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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What would you guys recommend for a first bike? A TW200 or a KLR650? I'm asking because I'm looking for a bike and I'm not sure which one would be better. :confused:

Edit: I'm 5'10" tall and weigh about 160-170lbs.
 

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Anything near one litre and you’ll be dead in a few weeks

Learn to ride first – ride what you want second

Given the two choices mentioned, I’d have to say some kind of trail bike (not some kind of trial bike – subtle difference)

Six months on a TW will teach you two years worth on a KLR650 – most pertinently, how to survive

When you’re ready, sell the TW and buy what you want – you have to earn it first ……
 

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What would you guys recommend for a first bike? A TW200 or a KLR650? I'm asking because I'm looking for a bike and I'm not sure which one would be better. :confused:
What is the intended use for the bike? A brief answer for you without knowing your intended use; Commuter bike with speeds above 60 mph, get the KLR. Riding rural back roads at less than 55 mph and gravel/dirt/trails, get the TW. KLR can do this too but if you travel into single track or rough 2-track trails the KLR will be a handful.
 

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Oh right, my bad. That's just the thought process of 90% of new riders. I just figured that's what he really wanted to hear...
lol - yeah - but at least this one asked the right question ;)
 

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In my opinion, the TW is super easy to ride, forgiving, low sear height, limited power. It is fun to cruise around on too, as long as you stay on roads with limits 50mph or lower. They are not safe on higher speed roads (again my opinion) as they leave little to no option for accelaration from 50 to whatever top speed your particular bike is capable of. Even gearing and light weight riders are not going to have enough power in reserve to be safe at 55+mph. Have fun, wear good gear, head on a swivel!
 

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I have both.
My opinion is, depending on your current riding ability and especially if you are not tall, to go with the TW.
The TW is a bit more forgiving because of its size and power.
But because of that, I'd rule out any freeway runs with the stock or trail gearing. Others will chime in who have tried smaller rear sprockets and will talk about their highway use.

The KLR is freakishly high to me. Being 5'9" with a 30" inseam and 212lbs, I find the KLR to be a real pain in the ass to get on, especially with the Pelican cases. Whereas the TW can be mounted easily no matter the pannier situation. My Riding of the KLR has been very limited, but suffice to say the power to weigh ratio is better than the TW. Many people tour on the KLR, so it is freeway capable even when tour-loaded.

I wish you luck in whichever you choose and I highly recommend a Rider Safety Course no matter what your skill level.
 

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off-topic.jpg

Now I know this has little to do with anything relevant, but why do people think being able to go faster is somehow safer? Since when does more speed equal more safe? You're just going to get to the scene of the accident faster. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like attention in reserve is more likely than power in reserve to get you away from a collision.
 

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My Old Self's 2 Cents...and having been around Borneo's 650...

If you ride the boonies alone, get a TW....easier to lift and to crawl out from under...:p {KLR is 432 pounds} ...

The 650 is for longer leg riders...not for Hoot. I've had 900, 650, and 550, street bikes that fit my 29 inch inseam much better, while I have a long upper body, at 5' 10" my legs are short to the ground. The stock seat is 35in for the KLR while the TW is much more suited for easier handling and us with short legs...while the TW is no powerhouse, and might not be a long term fix...I'm thinking the KLR is not what you are looking for...maybe something in the Dual Sport 250-400 line...plenty of options from Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki, as well as Yamaha...



You probably need to find a dealer to let you do some "test rides"....
 

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I've have both. TW is a far better beginners bike. KLR's are tall, heavy, and torquey. A little fumbling with the clutch or throttle and you will be on the ground. The latest generation of KLRs have to much body work on them for my taste. More to scratch or break in the event of a unintentional dis-mount. Get the TW and when you think your ready for something bigger, move up. But DON'T sell the TW. They are fun little bikes that can go just about anywhere.
 

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my .02 ....

If you have never ridden in your life than the TW is your best bet for sure. Start off small and progress from there.

If you have prior experience on say dirt bikes you could go to a bigger bike if you are comfortable since you are not learning per-se

I agree with Smitty 100% about the rider safety class, take one.
 

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What would you guys recommend for a first bike? A TW200 or a KLR650? I'm asking because I'm looking for a bike and I'm not sure which one would be better. :confused:
I feel BOTH of these are poor choices. KLR is too tall for a beginner rider, TW is too slow (not good on the road...were you need to learn).

Truthfully, I'd start with an older (80s / 90s) Japanese 4cyl cruiser. 500 to 750cc Nighthawk, Secca, etc...

***But what do I now - I started on a 1983 Honda Nighthawk 550sc and had a Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300r the next summer - HAHAHA!
 

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View attachment 94937

Now I know this has little to do with anything relevant, but why do people think being able to go faster is somehow safer? Since when does more speed equal more safe? You're just going to get to the scene of the accident faster. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like attention in reserve is more likely than power in reserve to get you away from a collision.
1. I have been in lot's of situations, especially on a busy freeway, where acceleration in front of, around or to get out of a blind spot was the safest option to get out of a bad spot. Surrounded by cars at 55mph, the TW is a liablity in any of those situations.
2. In and around metro areas, 55-60 on many roads and freeways is a recipe for disaster. If you can not keep up with traffic, you are much more likley to get into a bad situation, including getting rear ended by a vehicle, passing on the right because of other slow moving vehicles, slowing for the TW.

Again, depends on use, no doubt the TW is more forgiving in most ways, if you don't expect to ride on roads above 50-55mph.

One of the basic 300-500cc srteet bikes, welll maintained, is probably better than either, if some commuting or freeway running is something the rider wants to do. To each thier own, I know a lot of us ride occasionally on Freeways, but I don't and would not reccomend it to someone.
 

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I'm 5ft9 and lowered my KLR a couple inches and it was still way TOO TOP HEAVY for me. I could certainly ride and enjoy it, but for stuff like moving it around in the garage or backing it out, I always feared dropping it. Esp with a full tank of fuel. It holds approx. 6 gallons, which translate to almost 40 pounds WAY UP HIGH. KLR might weigh less than 440 lbs, but honestly you'd feel much more stable on a 600 lb cruiser because all the weight is down low.

My first "real" motorcycle was a Honda Shadow 750, had a long stable wheelbase and ample but not too much power, I felt very secure and stable on that thing, even on windy days. Sold it and got a KLR and WOW!! Can you say "topheavy about to fall over?". Another thing, and mine was a 2009 which is about the same bike as new KLR's, the kickstand is too long unless you go max spring preload. Heck, even dropped it once because of that. Then I shortened the kickstand about an inch, made it all better.

Need to know the OP's height, that'd be my first determining factor between a TW and KLR.
 

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I've have both. TW is a far better beginners bike. KLR's are tall, heavy, and torquey. A little fumbling with the clutch or throttle and you will be on the ground. The latest generation of KLRs have to much body work on them for my taste. More to scratch or break in the event of a unintentional dis-mount. Get the TW and when you think your ready for something bigger, move up. But DON'T sell the TW. They are fun little bikes that can go just about anywhere.
The above and this from Hoot: "TW....easier to lift and to crawl out from under...:p {KLR is 432 pounds} .."
 
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