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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys.. new here...

Coming off my first bike, an 82 xj650 yamaha & very seriously considering an AT as my forever bike, to replace this 34 year old heaping pile.

Truth be told, i got her for a song and shes been a great bike. She may be temperamental & extremely high maintenance, but she runs good on the highway & she'll do 100+ easy. In a new bike, I need at least that much power on the highway and I definitely want something off road capable too.

Im not rich & dont care for banks, so my cheapest option looks like a KLR650. I've not ridden a KLR, but expecting I will find them under powered. On paper my xj650 has71hp/42'lbs vs a KLR @ 42hp/34'lbs. I need to ride a KLR, but not looking good based on those specs. On the other hand, the price of the KLR & availability & reputation are all pretty darn attractive.

If the KLR really is slower than my xj, its gonna be hard to justify that purchase, as I only have room for 1 bike and cant bring myself to spend thousands on something slower than a 34 year old rust bucket.

Really, I'd like a KTM990, but they're not made anymore and even used are too pricey.

Enter the Africa Twin. It has everything I want, except the price is right at the edge of what im able to afford. So, I have a conundrum.

I can pay cash for a fully loaded, used KLR with guards, panniers, shocks, doohickeys, etc., for about 1/3 the cost of a bone stock AT and it will be slower than my old sh|tty XJ. Or, I can take out a loan and get the AT.

I think I'll know what to do once I finally ride a KLR, but in the mean time, interested to hear thoughts on the AT vs the KLR650 vs my old XJ650.

Thanks guys!
 

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As posted on the other thread if you can afford it get the AT. One the other side though I do have a KLR and will probably keep it. It will struggle to get to 100 but why would you want to do that on a big enduro anyway? It will do 70 or 80 easily all day on the slab. I have three front sprockets for mine. 16t for hwy riding, 15t for whatever, and 14 for dirt riding. It takes all of 10 minutes to swap them out. The KLR is solid and proven. There is a ton of forums and support for it. It will take you across the world and back without a burp, even if a bit slow. It has an excellent range and is comfortable.. If you can get the KLR with all the goodies then to keep your cost down it would still be an excellent option.

The AT is a fantastic bike but with the new power plant and technology not yet proven. It will be honda reliable for sure but still there may be some bugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yeah I see what you mean.

I wont be rolling at 100+ all the time. I cruise at the speed limit typically. What I mean to say is, at 70mph my XJ650 has power on tap -- if someone is playing pokemon, I can get past them quickly with a couple quick blips of the throttle. If the KLR struggles in that situation, that's a real bummer.

I'm also a big dude, 6'2" 200lbs. So, if its already a dog on the highway, and I load it up with 80lbs of gear for a 1000mile tour.. I'm not gonna be having a good time. :(

I just need to ride a KLR650. My old XJ650 is the only bike I've ever ridden. It may be in such a poor state of tune that a well tuned KLR will blow me out of the water.. which is kindof what i'm hoping for... ;)

Then I'll ride an AT and prly buy it! :)

Question... When changing your KLR sprockets, say from 14t to 16t do you need to resize the chain at all? or does the dropout/tensioner have enough throw?

Tanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
frostbitevinnie,
Just noticed you're in St Cloud. I'm in the twin cities...
Might I inquire as to what dealer you chose to buy your AT from?

If I do pick up an AT, I'll have to make the trip to your hood. :)

Tks again!
 

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An XJ650 would eat a KLR alive at the drag strip, even in a poor state of tune. The KLR is a good bike but power is not its forte especially on motorways. If one is not in a hurry and wants a go anywhere bike at a reasonable price then go for the KLR.


Another alternative to consider is the NC700X. Great bike with good cruising speed and extremely economical. Some of them now have huge mileage on them. Two Americans did the Alaska to Patagonia trip on them and only reported a broken shock.


Otherwise get to know a bank a little better and bite the bullet.
 

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I own a 2015 KLR650 (my ninth in 25 years) and a 2013 Yamaha Super Tenere. The advice given above is solid......the KLR650 will run 70-75 mph all day long, but that is not what it was made for. It is made for exploring and traveling at a moderate speed on almost any road surface. I am going to sell mine because I see the Africa Twin as a lot better, more powerful, more capable KLR650 for most of the riding that I will be doing.

