KLR650's for a couple new to adventure riding?

#1
The wife and I have really enjoyed going out and exploring in my FJ the last few years, but we're looking to try something new. Adventure riding seems to fit the bill for us. Due to us being new to this part of the hobby and riding in general we don't want to spend a fortune and go buy 2 BMW GS's. Looking around online it looks like a pair of KLRs with basic upgrades will fit the bill for us without breaking the bank and would be a good choice to get our feet wet.

We're both going to go get our motorcycle endorsements, and will both be riding in full gear when we go out.

Can anyone make recommendations on gear and equipment? What about the bikes themselves? I know they are on the heavy side, but from a couple guys I know that have them it seems to be a non issue. My wife is about 5'6" and is in very good shape, so I'm hoping it won't be too big for her.
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#2
kLRs would be OK but can be a bit of a handful in the dirt. DR650s tend to be better for the dirt but not as good on the road. BMW 650s are available at reasonable prices these days.

But depending on what sort of travel you are thinking of doing you could go with smaller and lighter bikes.

I have sold off all my GS's, KLRs and DRs and now have a TW200 for my dirt fun but it's definitely not a "ride a lot of pavement to get to the trail/track" type of bike.

Oh and for gear. MuskoMoto for soft bags and Jesse Luggage for hard bags. Wolf man seem to have the pick of tank bags. Keep your gear to a minimum.

I am the last person to ask about riding gear. I always buy 2nd hand BMW stuff (no longer in fashion ) and it has never let me down. Some of the RTW travelers that have stayed with us swear by Klim and others swear at it. I would probably steer clear of the cheaper stuff from Cycle Gear if possible as I have seen some quality issues with it but if comes down to that or jeans etc then go with the cycle gear stuff.

Big thing is to try it on before you buy it and be totally honest with yourself when working out what riding you will be doing then work out what gear you need. Buy the best boots you can afford especially if you will be walking in them. Make sure you try boots on before buying.

Ok essay mode over. Hope it helps.
 
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haven

Expedition Leader
#3
Ditto on the "large and heavy for a novice" comment. Buy a couple of used dual-sport 250s or 185s to learn. After a couple of months of riding you'll have a better idea what you want/need. You'll be able to sell the small displacement bikes for what you paid for them.
 
#4
One thing to note is that the KLR 650 is very tall right out of the gate. I am 5'10" and still run the stock seat on my KLR650, and I cannot flat foot it at stop lights, and it also makes it a bit less confident on dirt tracks. An aftermarket seat that rides lower would go a long ways, and they do make lowering kits (you do have to shorten your kick stand as well). To me it seems like the KLR650 would treat a novice well on pavement and forest roads as the power is very manageable and does highway speeds with confidence, but for anything more technical/challenging it is pretty heavy for a novice. It is something you could work up to though, and I do think they are really fun bikes at a great price. If you both intend to ride more technical terrain in the beginning, seek something smaller/lighter to get better acquainted with and then work your way up.
 
#6
Ditto on the "large and heavy for a novice" comment. Buy a couple of used dual-sport 250s or 185s to learn. After a couple of months of riding you'll have a better idea what you want/need. You'll be able to sell the small displacement bikes for what you paid for them.
^^^^This

Best advice you'll get in this thread
 
#7
Guess I should have updated this.

I ended up buying a Honda CRF250L Rally ABS for myself and a Yamaha XT250 for my wife. I got my licence a couple weeks ago and have been riding as much as possible on both the street and off road. The long stretches of deep, loose sand have been challenging. The bike rides nice on the street, but between me being super new to riding and the stock tires not being great off road the bike is a lot to handle.

My wife gets her license next weekend and we just plan to pack on mileage. We will reevaluate the bikes in a year or so and see if these small dual sports still work for the riding we intend to do or not. Thanks for the suggestions.