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Old 05-17-2013, 01:15 PM   #16
marc11
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: New York
Oddometer: 177
KLR is the perfect bike for this. Dead easy for maintenance, gas and oil is all it needs for the most part. Slap on some chain lube once in a while and worry about little else.

Drop it, no problem. Not much to break, ugly anyway is stuff does break and so many parts are out there it is stupid cheap to fix.

Get 45-55 MPG, 'nuff said.

Tons of waterproof luggage options.

Reliable as a mule.

Tires can last up to 10,000 miles or more and only cost $100 a set depending on which you pick. Chnage them yourself in under an hour with a set of spoons.

Forgiving and easy to ride. Enough power to get where you need to go, not so much to get you into trouble.

I use mine almost everyday for commuting 26 miles one way, rain or shine, cold or hot. I do not ride in the snow or after we have had rain/snow melt and a freeze for fear of black ice.

You can find a KLR in every possible price range in every possible configuration, most are nicely set up for touring/commuting already.

There are many bikes out there that will do the job better than the KLR, but few if any that can do it as well and do as many things at the rock bottom TCO the KLR has.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:58 AM   #17
jayareus OP
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Joined: May 2013
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Thanks for all the help so far guys!

I guess my hesitation is that I've heard bad things about carbs starting in cold weather vs. fuel injected bikes, but I'm not sure how big a deal this is. I'm looking at an 09 model on craigslist and the guy says he hasn't done the doohicky and hasn't noticed anything weird with the oil yet at 700 miles; I know there's doo guides around, but is there an easy fix if the oil thing becomes a problem? Or do I just need to constantly refill it?

Thanks!

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Old 05-18-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
nigelcorn
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The doo is easy to do yourself with all the guides out there. You'll probably be able to find somebody local who could help you.

As far as the oil, I assume you're talking about it burning oil at high speeds? That was more a problem for the '08's, but if it turns out that yours is burning oil it also isn't that hard to put in a 685 kit. Not something you would want to do for fun, but I didn't have any problem doing it following the online instructions, and before I bought my first motorcycle 6 years ago I had never even changed the oil before. These are really pretty simple bikes.

As far as using the KLR to commute, I had a couple. No problems at all. Rain--I commuted for a year in Portland. Cold--mine started in Iowa no problem down in the single digits. I don't think any bike you get is going to be the limiting factor in whether you use it to commute or not, I'm guessing you will be.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #19
Beezer
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the problem with the rings on some 08-09s is that if you have a bad one, it will drink oil sometimes to the point of starvation. if you run too low, the exhaust cam starves (last place to get oil).... if that happens the head is shot. there has been more than a few of these (but remember they made thousands). Kawi was doing warrantee work on some but now we're talkin 4-5 years ago.

at the first sign of high oil consumption it's time to change the piston because it will get worse, not better. in fact, I'd change the piston given any excuse since the bike runs smoother & stronger. the 1st generation piston rings are no longer available, so when the older bike needs rings you need a piston too. the aftermarket ones are better

700 miles you say..... total miles??? weren't near as many 09s with bad rings, but a few early ones

the carb is ok down to anything you care to drive in.... I've run mine at temps below zero F
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:56 PM   #20
ram1000
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I have both the KLR (2009) and a DR650 (2008). I have also owned about 60+- other bikes over the years. If you rode both bikes back to back you would notice the DR to be an easier bike to manuever in the parking lot and much more so in the dirt. The DR has literally no problems while the KLR in the Model year 2008 and 2009 have recurring oil consumption problems on a seemingly significant portion of those bikes. My KLR has had the piston replaced with an after market piston increasing the power and eliminating the oil consumption problem. Both bikes are completely comfortable at freeway speeds although the extra physical size of the KLR frame lends itself better to long distance riding. Realize that many of the people on this web site have taken both to Alaska and back. The rule of thumb is for dirt chose the DR and for packing up enough stuff to go the distance buy the KLR. Frankly I don't measure the reliability of bikes in my purchasing descisions since almost all bikes have proven themselves reliable these days. Getting more specific I find that stock DR650's have a more powerful feel to them though in a drag race the difference is somewhat insignificant. On the dirt however the DR has a noticably better throttle response at the low end. Both bikes get about 50-55 mpg but the KLR comes with a 6 gallon tank where the DR needs a $250.00 aftermarket tank to get an equal amount. If your bike falls over it will cost you less to make the DR look pretty again than the KLR since it has expensive shrouds around the tank. Lastly the DR has built in factory settings to lower the bike a few inches of your under 5'10", but the KLR can be lowered for about $50.00 +- with after market parts. However, the DR still handles very well when lowered whereas the KLR is quite limited for ground clearance having been lowered. I recently sold my Aprilia DorsoDuro to buy the KLR for my only road touring bike. I have ridden the DD to Texas and back and was tired of stopping for gas every 100 miles. There are many other bikes that will fit the classification of these two bikes as well- like the Husky 650's.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:11 AM   #21
greer
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Again, I think a DR650 would be a better choice for jayareus and his particular situation. Unless he chooses a pre-08 KLR that's been well-maintained and the doo done. Then I'd say no worries and ride the thing.

Doug's (my husband) '08 KLR burned oil from the start, and we've been all through the doo fix and 685 kit. We did the work ourselves but I wouldn't call it simple by any means. A big enough pain in the ass and pocket book for sure and we're old established folks, at least for the rednecks we are. It would have been a hard hit and tough to manage back in our starving student days.

Sarah
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:07 AM   #22
jules083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayareus View Post
Thanks for all the help so far guys!

I guess my hesitation is that I've heard bad things about carbs starting in cold weather vs. fuel injected bikes, but I'm not sure how big a deal this is. I'm looking at an 09 model on craigslist and the guy says he hasn't done the doohicky and hasn't noticed anything weird with the oil yet at 700 miles; I know there's doo guides around, but is there an easy fix if the oil thing becomes a problem? Or do I just need to constantly refill it?

Thanks!
I've started my 05 in the lower 20's after sitting a few weeks with no problem. Full choke and hit the button. A friend has a 2012 and studded his tires last winter, drove it to work daily. Temps below 20 and 8" of snow some mornings.

I wouldn't worry about oil burning. Super easy to check oil, and I doubt you'll have a problem. If you do its kind of a project, but there are tons of resources online. There are many klrs with a lot of miles and no problem there. They do use a little bit of oil. Maybe every 1000 miles I go through 1/4th a quart.

I did the doo on mine. There are ways to get help with it, either here or elsewhere. The 08+ has a stronger doo, so its not quite as important.

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