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Discussion Starter #1
It's clearance season people, so I had to strike while the iron was hot. The Kawasaki dealer across town was offering some stupid deep discounts on their remaining 2012 KLRs, so I was able to convince the Kawasaki dealer on this side of town (who actually still had 1 in the color scheme I really wanted) to beat the other dealer's clearance price!



My wife got her MC license and she's been riding my TW a lot, so a second bike was the only answer. I wanted something with a little more wind protection and highway capability but that could handle the FS roads as well so that we could ride them together. I looked at all of the options, talked to a lot of riders, read a lot of forums and reviews, and even actually sat on a handful of bikes to boot. When I sat on the KLR650, I knew that was my bike.







As I said, we're keeping the TW, and in no way is my purchase of a KLR a rejection of the TW. The TW is still a great bike, and I plan to still ride it quite a bit. I don't see an OHV stamp in the future for the KLR, but I do look forward to hitting the FS roads with it once I get a little more comfortable. The TW is a glorious little mountain goat, and you just have to love it for that!



My first impressions of the KLR?



I rode it home from the dealership, and any ideas I had about swapping out the factory seat for a low saddle are out the window! I thought the 35" seat height would be a lot more challenging to my 31" inseam than it actually is, and the feeling of dominance from that lofty perch is too satisfying to give up!



The difference in power is almost absurd. Coming from a TW I don't see any problem keeping the new bike under 4K rpm for the break-in. Much more than that and I might just die from a fatal case of sh*t-eating grin! I was plenty intimidated by even the TW's 196ccs when I first started riding, and I don't think I would have been able to handle the KLR without my 3000 miles of T-Dubbing experience. The engine feels very different also, I think it's the size of the piston and the dual counter-balancers that make it feel much more refined. I have gotten used to the much rawer connection to the TW engine, which though small is pretty aggressive and lets you know how it's doing pretty vocally! Riding the KLR will take some getting used to in terms of engine feedback.



In that department though, I'm really happy to have a tachometer and temp gauge on the KLR. The controls overall are pretty close to the TW's, so I instantly felt comfortable with the switches and such. I think the starter button and kill switch are actually identical on the two bikes.



The suspension is on a whole different level. The cushy feeling I got from the KLR when I first sat on it was a big part of what sold me. Riding home on one of the roughest strips of road in town was a breeze. I'm already a fan of the rear disc brake too.



I'm really glad to have a new bike, but I'm really glad to be able to keep my TW too. This forum is great and although I suppose I'll have to join the KLR forum now I'm too hooked on this one to leave completely! Thanks to everybody, especially to those who've helped me make the decision to pull the trigger on this KLR!
 

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Congrats on the KLR. It is a good looking bike. I still think about getting something like that, just not anytime soon I'm afraid...
 

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You bought the blue one. Good choice as everyone knows blue KLR's are much more refined than other colors. If you have any questions ask. Several members of this forum also have KLR's. Now what farkles are you going to add?
 

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Enjoy!



Beware the Farkelmonster. That which falleth over must eventually be made upright.
 

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Cough *doohickey* cough.



Enjoy!


+1. The only things that wear out on an un-doohickied KLR are the timing chain and cam gears. I think it's pretty sad that you have to correct a known defect yourself, but you own a TW so you oughta be used to that




I have the doohickey tools if you need them.
 

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Lots of people hold off on the doohickey thinking it just an internet problem. Sorry but my tensioner spring was not doing anything with less than 1k miles! You may try talking to your dealer and see if they will replace it for you. If not then tackle it yourself. Not a real hard job and you will get to know your bike better.
 

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Seeing a trend here?



I've got the tools, which are kinda spendy but make the job a little easier. I'd be happy to lend them to you. There are workarounds for the tools but by all means "do the doo".
 

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Congrats on the new KLR. Excellent choice. However I may be biased....



Now all ya need is a KLX...
 

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The KLX is a nice choice too. I liked mine quite well, but just sold it to continue the quest for the next ex-bike. Had a DR650 thumper and a BMW 650 Dakar, but never a KLR. It IS on my shortlist though. Congrats, it doesn't seem you can go wrong with that bike. Very loyal following on that one. And I wonder, is it just becoming a good time of year to enjoy riding in AZ? Riding in 110 F doesn't sound fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
2000 miles in, I don't love it.



