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KLR250 reliability?

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Thinking about a simple KLR kick start 250 as backup transportation and some longer trail rides..these engines have any issues I need to be aware of..how about compared to a DRZ400 as far as longevity goes. Won't see much if any interstate, just always liked the little klrs...what kinda topspeed are they good for..around 85 ish ?

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If you don't mind the kickstart, the bike is nice for what you said. My 2004 would just hit 100 mph, as indicated on speedo. Would cruise at 65-70 no problem. Would go as slow as needed on trails, nice low first and second gears, and 5th and 6th gears would do really good on the roads. Light and nimble, and with Kouba lowering links, it was as low as my Yamaha XT225.

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Kick start does not bother me, and if it can actually hit 100 mph that is the same as a 650...but without the weight. Thank you very much for your reply.

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Kick start does not bother me, and if it can actually hit 100 mph that is the same as a 650...but without the weight. Thank you very much for your reply.

After I got my klr250, I ended up selling my DR650 because it was so heavy. And the klr250 was like a feather in comparison! WAY better handling both on and off the road -- after getting the klr, I didn't ride my 650 any more -- the 250 was way too much fun! The ONLY thing the 650 could do better, was accelerate faster (of course), but other than that, the 250 wins everything else easily.

And my klr was bone stock -- if you want to fool with mods, it could be an even better bike.

Best of all (for me) -- I could actually pick it up, if I went down -- or drag it out of a tough tight spot. The dr650 was a pig in comparison, so I had to avoid going some places with the 650 for fear of getting stuck -- with the 250 I didn't have that worry.

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They are very reliable. I trashed one for 12K miles w/o any mechanical problems whatsoever. And it was submarined at around 2K. It was ridden at redline for hours on the street, and subjected to torture on the trails. I did adjust the valves and change the oil, of course.

I will warn you, they are kinda foo-foo compared to a real dirt bike. They cannot be ridden too hard in technical terrain. But they also aren't temperamental like the new machines. I will say I really enjoyed trail riding it, as it was my "re-entry" bike after not riding since I was kid (mid 30's now) and served the purpose of a small dual sport pretty well.

Also, I modified my jetting, airbox, WB exhaust, and minimized the weight to bare minimum (actually, I modified much more than that!), and was still unable to go faster than 85mpg (stock gearing). And it took a long time to get there! These are not fast bikes. But they are easy to handle, not imtimidating, yet has enough motor and suspension to get the job done on anything from non-freeway to fairly technical terrain if you're running the right tires. I ended up getting a used rear wheel assembly to flip back and forth between mud tires and dual sport tires.

The one real complaint I had about it, aside from the fact that I simply outgrew it's performance envelope, was the damn rear wheel drum brake! It constantly got clogged with mud and had to be cleaned out on a regular basis (after trail riding for the day in mud). Major PITA.

But for $2200 used and sold for $1200, I definitely got my money's worth (ie 12K trouble free miles of trashing it 😢

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My 2004 would just hit 100 mph, as indicated on speedo. Would cruise at 65-70 no problem.

Hmm, I wonder if the previous owner of KLR had geared it down...mine would only hit that speeds on downhill pavement with a tailwind and full tuck position...come to think of it, even then I don't think I ever saw 100mph...now the FJR on the other hand...that's barely working it 😢😢 :cry:

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My 2004 would just hit 100 mph, as indicated on speedo. Would cruise at 65-70 no problem.

Hmm, I wonder if the previous owner of KLR had geared it down...mine would only hit that speeds on downhill pavement with a tailwind and full tuck position...come to think of it, even then I don't think I ever saw 100mph...now the FJR on the other hand...that's barely working it 😢😢 :cry:

My klr did those speeds on level road, with no tuck -- just normal sitting position. Like your FJR, my Sportster (with full-house engine mods) is just getting happiest when it gets to 100, and the meaty part of the powerband is just kicking-in. Then you gotta hang on!

