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Old 01-21-2005, 11:19 AM   #796
flaterik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
"Glen:
A KLR is a great bike for world travel but for safety sake not to exceed 45mph.
Glen, you've got a whole hell of a lot more experience than me (my KLR is at around 2100 miles, and that's all the miles I've got on a bike), but I find that statement curious. What is unsafe about a KLR going more than 45?

I know I'm not the only one that commutes regularly on a KLR, and it certainly doesn't feel the slightest bit unsafe at freeway speeds in LA. When I time things right, I tend more towards the 65 range (GPS speed) on most of my commute, and the bike seems perfectly happy when I'm pushing 80.

Maybe it's just because I've never been on a bigger bike... but with all of the traffic dodging I do, I don't have any desire to have one! Seems like a smaller bike would be happy on the insane streets of Karachi, as well.


Enjoying your stories,

erik
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:30 AM   #797
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaterik
Glen, you've got a whole hell of a lot more experience than me (my KLR is at around 2100 miles, and that's all the miles I've got on a bike), but I find that statement curious. What is unsafe about a KLR going more than 45?
I'm gonna hazard a guess that he's referring to a bike with a jumbo 8 gallon tank, and 150lbs of globe-trotter luggage. The F650GS is a remarkably stable machine, and can handle this reasonably. Also, IIRC, the KLR's are somewhat weak in the braking department?

drop by a beemer dealer, and take a F650GS for a spin, most all of them encourage test rides. hold onto your wallet
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:33 AM   #798
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Hey baby you got a nice...


Ead Mubarak


Dr. Smile


Before


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Old 01-21-2005, 01:45 PM   #799
Stinez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Sadar

Crumbling boulevards carry tumultuous traffic jams, flowing as grimy rivers of choking congestion, swirling into intersections of coughing chaos. Somehow, battered vehicles manage to scrape and nudge their way to the next stoplight that most ignore anyway. Passive disorder is the law of the land. Three-wheeled motorcycle taxis fare the best, piercing gridlock with pointed front-ends and drivers longing to meet Allah. Street crossing means sprinting slightly ahead through the sliding sludge. I master daredevil leaps between broken-down, elaborately decorated buses farting vile black smoke. Watch for deep holes in the sidewalk unless you enjoy stepping into raw sewage.
I could smell the air and the atmosphere with that paragraph!
Your great prose puts us there.

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Is that a portable gas station? Water?
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:03 PM   #800
flaterik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
I'm gonna hazard a guess that he's referring to a bike with a jumbo 8 gallon tank, and 150lbs of globe-trotter luggage. The F650GS is a remarkably stable machine, and can handle this reasonably. Also, IIRC, the KLR's are somewhat weak in the braking department?

drop by a beemer dealer, and take a F650GS for a spin, most all of them encourage test rides. hold onto your wallet
well, i don't want to revisit "KLR vs GS" for probably the millionth time. they both have their strengths and weaknesses, and i'm sure we each make the decision that makes sense to us.

i'm just wondering about the statement that KLRs are unsafe above 45mph! sure, the brakes could be better, but they're not THAT bad!
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:12 PM   #801
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaterik
well, i don't want to revisit "KLR vs GS" for probably the millionth time. they both have their strengths and weaknesses, and i'm sure we each make the decision that makes sense to us.

i'm just wondering about the statement that KLRs are unsafe above 45mph! sure, the brakes could be better, but they're not THAT bad!
remember also, Glen did his south american trip a couple of years ago on a KLR. or two (read Two Wheels Through Terror for the complete account)
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:29 PM   #802
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Sorry folks for the empty pics. My server's been down for a while. Of course I'm working to get it back ASAP.
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:38 AM   #803
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I hesitated before answering the bike question but as stated previously, you get what you pay for. The Dakar costs more and you get more. Diseregarding brakes, bang for the buck is better with a KLR. When on the South American ride, I used both bikes (650GS). There was no comparison. Brad airfreighted his KLR down to Panama and we rode back together, swapping bikes along the way. The KLR fell way back at altitude and when we filled fuel, it took a gallon and a half more.

That kind of stuff is acceptable considering the vast price difference but poor braking isn't. I would pay triple for a bike with better brakes, you get the savings back at your first wreck. Less hospital time.