That said.......take a look into a leftover new Yamaha Super Tenere---or even better, find a late model 12-13-14 used one with all of the needed accessories that are available all over the USA. They are reliable, comfortable for a bigger person (I'm 6'4"/220lbs) and can cruise all day long a 80-90mph. The Super Tenere has long maintenance intervals and has proven reliable over the last 4 years in the USA. Sign up at www.advrider.com or www.supertenere.com and read about the bike/check the classifieds.

The new KLR requires a few needed mods (doohickey, lubing all suspension points, and valve shimming) in the first 5000 miles...........the Tenere does not and I am sure that
several members of this forum have or do own a Super Tenere. I plan on keeping the Super Tenere and the Africa Twin (when I buy one). I think the Super Tenere will still be my trip vehicle because of the drive shaft and better wind protection and the Africa Twin my exploration/local bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Welp..

I went to ride a KLR today and turns out the seller is a guy I worked with for several years, years ago!.

I rode this KLR which is pretty much a 100% done / custom 89 klr.



More photos here.. http://www.polymetric.net/KLR/
Lemme know what you think!

IMO, it looks good and rides good and does appear "done". Knowing this guy and his skills with a wrench lends a lot of piece of mind too. It's got everything used klr could want except a 998cc power plant ;) Though, it comes with spare motor and 680 upgrade piston, wire harness, carb and a bunch more.

This is gonna be a good intro dual sport for me and I wont loose my arse when I trade up for an AT in the spring or down the road.

Still looking forward to an AT, but letting them sort out any bugs first is probably a good thing.

Tks for the wise words guys!
 

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frostbitevinnie,
Just noticed you're in St Cloud. I'm in the twin cities...
Might I inquire as to what dealer you chose to buy your AT from?

If I do pick up an AT, I'll have to make the trip to your hood. :)

Tks again!
Moon, and I think there is one at Bessers Bike Barn.
 

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Ride one. You'll know if it's for you or not. I bought one in 2010 and rode it for a couple of years including a 9,000 kilometre ride to Alaska and the Northwest Territories. The more I rode it the less I liked it. It was cheap, had lots of accessories (which I added virtually every one of), was good on fuel, but was uncomfortable, heavy and cheaply made -along with decades old components and design. It never really inspired me and I ended up selling it. Lastly, they have poor resale value since there are always a lot on the market from people 'upgrading'.
I recently bought a CRF250L and it is more fun, better on fuel, cheaper to buy, and still has lots of potential as a trailie and I've recently ridden it on a 1,500 kilometre tour with a mix of highway and heavy offroad. Way more fun!
My two cents. Buy what fits the bill and turns your crank.
Good luck.
 
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I own a new edition 2014.5 KLR650 but I just bought an AT 200miles ago. They're similar in terms of all-round bikes, thats for sure, really the biggest difference comes down to on road performance, in my opinion. As stated yes the KLR "can" do 75 all day, or even 80 with a 16T, but it doesn't really want to...and even if you can put up with the motor at those speeds the brakes and suspension are pretty tapped out, it feels like you're exceeding the reasonable safety window. On twisty roads the KLR can corner just like any adventure bike, that is to say surprisingly well, but theres just no power coming out...that little bit of extra fun was always missing for me. Triple that experience of not having a fun amount of power to play with if you have a passenger on the back, it feels downright snail powered two up. But, it CAN do it, and its comfy for a passenger too. Compare that to the AT which seriously rips up the highway and the canyons...as far as all rounders go it comes much closer to covering the sport-bike base as well.

In the dirt I actually think both bikes are pretty even, but only because I would be/am way more willing to push a KLR to the point of dropping or crashing than I would be my expensive AT. Thats as much a statement about the cost of mess ups as it is the effectiveness of the aftermarket crashbars on my KLR. I've seriously dropped my pig close to 100 times with no more damage than scuffed hand guards and crasherbars. So yeah the AT might be more capable in the suspension, ground clearance, steering lock and center of gravity department, but if you really don't want to drop it, how much does all that matter??

