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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Klr

Alright - so, I have owned a lot of bikes in my short time of riding motorcycles (4 bikes in 5 years?) however now I am having another turning point in wanting to do more trail riding.

My father just bought himself a brand new Polarsis Sportsman XP 850 H.O. EPS with some intent to go riding off into some trails. But I want to ride with him.

Problem is I got my versys and I feel that its not really trail appropriate. In my spare youtube time I am constantly looking at the KLR 650 with a bit of awe in the fact that you can drop it as much as you want with no real issues. In fact I love watching a youtube channel called Halfthrottle which shares a lot of his experiences and it looks like a ton of fun.

Someone help me steer away from getting an older klr . I feel like it is such a similiar bike I would be wasting my money 100%. Do you think its feasible to think putting some more dual suport tires, such as scorpions, and maybe some engine guards will satisfy the few rides?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 11:45 AM
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That sounds like a really fun thing to do with your dad.
A cheap and light off-road bike is going to be a better choice than the V if you want to do some trail riding. The KLR is also a better choice, I have a '92, but after riding the Versys on the street the KLR will seem bouncy, ungainly, and anemic.
Dad's gotta trailer in the quad, no? Make a spot for a nice little 250, then have him carry the gas & the gear on the 4-wheeler. Let the Good Times Roll!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 02:00 PM
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a KLR and a Versys are not even close to being the same bike....I have both. For road use, maintained dirt and gravel roads the Versys is great. Add Dual sport tires if you plan to be off pavement a lot. Yes the Versys can be modified for more off-road capabilities but what you will spend in mods you could get a decent used KLR. The Versys is a road bike...not a dualsport.


The KLR isn't a single track bike either but it can handle much rougher terrain than the Versys. They are simple, durable and just plane fun to ride. Like Halfthrottle says....you can kick it over and nobody gives a damn...."its a Kawasaki KLR650"...

I would add there are other dualsport bikes that are better off road than the KLR....

The KLR is good at a lot of things but not great at anything.....

" I don't care about shinny chrome or loud exhaust, I don't ride to be seen, I ride because I want to disappear"

Halfthrottle

Last edited by offcamber; 03-28-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 02:10 PM
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I agree with the fellas! I don't think you'd regret buying a KLR, especially to spend time with your dad. Fun, cheap, TONS of information and modifications. I say go for it!

So much for us helping steer you away, HUH! That's like going to a bar and asking for help to stop drinking!!



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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 02:22 PM
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I'm with the "lighter is better" bunch - at almost 420 pounds the KLR is a bear to pick up especially when it goes down 'handlebars low'. IF you can, a 250 weighing around 225 is ALMOST fun to pick up, and if you can share the trailer with your Dad, you won't really need street-legal, so an MXer will do!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 06:02 PM
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If you are a dirt bike guy you will think the KLR is a worthless pig.

If you are a street bike guy you will think it is the best thing ever.

If you need a plate go for it. If you don't need a plate I would look for a true trail bike.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 08:37 PM
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My '08 KLR is a heavily modified bike and I wouldn't ride it on knarly muddy trails. It is great at gravel and dirt roads and can easily be ridden at 60 MPH on those roads. On the street it is a dream up to 65 MPH and then I feel it gets a little overworked above that. If you have the build of a running back you can handle the 650 anywhere you want to take it. Otherwise it will kick your azz.

In fact I just sold my KLR to my next door neighbor and am looking to either get a KLX250S or SF or if I can find a pristine KLX400S.

If you are not stuck on Kawasaki consider theDRZ400S

If you have to give up the Versys to get a bike than can trail ride and street ride then the KLR 650, DR650, or XR650L would be the way to go. Since he is going to have to trailer to the trails you could pick up an old trail bike and keep it with his off road machine and still keep the Versys.

My Versys Travels:


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 07:57 PM
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I had a KLR ('02 European/Canadian 'C' model), and traded in on a Versys because I ride 100% street and wanted to try a street-only bike (Versys is my first street-only bike). If I rode trails at all anymore, I would have kept the KLR.

