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Old 02-06-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
CA Stu OP
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Thumb 2014 KLR 650 New Edition

https://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Pr...scid=14&id=802

Anyone read the write up in Cycle World?

Upgraded (stiffer, heavier spring) suspension and a new seat sounds good to me. Kawasaki has definitely addressed one of the shortcomings of the KLR with the newer suspensions components, good for them!

I realize that a KLR will never be a Super Enduro, but there are definitely a lot of folks out there who are perfectly happy with the performance of the KLR , and are able to have a load of fun with a more mildly tuned, reliable, durable, low maintenance bike.
Now it's even better right off the showroom floor!

I think it's a great machine, and I look forward to seeing one in person.

Anyone buy one yet?
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Stu View Post
https://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Pr...scid=14&id=802

Anyone read the write up in Cycle World?
No, but saw one and sat astride it at the International Motorcycle Show in D.C; seat may indeed be more comfortable.

Specifications from the link above still in error; Ignition: "Electric CDI" (hasn't had CDI since 2007); Rear Brake: "Single-piston caliper," dual-piston calipers from 2008 on.

Did Cycle World parrot the errors?
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by XDragRacer View Post
No, but saw one and sat astride it at the International Motorcycle Show in D.C; seat may indeed be more comfortable.

Specifications from the link above still in error; Ignition: "Electric CDI" (hasn't had CDI since 2007); Rear Brake: "Single-piston caliper," dual-piston calipers from 2008 on.

Did Cycle World parrot the errors?
I'll look when I get home.

Was swapping out the leaky petcock on my '99 this morning and thinking it's been a long time since I had as much fun on a multi-day exploring trip as I had when I was taking them on my KLR.

Even more fun when it was new and hadn't been thrown off a cliff and set on fire a few times.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CA Stu View Post
I'll look when I get home.

Was swapping out the leaky petcock on my '99 this morning and thinking it's been a long time since I had as much fun on a multi-day exploring trip as I had when I was taking them on my KLR.

Even more fun when it was new and hadn't been thrown off a cliff and set on fire a few times.
I somehow feel that Kawasaki's upgrade of the suspension will cheapen the experience for new KLR owners. Depriving them the experience of swapping out shock and fork springs before the new plate arrives in the mail ? That's a low blow Kawasaki. I for one, will hang on to my '11 and remember the good times... waiting for new suspension to arrive in the mail... drinking beer in the garage and surfing ADVRider, as it should be.

What will be the unwashed masses (DR XRL riders) take on the new bike? Stiffer suspension makes the KLR feel as light as the other two. OF course we will still be able to source fasteners from Lowes / Home Depot.. we still have the frugality angle. If the upgrades makes the bike popular with the cool kids I may be forced to seek another route on life's journey. Until then, pay no attention to the middle aged couple on the KLR, nothing to see here.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:49 PM   #5
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Okay, I got to ask, are inverted forks really that difficult and expensive to use? Hell, just tear some off the KLX250S. It'll give it a more "updated" look if nothing else.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJay112 View Post
I somehow feel that Kawasaki's upgrade of the suspension will cheapen the experience for new KLR owners. Depriving them the experience of swapping out shock and fork springs before the new plate arrives in the mail ? That's a low blow Kawasaki. I for one, will hang on to my '11 and remember the good times... waiting for new suspension to arrive in the mail... drinking beer in the garage and surfing ADVRider, as it should be.

What will be the unwashed masses (DR XRL riders) take on the new bike? Stiffer suspension makes the KLR feel as light as the other two. OF course we will still be able to source fasteners from Lowes / Home Depot.. we still have the frugality angle. If the upgrades makes the bike popular with the cool kids I may be forced to seek another route on life's journey. Until then, pay no attention to the middle aged couple on the KLR, nothing to see here.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:28 PM   #7
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Looks pretty good. We need a picture

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Old 02-06-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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A new seat, stiffer suspension, and a super tanker 6.1 gallon tank. I guess they include the rear rack now also. Thats nice

Sure looks comfy
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #9
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I am no mechanic so I can't attest to the importance of this...

