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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks, thanks for the add and I hope that you are all enjoying your new ATs. No doubt that it is a great bike.

Just looking for some insights and opinions.

I am a 30 year rider, nearly all of it street. I bought a new KLR 650 in the spring, and I am loving the ADV/Dual Sport thing so far. More fun than I expected it to be. Given my limited but growing skills on dirt, I have made good use of the aftermarket handguards, crash bars, and skid plate that I installed on day 1. Unlike the youtube rides that I see out west on wide open trails arching through lonesome national parks, the northeast has only limited dirt options. I find myself on some pretty remote forest trails, and sometimes single track or worse--- hence the occasional mudhole that I get stuck in, etc. More than my share of drops.

I really want to get the extra power, performance, and comfort of an AT, but I have hesitations about upgrading from my KLR. They are:
1- 100 or so more pounds- hard to lift when I am alone- and my back is feeling the years
2- much prettier and more expensive, and I know that I will beat it up in the dirt. Sad
3- 100 or so more pounds- harder to ride in mud, single track, etc
4- 100 or so more pounds- harder to ride in general at my dirt skills level
5- much more expensive, and I know that I will drop/scratch it, with some frequency

I am not to hung up on the $s difference- but the other things give me pause. What say you?
 

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There are some limitations to this bike that you should probably be aware of, if you are planning a lot of dirt rides. It is very heavy, as well as being top-heavy. In slow maneuvers, especially turns, it wants to fall right over. There are techniques you can use to help with this (weighting the outside peg, etc). You should take an off-road course designed for dual-sports or ADV bikes. Also, definitely invest in a full crash bar system. I put the AltRider full set on mine. I have dropped it twice going slow and had to spin it around on it's side to get it where I could pick it up downhill. Scratches on the bars, but that's all. Well worth the money. I live in Colorado, so it's a lot of gnarly single-tracks or 4-wheeler roads. The East may be better suited to this bike. I sort of wish I had bought a smaller DS and put the money into getting more HP from the motor. It is a great bike to take on epic tours (TAT, BDRs, etc.), but I don't have the time to invest in a month long tour. I have a 2017 with a DCT. It's great around town, but I would have preferred the manual in the dirt. It does great in the twisties, even with knobbies. Don't know how tall you are...I'm 5'9, so it was a chore to get my toes to touch before the suspension settled in. Stopping anywhere that isn't perfectly flat and hard always make my heart speed up a bit :) Anyway, it's a great bike, but it isn't a do-everything-great bike. I don't think there is one of those yet. I'm 57, so I won't see the fusion-powered, carbon-fiber and titanium, on demand 2wheel drive, 200 lb ADV bike that will come out in 2050. But I can dream.
 

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I'm just 2 months shy of 62 yrs of age. I bought a 2017 AT but kept my '08 KLR. I have 45,000 miles on it. I can honestly say this, the AT handles so much better and hides its weight so well it is easier to ride in the rougher places than the KLR so I'm less likely to drop it but I'm confident I can pick it up if I do.
 

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I traded my KLR for an AT DCT. I am happy I made the trade. The AT is much more fun to ride in anything but hard off road.
I kept my WR250R for all the hard stuff. I didn't enjoy riding the KLR in hard off road situations and the AT would be even less fun for me. I have a buddy who loves to ride his Vstrom 750 in hard stuff so it definitely can be done if your a good rider just more challenging.
 

