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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I joined the forum because I'm trying to decide on my next bike. I currently have an old Yamaha XJ600, it was my first bike. I bought a 06 Buell Ulysses and sold the XJ. Had to sell the Uly to fund a major home project, so I bought my XJ back.

I'm wanting to move to a more fire/gravel/dirt road friendly bike and I'm bouncing between a pre 2012 650 and a KLR 650. Are there any known issues with the 650s? I did some Googling but I didn't turn up much.

Thanks!
 

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Hi red450! I de-crapped an XJ750 Seca a few months ago. Really neat bike, faster than expected, electrics were super crap though and were improved greatly by the retrofit of bladed fuse holders.

Will this be your only bike? Do you ride often on the highway?

If motorcycles are mainly a for-fun activity, a KLR is tough to beat for trail and road, but it sucks on the highway and in my experience is more maintenance-heavy than people say it is.

Here are some of the issues I've had with my v-strom over 55,000 miles:

  • The fuel filter started clogging up at 50,000 miles, causing the engine to bog from fuel starvation at progressively lower throttle positions. Rather than a megabuck OEM replacement, I bypassed it to a wix 33095 filter (the best for this mod, as it is small), Gates 27335 Barricade fuel hose, 5/16" clamps and about an hour's time.
  • Cush drive rubbers wore out, shimmed with scrap inner tube
  • Starter switch headlight cut-off switch got dirty / hung up, causing headlight to go out at night - MAJOR safety issue. Solution is to disassemble starter button, clean, and reassemble. Root cause is mostly related to lack of weather protection for this switch. There is a mod to add a headlight relay which solves the problem permanently.
  • Front fairing bolts came loose and one bolt was lost, replaced and retightened and all is well. These should be checked periodically.
  • Clutch pushrod actuator wore out and required replacement, about $50 on eBay. The actuator should be cleaned and regreased with a high-quality moly grease every 8,000 miles or so.
  • Subframe bolts came loose and required tightening
That's about all I can think of. I'm sure others will chime in. All in all, it's been a way better ownership than the KLR, and even though it costs more, it has been cheaper overall to run and is far more capable all around.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Fox,

It would be my only bike and must work for commuting (short 12 miles round trip, mostly surface streets), occasional two-up duty, light offroad/exploration and infrequent weekend trips (interstate and US highways). I torn between the simplicity of the KLR and the modern features of the Strom. I know a lot of the decision hinges on test rides but I'm doing as much research as possible.

If I went with a Strom, it would go the ThinStrom route and pull the fairing and replace it with an 8" Trail Tech and fab a mount for the factory gauges. Pretty much stealing this guys design:

http: //i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg258/nanomcko/P1050747.jpg
 

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Get a KLR.......seems to be a perfect solution for you.
 

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I would second that opinion, the KLR seems like it would be pretty well suited to your needs. I'd still recommend trying both, but no matter what you choose, it's never too hard to sell and buy until you end up with what you want.

If you end up with a KLR, the forum of choice is klr650.net. Don't forget to check the 'doohickey' and spring and replace them if this hasn't been done already. It's a materials defect affecting all years of KLR650, and it can cause issues if not addressed.

Good luck!
 
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