I am the proud owner of a 1989 Kawasaki KLR 650. I purchased it from Brian Siegrist, my brother in law who is also a KLR 650 fan for $2,000.
Why the KLR 650???
A couple reasons. The biggest being its dual sport ability. I can cruise the freeway, back roads, gravel roads, and dirt single track trails. Exactly the type of rig I was looking for. I was seriously looking at the KLR 250, but I changed my mind when I found it struggles to go 50+ MPH on the highway.
The KLR will do 65 MPH without any problems. In my teen and college years, I have been riding lots of old dirt bikes. My brother and I pulled them from junk yards, barns, and several other places. When we brought them home, none of them worked. All of them had to be fixed up to get in running condition. We did al sorts of things to these bikes, swapped heads, 2nd and 3rd oversize pistons, carb rebuilds. Doing this taught me alot about small motors and dirt bikes in general. For example Honda requires alot more time and special tools to do the same job on say a Yamaha. A 4 stroke motor puts out alot more torque and usually requires less head rebuilts then a 2 stroke. I learned lots of little things like that educated me on purchasing the KLR 650.
KLR 650 Pros
Lots of low end torque, a single cylinder diesel is the best way to describe how much torque
The KLR 650 has stayed the same for 20 something years, almost no changes to the bike at all, leaving LOTS of parts available.
12 volt electrical system, I can run all sorts of toys off of that
Reasonable price tag
KLR 650 Cons
Heavey (500 lbs)
A bit tall for me, have to lower it for offroading
Not as nimble as I would like for off roading
I added rear cargo cans or panniers for camping trips
Within a week of owning the bike, I have covered well over 300 miles of county roads. There is alot of country to ride around here, now I finally have a rig that can do it all without slowing down.
The bike will also server as my Pikes
Peak rig, it can go up the mountain much quicker and easier then my old
Nissan Pickup. Recently I had to make a maintenance run up Pikes to reset the
webcam. I made it to the top, no problem. Unlocked the gate, went to drive the
bike inside and the bike was dead. No start, no lights, no nothin. Its then
I really wished I was with a bikin buddy.
Luckily, I had my tools in the ammo cans and was able to take the bike apart, after taking the seat off I found the ground terminal on the battery had fallen off, so the bike was getting no power. After using myleatherman to tighten the bolts back down I was back in business. Gotta love this bike!
I finally did arrive at the shack and did the maintenance.
I ride this bike, EVERYWHERE! Here are a couple recent rides