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Old 04-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
davethegoat OP
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'08 KLR questions

Hello, I am thinkinking long and hard about an '08 klr650 to replace my truck that was just totaled by a zombie.

I have some concerns about reliability, though. I've heard the '08's are not as reliable as the older ones. I've heard they burn a lot of oil. Is this true? Also, do the '08-current have the doohickey? will it need to be addressed? What else should I look out for?

I know there is a wealth of info on ADVrider. The problem is time; it just takes a lot of time to tredge through a lot of the replies to get to the goods. I don't have the luxury of time right now.

I've got about a week until my insurance check for my truck comes in so i'm hoping to learn as much as I can (Cliff notes style) before I go have a look at this bike.

Thank you for any and all replies.

David
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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I own an 08, bought new. It was a mistake. The long list of problems with that and subsequent years are well documented.

You'd be better off with an 07 or earlier.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
trainman
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The 08 KLR 650's are what I would call a crap shoot on picking the model that does or doesn't burn oil. 09's and up, who knows, I like everyone else have heard all sorts of reports on these models. I have had four KLR 650, 1995, 2003, 2004, and a 2007 which I own today, none have burned oil and all have been very dependable. I think oil and oil filters, tires, and farkles are my biggest expenses. As far a the DooHickey is concerned, if it bothers you then spend the $40.00 and replace it, I've never seen one fail, but the way posters feel about them you would have thought all of them did, but would I replace mine, yes I would just so I could sleep at night. I'd buy and 07 or earlier models, you can still find them with low mileage and in good condition if you shop around.

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Old 04-26-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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I bought a new 2008 KLR and I have 25,000 trouble free miles on it. It does use a fair bit of oil now, but it was not one of the "Burners" you read about. I would suggest that you stay away from any used 2008 KLRs.
There is no way to know the bikes oil usage history. One person I know bought a used 08 - that had been knowingly sold to him with a damaged top end from oil starvation. He had to spend $1000 to fix it.
Stick with a 2009 and up!
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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Rather than waste people's time by starting a new thread, I'm just going to add to this one.

I am also looking at a KLR, but a new one.
I had a DL for about 4 seasons, until I decided I need a touring bike. I bought a used Concours. Hated every second my butt was in the saddle. Bought a 250 Sherpa for the days when I didn't feel like pushing 800lbs of motorcycle out of the garage. If I ever get the insurance sorted out, my son will be riding that by June. I love the Sherpa, it just needs a little bit more of everything ( power, range, comfort, etc...), the KLR should be all of those things.

I've gotten used to working without too much power, so that shouldn't be an issue, but this oil burning problem might be, and it's is the first I've heard of it. Has this been showing up on new bikes?
Part of it is obviously cost, but also I miss the versatility of the VStrom. That, and I love the yellow & black paint this year.The other option ( with cost in mind) is the Honda CB 500X. I realize not off road oriented, but likely better on pavement and a little cheaper. But aftermarket parts will be a bit of an issue for a season or two. For a KLR, it would be endless. And a KLR should be slightly better two-up.

I don't want used, something new this time.
So, do I buy a KLR, or will I be disappointed somehow?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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I own a 2009 KLR 650, over 26,000 miles, does not burn oil, I am quite happy with it.

No worries with a 2009+ ~ I would never get rid of mine.

(but armor your wiring harness as soon as you get it).

The harness recall thing that Kawi did was bull.

You got to armor it yourself.

Ps: the red ones go faster!

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davethegoat View Post
Hello, I am thinkinking long and hard about an '08 klr650 to replace my truck that was just totaled by a zombie.

I have some concerns about reliability, though. I've heard the '08's are not as reliable as the older ones. I've heard they burn a lot of oil. Is this true? Also, do the '08-current have the doohickey? will it need to be addressed? What else should I look out for?

I know there is a wealth of info on ADVrider. The problem is time; it just takes a lot of time to tredge through a lot of the replies to get to the goods. I don't have the luxury of time right now.

I've got about a week until my insurance check for my truck comes in so i'm hoping to learn as much as I can (Cliff notes style) before I go have a look at this bike.

Thank you for any and all replies.

David

This is the internet. Subject to all sorts of opinions and half-truths, tribal knowledge that gets repeated without real verification and some truth. Treat the information on it with a jaundiced eye!

I have an 08. It is at 50,000 miles and going really strong. At 10K I put a 685 in. I would ride it to anywhere in NA, tomorrow.

All KLR's have some 'inconveniences'. The pre 08 -some have piston land failures, causing oil usage, some dont. Each year needs some Doo attention. Pre 08, a complete change. Post 07, at least a better spring.

What ever ails it and if the price is right, it can be fixed, easily. Which ever model year you choose, if you are handy, there is a lot fun to be had working and riding on it. There is a lot of good advice available here too.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Im with not buying a used 08. There is a list of affected VIN #s but you will have to Google it, I cant remember where I saw it. If it was/is a burner you really have no idea if it was ever run low on oil and KLRs do NOT tolerate low oil levels at all.
Like Tsotsie said, lots of opinions on the net and whatever bike you decide on will have some issues that need to be addressed.
Maybe you could talk the guy into doing a valve check/reshim and you could look at the journals yourself. Right exhaust will show signs first...
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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A lot of horror stories about the 2008 model. That was over 4 years ago. Either it is not a problem or it has been fixed.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #10
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My 2008 KLR was carefully broken in and had minor oil consumption. Now at 25,000 miles it does use a fair amount when run at highway speeds in hot weather over long distances. So on long trips I carry oil and check the level at each gas stop. At slower speeds, on gravel roads or two-track it I don't have to be concerned about oil use. The wiring harness did chafe under the seat, a muffler bolt came loose and I did the Doohicky for peace of mind. I also replaced the front brake rotor with one from Moose Racing.
This was my first KLR and I have been really impressed with how much of a beating it can take, how much luggage it carries and how good it is on/off road.
It will be with me forever. I can't see being without it.





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Old 04-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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Sleepy time !!
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:48 AM   #12
Tsotsie
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The reason the 08's have an oil issue is the result of a piston and ring design change by KAWA. Pre -07's and earlier had ring land failures. The 08 design had thinner rings and less pressure (3 lbs) on the bore and they clearly did not do design verification and validation correctly. Somewhere in 09 they changed the design again. That is why you cannot buy the original design pistons for the 07 and earlier either.

KAWA did eventually replace many of the pistons - some never had an issue either.

An interesting point of many of the arguments made against the 08 are by those who have never owned one. Each to their own opinion.

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