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Discussion Starter #1
The Kawasaki KLR 650 dual sport seems to have a huge worldwide following. Do any of you have one of these? What has been your experience with it? I have been reading forums, and following the KLR community for a couple of years now and will probably buy one as a second bike this year. My old Honda XL250 from 1977 is still going strong but it is not really suitable for longer trips anymore.
 

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No KLR but I have a Suzuki 400 dual sport and it is a lot of fun, and a lot lighter than the 650 much easier off road but still good on road 60 to 70 mph 100 miles a day or so.
Hazle
 

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I have the KLR-650 as a second (3rd?) bike. (counting wife's bike) I really enjoy the KLR for short trips into the mountains where I may encounter a gravel road and wonder what is at the end. It is also great for commuting around town as it is light and maneuverable. It sits up high enough to see over trafic, but is not nearly as visible as the wing.

As a dirt bike, it is a little over weight, but as a back road tourer, it works well.
 

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I had a 2003 model KLR 650 but found it to be a little too bulky for my type of riding; I lean more towards aggressive off road trails instead of regular unpaved roads. It was a very nice bike and with a 6 plus gallon fuel tank on a bike that gets 50 plus mpg, you could ride forever. I would encourage you to check out the following website; the administrator rides a KLR 650 and I know that he would be more than happy to answer any of your questions in great detail. Hope this helps.

http://www.backroadstouring.org/kansas/index.htm

RIDE SAFE
 

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I have a KLR also. It is a nice dirt road explorer but it is horrible in deep sand. (I do live in the desert). It gets great gas mileage and is comfortable on the street. I is very good for what it is designed for. I wish it was better in the dirt but if it was it would be more uncomfortable on the street. I wish my GL was better in the corners but then it would be less comfortable for the wife and my touring trips.
 

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Jack D said:
I have a KLR also. It is a nice dirt road explorer but it is horrible in deep sand. (I do live in the desert). It gets great gas mileage and is comfortable on the street. I is very good for what it is designed for. I wish it was better in the dirt but if it was it would be more uncomfortable on the street. I wish my GL was better in the corners but then it would be less comfortable for the wife and my touring trips.
I have one as well and agree 100%. It is a great trail bike but it will get you hurt in sand.
 

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I wanted a KLR but wanted a dual sport that I could put long miles on in a day, went for the R1200GS instead. I still want some kind of thumper for riding more technical stuff but my motorcycle budget is spent for a while.

My second bike is the wing. Most of the riding I do is 1-up and the GS is just as comfortable and handles better than the wing plus has the ability to go places the wing can't. (flame suit on)

As for the original query, the KLR will be a great step up from the XL250. Another nice thing is there is a great after market for most any farkel you will need, just like the wing.
 

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I have an '85 KLR 600. This bike hasn't changed much in 20 years as it's a tried and true model. It still runs great and it is basically "bullet-proof". It has tons of low end grunt. It is not great for the highway or dirt, but it is a powerful dual sport. It is a heavy bike compared to dirt only bikes and not as nimble in the dirt as a lighter bike. The engine is pretty smooth even though it is only a one cylinder. Because of its weight, it is tough to negotiate deep sand, but on dirt trails or through the forest or in the mountains it is a lot of fun. On the highway, I would suggest a small windshield to take away the wind buffeting. There are very few bikes that can handle both the highway and off-road riding, but the KLR can.
 

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I have had a KLR and found it to be wonderful for the type of riding I asked of it. It went to Mexico several times, riding several thousand of miles in Old Mexico and the Baja. Yes it is called a Dual Sport but is not at home off road. Between the Honda 650, Suz 650DR, and the KLR it is king of the road. It is a great Mexico bike, I have rode it many 450-600 mile days down there. I went into the Copper Canyon many times along side BMW's and IHMO I had the best mount ! The 6.3 gal fuel tank will give you 300 mile + range. I call it the Swiss Army Knife of Motorcycles. It will cruise all day long at 80MPH and actually runs better there than at 55MPH. I never had a single issue with the machine, just followed the service in the owners manual. Even riding it those high speed long days it consumed no oil. I hope you can pick one up and enjoy it, it won't let you down.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys. You have pretty well confirmed my opinions on the bike.
 

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I am looking for a KLR 650 to test ride. I think it will be my ride around the world, at least all over Central and South America! There are bigger bikes out there, but they are more expensive AND therefore the carnet insurance is more expensive!
 
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