Should a Wee replace my '08 KLR? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Should a Wee replace my '08 KLR?

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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post #2 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 06:46 AM
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You are a prime candidate.

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post #3 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 07:06 AM
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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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Make the world safe for stupid people and you will end up with a world full of stupid people.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroken View Post
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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post #5 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-26-2010, 08:09 AM
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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.

Big John

2007 DL650 - Gone but not forgotten
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-28-2010, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroken View Post
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 and mine makes a nice mate to my liter 'strom.
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-15-2010, 01:02 PM
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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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post #9 of 24 Old 03-15-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroken View Post
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.

If you get far enough away............................ you'll be on your way back home.
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-15-2010, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electroken View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Larry
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

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F
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