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KLE500 - KLR650

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by daewoo, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. I have no idea about Kawasaki bikes... In my search for a Japanese equivalent of a BMW F650GS Dakar, about the closest I have some are these two...

    Are Kawasaki bikes OK... comparable to Honda for instance??? Reliable??? Equivalent resale value???

    I guess it is hard to compare a 650 single with a 500 twin, but, am I going to miss the 150cc for touring with the missus on the back??? 70% sealed, 30% good dirt roads???

    I have little experience with biggish bikes, and am looking for something I can squeeze through the traffic Mon - Fri, and go exploring on weekends???

    As usual in my endless search for a good, japanese, dirt orientated dual-sport, all comments appreciated...

  2. If you have a look at the advrider.com forums there are HEAPS of people with KLR650s used for varying degrees of touring on and off the road. Well worth having a look there...
  3. I've been a member on ADV for a while, but never noticed the KLRs on there...

    I had looked at them before, but passed them over because I don't know what Kawasaki bikes are like...

    I was at the local beach this afternoon, and there was a guy there photographing one for a magazine article ( http://www.offroadexplorer.com.au/ ) and made me think that they looked to be exactly what I have been searching for...

    Thanks for your reply,
  4. No direct experience, but a mate had a KLE years ago. Reckoned with sticky tyres it was the biz on really tight twisties, but that it really wasn't a dirt bike.
  5. SOunds like you should be looking at KLR 650 Tengai's.

    Regards, Andrew.
  6. Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, fantastic bike and will do off road easily (fire trails, etc), and pretty cheap too. Fantastic motor also.

    Do yourself a favour and test ride one, they make the KLR look stupid on road and do 90% of what the KLR can do off road.

    Don't have one myself but have test road both on and off road.
  7. G'Day Freddy,

    Thanks for your input... I have ridden a Vstrom, and while they seem to be a great bike for touring, plenty of power, huge range, and VERY comfy, I was getting a fair bit of wind buffeting, which seems to a big problem for them (but one that wouldn't stop me buying one and then trying to fix it)... the main thing is that they seem huuuuuuge... a lot of my riding is commuting to the city, and there is no way you could filter on one of them... not on Sydney roads... The smaller physical size of the KLR/KLE appeals to me, even though they are almost the same weight...

  8. Owned an 04 KLR, test rode the latest model and finally got a test ride on a KLE.

    IMHO, the KLE's the one to get. The twin is not lacking in power, and six speed box will be less vibey at freeway speeds. Couldn't tell much difference between them in power or weight.

    Great deal at Alto Chatswood at the moment - new $6,490 + ORC
  9. This is a problem for both the 650 and 1000, most people seem to replace the screen or add an aftermarket bracket to sort it.

    I thought the same thing when I got my 1000, they seem to shrink the more you ride them!

    I commute on the 1000 most days to Richmond (inner city) and have no probs lane splitting although the KLE would do it easier.

    Good luck!
  10. I have a KLE and love it. I rode my friend KLR 2007 and even thought I loved the bit of extra power the bike felt a bit too heavy for me and I don't like the vibration (spoilt by the twin engine after the change from the single Dominator).

    KLR has a massive fuel tank tho.

    KLE is capable enough if you are a good rider and with sticky tyres you can get some mad leaning angles.

    I have a touring screen, givi top box, renthal bar and heated grips on mine. Just bought a centre stand too but haven't fitted it yet.

    I commute on it everyday. About 80Kms round trip.
  11. Thanks for your input... the thing is, there seems to be a big difference in the width of old Sydney roads, and Melbourne roads (I used to work 1 week/3 in Melbourne)... the cities are roughly the same age I guess, so that isn't it, but the roads I need to use are just stupidly narrow...

    Thanks Will,

    I had a good look over the KLE during the week, and Sydney City Motorcycles (Kogarah) called today to say that they have a KLR in now, so I will go down and do a comparison...

    They have about the same Hp, but the KLR has 25% more torque and is 8Kg lighter (173Kg Vs 181Kg), and the large fuel tank definitely appeals (I have to fill every 200Kg on my current bike, and it drives me nuts).

  12. If its a Kwaka, you cant go wrong... Although in saying that they are all pretty good bikes these days, its really just a brand preference thing i say..

    Remember, green is mean.. :twisted:
  13. Remember that those are their dry weights, when you put the petrol, oil, etc the klr feels heavier than the kle. It may also be related to the riding position.

    Do yourself a favour, if you get any of them just take the dunlop tyres and sell them and get a nicer rubber. I'm running Pirelli Scorpions and the difference is abysmal.

  14. Don't know if I should continue this in this thread, but anyway...

    Went to a dealer today who has a KLR and KLE in stock... really only looking at the KLR now, but could be tempted the other way...

    Basically, he offered me a bit less than 10% off RRP on the bike, and $100 off $1600 worth of new gear... Does that seem fair? or should I be able to get more? (noting that someone here posted that the KLE's were down to 18% off RRP)... I didn't expect much off the bike, but expected a heap more off the gear...

  15. Daewoo. The other thing thaty you should take into account is what a mechanic told me when I had the Dominator (single).

    If you are going to commute in the bike is better to have two or more cylinders as the heavy traffic and constant idling take its toll in every bike, specially singles or aircooled. I know the KLR is liquid cooled but it is still a single.

    I think that is the reason behind the two cylinders on dual sports, becuase makers know people use them as a commuter a lot. I used to commute on the dominator and I got sick of the vibration pretty quick.

  16. IMHO, it depends on whether you want to keep dealing with them. If you do then I think 10% of each is a good deal, for you and them. Maybe even look at incorporating a discounted servicing schedule.

    If you are not going to back for servicing then you should be able to push a bit more. You just have to remember to have a figure in your head when you go back in there and be prepared to walk.

    Good luck.
  17. Will, again thanks for the input... What a shame that the Dommie was the last bike in this class that Honda made... they are getting a bit long in the tooth now for someone with my limited mechanical ability, otherwise that is what I would be getting...

    Thanks for your input on the single... I hadn't heard that before, food for thought...


    It isn't like I need to screw every last penny out of the dealer, but I also don't want to be ripped off... thanks for your input... I thought the practice was more along the lines of hold the sale price of the bike, and kick in a $500 helmet and a jacket or something, which is why I was a bit shocked when he only offered $100 off the gear... I would really rather just get the bike as cheaply as I can than gear tho... I can wait for bargains on gear and save more...

  18. Pffft, get over to the KLR forums, HEAPS of guys commute on em.
    And PS, they really haven't changed much, buy a 4 year old one and save half.

    Regards, Andrew.