I saddle up the KLR pretty much every day for the commute because 651ccs is better than 196 when it comes to the daily grind, but I find myself looking forward to saddling up the TW on the weekends more and more for off-road adventures.



I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam, and although I'm a fairly athletic 155lbs, the KLR is not a lot of fun to ride most of the time. With a low saddle and tall MC boots, the KLR is a lot more manageable, but even on-road it almost always feels top heavy to me. I can handle it pretty well, but it feels like work. I've ridden far heavier cruisers before that were a lot easier to handle.



I don't think that it's even a matter of the seat being too tall for me at this point, I think I'm just uncomfortable with such a high and heavy center of gravity. I know I'm not the first to make this complaint about the KLR.



I'm not surprised really, the bike felt tall from the get-go but I tried to convince myself that I'd get used to it. I do like being able to see over the cars, but I'm a little tired of fighting gravity every time I stop or try to make a slow maneuver.



I don't think it's a bad bike, I just don't think it's a great fit for me.



I'm liking my TW for being great at the dirt, and at this point I'm thinking I'd like to trade the KLR in on a bike that's a little closer to the pavement for when I ride on that stuff.
 

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2000 miles in, I don't love it.



I saddle up the KLR pretty much every day for the commute because 651ccs is better than 196 when it comes to the daily grind, but I find myself looking forward to saddling up the TW on the weekends more and more for off-road adventures.



I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam, and although I'm a fairly athletic 155lbs, the KLR is not a lot of fun to ride most of the time. With a low saddle and tall MC boots, the KLR is a lot more manageable, but even on-road it almost always feels top heavy to me. I can handle it pretty well, but it feels like work. I've ridden far heavier cruisers before that were a lot easier to handle.



I don't think that it's even a matter of the seat being too tall for me at this point, I think I'm just uncomfortable with such a high and heavy center of gravity. I know I'm not the first to make this complaint about the KLR.



I'm not surprised really, the bike felt tall from the get-go but I tried to convince myself that I'd get used to it. I do like being able to see over the cars, but I'm a little tired of fighting gravity every time I stop or try to make a slow maneuver.



I don't think it's a bad bike, I just don't think it's a great fit for me.



I'm liking my TW for being great at the dirt, and at this point I'm thinking I'd like to trade the KLR in on a bike that's a little closer to the pavement for when I ride on that stuff.




Just outta curiosity...... did you ever sell the KLR???? Or did ya end up keeping it and grow to like it?
 

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I've got a '95 I bought new. It now has 25,000 miles on it with no issues. I just did the "doohickey", the original still looked like new and was doing its job still.
 

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I installed some Eagle Mikes lowering links and raised the fork tubes one inch. Much better for my short legs. Yes it's a tall top heavy bike but that big tank means long range and you can be a tanker for other units.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just outta curiosity...... did you ever sell the KLR???? Or did ya end up keeping it and grow to like it?


I still have the KLR. Been trying to keep it long enough as a commuter bike to make up for the hit I'll take trading it in or reselling it.



I don't completely hate it, but I would much rather have a dedicated street bike with a lower seat and center of gravity, not to mention wider street tires that put more rubber to the road.



Still loving the TW for off-road and farting around though!
 

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Yep! This is why I didn't end up with a KLR or an XL (or a whole host of other dualsport bikes.) Too tall and the center of gravity doesn't jive with my 'escaping from a bank robbery' style of riding at all. People that love them are the sort that square off tires and never disobey the speed limit




My friend has an '07 with a Jardine exhaust and the proper jets and it sounds great and has lots of get up and go. I love sitting up that high in traffic.... until the first time I have to make a sporty turn. There's lots to love, but also a lot left to desire. Another friend asked me to do the doohickey for him in his 2009 (which I agreed) and then asked me to do valve lash. So I get on the internetz and start reading... Nope, I'm not pulling your cam shafts out of your bike just to check valve lash.. That's completely ridiculous. Even my W650 that uses puck shims has spring loaded rockers you just push out of the way to get at them.



There's too much about a KLR650 that just doesn't make sense with my utilitarian side as well as my ergonomic side.
 
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