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There are some limitations to this bike that you should probably be aware of, if you are planning a lot of dirt rides. It is very heavy, as well as being top-heavy. In slow maneuvers, especially turns, it wants to fall right over. There are techniques you can use to help with this (weighting the outside peg, etc). You should take an off-road course designed for dual-sports or ADV bikes. Also, definitely invest in a full crash bar system. I put the AltRider full set on mine. I have dropped it twice going slow and had to spin it around on it's side to get it where I could pick it up downhill. Scratches on the bars, but that's all. Well worth the money. I live in Colorado, so it's a lot of gnarly single-tracks or 4-wheeler roads. The East may be better suited to this bike. I sort of wish I had bought a smaller DS and put the money into getting more HP from the motor. It is a great bike to take on epic tours (TAT, BDRs, etc.), but I don't have the time to invest in a month long tour. I have a 2017 with a DCT. It's great around town, but I would have preferred the manual in the dirt. It does great in the twisties, even with knobbies. Don't know how tall you are...I'm 5'9, so it was a chore to get my toes to touch before the suspension settled in. Stopping anywhere that isn't perfectly flat and hard always make my heart speed up a bit :) Anyway, it's a great bike, but it isn't a do-everything-great bike. I don't think there is one of those yet. I'm 57, so I won't see the fusion-powered, carbon-fiber and titanium, on demand 2wheel drive, 200 lb ADV bike that will come out in 2050. But I can dream.
I would agree with the above, except flip flop the part about the DCT. I have done a couple of BDRs and love the DCT on the dirt, but would prefer a manual on the road.

I also had a KLR at one time. The KLR felt much more cumbersome to me than the new bike does. The KLR really hasn't changed much at all since 1987.
 

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If you're getting stuck in the mud with the KLR there is a good chance that you'll get stuck so bad on the AT that you'll have to walk and go find help with the AT. It is a pig if you drop it down to the skid plate in mud. I pretty much turn around and go another way if there's any mud. To me it sounds like you need to get a smaller bike, not a bigger bike. The AT was fun the first couple times I took it into some gnarly enduro places but after that I lost pretty much all desire to go into those places with the big bike. I have 100 times more fun on my ktm 350exc or even mx bikes on those trails then pushing around the big girl. People say it "handles like a big dirt bike", but to me it handles like a big piano after coming off the real enduro bikes. Don't get me wrong I love this bike. I wouldn't be caught dead riding 1000km+ per day on an enduro bike! But if you're looking at getting more into dirt, I'd look for something closer to a dirt bike. Especially since you're still a young fella like myself (I'm at 34 years old). Of course the ultimate would be to sell the KLR, get an Africa Twin and an enduro bike FTW!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you're getting stuck in the mud with the KLR there is a good chance that you'll get stuck so bad on the AT that you'll have to walk and go find help with the AT. It is a pig if you drop it down to the skid plate in mud. I pretty much turn around and go another way if there's any mud. To me it sounds like you need to get a smaller bike, not a bigger bike. The AT was fun the first couple times I took it into some gnarly enduro places but after that I lost pretty much all desire to go into those places with the big bike. I have 100 times more fun on my ktm 350exc or even mx bikes on those trails then pushing around the big girl. People say it "handles like a big dirt bike", but to me it handles like a big piano after coming off the real enduro bikes. Don't get me wrong I love this bike. I wouldn't be caught dead riding 1000km+ per day on an enduro bike! But if you're looking at getting more into dirt, I'd look for something closer to a dirt bike. Especially since you're still a young fella like myself (I'm at 34 years old). Of course the ultimate would be to sell the KLR, get an Africa Twin and an enduro bike FTW!

All good thoughts from the group. Not exactly a young guy- 53 yrs old. I cant really get a smaller bike, because most of my dirt riding starts with taking roads for 45-90 minutes before I can get to anywhere semi-legal to ride. Frustrating, but welcome to NY State. Almost every trail has a mud pit or two- some you can route around, but not all. So, I need a bike that I can do highway or backroad miles in reasonable comfort, and then go off road. As stated by others- the KLR is hardly mud friendly- but I cant really chose the terrain. Both the KLR and the AT have limitations off road, I realize. Being lighter (about 100lbs from what I can tell from specs), the KLR should be less of a handful in dirt or challenging trails- but is far from a refined and modern bike. If anyone has first hand experience of riding both a klr and an new AT in dirt, those are the folks that can probably help me decide.
I would definitely upgrade to an AT to get the improved street performance if it is not much more of a handful in the messy stuff than a KLR.

Thanks!
 

