Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am getting close to purchasing a KLR 650.

Having read most everything I can find on it as well as Suzuki's 650, I am 75% convinced that the KLR is the way to go. The only thing I dislike is the light is fixed to the frame - has anbody mounted additional lights to the handlebars or forks and encountered any problems?

Another question - how much vibration does the bike have - I cant seem to find anyone that will let me test one prior to buying it.

Finally - can someone give me a reason(s) to not buy either of them?

Appreciate any and all responses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,159 Posts
650

Marty, the headlight is mounted through plastic and has rubber bushings...otherwise the vibration would destroy the headlight filaments. you can always mount aftermarket lights on anything, almost anywhere. I haven't ridden the 650...sorry, but if you haven't made up your mind, but think that the Kawi is your best bike then order the Maintenance manual, it's fairly inexpensive through our FORUM Sponsor which is Beartooth Kawasaki 1-800-556-3098. They are great people!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: 650

ZX-2R said:
Marty, the headlight is mounted through plastic and has rubber bushings...otherwise the vibration would destroy the headlight filaments. you can always mount aftermarket lights on anything, almost anywhere. I haven't ridden the 650...sorry, but if you haven't made up your mind, but think that the Kawi is your best bike then order the Maintenance manual, it's fairly inexpensive through our FORUM Sponsor which is Beartooth Kawasaki 1-800-556-3098. They are great people!
I appreciate the insight! However, you are too late... I have already purchased the bike and am now going through the breakin period! Its taking a while to rack up those 500 miles as its been so **** cold and rainy the last few weeks, not to mention the problem with getting the license - my dealer screwed up and had the wrong VIN number on the title. I was the owner of bike without a license (or temp) for 10 days..... arghhhh....

So far (after 120 miles), I like the bike. Its a lot heavier than I imagined as far as handling in soft stuff, but very nice on the road and quiet. The vibration is noticeable (when you think about it), but not overly annoying when compared to the two strokes I have ridden in the past. I am looking forward to getting it up north and riding the two tracks and really breaking it in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,159 Posts
650

So you bought the Kawasaki 650? I'm excited for you! We've experienced some really cool and wet days here. a couple of hot humid ones trying to dry off the wet surface then cool nights it made fog! Not nice...wicked steam like fog. Flooding, to much water, drizzle, this is just wierd. Not much we can do about it but set through it. I had to uurn on the air conditioner just to dry the house out. Humidity was like 80% on our two seperate gauges. Since then it is below 50% now in 3 days. Just constantly circulating the air seems to be drying things out, plus when it hit 90F the other day it was only 76F in the house, about where we keep it turned for the summer anyway. So tell me more about the bike. A better seat help in the vibration department? Perhaps a gell seat of some sort? Arms feel it too? How loud is the exhaust, is it repackable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
the 650 is a great bike but it is very heavy as you found out. its nice a nimble on the road but if you get into any loose surface its weight shows right away. If you do mostly on road riding and maybe some light trails it is a top notch bike. Mainly designed for touring in my eye. The motor is great and has gobs of usuable power(once you break it in). all in all its really not that heavy and i rode one years ago so i might be wrong about the new ones. but have fun and learn the bike. Riding is mostly the rider and not the bike, so its really what you make of it.

have fun
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,159 Posts
650

Some of that loseness may be taken out by using another tire. Just like you said the rider makes the difference, you will find that the personality of the bike is modified when you change the traction ability underneath it. I had the largest knobs that i have ever seen on a dirt bike when I had my 250Yamaha! I changed them to a dual sport tire ( I felt like I was on a vibrator at almost all speeds, and they had NO grip on the blacktop.) I was getting numb and it was real hard to ride with the knobs on it. Whewn I changed over to an on/off road tire, I was on road 99.5% of the time) it was an awesome bike! YOu could ride like the wind! It was great flying and had so much suspension you were settting like on a Cadillac. When I sold the bike I gave the tires to the guy that planed on riding it all off road...he was really going to miss out on road riding...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: 650