Don't take my word for it. Go 65mph on the KLR, stop as fast as you can and mark it. Repeat the drill on a Dakar. Then pretend there was a bus pulling out in front of you at about half the distance either bike stopped at and ask yourself which bike you'd rather have been riding. Then factor in rain or icy roads and think about ABS.

An unloaded KLR is certainly a nimble bike in traffic and has almost adequate stopping power at 45mph but not enough for me. Some guys spend their dough on horsepower before braking. Because I do the reverse doesn't mean you have to. Everyone has their own priority where the money goes, after two major wrecks, safety is mine. Maybe I just got cold feet.

The biggest threat on a world ride is not bandits or terrorists, it's the traffic. As you Mexico riders have experienced, there is no logic out there. What you have witnessed in Mexico is considerably worse in other Third World countries. I long for the organization of Mexican traffic.

I know people get bugged when they hear negative comments about their bikes but I rode them both and didn't mean to offend anyone. I also hammer BMW in some of my reports. Every bike out there has it's weak points that need to addressed.

Back in the day, we old Harley riders removed the front mechanical brake to install a 21 inch front spool hub because it looked cool. Who needs a front brake at all? After that went the mirrors and front fender.

In the early-seventies, Daly City HA got smart and started welding Harley necks to Cerianni front ends because the best available front disks from Hondas would then bolt right up. Faster stops and better handling was an alien concept to those who altered the rake on necks to kick the front wheel out farther to accomodate longer forks.

Most HD guys looked at us like we were crazy but I've been sold on braking since. I didn't get onto Japanese bikes until 1980 but have sworn off brand loyalty ever since. Whatever manufacturer offering the best product gets my allegiance.

There have been problems with the Dakar but ones that I created by abusing it in Siberia and Mongolia. For the beating I gave it during the first segment of the ride, it's amazing it still runs. My sponsorship agreement with BMW is only to use a bike they supplied and report what happens. I don't work for them or have any written agreements.

Like all bikes, stock is never good enough. Upgrade to an Ohlins, bolt up a set of Jesses and you can go anywhere. If this Dakar doesn't measure up, you'll hear me ranting.
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:50 AM   #804
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Hey Glen,

I'm really enjoying your book, and your current trip report. Dude, you've got some serious Cajones. I hope all is good in your world, see you sometime later on the road.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:07 AM   #805
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Nice looking flag there Norskie.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:56 AM   #806
DirtDOG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
I hesitated before answering the bike question but as stated previously, you get what you pay for. The Dakar costs more and you get more. Diseregarding brakes, bang for the buck is better with a KLR. When on the South American ride, I used both bikes (650GS). There was no comparison. Brad airfreighted his KLR down to Panama and we rode back together, swapping bikes along the way. The KLR fell way back at altitude and when we filled fuel, it took a gallon and a half more.

That kind of stuff is acceptable considering the vast price difference but poor braking isn't. I would pay triple for a bike with better brakes, you get the savings back at your first wreck. Less hospital time.

Don't take my word for it. Go 65mph on the KLR, stop as fast as you can and mark it. Repeat the drill on a Dakar. Then pretend there was a bus pulling out in front of you at about half the distance either bike stopped at and ask yourself which bike you'd rather have been riding. Then factor in rain or icy roads and think about ABS.

An unloaded KLR is certainly a nimble bike in traffic and has almost adequate stopping power at 45mph but not enough for me. Some guys spend their dough on horsepower before braking. Because I do the reverse doesn't mean you have to. Everyone has their own priority where the money goes, after two major wrecks, safety is mine. Maybe I just got cold feet.

The biggest threat on a world ride is not bandits or terrorists, it's the traffic. As you Mexico riders have experienced, there is no logic out there. What you have witnessed in Mexico is considerably worse in other Third World countries. I long for the organization of Mexican traffic.

I know people get bugged when they hear negative comments about their bikes but I rode them both and didn't mean to offend anyone. I also hammer BMW in some of my reports. Every bike out there has it's weak points that need to addressed.

Back in the day, we old Harley riders removed the front mechanical brake to install a 21 inch front spool hub because it looked cool. Who needs a front brake at all? After that went the mirrors and front fender.

In the early-seventies, Daly City HA got smart and started welding Harley necks to Cerianni front ends because the best available front disks from Hondas would then bolt right up. Faster stops and better handling was an alien concept to those who altered the rake on necks to kick the front wheel out farther to accomodate longer forks.

