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Old 08-08-2012, 05:22 AM   #1
ddavidv OP
Thrifty not cheap
 
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Question Life after a KLR, or what cheap used bike next?

I returned to riding a couple years ago with a very cheap, ugly but dependable KLR650. It's a great machine sort of like an old beat up pickup that you can depend on to always start and haul junk. But I'm now realizing it's limitations and negative aspects for the kind of riding I do. It needs a 6th gear. It's got vibrations galore. The seat sucks. It's so ugly my wife won't ride on it. I can enjoy it for about 200 miles. At around 225, I'm ready to get off. At 250, I schedule a visit to the chiropractor.

I ride a 60/40 mix of twisty paved roads and generally well groomed gravel, for which the off-road capabilities of the KLR are overkill. I'd like to take longer road trips, be more comfortable, and maybe convince the Mrs to come along. Critical criteria: must be economical in both fuel consumption and reliability. Should have a more upright seating position (no sport bike-ish-ness nor laid back cruiser stuff). Should be more than one cylinder for smoothness. And for the killer: needs to be out there for $3500 or a bit less, but no more.

I'm not big on power, and I loathe excessive plastic bodywork. I like simple stuff. Give me a naked bike with torque, please. Under 1000cc methinks. Bikes currently on my radar:

Triumph Tiger 900/955i
Suzuki Wee Strom 650

I imagine there's some BMW that may fit in there but I'm a bit frightened of the cost of ownership with those. I do most of my own wrenching but prefer those instances to be far apart.

So, sell me on your favorite bike as a replacement for my loyal but tiresome KLR as I graduate to the next level of motorcyle.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:49 AM   #2
MacNoob
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Maybe you could negotiate down to $3500 on this one?

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=815420
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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I went from a KLR to a Triumph Scrambler 900 and find it capable and fun for the kind of riding you described. No plastic body work on this naked bike and the old British styling makes an attractive ride your wife won't be ashamed to be seen on. Like most other bikes there a ton of mods you can do to personalize the bike for your needs. The older ones in your price range will have carbs instead of fuel injection, but they work fine with that bulletproof motor.
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nofate screwed with this post 08-08-2012 at 09:38 AM Reason: spelling
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
FirstLight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavidv View Post
Give me a naked bike with torque, please. Under 1000cc methinks. Bikes currently on my radar:

Triumph Tiger 900/955i
Suzuki Wee Strom 650

I imagine there's some BMW that may fit in there but I'm a bit frightened of the cost of ownership with those. I do most of my own wrenching but prefer those instances to be far apart.
Well your first sentence made me instantly think "Suzuki Bandit 1200N", the big naked Bandit. Smooth, reliable, cheap, definitely in your price range or below. Probably less economical than you want, but it's not all that bad, still in the 40 mpg range if you play nice.

Which brings me to my WeeStrom; I have an '08 that I got for 4 grand even a year ago w/ 12k on the clock. It gets in the low 50mpg range. A little over your price range, but it came accessorized with heated grips, crash bars, top case, hand guards, center stand, and was pretty much mint condition. A few dings and no farkles, should be able to find one. It does all the things you're looking for. I saw one local to me that had some rash from an accident for $2500. I love the bike.



I've seen an '08/'09 Versys for $3500, but they are few and far between in my looking. That was originally what I set out for, but finding one under 4k was tough a year or so ago that was relatively local to me.

Also, have you considered an older R1100R? Haven't checked prices on those, but they'll do all of what you're asking a bike to do.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
FirstLight
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Oh, also completely forgot about the SV650. One of the best all-arounders out there... easily in your budget.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
ddavidv OP
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Thumb

Thanks fellas. The Scrambler didn't put me in mind as the type of bike that would be comfortable for all day rides...maybe I'm wrong? They also seem to hold their value really well, but then I haven't been shopping hard for those.

The SV650 looks (in pics anyway) to be more of a sport bike. Is there luggage available to fit it? I've seen a lot of those for sale but the Wee seems to overshadow it in popularity for 'our' kind of riding.

Versys: neat bike but I've yet to see one priced in the basement where I reside.

My brother-in-law actually owns a R1100R and it's a very attractive machine. It's been pretty reliable for him and I wouldn't discount one. I'll add it to the short list.

Yep, that V-Strom link is what got me thinking I may actually be able to find one in my price range...I thought they were all 5 grand and up bikes until I saw that. Unfortunately, not yet ready to spring on one. I'm selling some things and doing some other stuff right now that this is just in the pre-planning stage so I can be certain of what I want and then really be ready to pounce when the time comes. Maybe just in time for those pre-winter bargains.

