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I ride a Kawasaki 08 KLR 650 5 days a week, all year long. I put 23,000 on her last year alone. I got it because it was cheep, gas was expensive, and it could handle my off road adventures. I had to do a considerable amount of work and upgrades to make it decent. My only gripe is long distance highway rides and lack of freeway power. I like how nimble it is in traffic. I'm still under 40 hp even after all the work I have done to her. I like the off road abilities of her, but I have to face the facts that I'm on the road more, so I'm looking for a second bike. I do prefer the riding position of this type of bike.

Will the wee give me enough of a hp gain to be noticeable on the freeway, and does the ABS make a big difference in the rain? I've always wanted a liter bike, but do I really need it? I have lots of years and miles under my butt, but I haven't owned anything over 800cc. I'm 5' 11" and 180lbs.

I never thought of this bike as being much for off road until one came out of a difficult trail in Death Vally this spring, behind me. I was impressed!

I have to do more research on hp and torque on both models, and try to get a test drive somewhere. I did try out a Triumph Tiger, and that was a hoot, but a little pricey and it's English (worried about reliability).

Thanks in advance!
 

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A wee has roughly twice the power of the klr. It is also heavier and so better suited to freeway travel. ABS is nice, especially for newer riders or people who often ride in adverse conditions.

The wee will also get about the same mileage, maybe a bit better even.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I get 50-53 mpg on mine. That increase in power is what I'm looking for! I also like that I'm getting the seat 3" closer to the ground! I'm going to start looking for one. When I do get one I'll turn the KLR into a pure off road adventure bike.

The KLR has a few quirks especially the 08s. The balancer chain adjustment (AKA The doo) was prone to breaking and the new ones have a spring that is to long. Every one in the know always changes it out for the aftermarket one. Also we had a recall on the signals, wiring harness, and the rubber was bad on the 08s. Does the wees have any problems that should be addressed?
 

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I'm 5' 11" and 180lbs.
I have to do more research on hp and torque on both models,
I'm about your size, and I had a blast on my 6500 mile tour from Seattle to IL to TX and back, almost all interstate. It can eat up highway miles, alright. Don't expect great fuel economy at west Texas speeds, but I'm sure the KLR is similar in that respect.
 

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My buddy and I went from KLR's to the Wee for exactly the same reasons you mention, and we both still can't wipe that silly grin off of our faces. You will love the Strom.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had to put a bigger counter sprocket on so I could get any speed on the freeway, at 80 I'm at 5,000 rpms. We also don't have a 6th gear. Don't get me wrong, I love the thing, but it is what it is. All dual sport bikes are a compromise between dirt and street. The DR is a little bit better off road and the KLR is a little better on the highway.

The Storm looks like it will be great for trips and commuting, but still has the capability to explore some dirt roads. That is about 99% of what I'm probably going to do.

A co-worker told me I should run out and get the BMW GS1200 Adventure for serious off road. :confused: I asked him if he had ever done some serious dirt riding with a 500+lb bike. I also asked him for a loan for $20K so I could get it. :rolleyes: It's like the guys who knock me for not riding a Harley; I tell them when Harley starts making a bike (again) that can go off road, I'll get one.
 

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650

a 650 twin is so much smoother an engine than a single, at the end of the day you will be less tired on the twin. ive put some long days on 650 singles and find them tireing , pluss you have keep tightening bolts all the time so parts dont rattle off . there is nothing that feels and sounds better than lugging a big single though .
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My buddy and I went from KLR's to the Wee for exactly the same reasons you mention, and we both still can't wipe that silly grin off of our faces. You will love the Strom.
OK, so YOU know the little problems with the KLRs. Be honest with me, what are the quirks with the storms? ;)
 

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little problems

i wouldnt call the reports of the new klr,s useing 500 ml or more oil in a less than 1000 klm a little problem , or the counterbalancer chain dohicky falling apart. but they sure are alot of bike for the money .
 

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I had to put a bigger counter sprocket on so I could get any speed on the freeway
You sprocket-swappers amuse me. Are you one of those ex-cruiser riders who is afraid of high RPM? ;)

Seriously, what speed could you not get with the stock setup? The bike's top speed is limited by its poor aerodynamics, not its drivetrain. The handling'll get wiggy long before it runs out of steam.

at 80 I'm at 5,000 rpms
So? It'll run well above that all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You sprocket-swappers amuse me. Are you one of those ex-cruiser riders who is afraid of high RPM? ;)

Seriously, what speed could you not get with the stock setup? The bike's top speed is limited by its poor aerodynamics, not its drivetrain. The handling'll get wiggy long before it runs out of steam.



So? It'll run well above that all day long.
Man, have you ever been on a KLR!?! I am riding it 100 miles a day, mostly on the freeway. If you ran it at 7k all day you would toast the rings! It red lines at 7.5K! It likes to be between 4K and 5K;. With the stock sprocket, it would be at around 55-65mph. The 08-09s have pretty good aerodynamics for a dual sport. The pre 08s gets "wiggy" at speed, but my bike is solid up to 100mph (NOT SUSTAINED) when the red line is reached.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i wouldnt call the reports of the new klr,s useing 500 ml or more oil in a less than 1000 klm a little problem , or the counterbalancer chain dohicky falling apart. but they sure are alot of bike for the money .
The KLR is a dual fuel bike; it burns gas and oil ;) The oil problem was with some of the 08s and only the ones manufactured for part of the year. Mine (knock on wood) doesn't burn anything. I don't understand Kawasaki and the dohicky problem; they did a poor job three time in 20 years to address it. This is my firs new Kawasaki in many years and I'm not to thrilled. If you can't work on a bike, don't get one! It is fun.

Are there years of storms that I should avoid? I just may get a new one, we'll see...
 

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I get 50-53 mpg on mine. That increase in power is what I'm looking for! I also like that I'm getting the seat 3" closer to the ground! I'm going to start looking for one. When I do get one I'll turn the KLR into a pure off road adventure bike.

The KLR has a few quirks especially the 08s. The balancer chain adjustment (AKA The doo) was prone to breaking and the new ones have a spring that is to long. Every one in the know always changes it out for the aftermarket one. Also we had a recall on the signals, wiring harness, and the rubber was bad on the 08s. Does the wees have any problems that should be addressed?
The stock tires aren't great, especially on sand. Other than that, no generic problems.
There have been a few failures, but it's a scattering of different issues rather than a design flaw they all have.


Pete
 

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The only issue I have run into with the Wee is that I live in Michigan and it is still spring, so until the past week or so, I have been limited to riding 2-3 days a week if I didn't want to be wet and/or frozen (I am an enthusiast, not a masochist). Oh, and that it doesn't add more hours to the day so I didn't feel guilty (knowing what needs to be done at home) about turning my 18 mile commute home into more than a 50 mile "detour". Oh - and it makes a lousy riding lawn mower. Then again, while I am riding it, who cares how long the grass gets?

I have had mine about 6 weeks and circa 1100 miles and have been very happy with it. It cruises happily at 80, with plenty of RPMs left to play with, has yet to find a road (or pseudo road) it doesn't like, and has cost me a whopping $31 in maintenance (oil, filter, and chain lube).
 
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