored off-road specific bike, I find the conversation enlightening. And from my perspective, if/when I jump into this the comments made will heavily influence my decision.

What's that you ask thus far?

Lightweight easy to pick-up off-road
Not expensive
Farkles available for protection
Enough cc's I could if I had to ride there
Light enough to load in the truck or hitch hauler by myself

I still favor the 96-98 Suzuki DR350 because of it's magic button and 6-speed, smaller stature and light weight in a 350cc package.




To answer the OP's question, from my perspective, there's 25 years of KLR650 experience out there. It's a proven platform based on the sheer numbers of sales, riders and reports. I'd opt for the new tires and see where you stand at that point. Ride it, learn it and then make a decision. Everything else is just second-guessing yourself, capabilities, bike capabilities and costing a LOT of money for that experience.





.
 

jfink

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#95
That is a fine idea. Somewhat counter to my fear of appearing like the dork that I am in front of beach chicks, but a fine idea.
Have you BEEN to the Bolivar beach lately???? I still have this image burnt into my brain of a 400+ lb dude in a hot pink thong fishing from the shore line at the nude beach ... argggg!

There are sections of the beach that have some very fine sand between the tide line and the dunes, especially between High Island and Sabine Pass. I have always thought it would great to go to the beach, set up camp and spend a couple days practicing sand riding and power turns on the beach, a.la. Steve McQueen, Malcolm Smith in the closing scene of "on any sunday!"

Only not on a KLR!
 
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#96
What's that you ask thus far?


I still favor the 96-98 Suzuki DR350 because of it's magic button and 6-speed, smaller stature and light weight in a 350cc package.
I had DR350 for about 10 years. Mine was pre magic button and I kept it until my beat up old right knee didn't like kick starting it when I was tired. If it was electric start I would still own it.

As mentioned previously you can go a lot more places on a KLR than most people think with the right tires and skill level. KLR's are perfect for Texas dual sporting provided they have the right tires and are not overloaded.

For more technical dual sporting say in NW Arkansas, Colorado, Utah etc. a smaller bike is much easier to manage off road and will still do required blacktop less comfortably and at lower speeds.

If you put your mind to it you can make any bike work for dual sporting. I know of a character from Maryland that is currently moving from Maryland to Alaska to work for the summer. He is in the midst of riding from Maryland to Alaska on his 30K+ mile WR250R that is running X wheels.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767414


There will always be a compromise made one way or the other for street manners vs. dirt manners. I am very fortunate to have the bases pretty well covered with having a WR250R a KLR and Super Tenere. I choose which bike I take based on the type of ride, percentage of blacktop, etc. Even with careful planning there are times I second guess if took the right bike or not for the ride.
 
#97
Lots of loose stuff on Old Marathon Rd. in BBNP. IT would make a good training road. You could stop and play with low speed maneuvering or take some of the long straight stretches and open her up to experience high speed sand. That stretch was about the only place I could get my old Tiger Steamer fast enough to feel comfortable in the sand. It would take about 20 extra mph to get the front light enough to not plow than my DRZ. The lighter the bike, the less speed needed to get the front up on top of the sand where it needs to be. If the front end is plowing through it will be tough going.
 
R

Red Brown

#98
And mine is uglier than yours, Mark:nana:
Rich,

You probably have one the best modded KLR on the forum. I think the difference between a stock KLR and your finely tuned machine is dramatic in terms of rideability in rough terrain. You have addressed most of it's shortcomings.

Yea, if you have a stock KLR you gonna have to spend some wrenching time and money to make it decent.

RB
 
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#99
Have you BEEN to the Bolivar beach lately???? I still have this image burnt into my brain of a 400+ lb dude in a hot pink thong fishing from the shore line at the nude beach ... argggg!

There are sections of the beach that have some very fine sand between the tide line and the dunes, especially between High Island and Sabine Pass. I have always thought it would great to go to the beach, set up camp and spend a couple days practicing sand riding and power turns on the beach, a.la. Steve McQueen, Malcolm Smith in the closing scene of "on any sunday!"

Only not on a KLR!
Thank goodness for that pink thong huh? It would have been much worse without it.:eek2:

Tricepilot being from SA area would be hitting more friendly beach sections with less rocks (aka broken Highway 87 asphalt).

Nice thing about the beach is you can ride close to the waterline where it will be smooth and packed. Then continue moving farther from water into the loose sand as your skills progress.

And even High Island to Sabine is still fine on a KLR. See many above posts commenting 90% rider, 10% bike. First time I ever rode that section of beach was on my 400lb+ DR650, two KLR650's with panniers and top cases, XR650L and a BMW F800GS. Everybody had fun and finished the ride in one piece.

_
 
See many above posts commenting 90% rider, 10% bike._
I think it's more of a proportional relationship. As the skills of the rider increase, so can the weight of the machine involved. The light bike is more forgiving for a less skilled rider while a heavy bike can be ridden by the rider with great skills much easier. So for a rookie in the sand, give the bike a higher percentage, maybe up to 50/50 skill and bike. For the heavy bike the 90/10 rule might be more accurate.
 
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