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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned a '08 KLR for 2.5 years now. I like riding it - when it's assembled. Many of you have no doubt heard or know first hand that the '08 KLR has issues. Mine couldn't be more of a lemon if I painted it bright yellow. This thing needs to go.

I've always admired the 'stroms. I rarely see them but I practically drool over them whenever I do. I think the Wee is the 650 I wanted in the first place but the price put me off a bit at the time. I don't need great off-road capability when 99% of my riding is on pavement. I don't need the DL1000 because my '03 Concours does the 2-up long haul duty.

What I want to know is whether the Wee delivers what we have all come to expect from the Japanese. How reliable is it? Does it want to stay in one piece?

Most importantly, would you buy one again?

Any and all opinions are appreciated.
 

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Living the Stereotype
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You are a prime candidate.
 

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The 650 is amazingly capable. It is a good bike for just about everything. I have over 20 grand in trouble-free miles. It does have it's quirks but they are simple to fix. I have the mechanical skills of the average village idiot and I have been able to maintain mine without difficulty.

It is also a chick magnet.
 

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I've owned a '08 KLR for 2.5 years now. I like riding it - when it's assembled. Many of you have no doubt heard or know first hand that the '08 KLR has issues. Mine couldn't be more of a lemon if I painted it bright yellow. This thing needs to go.

I've always admired the 'stroms. I rarely see them but I practically drool over them whenever I do. I think the Wee is the 650 I wanted in the first place but the price put me off a bit at the time. I don't need great off-road capability when 99% of my riding is on pavement. I don't need the DL1000 because my '03 Concours does the 2-up long haul duty.

What I want to know is whether the Wee delivers what we have all come to expect from the Japanese. How reliable is it? Does it want to stay in one piece?

Most importantly, would you buy one again?

Any and all opinions are appreciated.
What sort of problems have you had with your KLR? I thought thoughs bikes were pretty much bullet proof. I was interested in getting one as a second bike, you have me wondering now. What are the best years for KLRs?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well there's the "doo" (balancer chain tensioner) that everybody knows about. It is NOT fixed as claimed in the media. I installed the aftermarket replacement. The "new and improved" OEM piston & rings are worse than ever and big K claims 1 quart in 1000 miles is normal. I installed the 685cc kit to correct that. The turn signals fell off, fixed under recall. Every rubber bit on the '08 turns to powder in 2 years. Now the cylinder base gasket has failed. Stupid stuff is breaking all the time.

On paper the '08 KLR is superior to the earlier years but the execution sucked.
 

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$tromTrooper
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It really comes down to your riding preferences. I have ridden my 650 as rough as anyone and I am very aware that it is not the 'dirt oriented' bike that the KLR is. My nephew is a KLR owner and I have ridden his bike on several occasions and I am impressed with its dirt capability, despite the weight.

In my thinking, the Wee is best purchased if you plan to ride 25% dirt (or less) and 75% pavement. If you intend to go 50% dirt and 50% pavement, you need a different bike than the Strom.

Honestly, if I were in your shoes and owned a Sport Tourer....I would not purchase a Strom. I would go for the XR650L, a completely bullet proof bike that is a phenomenal 50/50.
 

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Well there's the "doo" (balancer chain tensioner) that everybody knows about. It is NOT fixed as claimed in the media. I installed the aftermarket replacement. The "new and improved" OEM piston & rings are worse than ever and big K claims 1 quart in 1000 miles is normal. I installed the 685cc kit to correct that. The turn signals fell off, fixed under recall. Every rubber bit on the '08 turns to powder in 2 years. Now the cylinder base gasket has failed. Stupid stuff is breaking all the time.

On paper the '08 KLR is superior to the earlier years but the execution sucked.
I waited and got the '09 klr. Better doo, ring problem sorted out. They are back to the bullet proof thumpers they once were :thumbup: and mine makes a nice mate to my liter 'strom.
 