ZX-2R said:
So you bought the Kawasaki 650? I'm excited for you! We've experienced some really cool and wet days here. a couple of hot humid ones trying to dry off the wet surface then cool nights it made fog! Not nice...wicked steam like fog. Flooding, to much water, drizzle, this is just wierd. Not much we can do about it but set through it. I had to uurn on the air conditioner just to dry the house out. Humidity was like 80% on our two seperate gauges. Since then it is below 50% now in 3 days. Just constantly circulating the air seems to be drying things out, plus when it hit 90F the other day it was only 76F in the house, about where we keep it turned for the summer anyway. So tell me more about the bike. A better seat help in the vibration department? Perhaps a gell seat of some sort? Arms feel it too? How loud is the exhaust, is it repackable?
Ok ZX, sorry for the long delay.... been putting a few miles on the bike. Finally took my first "long" ride with the KLR. Got it out onto both the interstate and a lot of state highways. Unfortunately, the interstate (I-94) had too many of those orange barrel thingys and I couldnt keep a long running time at 75+ mph. I did make it to 85 for a short distance and didnt encounter any problems. One thing I did notice that the buffeting from following vehicles at anything closer than 100 yards made you pay close attention to what you are doing. The wind was strong as well, probably 20 mph, which didnt help things. The bike had no problem keeping up with traffic and it also got a lot of looks, since it certainly didnt look like a "hog"!!! The biggest problem I encountered was (as has been mentioned before) that during the "barrel racing" time on I-94 that first gear is waaay too tall. I imagine the clutch will wear out much sooner than on other bikes. Its also too tall for off road riding without the embarrassing stall every once in a while. I would tell Kawasaki to change first gear in the tranny on future models to make the bike more off road capable. I am going to look into other sprocket setups to see if I can improve it as interstate travel will be minimal for me. Another problem during this was the height of the bike - it is a little tall for me (32 in inseam) - I know of the lowering links, but am stilll going to hold off a little while before going that route - as the pics I saw of it already look like they are on the 2004 model... anyone know for sure?

The vibration wasnt as bad as I thought it would be at higher speeds. In fact it was less noticeable at 70 mph than it was at 60. Mirror vibration dampeners are a must (should be standard from Kaw, but arent).The wind was much worse than I imagined, now I think I will look into the taller and wider windscreen for longer road rides as long as they are easily interchanged. I also purchased the saddlebags and like those. They went on easily and stay away from the exhaust pipe, even with the burn proof covering on it. The seat did get a little uncomfortable after an hour or so, but by that point its time for me to take a short stretch anyways, but I am going to look into other seats. I didnt notice any vibration there, but the additional permanent padding could be a reason that I didnt!!!! I am also going to cinsider adding the forward mounted foot pegs, that might make the longer rides easier.

I have also purchased a light set from PIAA. Though it hasnt arrived yet, I have had a couple people not see me immediately and I think these whiter lights should make me more visible. Another thing I checked was the speedometer. Michiganders normally drive fast, but I had a few people come up behind me so fast I thought my speedo was way off. I got out my GPS and checked it and it was off..... about 2.5-3 mph too slow! I guess at age 47 maybe I can be called "old" as I thought I was going fast at 62 (which was actually 65)!!!

As far as mileage, I got ~ 220 miles on the first tank (when I ran out at reserve), prior to breakin. It has improved, but I have not checked it accurately. I am guessing that I am around 40, but I understand that sometimes gas gets "hung" on the right side of the tank and until the tank is tipped to the left, it can be misleading. (read that somewhere on the net).

Well, thats its for now, but would like to ask for a suggestion on a throttle control - I have seen one listed on teh net, but cant find it again. Does someone know where I can find one and ease of installation?

Well, thats about it for now - I will try and be more prompt with my responses next time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Howdy,

I'm a newbie to this forum.