I went to the shop today to get a shim for my 07 and the mechanic was saying he went to a class yesterday on the new KLR. He commented that the new shims were not shim over and it was supposed to help with adjustment frequency.

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Old 02-06-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sp4rks View Post
Okay, I got to ask, are inverted forks really that difficult and expensive to use? Hell, just tear some off the KLX250S. It'll give it a more "updated" look if nothing else.
The forks... I'm sure that could be staffed from a parts bin somewhere in the Team Green Skunk Works as could a wheel and brake setup.. but that would require a triple tree change which would require a new gauge cluster which would require a fairing modification etc.

The forks are 43mm conventional non-cartridge... if you can't make those work and work well you're in the wrong hobby . Seriously, that has to be the EASIEST to work on and upgrade fork on the planet. With the correct spring and air gap the front end of the KLR feels like it came from a different bike all together. If you STILL need more... Gold Valve is just a click away.

The KLR is a great bike with unique capabilities that it alone currently possesses. It's affordable and IF you choose to upgrade it with aftermarket suspension, full off-road armor, luggage etc... it's still affordable. If Kawasaki chooses to go after someone else's market share, say KTM or BMW, it will be neither a KTM / BMW nor affordable.

I think the "New Edition" is the way to go for Kawasaki.

EDIT: Here is what Stu was originally Goggling when he ran across the bike :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReI6gvzVP0Y#t=71
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:31 AM   #11
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I am in the market for a new bike this coming summer. Currently on a Super Tenere. The S10 does everything it is supposed to. I just want something else. I have been all over the board on this. Looking at Sporties, V7s, Versys, Nine-Ts,
And a few others.

But I keep coming back to the new KLR. I have had the hots for this bike since it first appeared many years ago. But I have danced all around it. 640A, 950, TE610, DRZ, R100GS, 800GS, Tiger, and probably a few I'm forgetting. Jeez I have spent a boat load of coin looking for that perfect bike.

I said somewhere else that the "New Edition" has caught my attention. Sort of like the girl next door. She has been there all the while. But suddenly you just start looking at her differently. You begin to appreciate her for all the things she is. Instead of focusing on all the things she is not.

She was there before all the flashy girls showed up. She doesn't care if you have a lot of money.
She just wants to have fun. She may not be as pretty as to new girls. But she is not as high strung either. She doesn't need to have you throw a ton of money at her to be happy. And she is pretty stable too. She won't throw a hissy fit on you while you are camping, and demand a ride to the spa to have a facial and her nails done.

Marketing is a powerful tool. It convinces us we need stuff. Mostly stuff we don't need, or they wouldn't have to market it to us in the first place. Back in the 1970s I had a ton of fun on a Hodaka Wombat 125. It wasn't really the best at anything. But it always started when I jumped on the kick start. That era was sort of my introduction to marketing. I can actaully remember folks telling me my roper gloves were no good for bike riding. That I needed "Moto Cross" Gloves. Which back then were just gloves with a strip of rubber sewed down the length of each finger. I am still wearing my ropers. But I have paid the price for listening to the marketers. Truthfully all I want is a bike scaled up to fit my now larger body and increased range of travel. A bike that will just go where I want to go, at a leisurely pace. One that I don't need a laptop to work on.

The latest round of electronic wizardry has my head spinning. Do I really need electronic suspension? How about Traction Control? Honestly what I am looking for is just what I had back in the '70s. A reliable, affordable, rideable, bike that will take me where I need to go. One that won't eat up half my time off with heavy maintenance schedules. Or cost me and arm and a leg if It has to go to the spa.

No one bike is perfect. And not everybody wants the same thing out of a bike. But for me it looks like the "New Edition" may actuall be closer than most. If you start to focus on all the things it has, instead of all the things it doesn't.

