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View Results: which bike?
late model KLR 317 50.24%
F800GS 314 49.76%
Voters: 631. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:15 PM   #76
VINTAGEDIRTTRACKER
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Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Django Loco
Hey Dip Shit, I'm still waiting for your S. America ride report on your F800GS. You're pissy little weekend trip to Big Bend ain't shit Cowgirl.
Go back and READ this thread before you open you stupid cake hole about something you know NOTHING about.

Go back to post One of this thread and NOTE it's about a proposed S. America trip, not about a little Girl's ride to Big Bend on your new toy.

I've been all over Mexico, Cent. America and S. America starting in the 60's .... have you? Have you EVER traveled anywhere on your bike for more than a weekend?

My post tries to speak to being on the road in 3rd world countries for months, possibly years at a stretch. When you have experience doing this you let us know, OK?

Attacking someone because they have more knowledge and experience than you do regards bikes and travel is cowardly and does nothing but reveal you're spineless character and unfathomable ignorance. You're giving your fellow Texans a bad name Bubba.

You don't know shit about me or my riding experience. But if you read my posts you might find out.

I bet you own a Harley so you can call all of them no good white collar bike riders posers too!

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Old 12-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #77
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Your An A$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by VINTAGEDIRTTRACKER
I bet you own a Harley so you can call all of them no good white collar bike riders posers too!

Jeff

As a matter of fact, after reading this entire thread and the childish responses you posted you are a compete A$$ and it's no wonder that anyone here on this forum is not a "riding partner" with you. I don't care if you have ridden around the globe once a year for your entire life on a different motorcycle everytime that doesn't qualify you to be a Pompus A$$, we have plenty of those that have much less experience than you. Act your age please!

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:30 AM   #78
MikeBike4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Django Loco
In what context does it "perform better than any adventure bike"?


Is it about blitzing through countries trying to set Guinness records? Is it about sport riding for 15,000 miles? Showing off?
Or is it about education, reflection and discovery?

Have you done the long trip on your 800GS? On ANY bike? Six months into a RTW type ride perspectives can change. Wise travelers tend to slow down and take things in. No need to go 90 mph on pavement in order to make it to the next border. This is amateur style.


Most Americans don't really know how to travel well. Usually in too big a hurry, pay too much for everything and leave a bad taste in the mouth's of locals as they speed by, trying to stay on some absurd schedule.


People around you must be tired of hearing your BS.
If you want to drag ass along at a lethargic snails pace go ahead. But you may as well be in a cage.
Riding the bike is the #1 priority for me, not interacting with the people along the way, there are plenty of them at the mall.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:43 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBike4
Riding the bike is the #1 priority for me, not interacting with the people along the way, there are plenty of them at the mall.
Wow, now this is an attitude rarely expressed in this community! Different, to be sure. Props to your First Amendment rights, and for some reason it cracks me up.

I've been travelling slowly on an underpowered, slow, less capable KLR for six months, now. I've been foolishly interacting with indigenous peoples in seven countries (eleven in the last twelve months, on two wheels), sharing cultural comparisons and experiencing different ways of living and interacting with the world.

And I have to agree, I am so happy these weren't American Mall people. That would have sucked.

I think of this comparison in bikes a lot. My aesthetic (oops, just marked myself as a hippie liberal college boy by using a fancy word!) definitely pulls me toward the F800GS or XT660Z Tenere. But, my budget is firmly in KLR/DR/Used 11x0 GS territory.

Gotta say, after 12,000 miles and counting, through severe environmental beatings, my KLR has remained trouble-free, powerful enough for everything, called "beautiful" by dozens (unwashed and purposely made fugly), and reliable. I don't want to open any wounds, but I have heard of first-year F800s and new-style F650GS' that have been less than reliable.

Knowing what I do now, I wouldn't consider a KLR complete without Cogent Dynamics shock, Ricor Intiminators or full RaceTech Gold Valves and springs, Eagle fork brace and Sargent saddle. I'd put this up against a stock 800GS in all departments save power, for less than half the price. but that is just me. Your mileage will certainly vary.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:09 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouldergeek
Wow, now this is an attitude rarely expressed in this community! Different, to be sure. Props to your First Amendment rights, and for some reason it cracks me up.

I've been travelling slowly on an underpowered, slow, less capable KLR for six months, now. I've been foolishly interacting with indigenous peoples in seven countries (eleven in the last twelve months, on two wheels), sharing cultural comparisons and experiencing different ways of living and interacting with the world.

And I have to agree, I am so happy these weren't American Mall people. That would have sucked.

I think of this comparison in bikes a lot. My aesthetic (oops, just marked myself as a hippie liberal college boy by using a fancy word!) definitely pulls me toward the F800GS or XT660Z Tenere. But, my budget is firmly in KLR/DR/Used 11x0 GS territory.

