I rode a 2001 KLR250 for something over 10,000 miles. It was a fine dual sport. I commuted and took it off road.I never modded it at all. I carried stuff in a tank bag and enjoyed the heck out of the bike.
Oil changes were quite easy as I recall. I checked and adjusted the valves a few times. It wasn't too tough having screw type adjusters. I had a service manual, and I remember it left out a few things in describing the procedure. As I recall, I had to unbolt a cooling fan and let it dangle by the wires. And there was a kind of a double triangle shaped bracket with three bolt holes in each half that had to be removed-no big deal.
I bought the KLR250 specifically because it had a kick starter.I gad owned quite a few dual sports over many years and they all had kick starters. The 250 started so easily that I never regretted it.My KLR250 could sit for six weeks in the winter, and fire off with a single kick as long as I used the starting procedure that the bike liked.
Jon in Keaau, Hi. USA
2008 SYM HD200 (wife's ride)
2009 Kymco People 150 and coming soon, another dual sport mc