Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The 10 Phases of KLR650 Ownership

The Kawasaki KLR has been described as a bike that can do nothing extremely well and almost everything fairly well.  Huh??!!

While I don't agree with all of the below points, I would like to think that the author was using tongue in cheek humor to discuss KLR ownership. 

Or maybe it's a case of sour grapes. Or maybe I'm still in Phase 1 or 2? 

Some comments from other KLRistsas have been added.

The Phases of KLR Ownership:
1) Honeymoon. Joy. Adventure is on the horizon; what fun! Those 'nutty' brakes.  Wow, this is entertaining!

2) Exploration. Find sites like Adventure Riders and become one of 'them.'

3) Trouble in Paradise. Realize that sites like ADV are chock full of bikes like KTM and BMW, and frankly the KLR is the mutt in the purebred's midst. Try to retain pride. Yeah, the KTM and Beemer are nice, but neither has the aftermarket and spare parts support that the KLR has, an
d while they are filling up ...again. You just keep on riding.

4) Dismay. Spending time on sites like 'enlightens' you and all of a sudden you need everything from new rubber, to a new saddle, replacing everthing in-between. Everything fails no matter what, all the time.

KLRista comment: Dont fall for all the BS of those websites. You'll know when you ride it what it will need. The steel braided lines are a must, the seat is fine, the suspension is fine (it aint a stump jumper, folks) mirror dampeners, etc.
5) Anger. You're angry at Kawasaki for selling a bike that needs this much work. You're angry at the dealer for not just giving it to you, with five bucks for gas. You're angry at yourself for not realizing this bike is for suckers... YOU JUST BOUGHT AN EDSEL!

KLRista comment: The bike really doesnt need anything. If you think about it, it's been in production for more than 20 years. If the bike needed that much work and owners were tht upset, you'd hear more complaints. Dont mess with a good thing. The stock KLR is set up almost perfect, except for that front brake.
6) Separation. Your sportbike friends and HDs are having sport with you at red lights. You've been out-accellerated by a Hundai. You put it up for sale and stop riding it.

KLRista comment: Wrong, I ride my KLR with a 4 friends. One on a CBR 1000, a 929 and a ZX9. Because of the strong low end of a KLR, guess who's off the line first? Also when you put road tires on it, it will out corner anything, except maybe another KLR or KTM.

7) Loathing acceptance. You're never going to get all the money you put into the KLR back out of it. Might as well keep it and go shopping for a 'real' bike. You start to take it out again since, you've resigned yourself to the fact that you're tied to the KLR for life.

KLRista comment: Look at what used KLRs are going for on eBay. Even KLRs that are total basket cases are fetching a lot of money. But then again, you don't need to put a whole lot of money into (except the $50 braided lines).
8) New Dawn. One day, for no particular reason, you realize that you've been having fun riding it (at least alone) the whole time. Thinking about it a little more, you realize that you can go everywhere a GS1200 can get to (just maybe not as quickly), that you're more offroad capable than a GS650 Dakar -- and probably just as on-road capable -- and all for several thousand less dollars. It can do more highway miles than a DR without having to spend $250 on a Corbin saddle to avoid picking it out of your backside after half an hour on the highway, and you can have it serviced anywhere on the planet unlike a KTM (which was also a lot more). Whoa, hold on, this bike is pretty cool!

KLRista comment: Exactly, my friend. That's the reason I bought it. If I'm going to ride cross country, I know I can get parts very easily in the middle of nowhere a lot faster than for the Tiger 955, the BMW or the KTM. Also, if you can find anyone that has the tools and the knowledge of a lawnmower on up, you got a mechanic!

9) Farkle time! You've just realized that you can accessorize the KLR with just about every possible modification you've ever imagined (except extra horsepower). Spend away, young rider! Hold on, is a set of decent tires less than I used to pay for just a rear? Throw on a Big Gun exhaust and rejet it. Add a 16t sprocket with a 44T chain for road use and the sportbikers will be wondering what that ugly thing was that just passed 'em in the corner. Yeah it aint a rocket, but if it can do 100 mph...which it can...thats good for me. (But dont do 100 mph with the knobbies.)

10) Happily deluded. The KLR rocks! Yeah, it still sux, but it rocks!

KLRista comment: After having the Bandit 600 for years, the TBird Sport, the pig iron Seca 900 and various other buzzy, heavy "you shouldnt do that with that bike" bikes, I wasnt expecting chocolates and roses with the KLR. But I knew when it was all said and done.......there is no competitor on the market to the KLR. What is really nice, the valve adjustment section of the shop manual takes up a page and half.

And there ya have it, folks.  Opinions on the ugly tractor that is the KLR650.

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