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Hi people,



I have an '02 TW200 w/1800 miles and have a chance to trade straight across with a '01 KLR650 w/6000 miles. Both bikes are in similar condition. Just wanted to know if you have any feedback with the KLR.



Thanks,



Bryan
 

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Check the balancer chain tensioner aka doohickey. If theres lots of noise at cold start up from the left engine side it's a sign there may be problems even on a low milage unit. Also check the water pump seal for leaks and the rear sub-frame for cracks or missing hardware. KLR's are good bikes but like anything else there are things to look out for. Best of luck. Mark
 

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I'd do it in a heartbeat. Replace the doohickey with the Eagle Mike version if it hasn't already been done. The only reason I sold my KLR was that it was too tall for me offroad even with a lowering link. I think a DR650 would be perfect for me but they are pricey in my neck of the woods compared to KLRs and TWs. The KLR is a great road bike and can be managed on mild to moderate off roading. If you are tall enough, you can take a KLR into more technical situations.



Do the trade, you'll like the KLR. It's not fast but compared to a TW it is a rocket ship!
 

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It all depends on what you want it for. The TW is light years better off-road, but the KLR is a far better street bike if you don't mind the sky-high seat height.



The KLR is probably the most capable budget touring bike in existence. Change out the "do-hickey" and they are bullet proof.



That being said, for me personally, I don't care for them. The newer versions still have a 37" seat height, which makes "flat-footing" it impossible for anyone under 6' tall. They also have a plastic fairing and wind-screen which makes them good on the street but heavy and vulnerable to damage off-road.



For a street-only bike, fine. For anything rougher than a smooth logging road, I'd pass. Not that it is impossible; just that there are better choices if you want dirt capability.
 

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The pre-'08 KLR's don't have the vulnerable hard plastics of the later bikes. Their fairings are made of the customary flexible dirtbike material. I've dropped mine a few thousand times




The newer ones aren't really my thing. Their plastics are of the hard, breakable $treetbike variety.



Just don't expect it to be a TW or vice-versa and adjust accordingly. Arguably the KLR will require you to be a much better rider offroad.



Picking one up a few times will generally provide immediate incentive for improvement.
 

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Do what I did, get one of each!

I have an '06 TW and an '09 KLR and love them both. What everyone's been saying is right. I use the KLR for on-road commuting, but I use the TW with studs for winter riding because it's light-weight, low to the ground and exceptionally easy to handle.
 

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Like the others have said, it depends on what you are going to use it for. The TW200 will shine offroad and on the technical trails. I can take mine places the KLR would never go. If the trails are easy and you ride the highways, the KLR is a better choice. Both would be ideal. First Gen (pre-2008)don't usually have the oil consumption issues. Most have been around and had the "Doo Dun".

Here is my fleet:

 

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I loved my KLR on back country gravel roads and on the highway. But, at the end of a steep trail trying to turn around or backup was just too much. If it started to tip to the downhill side, I wasn't man enough to keep it up. I sold it after picking up a used TW. It's all in where you want to ride.
 

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Seeing a KLR as a kid motivated me to get into dual sport riding, but alas, they're too tall and top heavy for what I enjoy. As a touring bike that you can get on gravel, dirt, etc. it's good, and has the clearance for serious stuff. But personally, I'd rather paddle the TW or get off it and lift, as opposed to trying to work the topheavy KLR with a 30" inseam.



I'm not saying it's not doable, but I'm not that good of a rider to get by on one and still enjoy the ride. Better riders could (and do) make great use of the thing in tough stuff, but any seasoned rider will also mention that it doesn't excel there. It's one of those jack of all trades, master of none kinda things, making it a master at being good enough at everything, I suppose?



If you're really doing true 50/50 riding, a KLR is probably a slightly better choice, and a much better choice if that 50% you spend on pavement is highway/interstate stuff. 51% offroad is enough for me to pick the TW, though.



I would certainly imagine they market the KLR with the same seat height in Japan, or else folks here would be ordering the Jap parts to lower it. This only leaves me to wonder how those folks mount the thing. After seeing the Little League World Series, though, maybe it's a bike for baseball players over there. Gargantuan Japanese kids.
 
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