Do I want this bike?! KLR 650 DP

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by fastvfr, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Likes Received:
    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    Hello, all--

    I have been riding for about 15 yrs now, and obviously I like VFR's!;b I have had two so far...a '97 and this 2001.

    Thing is, these bikes are real lead pigs on anything other than pavement. I just about wiped out on a buddy's gravel driveway not too long ago, for instance, due to the front-end pushing and refusing to obey its master.

    So, I'm looking at dual-purpose bikes. I've only had one Kaw (750 Spectre-don't go there...bad starter & shocks, kicked out of gear, ect.) and didn't care for it much besides the fact that the shaft drive was a nice switch.

    With all these woods roads around here to explore, and no 4X4, I'm wanting to get into offroad riding.

    I'd like to stay under $4,000, so that knocks the GS series Beemers out of the running; besides, the nearest place to get one serviced is 100 miles from here.

    Will this little one-lung Thumper be alright for me? I am 6'3", 275 and my VFR fits like a glove.

    I'm not concerned about shock clearance or other such high-performance issues; if it'll handle water bars at sane speeds then I'll be happy.

    Anyone own one? Please feel free to comment!


  2. USMC79to83


    Likes Received:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Pac NW
    OK, so this is just my opinion...

    The KLR 650 is a good solid bike. It has decent fuel capacity, has been around a long time (meaning good parts and accessory support) and is reliable. It also has electric start, water cooling and a big motor, which makes it go pretty good on-road .

    On the down side, it's kinda heavy and doesn't handle "all" that well off-road (but, it's a heck of a lot better than a VFR...!).

    As a reasonably priced dual-sport compromise, it's a winner!

    If you're looking for more off-road capable mounts in the $4,000 range, you could consider a used Suzuki DRZ 400, or Honda XR/XL 650.

    No matter what you choose, be sure to purchase good quality engine, water pump and radiator guards!

    Search Google, I know there's a large KLR community out there...



  3. RBR


    Likes Received:
    Apr 18, 2001
    They haven't changed the KLR for ten years besides maybe the colors. This year it's called the KLX but I don't know what, if anything, is different. In your price range your looking at used and there's no real good reason to buy a new bike to scratch up. Only negative I've heard is the front brakes are weak (pad change and braided steel lines are the fix). You may want to put a real skid plate & better off-road tires on it. It's not something that will be nimble on tight twisty trails however. Your intended use will determine any mods you might want to do. If you put too many off-road mods on it then it might start feeling "flaky" on the street. They have always received great reviews as the bike for both types of riding.
  4. crazydave


    Likes Received:
    Jun 30, 2004
    RBR, The KLX is a different bike than the KLR. The KLX is an air cooled dirt bike. If one is getting the KLR for off roading you will be surprised, its not a dirt bike, in the sand its is a 450 pound wallowing pig! Its a very good bike for running down the freeway to get to forest roads and trails. Not good for the single track stuff, it can be done but its a lot of work.

  5. d0truji


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    Feb 20, 2004
    I have a 2002 KLR 250. The 650 is way too big for me. I like the KLR since they changed the colors. Mine is a dark green and silver. It's an outstanding bike with excellent mileage. I would give it 7 on a scale of one to ten as far as off road capabilities.
    Suspension is good, power is even better. Low end torque is awesome. You won't regret it.
  6. RBR


    Likes Received:
    Apr 18, 2001
    I don't know why I confused the KLR name with the KX/KLX moto-cross bikes..late night. Claimed 337lbs dry weight but 6gals fuel & oil will probably add at least 50lbs. I do like the red color.

    here are the specs anyways KLR 650
    World travelers know that adventure doesn't begin upon reaching a destination—it begins with choosing the most interesting path.
    It's no surprise, then, that some of the most adventurous world travelers have chosen the Kawasaki KLR650 for their excursions across the continents. With its comfortable ergonomics, large fuel tank, optional touring accessories and off-highway capability, the KLR650 makes searching a map for long-forgotten roads exciting.
    Power for the KLR650 comes from a strong, dual overhead cam, four-valve, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, 651cc four-stroke engine. The engine provides a wide range of power equally suitable for negotiating low-speed trails and cruising at a more brisk highway pace. An engine crankshaft counterbalancer and electric starter provide additional rider comfort and convenience.
    The frame for the KLR650 is made of round-section high-tensile steel—the same strong yet lightweight material used to support Kawasaki's world-class KX motocross machines. A detachable rear subframe simplifies maintenance by providing easier access to the airbox, carburetor and rear shock. Adjustable, long-travel suspension provides a plush ride on both pavement and off-road.
    A U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor provides access to any road open to licensed vehicles, while a sturdy engine guard protects the engine from loose rocks and gravel. With an optional Kawasaki tank bag and soft luggage on the large standard rear rack, KLR650 owners can tote enough gear for an extended trip to any remote location.