Things that I find important to me are as follows;

1. Tank range, the KLR has enough range, so I don't need to add a larger tank.

2. Luggage Capacity, yeah the KLR has that too. With what has to be the best rear rack in the industry.

3. Decent weather/wind protection,

4. 21" front wheel, all the rage now, yeah it's there. Always was.

5. Reliability, it would seem so too.

6. Ease of maintenance, much like my old airheads. If you can't figure it out. There is someone right around the corner who is willing to help you.

7. Versatility, I think the KLR has that base covered pretty good.

8. Electric Capacity, Enough extra juice for heated grips and maybe a GPS.

9. Adjustability, I love shaft drive, but there is no such thing a dropping down a tooth for a few days in the woods. I like the fact that you can adjust sprocket size if need be.

10. Comfortable, decent enough ergos to allow me the time in the saddle I need to get where I want to go.

That mostly covers what I want in a dual sport bike.

Kawasaki doesn't seem to "Market" the KLR much. Maybe because they don't have to. At 54 I don't need to win any races. I just want to be able to get where I want to go. And sometimes I don't know where that is until I see it. I mostly ride solo, so I don't take too many stupid chances. I'd rather have a bike that takes me a little longer to get there, but leaves me reasonably sure it will get me back.

After being a member here for some time, i have become quite familiar with the term soul. I always read this bike has soul, this bike has no soul. For the most part soul seems to be applied to a bikes short comings. And ocassionally the exhaust note. Well If I end up with a KLR, I will just apply the soul to it's weak spots.

I don't mean to pick on anyone elses choices. Bikes are such a personal thing. Heck I have owned most of them anyway. But they have all left me feeling like I wanted more. Or at least something different. I never really bonded with them. I think it may finally be time to take a walk next door and ring that bell. Maybe what I have been missing has been there all along just waiting for me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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KLR's

And probably one of the most important things is that "they handle gravel and dirt roads pretty well", when rode respecting their weight and size.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:07 AM   #13
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I have just purchased a 2013 model and was told that in relationship to the 2014 improvements, the 2013 was the bargain to go for.
The price difference was such that I could possibly do the up grades that the 2014 model has and still have a chunk of change left over.
Just my 2 cents worth..........
H.

I failed to add that I nearly had my wonderful wife convinced that I needed the 2014 model but just could not get over the price difference.
Some would say that I am too soft but I gained a load of brownie points!
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #14
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Changes, yes, kinda sorta...! They could have gone a little further. I rank it up there with changing the lipstick color on a pig!

It is still a KLR. Took a while getting used to and adjusted to where I wanted it, now it gets used more than the Beemer in the garage.

As for changes to the valve adjustment, I wonder what they have done there or the mech did not get it right? Adjusted my vlaves at 2K miles- and now at 54K miles they are still well within tolerance.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:20 AM   #15
LostViking
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I don't doubt that the 2013s and for that matter the standard 2014s will be offered at some bargains. Probably very wise to look that way. Nothing on the new one that can not be done at home.

This is the first I have heard of any engine enhancements. It is not listed on Kawasaki's website. Or at least I did not see. It. Most folks are touting increased suspension capability, a better seat and BNG.

I would be curious to hear if indeed they did change the engine?

In my research of the KLR, I read a TAT report here on ADV of two guys that came down from Canada. One on a BMW F800GS and one on a KLR. I believe the rode from somewhere in Colorado to the Washington border. Most
Of the ride report was told through the F800 owner's eyes. He seemed to constantly be impressed with how well the KLR performed in relation to his F8GS. Obvoiusly rider ability is always a factor. But in the slab down and through the section of the TAT they rode. The KLR seem to do quite well. With the biggest short coming being how the wet clay soil packed up on the rear swing arm of the KLR.

Not only did I find the comparison between the two bikes interesting. But I quite enjoyed the brutal accuracy with which the trip was portrayed. I though they did an excellent job of relaying their experiences, both the good ones and the bad..

A link to the Ride Report for those of you who might be so inclined, some good writing with excellent photos;
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=745037
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