If you can only have one bike, then the KLR is not a bad choice. I haven't ridden a 2008+ model, but the pre-2008 models are about as bullet proof as they get. The only real issue is an upgrade for a part in the counter-balancing system (google "klr doohickey", then visit www.eagle-m-e.com).

If you are keeping the Versys, a more dirt-worthy bike would probably serve you better. I'd be looking at a used Honda XR650L, a Suzuki DR350 or Yamaha XT350 if I could find one (should be cheap). I'd also consider one of the newer 250's (WR250, KLX250, etc), or a Suzuki DR400 / 650.

Just my $0.02,
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Wow love the feedback.

I considered the "Dirt Bike" route, but I really need something that can have plates.

I was also looking into a DRZ 400, but they are going for a good chunk of change, even used. I think due to the growing popularity of "Motard" racing and havoc they can unleash almost anywhere.

I think that I will face the fact of not trying to convert the versys into something it isnt and instead look for a "deal" out there on something I can throw a plate, smash against the ground, and wont care about.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 02:07 PM
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Wow love the feedback....I think that I will face the fact of not trying to convert the versys into something it isnt and instead look for a "deal" out there on something I can throw a plate, smash against the ground, and wont care about.
Like an old XR Honda!

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 02:38 PM
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My first bike was a 1983 Honda XL200r. Plate ready and super cheap
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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Although, now that I think about it... May be a bit too small. Seemed bigger when I was 14...
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 06:34 PM
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The KLR and Versys have a little overlap in that the KLR does well on road. The Versys is 95% pavement. With the money you'd spend trying to make the Versys log road worthy, you could have an awesome KLR650. I have both. My 99KLR650 with fork and shock work and a knobby on the front totally rails maintained ATV trails and forgotten log roads. The Versys would destroy itself in those environs. Owning and riding a KLR will make you a better Versys rider too. Versys are fun in the amount of mods available. The KLR will blow your mind. It is whatever you want to make it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naudan View Post
Wow love the feedback.

I considered the "Dirt Bike" route, but I really need something that can have plates.

I was also looking into a DRZ 400, but they are going for a good chunk of change, even used. I think due to the growing popularity of "Motard" racing and havoc they can unleash almost anywhere.

I think that I will face the fact of not trying to convert the versys into something it isnt and instead look for a "deal" out there on something I can throw a plate, smash against the ground, and wont care about.
The KLR650 will go anywhere. But you'll have more fun in the technical stuff on a smaller DS bike as you won't have to work/think as much to stay upright.

If you do choose the KLR route with intention of hanging with an atv thru single track/sand/ect, go with something prior to 08.

The pre 08's crash Much better, & many times show little or no visable damage. That new design KLR bodywork is Expensive & easily damaged in lowspeed dumps.

The DRZ400 is a decent option if you can find a good deal. I ended up selling my 04 DRZ in favor of an 05 XR650L which i liked alot more offroad & on, despite being older tech & heavier.

They'll all work well for the offroad stuff. But the less you have to think about staying alive when things get challenging...the more fun you'll have.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 01:04 PM
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I just went for a 30 mile ride for breakfast with a friend this morning. He on his KLR and me on my Versys. We traded bikes on the way back - highway - and there is a great difference between the two on pavement... but off-road the V doesn't even compare.
I too advocate a lighter bike than the KLR if you're doing some real nasty off road.
Back in the 70's I had a Bultaco Alpina 250cc and it would go anywhere, climb anything. It was around 225 lbs and just about the most fun bike I'd ever owned.
I advise go as light as possible. You won't be doing 70 mph when in the woods. Think 5 to 25 mph and go from there. I'd recommend something like a Yamaha TT-R230.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 01:00 AM
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...i advise go as light as possible. You won't be doing 70 mph when in the woods. Think 5 to 25 mph and go from there. I'd recommend something like a yamaha tt-r230.
yes x 2!

Ed
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