I'm in the market for a KLR650. I have ridden/raced many bikes, from a Harley Pan-Head Chopper I built, to several dirt bikes and MX racers. One of my favorites was a Honda XL650. It went everywhere! The only down side was its 2.5 gal tank, being very tall, and topped out around 70mph. I'm older now (with family), but still like riding everywhere. I believe that the KLR650 is the best bike for the buck for the riding I like.

Anyways, If anyone could tell me of their experiences with the KLR650, pros and cons, as well as great places to ride to (I live in the NW), that would be great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Snopup7 said:
Howdy,

I'm a newbie to this forum.

I'm in the market for a KLR650. I have ridden/raced many bikes, from a Harley Pan-Head Chopper I built, to several dirt bikes and MX racers. One of my favorites was a Honda XL650. It went everywhere! The only down side was its 2.5 gal tank, being very tall, and topped out around 70mph. I'm older now (with family), but still like riding everywhere. I believe that the KLR650 is the best bike for the buck for the riding I like.

Anyways, If anyone could tell me of their experiences with the KLR650, pros and cons, as well as great places to ride to (I live in the NW), that would be great!
Well, I think I summed it up above pretty well.... let me know if you ahve any specific questions. I will emphasize - its heavy and not really good is soft stuff - you cant muscle it around like a lightweight dirt bike.... unless maybe you have very long legs! Conversely for a dual purpose bike it does very well on the road, up to 70 mph anyways - then the buffeting kicks in. I just got some extra lights for it to increase the other guy's visibility, I will update you then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
congrats on the bike

Hey congrats on your new bike I sure miss my KLR, I spend a few months putting mods in for a trip out west into the mountains when some *&$^face stole it out of my driveway, cut the chain and all. I know it was the meth heads next door. Well long story short after I got the insurance money I rode a buddies 02SV650s and since most of my driving was city commuting it was sure nice to have a streetbike and the power was awesome. I still want another thumper though and miss it tons seems to have a rock solid engine and clutch. With a few simple upgrades you can make that thing into a tank great for the outdoors you won't be doing any motocross but you'll be able to go places in the city and county no other car and few bikes will be able to follow.

I think says it best

"A unique, under-appreciated Army Jeep of a motorcycle. The KLR650 will take you to every road on the planet, dirt or paved, no matter how remote. The 6.1-gallon fuel tank will get you back home too. Extremely reliable and fun to ride"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Didnt find this forum, never mind your thread, until tonight.

Glad you ended up with the KLR. It is one of the best all-round bikes ever built. There is a reason it has been in production pretty much unchanged for so many years.

I bought mine when my old Honda XL500s was stolen from my buddys house just before a trip, so he leant me his shiny new KLR. On a side trip down an abandoned rail line, it kinda went endo, so I bought it. Have put a fair number of miles on it since then, and have the same opinions as others here.

We replaced his KLR with a KTM 640 Adventure S, and there is no question that it is a far superior bike off road, but for the vast majority of my riding, I am on a road or a trail, with a fair bit of highway. The KLR is actually a nicer tourer.

Yes, it is too heavy and the power is just adequate, but it sure is a smooth tourer and dead reliable. If there is any one big criticism, it is that it needs another gear so that first is low enough for picking away in tight spots, and 6th is just a wee bit taller on the other end. I will just have to keep breaking out my old TT500 on knobbies for the real off-road (as in MUD) stuff.

It will do just fine until I can get a diesel KLR when they are released.

Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I too have a 32 inch inseam, and my recently new KLR650 is too tall. Earlier today I loosened the triple clamp bolts, and let the fork tubes slide up 1.5 inches. Haven't lowered that rear yet. Progessive Shocks sell a short shock that will lower the rear about one inch; pricey though at $365. And of course there are the links from Star at $80 per pair. Anybody know of a less expensive way to lower the rear? Bolder Keith, 78 and been riding for 64 of them.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top