Gotta say, after 12,000 miles and counting, through severe environmental beatings, my KLR has remained trouble-free, powerful enough for everything, called "beautiful" by dozens (unwashed and purposely made fugly), and reliable. I don't want to open any wounds, but I have heard of first-year F800s and new-style F650GS' that have been less than reliable.

Knowing what I do now, I wouldn't consider a KLR complete without Cogent Dynamics shock, Ricor Intiminators or full RaceTech Gold Valves and springs, Eagle fork brace and Sargent saddle. I'd put this up against a stock 800GS in all departments save power, for less than half the price. but that is just me. Your mileage will certainly vary.
I think very few here have trouble with a differing opinion, where I get off is the I've done more than you, I'm better than you and smarter than you BS. If your opinion varies just state it and go on, the guy that started the thread can read it all and make his choice. That's why they make chocolate and vanilla, cause every body likes something different.
I personally like BMW's or a DR 650, but that doesn't mean that you are wrong for having a KLR or that you or I either one are of superior intelligence due to bike choice. Just ride and be happy>

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Old 12-17-2009, 10:06 AM   #81
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have a good trip greenthumb.

and I'll share my opinion here.

I currently have a DL650, 2 - KLR (one of which I took to Honduras and back), 2 XR650Rs (for more dirt oriented trips, keep one here in IW and one in AZ for winter rides ), and TW200....

I had a 04 R1150GS adv.....liked the bike...didn;t like the cost of ownership. not gonna debate it, just didn't like it and chose to have a variety of bikes (aka tools)...

the KLR is anemic but I trust it and would go anywhere......same with the XR and TW and Vstrom ...anyway, the F800 has my attention. it seems to add a little more of what I want all wrapped into one bike instead of 4.....

most people ride any bike to the limits of it's performance...it's in their nature. ....thus the KLR is self goverened .

I wonder why Striking Viking chose a KLR over a BMW for his SA trip?

anyway have a safe and fun trip.....t
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:20 AM   #82
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I totally concur on the self-governed KLR. For me, that is an advantage. I have been very relieved more than once that I was peacefully motoring at 50 instead of 80+ when the cattle/stopped truck/sinkhole/end of the road came up in my lane.

As I prepared for this trip, I had a hard time choosing between a used R1100GS, used F650 Dakar or a new KLR. I asked SV, because he had gone KLR, then gone to F650 Dakar, and now to R1200GS.

He said that for my first time, and for what I had described that I wanted out of the trip, the KLR would be the easier, cheaper and fully workable bike for solo travel. And with that, I should point out that I believe that by saying "KLR" I include DR650 and XRL if you wanted to outfit them similarly.

I pushed MotoAdventureGal's DR650 around the other day, and it felt 60 lbs lighter at least than my KLR. She didn't have bags on hers, so it was really 100lbs lighter. Anyway, I was amazed at how much lighter it was. Then again, there is something to be said for stability in crosswinds.

That being said, I would absolutely have an F800GS if it were $7000.

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:07 PM   #83
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Im two days into the trip now.

So far the bike is great, but Ill post any thoughts or problems i have along the way.

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:34 PM   #84
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F800!!!

If you have the money and don't mind standing out a little more in CA... I'd go F800 for sure. That is also assuming you know how to service or at least maintain both bikes. You may or may not have problems with either. I think you'll be far happier with the F800 performance, power and comfort and I think you'll like it more when you return home and use it as a commuter. Both great reliable bikes...
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:05 PM   #85
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Good Luck!

Green Thumb, have a good time and keep us all updated on your journey.

I am planning my own SA adventure and have been asking myself the same questions being discussed (argued?) in this thread...."What's the best bike for the trip?" It's been fun reading all the different opinions. I guess for me the big question is single, or twin? And the answer is, it depends....on what kind or riding/exploring I intend to do. Thanks to all the posters in this thread for your replies to the OP.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #86
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Either way, have a good time. I like the idea of a KLR down in the dirt and rough... I like the idea of an F800 that mostly lives on pavement and you take it on the rough stuff once in a while. Personally I'd like the F800 on the pave as it's a twin, and the KLR off roading. My ideal would be both.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:25 AM   #87
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the conclusion....

to resurrect and old thread;

So here I am now, sitting at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires, sipping on some gritty coffee that Sebastien was kind enough to brew up, reflecting on my travels over the past few months. I can see from the Air Canada tracking site that my bike is now back in Canada, or at least the shipping sticker is stuck to something that did.

To answer my own original question; Which bike should I choose?
Well the answer to that is both impossible and simple. There is no 'best bike' but the one that YOU like the best. Currently sitting in the shop there are 2 XT250's with over 30k of SA on them, a Dejel 250 from Japan that has been traveling for two years, an Africa Twin from Germany, a US R1150 and a Swiss R1200. Completely different rides and everyone is happy with their bikes.

It is possible to make it here without leaving asphalt or hardly ever see it. Everyones trip will be different and so should their bikes.

