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Offline KyleHB

  • Puppy
  • *
  • Bike: Kawasaki KLR 650
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 15
First bike KLR 650
« on: October 08, 2014, 08:51:24 pm »
Hi Ladies and gents,

After some looking around I have decided to get my first bike. I want to get a KLR 650.
Also what are peoples experiences with buy this bike as a first bike?

I will be a while before I can afford it, so I have a few months of research I can do - sigh I want it yesterday.
I plan to use it for daily commute and for touring around the country and perhaps some of lower Africa.

Also how many hours should I spend on my bike before I do a big ride. Like to Botswana?
Hell, its about time.
 

Offline Camel man

  • Puppy
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  • Bike: Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom
  • Posts: 14
Re: First bike KLR 650
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 09:03:58 pm »
Hi there.  Klr 650 is a good bike.  It is a real donkey, meaning it can go forever, is very simple to maintain and runs on the lowest octane fuels no worries. 
It is not a fancy bike and it is not fast.  It will cruise on the highway fairly comfortably at around 120. After that it does not have alot more left in the tank.  Fuel range is good. It should do 350 bore you go onto reserve and then you should make it to 400.  Dirt road and fairly rough stuff is itsmnatural habitat. Commuting capabilities are solid, especially in town. It is tall and handles easily in traffic.  Watch out for oil burning. You can sort this by getting the barrels resleeved - not too expensive.  Also make sure the doohickey has been done. Other than that just buy it, ride it and enjoy it.
 

Offline KyleHB

  • Puppy
  • *
  • Bike: Kawasaki KLR 650
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 15
Re: First bike KLR 650
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 09:38:09 pm »
Hi there.  Klr 650 is a good bike.  It is a real donkey, meaning it can go forever, is very simple to maintain and runs on the lowest octane fuels no worries. 
It is not a fancy bike and it is not fast.  It will cruise on the highway fairly comfortably at around 120. After that it does not have alot more left in the tank.  Fuel range is good. It should do 350 bore you go onto reserve and then you should make it to 400.  Dirt road and fairly rough stuff is itsmnatural habitat. Commuting capabilities are solid, especially in town. It is tall and handles easily in traffic.  Watch out for oil burning. You can sort this by getting the barrels resleeved - not too expensive.  Also make sure the doohickey has been done. Other than that just buy it, ride it and enjoy it.

Hi Camel Man,

Thanks man, I'm very excited. I should have mentioned that I am 1.96m (6'5") and weigh 90kg.
Hell, its about time.
 

Offline lecap

Re: First bike KLR 650
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2014, 07:58:41 am »
Your height won't be a problem.
Your weight will cause issues as soon as you start riding the bike a bit harder, with luggage or if you take a passenger along. You will have to do some suspension upgrades which will cost in the region of R6k.
If you want a new KLR you will have to buy soon as the bikes currently still available are 2013 models. No more KLR's were imported after those and no more will come.
On the new KLR you will need a set of crash bars right from the start. The plastic bits are easy to break and expensive. A radiator is even more expensive.
Excessive oil consumption was a major issue on some model years (2008 - 2010), the others should be fine unless abused or very high mileage. Or if you go over 120km/h then they all use oil. Fixing an oil burner does not require to re - sleeve the cylinder just an oversize bore, hone & a new piston and a set of rings.

With regards to the doohickey / balancer chain idler lever: It's not negotiable on any model made before or in 2007 KL650A, KL650B Tengai or KL650C.
From the early 2008 models (sold from June 2007 onwards) you still have to sort out the balancer chain idler asap as the mechanism does not take up slack and causes the expensive balancer chain to wear quickly.
At some stage (2010 / 2011?) Kawasaki changed a part of the mechanism to get some tension onto the spring. It kind of works now for 30,000 - 40,000km max.
At the end of the day no mater which KLR you have from the early 600 in 1984 until today: get an Eagle lever & torsion spring fitted.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline MegaPix

Re: First bike KLR 650
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2014, 09:01:27 pm »
I weigh 115kg and is 1.83m

I get 140km/h on my bike easily without baggage.

My bike gets 400km on the tank before going to reserve.  Handles gravel well.
So for a first bike I think you will not be at fault
Kobus Schoeman
www.ksphoto.co.za
Highveld, CENTURION 
Bike:  First ever - Big Boy 200  XTG, KLR 650, latest buy... Suzuki DL650 V Strom ***SOLD***