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Another unhappy KLR owner! I'm here doing the same as you- shopping for something better, and educating myself completely before buying. I have the '06 KLR, dead in my back yard. The exhaust fell off 2 weeks after buying it- dealer would do nothing, said owner abuse. A month later I got a recall notice about exhaust fastener issues. The steering didn't feel right from day 1, dealer said its normal, I'm not used to a dirt bike; I was raised on them. I found the steering stem bearings were very loose; tightened them, and retightened them every couple weeks as long as I rode the bike. Stock seat foam was destroyed the first season, subframe started loosening up, and the stock rear rack broke off with an empty Givi E32 on it. Every fastener on the bike kept loosening, until I bought a locknut kit. 5 rear tires and 3 front tires in 17k miles, some of those included street-only rubber (tried battlaxe). I did the Doo 1000 miles after buying the bike (2 weeks) and the spring was already broke.

I bought the bike because every owner said the KLR was a bulletproof machine. Once i was on the KLR forums, I found that most of my problems were very common. Very common to have internal engine problems? That's not bulletproof. Not to mention the bike was heavy and slow for what it was. I avoided the more powerful XR650R because they were wound a little tighter and didn't have the engine lifespan of what the KLR should. Its irony that I avoided the Honda because I didn't want to do a top end at 20k, and bought a KLR thats dead at 17k.

From what I have seen on here so far, any possibly common "necessary" work I might have to do to a Strom would be some minor tuning and a PCIII. I can easily live with that. I don't mind spending time and money on my bike- heck, i WANT to, to personalize it and add farkles- not because I HAVE to just to keep it going or repair a poor design.

Jim
 

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I've owned a '08 KLR for 2.5 years now. I like riding it - when it's assembled. Many of you have no doubt heard or know first hand that the '08 KLR has issues. Mine couldn't be more of a lemon if I painted it bright yellow. This thing needs to go.

I've always admired the 'stroms. I rarely see them but I practically drool over them whenever I do. I think the Wee is the 650 I wanted in the first place but the price put me off a bit at the time. I don't need great off-road capability when 99% of my riding is on pavement. I don't need the DL1000 because my '03 Concours does the 2-up long haul duty.

What I want to know is whether the Wee delivers what we have all come to expect from the Japanese. How reliable is it? Does it want to stay in one piece?

Most importantly, would you buy one again?

Any and all opinions are appreciated.
KLR's sell because they are cheap. If they were $1000.00 more, nobody would buy them. Figure the DL650 weighs only slightly more fully fuelled than the KLR and it makes almost double the power for no too much more money than a. You can do so much more with a DL.
For an average rider ( which most of us are ), the DL will do 80% of anything the KLR can do in the rough stuff, but will absolutly stomp it into the ground on paved roads.
It's not too tough of a question as far as I'm concerned.
 

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I've owned a '08 KLR for 2.5 years now. I like riding it - when it's assembled. Many of you have no doubt heard or know first hand that the '08 KLR has issues. Mine couldn't be more of a lemon if I painted it bright yellow. This thing needs to go.

I've always admired the 'stroms. I rarely see them but I practically drool over them whenever I do. I think the Wee is the 650 I wanted in the first place but the price put me off a bit at the time. I don't need great off-road capability when 99% of my riding is on pavement. I don't need the DL1000 because my '03 Concours does the 2-up long haul duty.

What I want to know is whether the Wee delivers what we have all come to expect from the Japanese. How reliable is it? Does it want to stay in one piece?

Most importantly, would you buy one again?

Any and all opinions are appreciated.
Reliability: Advrider thread.

Uncle Larry said:
It will be six years riding the same bike.

I've got about 84K miles on it through all sorts of conditions except, well, off-road. Sissy I be.

Issues? None.

Routine maintenance? Sure... I lost count of the number of tires and oil changes and chains and other sundry wearable items that I have replaced over these past six years.

It starts. It runs. It takes me to my job and back. It takes me to ADVRider rallies where I park it, pitch a tent, drink, and eat bacon.

It is mostly unfarkled and my luggage is soft - I am not cheap, I just know my style of riding. I'll likely be taking this bike to over 100K miles.

Sadly, the girlies don't seem to be impressed with my Wee-Strom.
As far as buying one again, BTDT.

2005:


2009 w/ABS
 

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I have over 43,000 miles on my Wee, and the only thing I have replaced is the oil, chain, sprockets, battery, coolant, and tires (all regular maintenance items). Absolutely trouble-free. I've never owned another vehicle that went this many miles without some little glitch.

I live on a gravel road, but the rest of my riding is on pavement. I take my 1976 Honda XL350 when I want to ride on logging roads. It all depends on where you want to ride.
 