I actually think the KLR is a bit roomier in the comfort department, lower pegs etc. But there's arguably less wind protection and it definitely vibrates more. Much more like riding a dirt bike down the highway versus the AT like riding a sport touring bike on the streets.

Anyway, just my 10c
 

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Nice KLR

'07 KLR here. Ridden the wheels off it and I just can't kill the thing. Off-road/dirt type riding. Touring Mexico with 3 pelican cases snuggled on full of gear. It's been about as reliable as any machine I've ever known. Learn to use its momentum/weight and it'll take you pretty much anywhere you have any business going. Congrats! Good looking rig.
 

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Two, way different bikes. My brother has a KLR 2003 mind you, but the AT is suitable for highway riding. Like, easy passing in 5th or 6th gear 65-85 mph roll-ons. Not so much with the KLR. Think of the KLR as a two wheeled four-wheeler. That's what it sounds and pulls like.
 

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I had a KLR a 1991 . Really a different machine completely than the AT. I had 60000 miles on it when it was stolen in 2012 . It was slow ,kinda heavy , the suspension was not up to par and the brakes sucked . THe suspension and brakes I kinda fixed with aftermarket parts . I enjoyed the klr for its simplicity , I have always liked singles any way and the klr was still fun to ride .

the At is fast has great suspension and brakes good wind protection , a lot more weight and is a much more premium machine compared to the klr it will also cruise at high speeds all day . you could buy 4 or 5 used klr 's for what an at cost . The AT will also carry a lot more weight and still be safe to ride at speed if you plan on moto camping .

On a different note I also own a ktm 690 enduro R . This one is my favorite . It feels crazy fast handles amazing on twisty roads has incredible brakes . If you never want to ride over 65 MPH this bike is it . Makes a klr feel like a tractor .

SO many good choices of bikes out there now . Its great .
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Sounds like you may be looking for a Kawasaki Versys. Check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YHHBFEE-YQ
I've looked at those, but have to shy away.. too sport bike looking for my flavor, and the offroad performance I've read about leaves a lot to be desired compared to a KLR or a AT.

Edit... I also cant abide that asymmetrical shock mount on the Versys. I know, I know, engineers and science and all of that...Still though, in terms of aesthetics, this asymmetrical design lOOks unbalanced, whether or not it was engineered to withstand the loads involved. I feel like the versys is asymetrical because they could, or wanted to (haphazardly) copy BMW... definitely not because the design required it. Exotic designs like this need to be worth while and need to be well executed, both in an engineering and in an aesthetic sense. I'm not oppsed to asymmetry in general.. the BMWs look & work great -- they're just out of my price range..... With all the options out there, Im perfectly willing to reject the Versys on aesthetics alone ;)

Really happy with my KLR pruchase for now. If its pick any two, Good, Cheap, Fast... I went with the KLR...good and cheap ;)

After a year or two on this KLR, I'm sure the AT (or maybe a KTM), will be top of my list.

Thanks!
 

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I had a KLR a 1991 . Really a different machine completely than the AT. I had 60000 miles on it when it was stolen in 2012 . It was slow ,kinda heavy , the suspension was not up to par and the brakes sucked . THe suspension and brakes I kinda fixed with aftermarket parts . I enjoyed the klr for its simplicity , I have always liked singles any way and the klr was still fun to ride .

the At is fast has great suspension and brakes good wind protection , a lot more weight and is a much more premium machine compared to the klr it will also cruise at high speeds all day . you could buy 4 or 5 used klr 's for what an at cost . The AT will also carry a lot more weight and still be safe to ride at speed if you plan on moto camping .

On a different note I also own a ktm 690 enduro R . This one is my favorite . It feels crazy fast handles amazing on twisty roads has incredible brakes . If you never want to ride over 65 MPH this bike is it . Makes a klr feel like a tractor .

SO many good choices of bikes out there now . Its great .
My buddy and I rented 2014 KTM 690 Enduro Rs out of Durango, CO two years ago for one week........they are smokn' bikes capable of almost anything. Expensive, but at the top of the dual sport food chain. IMHO

If only Honda would sell the mythical liquid cooled CRF650L.....
 
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