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I just sold my KLR last week switched to 2017 AT 3 weeks ago got over 1000 miles already . The KLR was a 2013 bought in 2015 rode it 12,000 miles had fun back country camped the dirt I did ride, it made it but was limited suspension wise . Added all the aftermarket stuff , Fork upgrade as best progressive huge difference not a pogo stick any more . Now the new owner has reaped the benefits of my work . In a month of ownership the AT is all the bike I need everything the KLR wasn't speed handling , gas range is not as good though but not a issue , when I delivered the KLR felt MUCH lighter , need to ride buddy system with the AT I AM over 55 it is tough to pick up , just ordered Heed crash bars to help with AT tipping damage Wish Honda put KNOBBIES ON ! It is sold in their dirt bike line up ??? Looked at KTM 1090 COULD NOT TOUCH GROUND ! They come with crash bars and knobbies , waiting to replace tires to venture in the woods . I made the right choice !
 

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I sold my 2012 KLR and bought a new AT-DCT.


The AT hides its weight amazingly well. It feels lighter and more nimble than the KLR. The 100 extra pounds is real, but the lower COG makes a huge difference. While I was comfortable on the KLR, and I confident on the AT.


Go demo an AT and I am sure you'll be surprised. The AT is more comfortable, powerful, smooth and capable off road. If you can ride a KLR off road you can definitely ride an AT there.
 

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I've had two KLR's and love them. I'll probably have another somewhere down the road. That being said, the AT is a souped up KLR dressed for the prom. The KLR is rock solid and easy to work on with lots of aftermarket suppliers. The AT is a PITA to work on. Hopefully, the AT will prove out to be a bike that will not need much in the way of repair.
 

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Having also owned a KLR600 ...Eek ... 30 yrs ago never forgot the nice riding position & sound.
I agree :- "That being said, the AT is a souped up KLR dressed for the prom".

I've had two KLR's and love them. I'll probably have another somewhere down the road. That being said, the AT is a souped up KLR dressed for the prom. The KLR is rock solid and easy to work on with lots of aftermarket suppliers. The AT is a PITA to work on. Hopefully, the AT will prove out to be a bike that will not need much in the way of repair.
But As KLR's have not been available in the UK for many years (most remaining are very rough). I probably won't have another somewhere down the road but would definitely have another AT. Test ride 1 you will like it.
 

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I'm going to throw out one thought: Are you in hurry to get another bike? Because to be honest I'm only waiting until the new Yamaha Tenere 700 Adventure or KTM 790 Adventure hits the showroom floor and the AT is probably gone. With their modern tech, wind protection, suspension etc. versus older DS like the KLR.

As mentioned above by others, I s well come from true off-road/motocross bikes and the weight of the AT, when things start getting sketchy, scares the **** out of me. Sure, as long as that weight stays right underneath me it doesn't feel heavy, but as soon as I hit anything (mud, sand, dry slick) that throws the bike over sideways it is a absolute bear to catch it. The overall weight, and a big chunk exists up high, just gets scary when headed south. Also, I mentioned in a previous thread about one fellow rider on a ride was trapped under his AT and he was not able to get it off himself. I have never ever been trapped under an off-road bike that I couldn't lift off when I needed to get the SOB off me.

I'm in a similiar boat that I have to ride 1 to 2 hours to get off the beaten path hence I'd like to get something that can eat a few freeway miles. Reason I've tried the AT. But, I'm moving down next purchase and if they still feel like a handfull when things go sideways, I'll go back to an enduro and back to hauling....

But, as with any gearhead purchase, if you are in love with the AT purchase away. You'll deal with any shortcomings.

(Yes, to all those on here that are supreme expert off-road riders, I am of average talent, older age at 50+ and will never win any motorcycle contest. Hence, in the cheap seats I feel I am not alone and that perspective is of value. Your talent and skill may warrant another perspective and that is just fantastic, but some of us have to accept our limitations)
 

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I went from a 09KLR to a 17AT-DCT a couple months ago. I have had one low-speed tip over and with crash bars and hard panniers on, I didn't find it any harder to pick up than I did with my KLR. The two bikes are literally 30 years apart in technology, and it really shows. It's winter, so I haven't taken the AT offroad much yet, but so far I feel more confident on the AT, but more worried about hurting my $20k machine than the no-cares-in-the-world KLR. For touring, the AT is night and day better. way less vibration, a little bit better wind protection, and tons of power for passing at highway speed.
 