Most HD guys looked at us like we were crazy but I've been sold on braking since. I didn't get onto Japanese bikes until 1980 but have sworn off brand loyalty ever since. Whatever manufacturer offering the best product gets my allegiance.

There have been problems with the Dakar but ones that I created by abusing it in Siberia and Mongolia. For the beating I gave it during the first segment of the ride, it's amazing it still runs. My sponsorship agreement with BMW is only to use a bike they supplied and report what happens. I don't work for them or have any written agreements.

Like all bikes, stock is never good enough. Upgrade to an Ohlins, bolt up a set of Jesses and you can go anywhere. If this Dakar doesn't measure up, you'll hear me ranting.
Glen,
Keep and eye on those rear wheel/sproket carrier bearings. This is what mine looked like at 20,000 miles.



I'm not complaining as the bike has lived a active life and provided the most smiles per mile of any I've owned. I waited for the first ABS Dakar and it was a wise decision, it has literaly saved my ass more than once.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:47 AM   #807
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Hi Dirt Dog... would you please teach me how to ride when you come visit AZ...
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:51 PM   #808
ekaphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
more.

That kind of stuff is acceptable considering the vast price difference but poor braking isn't. I would pay triple for a bike with better brakes, you get the savings back at your first wreck. Less hospital time.

Don't take my word for it. Go 65mph on the KLR, stop as fast as you can and mark it. Repeat the drill on a Dakar. Then pretend there was a bus pulling out in front of you at about half the distance either bike stopped at and ask yourself which bike you'd rather have been riding. Then factor in rain or icy roads and think about ABS.

An unloaded KLR is certainly a nimble bike in traffic and has almost adequate stopping power at 45mph but not enough for me. Some guys spend their dough on horsepower before braking. Because I do the reverse doesn't mean you have to. Everyone has their own priority where the money goes, after two major wrecks, safety is mine. Maybe I just got cold feet.


I know people get bugged when they hear negative comments about their bikes but I rode them both and didn't mean to offend anyone. I also hammer BMW in some of my reports. Every bike out there has it's weak points that need to addressed.

Most HD guys looked at us like we were crazy but I've been sold on braking since. I didn't get onto Japanese bikes until 1980 but have sworn off brand loyalty ever since. Whatever manufacturer offering the best product gets my allegiance.

There have been problems with the Dakar but ones that I created by abusing it in Siberia and Mongolia. For the beating I gave it during the first segment of the ride, it's amazing it still runs. My sponsorship agreement with BMW is only to use a bike they supplied and report what happens. I don't work for them or have any written agreements.

Like all bikes, stock is never good enough. Upgrade to an Ohlins, bolt up a set of Jesses and you can go anywhere. If this Dakar doesn't measure up, you'll hear me ranting.

SV,

I agree with you 100%. I learned the hard way about suspention as well. I dumped my DR-Z pretty hard a year ago this month and can still feel it in my back because of inadaquate suspention for my weight and sand. IMHO brake, suspention then power mods. I tend to over engineer it on safety equiptment these days, after all I'm not 18 anymore and the ground is getting harder than it used to be. I also spent several years working as a medic and can tell horror stories about wreaks. More than once some ones last words were "I didn't think it would happen to me." You don't pass that on to the family of course, they don't want to think their loved ones last thoughts were about what a dumb ass they were.

It's nice that you give us a no shit answer to questions. I like that, even if I don't like the answer I can respect the person and what they say.
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:29 PM   #809
DirtDOG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeemerChef
Hi Dirt Dog... would you please teach me how to ride when you come visit AZ...
Who told you I ride?
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:41 AM   #810
GB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
That kind of stuff is acceptable considering the vast price difference but poor braking isn't.
Glen,

The solution is quite simple. I've installed an aftermarket 320 mm rotor on my KLR, put stainless steel braided lines, and replaced the brake pads with better ones. Stopping power has dramatically improved. Maybe not be as good as the Dakar, but not a lot worse like it used to be. I've tested an F650 before and after the brake updgrade on the KLR and I would say the stopping feels about the same.. If the F650 gets a 10 and I'd give the KLR an 8 with the new brake setup. As you said, you get what you pay for, and in my case, I can buy 2 KLRs for the price of one Dakar. Of course, you can't get ABS on the KLR at any price. The brake upgrade is a $400 investment.


I have been following your travels and enjoy reading your submissions and visiting your website. Thanks for taking us with you on this journey from the comfort and boredom of our own homes.

Cheers!
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