Is the KLR coming back????

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RossKean, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    Just saw this on another site...
    Question is whether it remains the relatively inexpensive and highly reliable "hammer" that the KLR 650 was before it was discontinued or have they "upgraded" it to the point where it competes with the likes of the Tenere 700 and VStrom 650 with a predictable increase in price? Stay tuned!

     
  2. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    time will tell
     
  3. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    I would wait at least until year two...
    (Especially if there are major changes)
     
  4. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Versys 650 motor has all the bugs worked out so no R&D there. Frame/suspension upgrades and less plastic would be good to go.
     
  5. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    I agree that the Versys motor is a likely candidate - definitely performs well and has a good history of reliability. Assuming, of course that it can be built to accommodate newer emission standards (especially in Europe).
    Wouldn't even be too surprised if the new KLR has far more in common with the Versys than it does with the old KLR in terms of chassis.
     
  6. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    As a former Versys owner and fan I'm going to break from the pack and speculate that Kawasaki uses a different engine, one that didn't originate in the Ninja 650R.
     
  7. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    Quite possible although there is a huge advantage in using something more-or-less off the shelf. Development time and money would be hard to justify for an entirely new motor.

    No doubt that the big single stands out more than the twin cylinder and there are those who want to be different. It will be interesting to see if it ends out as a VStrom clone or if Kawasaki tries to keep the KLR in its old niche.
     
  8. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    I think it would be a shame to put out a new KLR that is a parts bin bike and a clone of something else. Not saying they shouldn't make a bike like this, just don't call it a KLR. Sort of like what Jeep did to the Cherokee name. Do you think they can keep the price of a new KLR under $10k?
     
  9. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    I am expecting something VStrom-ish. They will have to keep the price low to make inroads in that market. Could alienate those who really like the low tech thumper workhorse.
     
  10. dresda

    dresda Active Member

    There's always the DR for that market.

    Curious as to why anyone would have chosen a KLR over a DR. Thoughts?
     
  11. HunterSon

    HunterSon Active Member

    Fuel range? Looks?
     
  12. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Fuel range and better wind/weather protection. DR was better dirt orientated but when you buy you are thinking of all the long range adventures you are going to have. The truth is more likely day rides with gas stations close by but you are purchasing a vision in your brain of South American travel.
     
  13. dresda

    dresda Active Member

    I've found an interesting article comparing the two bikes here.

    For me, the difference in weight is a big factor, I really like a lighter motorcycle. I also prefer a bike with less plastic and other stuff to break when the bike falls over. The doohicky and oil burning issues also put me off the KLR. We really like the fact that the DR can be easily raised or lowered. My bike is also ridden by my son on occasion, he's 11 inches taller than me. Mike can set it up to suit either of us in about 15 minutes. He's also made the side stand adjustable.

    The use of shims to adjust the valves on the KLR also is a big factor for us. I've tried to adjust the desmo valves on a 350 Ducati way back when and the shims are a PITA.

    But fuel range is certainly an issue with the DR. We are going to buy a plastic tank for mine over the winter for sure. I do find the seat though isn't as bad as I thought it would be (even better now that the armourall the seller put on it has worn off).

    The article I linked above doesn't mention the relative comfort of the seat. Thoughts? Do KLR owners immediately upgrade the seat? On many bikes this is essential, about half the bikes I've bought in the past 17 years have absolutely had to have a seat upgrade for any riding over 200kms.

    I also think the DR is better looking but this is very subjective.
     
  14. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    Interesting article! Doohickey isn't a big deal - I have read about the replacement and it wouldn't scare me to do it. Unless valve check/adjustment is especially difficult on the KLR, it isn't that big a deal - especially for a one cylinder bike. (My FJR has 16 valves). I thought that the oil burning on the KLR was improved in later model years but I might be mis-remembering.

