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What model years for most reliable KLR650?

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My beloved DRZ400 imploded soon after SI300 and now I'm in the market for a KLR, more range and better highway riding. What model years are the most reliable? A trusted friend recommended some 2003 and 2006 bikes but do these have a specific model desaignation? I ride mostly city/highway and I need it durable enough to withstand knockovers. Any model ranges you'd really recommend?  

Thanks for any advice.

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On 8/18/2017 at 11:39 AM, autoredial said:

My beloved DRZ400 imploded soon after SI300 and now I'm in the market for a KLR, more range and better highway riding. What model years are the most reliable? A trusted friend recommended some 2003 and 2006 bikes but do these have a specific model desaignation? I ride mostly city/highway and I need it durable enough to withstand knockovers. Any model ranges you'd really recommend?  

Thanks for any advice.

They are all pretty much the same within the first generation '87?-'07. I had a '90+- and a '07. Good bike! 

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'87-'93'ish had thinner cylinders so they couldn't be bored out much but a person could swap in the later version . Otherwise same bike up to '07 just depends on what color you like which will dictate the model year(s) you'll look for.

 

 

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Thanks for the inputs.  I purchased an '05 KLR 650 with 9k miles. Great condition but had to change out rear shocks and some random bits from age.  Handguards and skid plate and that's about it.

 

EDIT: need to change my profile pic.  Still miss my DRZ.

Edited by autoredial

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Ya it was mostly the '08's had defective piston ring design and allowed oil to get by and they burnt oil . Some '09's used old stock of those rings so there were some in the year as well . Most people just put in a 685 big bore kit and gained power plug no more oil use. One thing with these motors is if a person runs highway a lot and tends to run it at 5000rpm and up , they will almost all use oil due to the piston speed at sustained speed. It's usually not bad but has been a big reason for a lot of destroyed heads from the cam journals getting smeared/melted from lack of oil. So that's one thing to keep an eye on when traveling . Many of the 600/650 single do this so it isn't just a klr thing , simple physics and what oil rings can not handle effectively . Short stroke MX type designs don't do this until 7k rpms , then a person shouldn't be surprised for letting a motor scream like that for long periods😯 .

 

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