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Review of the 1988 Kawasaki KLR 650:
Not for me
Author: John Speers, 2007-01-13|
I bought a Spanish (or Italian) import a few years ago and kept it for just over a year. I´m sure they´re good bikes for what they´re intended, but it just wasn;t right for me.
I fancied an offroader which I planned to use to commute to work every day, about 30 miles round, and had the idea of playing in the mud when I got a chance. |
I did my reasearch and the KLR seemed the one for me. I found one in a London dealers and when for a run on it. I was immediately impressed by the acceleration from the big single, the riding position was great too and the big wide bars gave super leverage. This being in comparison to the ZX7R I still owned.
Once being used daily, and the novelty having worn off, it stopped being so rosy. First thing I noticed was the headlamp. Its crap. I uprated the buld to what was a technically illegal one, only to burn out the contacts, requiring a replacement to be robbed from a dumpted Fiesta.
Then came the starting problems. Quite often, if not completely cold or roasting hot, it just didn´t want to know. Regularly leaving me with a flat battery. After a couple of weeks of this I traced the problem to the exhaust valve, which once adjusted worked fine. Then there was the rear shock, which blew and as its USD dumped its contents on the back tyre.
Its possible mine had just been neglected, and that can be the case with any bike. But what i couldn;t put up with was the vibrations. For 20 of the 30 mile daily commute I was on straight roads requiring me to sit and 60 to 80 mph. A feat the KLR is NOT designed for. After each day I felt like I had killed all the nerves in my arms, and would spend the next hour with really itchy hands. Don´t ge me wrong, it was perfect in town, good position, loads of bottom end grunt, wide bars... its had it all. But was just complete dog poo on a straight road.
Wrong tool for the job I think. Never even got it muddy either. If you´ve got one and like it, good luck to you. But for me, never again.
This review of the 1988 Kawasaki KLR 650 was posted by a visitor on Bikez.com and does not necessarily reflect facts, truth or Bikez.com's opinions.
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