    I have not ridden either bike but I get the feeling that the DR is more of a dirt bike and the KLR is more dual-sport oriented. Certainly, the lower weight of the DR would be a big off-road plus. Neither is going to be a great highway bike but that isn't what they were built to do. My personal gut reaction would be to take the KLR over the DR but that is just my impression from what I have read and how I would personally expect to use the bike.

    Guess it all depends on your mission for the bike and how comfortable you are with working on them. While the comparison is great, it may be moot if the "new" KLR is a different beast altogether.
    Note: They talk about "Service life" and say it isn't uncommon to see bikes with more than 50,000 miles. I would hope to be able to get a lot more but I guess it depends on how hard you beat them up - off road is going to be tougher than highway miles! I have put more than three times that mileage on a street bike with absolutely NO major mechanical issues other than maintenance/wear items.
     
  15. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I rode EmmBeeDee's Dr on the Roaming Rally and it worked great. I didn't know at the time that it was running rich and burning a lot of extra fuel. It had an aftermarket seat with piping around the edge that dug into my knees standing but I had a fun weekend on it. Happily didn't drown it in the massive water crossing like about 6 other people did.
     
    dresda likes this.
  16. dresda

    dresda Active Member

    Our first DR, a purple framed '96 had about 25K on the clock when we bought it. My '01 had about 10K and Mike's '01 had 40K when purchased. All these bikes had over 90K on them when they were sold. The '96 went to a kid for his first bike and we used to see him with a pack of sport bikes thrashing the poor old thing. He blew it up after three years of hard use. Don't know the fate of the other two but we expect they are still going strong.
     
  17. RossKean

    RossKean Well-Known Member

    I assume kilometers rather than miles...
    Not saying all things are equal between street bikes and dual sport (especially single cylinder), just that my expectations for longevity are high. Other than valve adjustments, I never did anything to the engine of my '07 FJR in 295,000 km (including clutch) and it never used a measurable amount of oil between changes. Sold it two years ago and it is still going strong. Same with the 2011 but just 125,000 km on that one. A lot of that is, of course, highway plus a bunch of secondary roads/mountains/twisties etc.. Not much gravel/dirt and no off-road so a relatively easy life.

    If I had a bike like a KLR or DR, I would never put those kinds of kilometers on them and more of the distance would be tougher conditions. They are not exactly comfortable cross continent touring machines. Also, the underpowered "thumper" has to work a LOT harder than the somewhat overpowered street bike - just to maintain a spirited cruising speed.

    I know very little about these bikes other than what I have read but I am interested to see what Kawasaki comes up with.
     
  18. HunterSon

    HunterSon Active Member

    My big DR had horrible fueling. I thought mine was geared way too high when I first got it. It wasn’t. Just so lean from the factory on the bottom end that it wouldn’t pull very well at low revs. I put a properly jetted TM40 pumper carb on it and it was a completely different bike. It would pull 5th gear from 40kph no problem. The CV carb would need at least 80 or 90 kph before you shifted into 5th. It also made the DR a real tractor on the trail after the carb swap.

    My DR had no issues with power on the highway once it was sorted out. If you want to cruise at 125 all day maybe, but 100 to 110 kph was good with enough reserve to pass. It was a little unstable feeling at those speeds until I swapped out the front fender with a supermoto one.

    I do miss her.

    237B4797-5267-435D-B074-C6B387F212A6.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  19. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I've done 15 hour days on my 640, it has over 50K on it now and I have n plans to stop thrashing it. I think it makes a great cross country tourer! I know a guy who has one with about 250K on it!
     
  20. EmmBeeDee

    EmmBeeDee Active Member

    That bike was SO much better once I sorted out the fueling. When you took that bike for the Roaming Rally, I had only put a couple of hours of riding on it after buying it the previous September. The seat was a Corbin. I sold it shortly after as it weighed a ton, let alone the piping issue. And I still watch the deep water video occasionally. Sure glad I had done the carb T Mod on that bike or you would never have made it through.
     

Share This Page