Anyway, keep the suggestions coming, especially if you've gone to something from a KLR!
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ddavidv screwed with this post 08-08-2012 at 12:34 PM Reason: fat fingers
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
Kevan Garrett
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My $.02

I have a Vee-Strom 1000 and love it. But if I weighed less I would have bought the Wee. Great bike. Very smooth.

I would also recommend the Versys. If you can pick up a cheap one, it's a nice compromise (not exactly a dirt bike).

The SV is definitely a nice bike.

Good luck in your search.

Kevan

(You could also pick up an old XS650, put on KLR forks, a corbin seat, and 60/40 dirt tires, and spend only $3000 on a bike that you could easily sell for $2000)
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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Every single person I know with a KLR (5 or 6, self included) sold it and got a Wee. Actually, there's one guy who got the Wee and didn't sell the KLR, but it never gets ridden.

Shinko 705s on a Wee are what you want for road & gravel. And they are cheap.

A Wee is a still a cheap bike - suspension and brakes in particular. However, the KLR is so cheap that the Wee feels like s superbike after unloading the KLR.
As reliable as a doorstop and cheap to buy, insure & maintain. Fuel injected (no, it never breaks) so there's no choke to deal with. 50mpg unless you're flogging the hell out of it.
When the KLR is wheezing at 6,000 and running out of acceleration, the Wee is in the meat of the powerband and will pull for another 4,000 RPM before hitting redline, so you can even downshift at 80 if you like. The motor is fantastic. Seriously.

The only reason for you to not buy one is if you are short (but the Wee is no taller than a KLR) or if you can't find one in your price range. Keep an eye on CL, and have cash in hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavidv View Post
I ride a 60/40 mix of twisty paved roads and generally well groomed gravel, for which the off-road capabilities of the KLR are overkill. I'd like to take longer road trips, be more comfortable, and maybe convince the Mrs to come along. Critical criteria: must be economical in both fuel consumption and reliability. Should have a more upright seating position (no sport bike-ish-ness nor laid back cruiser stuff). Should be more than one cylinder for smoothness. And for the killer: needs to be out there for $3500 or a bit less, but no more.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #9
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Yep, got to be the Wee. They are awesome bikes and the more other bikes I get through, the more I miss mine
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #10
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I recently sold my KLR and got a Tiger 955i. Major step up in refinement, power, smoothness, street handling, and two-up capability. I have not been able to find any serious issues that people have had with them. Did I mention how much more power it has?! Haven't had it on gravel/dirt yet, but I imagine with any sort of ADV tire it would do fine.

BTW, might be selling mine soon for non-riding related reasons and I am in PA.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #11
CA Stu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavidv View Post
I ride a 60/40 mix of twisty paved roads and generally well groomed gravel, for which the off-road capabilities of the KLR are overkill. I'd like to take longer road trips, be more comfortable, and maybe convince the Mrs to come along. Critical criteria: must be economical in both fuel consumption and reliability. Should have a more upright seating position (no sport bike-ish-ness nor laid back cruiser stuff). Should be more than one cylinder for smoothness. And for the killer: needs to be out there for $3500 or a bit less, but no more.

I'm not big on power, and I loathe excessive plastic bodywork. I like simple stuff. Give me a naked bike with torque, please. Under 1000cc methinks. Bikes currently on my radar:

Triumph Tiger 900/955i
Suzuki Wee Strom 650
The older Tigers seem to be what you want.
I don't think a Wee would be comfortable two up and they have a bit of plastic on them...


If you could throw in a couple of extra $$$, Tiger 1050s are being given away everywhere it seems.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CA Stu View Post
The older Tigers seem to be what you want.
I don't think a Wee would be comfortable two up and they have a bit of plastic on them...


If you could throw in a couple of extra $$$, Tiger 1050s are being given away everywhere it seems.
+1

The only thing the Wee is better at is gas mileage. Tiger's more fun though
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:59 PM   #13
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I had a KLR for 5+ years and loved it, but I wanted more highway abilities. I found a used DL1000 for $3500 that is a real joy to ride.

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #14
Belgian Waffles
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Went from a KLR to a KLR Tengai, to a Transalp. The only thing I'd replace that with is an Africa Twin. TA seems to fit your bill though.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #15
LexLeroy
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Love my '08 1000cc V-Strom, but maybe I just don't have the strength/skills/huevos to do anything but pavement with it - that's why I've also got a Honda XR650L. There are lotsa' folks out there, however, that slap a set of off-road tires on their 650cc V-Stroms and do some pretty gnarly stuff. The bikes are butt-ugly but they're bomb proof.

But then if you're coming from a KLR ugly probably isn't an issue.
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