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I am a 66 yr old "average" rider. Have an '08 KLR, pretty much stock in terms of suspension but with bars, sergeant seat (HUGE improvement) better pegs etc and bags. Bought a '16 AT (DCT, in part due to a lingering left knee related shifting issue). While the AT is heavier overall, it rides like a lighter more balanced bike. As I often do 100 KM or so to get to some better dirt, gravel etc, and much of that on high speed roadways, I wanted the AT for the extra power on the road. I don't regret the AT purchase at all, but due to the low value of the KLR I have decided I may keep it as well and use it both for city riding/errand runs or basic transportation, particularly if I am concerned about having it knocked over in parking lots etc etc or stolen. My KLR has been knocked down 4 times in 4 years while parked in various lots etc and I don't really want that for the more expensive AT. I had thought about trading up to the new Adventure AT, mostly for cruise control and the larger tank, as the AT doesn't have as much range as the KLR but have just decided I'm going to stay with my '16 and if I really decided I want more range I'll do an accessory tank (Camelback or something) and avoid even more up high weight.
As far as picking it up I couldn't lift the KLR if it is sloping downhill (need to spin it around on the protection bars) and I suspect the AT would be the same. To me the AT feels a bit lighter but I've not picked it up from horizontal so just a guess.
\|I do love the smoothness of the twin, and the better handling, at least in stock suspension form, than the KLR. For me the seat is NOT as good as the KLR with Sargent seat combo, so looking into that a bit.
IF you don't want or NEED the higher power of the AT as I wanted for road riding, I think the KLR is still a good option, particularly if some upgrades to suspension etc are done.
 

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I just did a 14,000 mile trip on my AF & have no complaints. 70% pavement 30% dirt , 70 years young & I think the AF is a fantastic machine
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
T7 or likely the AT Adventure

Wow... all good insights. My plan for now is to hold a few more months to see if the Yamaha T7 actually gets released in the US, and hopefully it is lighter and just as good at dirt/street as the AT. I am skeptical, and I have also fallen for the Tri color anniversary paint on the AT Adventure Sport model that is apparently going to roll out soon. Being a big fan of the 80's vfr model ( I have a mint 86 vfr 750), it will be hard to pass on that bike just because of looks.

I guess the KLR will soldier on this spring for me, and then almost certainly a trade into the one of the other two once they are released and here in the flesh...
 

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If you really do not want the weight then I would be looking at a KTM 690. More power and less weight. Of course, the bikes to come, hopefully (T7 and KTM 790) would be great but the T7 seems like it will be underpowered (75 HP) and possibly overweight but still lighter than the Africa Twin. Have no idea of when the T7 will be released. The KTM 790 should be a good weight with good power (100 HP) but it will not be around until late 2018 at the very earliest and more likely 2019. Weight should be around 400 pounds dry so a bit lighter then the Africa Twin.
You said the you were going to weight a couple of months so it looks like either an Africa Twin, might be able to get the updated version by then or even the Adventure Sports version. In your time frame it should be one of those or the KTM 690.
If you willing to wait longer then the other two (T7 and KTM 790) may be available.
Those seem to be your best choices.

Have fun deciding!




Wow... all good insights. My plan for now is to hold a few more months to see if the Yamaha T7 actually gets released in the US, and hopefully it is lighter and just as good at dirt/street as the AT. I am skeptical, and I have also fallen for the Tri color anniversary paint on the AT Adventure Sport model that is apparently going to roll out soon. Being a big fan of the 80's vfr model ( I have a mint 86 vfr 750), it will be hard to pass on that bike just because of looks.

I guess the KLR will soldier on this spring for me, and then almost certainly a trade into the one of the other two once they are released and here in the flesh...
 
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