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Another unhappy KLR owner! I'm here doing the same as you- shopping for something better, and educating myself completely before buying. I have the '06 KLR, dead in my back yard. The exhaust fell off 2 weeks after buying it- dealer would do nothing, said owner abuse. A month later I got a recall notice about exhaust fastener issues. The steering didn't feel right from day 1, dealer said its normal, I'm not used to a dirt bike; I was raised on them. I found the steering stem bearings were very loose; tightened them, and retightened them every couple weeks as long as I rode the bike. Stock seat foam was destroyed the first season, subframe started loosening up, and the stock rear rack broke off with an empty Givi E32 on it. Every fastener on the bike kept loosening, until I bought a locknut kit. 5 rear tires and 3 front tires in 17k miles, some of those included street-only rubber (tried battlaxe). I did the Doo 1000 miles after buying the bike (2 weeks) and the spring was already broke.

I bought the bike because every owner said the KLR was a bulletproof machine. Once i was on the KLR forums, I found that most of my problems were very common. Very common to have internal engine problems? That's not bulletproof. Not to mention the bike was heavy and slow for what it was. I avoided the more powerful XR650R because they were wound a little tighter and didn't have the engine lifespan of what the KLR should. Its irony that I avoided the Honda because I didn't want to do a top end at 20k, and bought a KLR thats dead at 17k.

From what I have seen on here so far, any possibly common "necessary" work I might have to do to a Strom would be some minor tuning and a PCIII. I can easily live with that. I don't mind spending time and money on my bike- heck, i WANT to, to personalize it and add farkles- not because I HAVE to just to keep it going or repair a poor design.

Jim
I had a 2006 KLR and sold it with eight thousand miles. While I did not have the problems you did, I was disturbed about having to replace stuff like fasteners! Also didn't like how it ran with a carb, and had some fuel problems after rain and it was always very cold-blooded. It was kind of a trip to ride around Boston on a lime green preying mantis, though.:green_lol:

The quality of the Suzuki is much higher.


 

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Buy the wee

I just sold my 07 KLR. It was a fair bike, got me where I wanted to go. But it always lacked that "holy shit this is great" factor. When I rode my 09 Strom for the first time, I knew that it was exactly what I was looking for. I love the Strom. So much smoother and refined than the KLR. Don't get me wrong, the KLR wasn't a bad bike, but it wasn't this bike either. Plus don't get me started on the fuel injection :yesnod: Hee hee. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go out to the garage right now and stare at my bike. :hurray:
 

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FYI, electro, I made the switch from an '08 oil-guzzling, parts falling off, rattling KLR to an 09 Wee and could not be happier. All I want now is a DRZ or a WR250 or something for the nasty stuff.

I am still a big fan of the pre-08 KLRs, seen many of them go forever, but for me, the Wee is so much the right bike. I only wrench on it if I WANT to.
 

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I have the best of all worlds. See my Sig block. Just got back from a 4 day 2000 mile trip on the Wee. Next week will be heading out on the ST for another 2000 mile trip, Tomorrow I am going to do a day ride in the mountains of Colorado with my 97 KLR. I really love retirement.
 

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Ive never rode a KLR. I own a strom and sat on KLR but just off of that the strom is where its at.
 

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My Wee-Strom is a champ at reliability

I take quite good care of my Wee-Strom, but I do not baby it.
And I guess I neglect some items; I have never lubricated the shift lever.

Still, it takes me there and brings me home. It has taken me to 34 states and ten provinces in four years, and has logged 49500 miles. The only time it quit on me was when its (first) new battery died on the day after I installed it, last month. I was toting a spare battery, in case another Wee-Strom rider needed it, so I was back on the road in ten minutes, and back to the battery store as soon as I could make it.

Next month I plan to ride this machine from Florida to British Columbia and back. I am confident it will complete its mission serenely. I am sure this motorcycle has some limitations, but I always encounter my limitations first.

I recall reading some youngster's question, "What would your ideal motorcycle be like?"
and immediately realizing that the answer is often to be found right under my butt.

I recommend the Wee-Strom for long-distance touring and carrying lots
of gear, because that is what I ask of it, and what it delivers every time.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now that the decision is all but made, I can't find a non-orange DL650 near me. I hope the 2011s get here soon!
 
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