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Topic: A Tale Of Two Kaws  (Read 2699 times)

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MichiganMan
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« on: April 10, 2015, 03:31:19 pm »

I will be buying my first bike in a couple of months (after my MSF course) and have pretty well decided on an EX 500.  I had toyed with the idea of a SV650, and I love the FZ6 that another member is selling but in the end I think that either one COULD be a first bike, I'd rather err on the side of caution.  Plus I can grab an EX for 2K or less.

That being said, I'm wondering if a KLR650 should be on my radar?  My intended use is fair weather commuting about 70 miles round trip - I can use either freeway or surface streets - plus weekend rides when time permits. If you've seen the pockmarked surface of the moon, you have some faint idea of what Michigans roads look like - long travel suspension has its appeal...

OTOH, I am somewhat vertically challenged at 5'9" with a 30" inseam.  Would the KLR be too tippy?
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Dan K
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 04:40:53 pm »

I'd stay away form the KLR for primarily street duty, even with lots of potholes/crappy streets.

All bikes have suspensions, you don't need long travel for the roads particularly for a beginner not leaning the bike over to grind the pegs. I'd also get something with fairings if you are planning on commuting over the highway - ask me how I know (ended up selling my half faired FZ1 and buying a Sprint solely for the full fairings on my 23 mile each way commute over mostly highway. Weather is a bitch).

If you're going to take it off road as well, then the KLR may be the way to go, but they are tall.

Especially if you are short in the leg, you should go with a bike you can easily walk around for your first bike. Wait until the first time you park downhill, nose in, instead of backing into a spot, and you need to push it out... That's a mistake I made only once.

Anyway, if you're careful, nothing wrong with an FZ6 or SV for a first bike, but the EX500 sounds perfect. Just make sure you are extremely comfortable on the bike moving and at zero mph - that way you can focus on the riding which is key for any beginner.

The fact that you are thinking about it is probably even more important than bike choice, but shoot for something on which you are comfortable.

Good luck!

 -Dan
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 04:44:34 pm »


I will be buying my first bike in a couple of months (after my MSF course) and have pretty well decided on an EX 500.  I had toyed with the idea of a SV650, and I love the FZ6 that another member is selling but in the end I think that either one COULD be a first bike, I'd rather err on the side of caution.  Plus I can grab an EX for 2K or less.

That being said, I'm wondering if a KLR650 should be on my radar?  My intended use is fair weather commuting about 70 miles round trip - I can use either freeway or surface streets - plus weekend rides when time permits. If you've seen the pockmarked surface of the moon, you have some faint idea of what Michigans roads look like - long travel suspension has its appeal...

OTOH, I am somewhat vertically challenged at 5'9" with a 30" inseam.  Would the KLR be too tippy?


For as much as I love the KLR, I think that you'd be better served by something else (EX 500 is a good choice). Reasons not to chose the KLR:

1) Too tall (can be lowered easily, however)
2) 70 miles every day on the highway can be a drag (literally and figuratively)  I understand the road condition aspect but I'm not sure if it would warrant a bike just for that reason Shrug


That being said, the KLR is a hoot to ride  Bigsmile
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mica
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 11:30:59 pm »

Can't go wrong with a Ninja 500 as a first bike. Might want to look at a GS 500F too. Same beginner friendly ergo's and HP but with a fairing and windshield.
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 08:18:57 am »

I also looked at the KLR initially but even lowered it wasn't that comfortable for my 30" inseam.

I ended up with a Yamaha FZ6R and I've never regretted my choice. I even ended up lowering that and I'm super comfortable with it now!!

Just my 2 cents.
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scarecrow
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 05:07:25 pm »

My KLR is a better street bike than most street bikes and a better ADV bike than most adv bikes.
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 08:08:12 pm »

I love my KLR too, but I would never buy one if I was never going off pavement.
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