    651cc Four-stroke Single
    - A compact, smooth, reliable and proven design
    - Special tuning to improve low- and mid-range power
    - Light, silent cam chain reduces engine noise
    - Oil-level window permits easy and accurate inspection
    Liquid Cooling
    - Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power during hard use
    - Allows tighter engine clearances for quieter running
    - Automatic fan keeps things cool in all conditions
    - Includes a temperature gauge
    Four-valve Cylinder Head
    - Better breathing for more power at all rpm
    - Compact combustion chamber for increased compression ratio without detonation
    - Provides maximum valve area for optimum flow
    - Boosts low-end torque
    Double Engine Balancer
    - Engine runs smoothly from idle to redline for rider comfort and less fatigue on long rides
    Capacitor Discharge Ignition with Electric Advance
    - Precisely controls timing no matter how fast the rpm changes
    - Fewer moving parts for long, trouble-free life
    Five-speed Transmission
    - Designed to handle the engine's unique power characteristics
    - The engine's broad torque curve only requires five speeds for off-road and relaxed highway cruising
    - O-ring drive chain reduces maintenance and increases chain service life
    Handlebar-mounted Choke
    - Convenient location makes starting and warm-up easier
    Long-travel Suspension
    - Designed to provide a good compromise between the requirements of on- and off-road riding
    - Air-adjustable front forks
    - High-mounted front fender for any adventure-touring situation
    Semi-double Cradle Frame
    - Made of the same high-tech, round-section, high-tensile steel used in world-class KX motocross bikes
    Engine Guard
    - Protects engine from rocks and trail debris when the going gets tough
    Detachable Rear Subframe
    - Simplifies maintenance by providing better access to the rear shock, airbox and carburetor
    - Large rear cargo rack included
    UNI-TRAK® Rear Suspension
    - Lowers the center of gravity for better handling
    - Progressive rate provides a smoother, more controlled ride
    - Features a five-way preload shock absorber with four-way rebound damping
    Front and Rear Disc Brakes
    - Powerful and controllable disc brakes produce quick, smooth stops
    Electric Starter
    - Easy and convenient starting
    Lighting and USFS-Approved Spark Arrestor
    - Street-legal lighting with turn indicators
    - U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor
    Large 6.1-gallon Fuel Tank
    - Significant capacity permits adventure touring
    Additional Features
    - Mini fairing, windshield and handlebar guards enhance rider comfort
    - Temperature gauge, tachometer and tripmeter keeps rider informed
    - Rear taillight parking light
    - Optional extended warranty

    Engine: Four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve single
    Displacement: 651cc
    Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm
    Compression ratio: 9.5:1
    Cooling: Liquid
    Carburetion: Keihin CVK40
    Ignition: Electronic CDI
    Transmission: Five-speed
    Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
    Rake / trail: 28° / 4.4 in.
    Suspension type, front: 38mm leading axle, air-adjustable fork
    Suspension adjustments, front: Air-adjustable preload
    Suspension type, rear: UNI-TRAK® single-shock system
    Suspension adjustments, rear: Five-way preload, four-way rebound damping
    Wheel travel, front: 9.1 in.
    Wheel travel, rear: 9.1 in.
    Tire, front: 90/90 x 21
    Tire, rear: 130/80 x 17
    Brakes, front / rear: Hydraulic disc / Disc
    Overall length: 86.8 in.
    Overall width: 37.0 in.
    Overall height: 53.0 in.
    Ground clearance: 9.4 in.
    Seat height: 35.0 in.
    Dry weight: 337 lbs.
    Fuel capacity: 6.1 gal.
    Wheelbase: 58.9 in.
    Color: Aztec Red
    * Price and specifications subject to change
  7. Road Weazel

    Road Weazel

    Likes Received:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Out playin' Cowboys and Muslims

    The site is called . Lotsa guys there like the KLR. My dual-sport is a KLX400r (DRZ, same bike) and it's not much of a road bike. A buddy of mine rode his KLR across the country, TWICE!

    I've attached a pic of my latest Dual Sport although it's not much of a roadbike either. It's a 1971 MZ ES125/G (gelandesport). It's still in Germany, I'll get it back over here after September.
  8. mtnflk75

    mtnflk75 Hermit..,..

    Likes Received:
    Jan 29, 2001
    High on a Mountain, CA
    I too came off a 2002 VFR onto a 2002 KLR. Best thing I ever did. My driveway is 20% grade and dirt ( I live in a little cabin at 6,000 feet ) the VFR was deadly, the KLR just goes. I have been riding since 1967, started on dirt. The KLR is without a doubt the best do-all motorcycle I have ever ridden/owned. YMMV.....
  9. crazydave


    Likes Received:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Road Weazel,
    As soon those guys at AZDualSports get a ride that a 'newbie' with broken elbow can take I'm there. Been riding the KLR for a few years but havent quite mastered the whole single track and sand stuff. Most of the rides you guys do are beyond my skills. I am North Phx/Scottsdale area.



    Likes Received:
    Jun 11, 2001
    Gotta love the KLR..

    First of all, this is a KLR specific bulletin board:
    KLR650 Forum

    And this is a KLR650 FAQ, that will answer ANY question you have about the KLR.
    KLR650 FAQ

    I've had two of them, currently have a 2003 model.

    It will cruise all day on the interstate at 80 mph, and sprint to 100+ if you care to..or putter along in the 110 degree desert in first gear without overheating, (thanks to liquid cooling) unlike many air cooled dual sports..

    It isn't a motorcrosser, but will take you anywhere you want to go offroad, if you take your time..

    Sand is not much fun on one, but if you air down the tires to 10-15 psi, and get your weight way back on the bike, you can cruise across 6 inches of sand with ease..

    It is the most fun bike I've ever owned, and since I moved to to town and sold my 4-wheeler, it has become my 2-wheeled ATV..

    I've done several Big Bend trips on it, sometimes crossing up to 100 miles of remote desert single track through the mountains with friends..

    I'll also be taking it to Mexico's Sierra Madre mts and Copper Canyon with another group of KLR riders in October..