For me, I think the F8 was an excellent choice. I like and appreciate the bike and its attributes much more than I did before the trip. The power in the steep windy roads of Colombia, the good brakes in the unpredictable traffic of Peru, the supple suspension for the thousands of Mexican topes and endless washboard - the list goes on. Overall I am thoroughly impressed with this bike's abilities and overall demeanor. All of this was more of a luxury than necessity though, and the dollar value should it get stolen was on my mind every time I parked for the night.

The ride:
- 2009, bought almost exactly one year ago, spent 4 months on this trip
- 30k on the odo now
- SWM engine guards
- homemade bash plate and hand guards
- homemade luggage rack with Sealine waterproof soft bags
- cortech super mini tank bag
- scottoiler
- front fender extend with a piece of crazy carpet
- sheepskin seat pad
- garmin nuvi 250 won from Tim Hortons two years earlier with stock maps
- tkc's used the entire trip
- stock suspension, seat, windshield, exhaust
- about 270kg fully loaded, including fuel and spare fuel. +105kg for me in full riding gear
- 5L/100km estimated average fuel economy on regular gas

The good:
- crashes: 0 drops: many, damage as a result: 0
- breakdowns that prevented me from riding: 0
- flats: 0 (don't ask me how)
- times very close to needing spare fuel: 4 (guess), times actually need: 0
- days spent riding in the rain: 0 (but one hella snowstorm in Oregon)
- excellent people met along the way: heaps
- smiles: continious

The bad:
- water pump started leaking very small amounts of coolant about a week into the trip. completed trip like that without problems, did not need to top up.
- side stand straightened by mexican shop. 40 pesos.
- one small dent on front rim, been there for 10k now.
- rear subframe bolt fell out, rode like that a couple days before i noticed, no problems as a result
- valve cover gasket started leaking at about 25k
- battery went to shit at about 25k - added water and I am still using it.
- corrupt cops met: 2
- Lima taxi mirrors removed while lane splitting: 1
- License plate lights removed courtesy of Girag air cargo, Panama: 1

Things that worked well:
- the tkc's performance wise, but they do have their limitations on and off road. Better life would be nice, but at about 8k to the wear bar on a rear, I cannot complain. The current set has about 11k rear and 19k front and you can still sorta make out the tread.
- soft luggage and rack
- the scottoiler really seems to make a difference
- can't say enough about the lava filled grip heaters

Things that I would change if I were to do it again:
- the seat, but it really was not that bad
- the windshield, but just a slightly taller one or a removable extension. only an issue at 100+ km/h on long days. Im sure a taking the peak off the helmet would have helped too

Other crap I noticed:
- the fuel economy is almost exclusively dependent on speed/headwind. Above 120km/h it really starts to go to shit. Usual range on a tank running regular: 300km, best: 340km, worst: 240km
- distance with fuel remaining was very handy and quite accurate on my bike
- the engine has smoothened out a remarkable amount
- the transmission shifts noticeably different with depending on oil used
- the horn button is in a shitty spot IMO
- double check the fuel cap is locked down
- I think the suspension is pretty decent. I ran full preload and almost full dampening. I would say I was at the weight limit for the stock springs. If you ride like you're in the Dakar, you will be disappointed. If ride like your bike weights 850lbs gross, you are all by yourself in the middle of nowhere and crash could have serious consequences, it is more than adequate. My biggest complaint would be nose dive on braking.

So my advice to anyone dwelling on choosing the 'best' bike for their trip, would be to not worry about it that much. Pick something you like and are comfortable with and just do it. You will adapt to your bike strengths and weaknesses and will have the time of your life regardless what you're on.


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Old 04-24-2010, 05:25 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejones
Looking for something in the "650 range", I'd buy a used F650GS for this type trip.
Definitely the way to go. Many good ones out there, and they are affordable. The 08 and later KLRs are junk. Ask me; I know. Too many recalls, major oil-guzzling problem, and a manufacturer that says a quart of oil in 300-500 miles is normal. Stay away.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:51 PM   #89
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wow seems like you've had quite the successful trip! no serious problems, nice choice on the F8. I polled the klr only becasue me and buddy both bought one for the trip but after the post right above me....i worry :P

meh, ill just fill the panniers with oil rather than unnecessary pants
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:54 AM   #90
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To fix your oil issues....do the 685 upgrade.....cheap in the long run and much less vibes, plus a little more power.

Yes the newer KLRs are well known for oil burning....but it is a simple fix.
I have done 5 or 6 now.....all run perfectly now.

Which would I take....hmmm....? I like the simplicity of the KLR and it's ability to be repaired with a rock......so I guess that is why I would choose it.....but NOT a stock one for sure! It needs toi be massaged to be worthy IMHO.....in many areas, but once done...it is truly a great bike for the money.

Yeh yeh...flame away.....lol
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