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much like mcarp, my KLR250 was my "re entry" bike after not riding a 2 wheeler at all for 8 years. Ours is a 99 with about 2000 miles on it and runs like a new one. We've been very happy with it, and I'm glad I bought it for some practice before picking up my wr450 or I probably would have killed myself 😢

My biggest complaints are the drum rear brake, and the complete lack of aftermarket parts available for it. From what I can find, theres ONE company that makes a skidplate for this bike, only progressive makes rear springs for it... and theres very few other parts out there for the KLR250.

I'm also mighty skeptical about OldDualSporter's bike doing 100mph stock, mine strains pretty hard to hold 85mph (as shown on the speedo, which is inacurate as hell) but I'm a pretty big guy am about as aerodynamic as a 73 buick. 😢

Also as I mentioned above, the speedo's on these bikes are way off. Mine shows about 14mph faster than you're actually going (85 on the klr speedo = 71 or 72 on both of our trucks)

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much I'm also mighty skeptical about OldDualSporter's bike doing 100mph stock, mine strains pretty hard to hold 85mph (as shown on the speedo, which is inacurate as hell) but I'm a pretty big guy am about as aerodynamic as a 73 buick. 😢

Also as I mentioned above, the speedo's on these bikes are way off. Mine shows about 14mph faster than you're actually going (85 on the klr speedo = 71 or 72 on both of our trucks)

Well, maybe my speedometer is uhm "optimistic" -- but I know what I saw, and it sure as heck was going way faster than I intended to keep going at. Only did it once to wring it out and see what it would do on a flat straight road. It impressed me, for sure. It hit the tach redline at 10,500 rpm.

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my wife has a super sherpa which is an aircooled 250 with electric start and rear disc brake from kawasaki. we both love the bike and it is a blast to ride. but it's freeway performance is pretty blah, even with a downhill and tailwind it would never see 100.

have you thought about a used DR350? that bike is totally reliable and has a decent aftermarket. it's not as light as the 250, but it's no pig. it's taller, but can be easliy lowered. when i first rode one it seemed really tall, but now that i own a DRZ, whenever i ride a DR it seems much smaller and lower.

i just recently rode a DR and the super sherpa back to back, i can't speak for the KLR250, but for the sherpa, if i had to pick one i'd go with the DR. even in stock trim it's powerband was much wider and obviously a little stronger. with the sherpa you have to shift a lot more to get the most out of the motor.

anyway, my 2 cents

cheers

andrew

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I really doubt a klr250 can do 100MPH. My DRZ400S tops out at 99MPH and I have 150cc more. You'll have to go to a 650cc if you want to go over 100MPH.

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Like your FJR, my Sportster (with full-house engine mods) is just getting happiest when it gets to 100, and the meaty part of the powerband is just kicking-in. Then you gotta hang on!

Hang on is right. Passing semi's from 90-130mph is just a quick flick of the wrist. No downshifting needed 😢

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I have a 2001 KLR250 that I bought brand new in August of 2001.I am approaching 8,000 miles.I had two warranty problems.First, a piece of gasket sealer broke off and plugged the oil supply line to the top end, right ar 1457 miles.They replaced the cylinder head, both camshafts, all the rockers, cam chain and tensioner, etc.All for free.Then ,later, it blew the water pump seal leaking oil externally-also replaced for free.

Now the bike has been great ever since, and the plugged oil line could have happened to any brand of motorcycle, and Kawasaki took care of me.

Don't know the top spedd, as I've never been above about 75mph.This thing is great fun on the trails and fire service roads, as it is reletiveley light for a dual sport.Amazingly, it can also cruise down the freeway at 55-70 mph, and still get 66-72 mpg doing it.You will obviously get blown around, as its a light motorcycle.It is super easy to kick start warm or cold, and its a full-sized motorcycle, unlike, say, the Yamaha XT225, which felt a bit cramped to my 5'10" bod.

I sold my big street bike recently, and the KLR is taking care of all my riding needs right now.Its a hell of a motorcycle, and very under appreciated.

😢

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