thinking about getting a 06 klr650.. dealer wants 4995$

how solid are those engines, frames etc? i have mechanical skills and i am not afraid of working on the bike but would like something that doesnt require monthly wrenching on it to get it running perfectly.

i havent done any research on reliability and common problems. also is 5K a good price for the klr 650?



I bought my 06 KLR650 about a month ago and have 1,400 miles on it now. It's a great machine, both on pavement and dirt roads. With each 100 miles I put on the bike, the engine just keeps getting stronger and stronger!

It's a big bike but handles jeep trails very nice.

I swapped out the stock sprockets and chain with an X-ring chain and hardened sprockets and added one tooth to the front sprocket to give me a higher gear ratio for freeway travel and it really works! Now, at 75mph I'm not beating the engine to death at nearly 6k rpm, but the engine is just purring along at 5k rpm.

I broke the engine in as specified and got 52-53 mpg during the initial 700 mile break-in period, which is nice these days.

I doubt that you will get the bike much cheaper than 4995. I paid 4949 plus dealer setup and this nickle and that dime - you know how that goes.

BTW, if you get the bike be sure you do two things ASAP.

1: swap out the cheap foam air filter and install a 50 buck K&N. It will let the engine breath much better.

2: have both tires balanced on a spin balancer which will reduce vibration levels to nearly nil. Kawasaki forgot to balance mine and the dealer admitted they "just mount the wheels on the bike as they take it out of the crate". I had terrible vibrations until the front tire was balanced with 1.25 ounces of lead and the rear tire with 1.5 ounces.

Hope you and I have very good luck with our KLR's. So far, I really like mine. :D


Great bikes for their intended use, i.e. 50/50 with the dirt 50 being fairly mild stuff. The engines are bulletproof and with proper care will last a long time (even a little improper care probably won't bother it much). They are very easy to wrench on and will give you many miles of road between the wrench sessions. I have 40k+ on my '89. A couple of things to know...

1) Change the idler shaft lever and spring (the dreaded "doohickey") to the improved models available from Sagebrush or Eagle Mfg. It's easy and cheap insurance against catastrophic failure down the road.

2) Don't dump money into getting more out of the motor. They just aren't designed for it. Save your $ for suspension. You can get a little snap out of it through opening the airbox, changing filter, a decent pipe, and rejetting, but that's about it. Mine had a Supertrapp when I got it, so I was lucky. I did the "L" cut on the airbox, put on a Uni, and did the poor man's Dynojet. The results were good, but nothing earth-shattering. Your butt will tell you it's better than a dyno would.

**For off-road I would respectfully disagree with Manitoujoe on the K&N filter. In my experience they are great for road use, but fine dust tends to slip through. You will mostly see this in an off-road situation. Also, K&N have a solid top whereas an aftermarket foam filter pulls air through the entire unit.

3) These are KLR's, not MV Agusta's. They survive quite well on ho-hum equipment. I use Shell Rotella oil, Kenda tires, and cheap o-ring chains and sprockets. They don't have tons of power to start with, so spending like they do will leave you less for suspension and brakes.

4) Frames are good. The subframe bolts are weak, so replace those with an aftermarket hardened set. If you're going off-road spend the bucks on a good bashplate, and some kind of lateral impact protection. You'll appreciate when you dump that tank in some area where you got in over your head, even though you had ridden that same spot tons of times on your mx bike (personal experience there). Stock footpegs suck off-road. Switch to DR350 pegs cheaply or pick your poison from Fastway or IMS if you want to spend some cash.

5) Tighten all the nuts and bolts when you get it. Also make sure the fork tubes are all the way up in the triple clamps. This is a common dealer prep error.

6) Do you have to buy new? Is it for the financing? You can often get a 2-5 year old bike for quite a bit less, often with a few aftermarket goodies on it. I've heard quality control on the bikes has diminished since the plant moved to SE Asia from Japan. The bikes are the same since day one, the only exception being the clutch change in '96 (6 to 8 plates) and other small things such as that. Check here for the complete history of the bike.

This just scratches the surface with these bikes. Read the FAQ at or check the Yahoo KLR group. Tons of info there. This will probably the most fun bike you ever own, even if it doesn't really do anything that well but only adequately. Strange how that works...

For anyone who has never Owned a KLR 650 before there is a great resource article from Chris Krok of Big Cee Engineering a list of FAQs (great points made and many questions of those answered). My business, Ozark KLR Outfitters performs any of these upgrades listed at Big Cee and also helps new KLR owners get their rides set up with all the right gear. :D

5) Tighten all the nuts and bolts when you get it. Also make sure the fork tubes are all the way up in the triple clamps. This is a common dealer prep error.

Wow, I just got back from my dealer and was looking at the 06 KLR. I noticed that the fork tubes were slid down about 3-4 inches in the clamps. I kinda thought that was wierd, I figured they must have done that to make the bike a few inches lower so as not to scare off potential buyers with a tall bike. They didn't do that to any of the DRZ's they had there though..

One of my friends might buy an 06 in a couple weeks so hopefully I'll get a chance to ride it and see how it compares to my bike.

i appreciate all the comments so far. i still havent decided whether i will drop the ball and get the bike or not. the dealer wasnt pushing it badly when i was in the showroom but it was a nice looking bike. they didnt had any to test drive and that showroom model was the only one left. i wouldnt mind having a brand new bike but with the end of the season slowly approaching i would get a better deal waiting until it gets colder again so the dealer stock gets overflowed and the demand goes down and the prices as well.

Just a quick chime in on used bikes. I bought a used 97 KLR650 a couple of weeks ago. You know the "like new" one. Sadly since they do not come up very often I had to buy one 100 miles from my home. My whole family (2 cars worth) were coming back from a funeral 600 miles away. Meet the owner in 100 degree heat, looked it over for about 5 minutes, saw everyone sitting in the cars and pulled the trigger. Ran badly and was was not maintained very well. Well 1000 bones later it is now a sweet machine. So my 2500 went to 3500 :D . I really love it, but could have got an 06 in LA (3 hrs away) for 4995 OTD. I did an exhaust (the original had a crack) Uni filter , dyna kit and doohickey so I guess maybe 600 to get it like new. But still it is a 97, runs really good and strong. So if you can find a used on and take the time and test drive, just remember that tires, break.. etc add up. :D If you get a used or new do the "doo". has the 1 in 1000 stories of it breaking and mine was near when I replaced it. :D

Great thread! I am now leaning more to this model after deciding not to get a DRZ

:D The demand for the KLR650s at the dealers is high almost as bad as HD V-Twin bikes were doing (6-12 month waiting list for HDs back a few years).

:D The Kawasaki dealer in my area says they sell almost as soon as they hit the showroom floor sometimes while they are unloading the delivery truck still in the crate. :eek: Now they come in Green or Red for 2006. :D

Hello Robert,

Saw your reply and since we both live in Colorado, thought I would pass on some info about the Freemont Motorspots dealership in Florence, Colorado. I have bought a few accessories from them and wish I had taken the time to visit them before buying my bike in Pueblo. I would have saved several hundred dollars.

Let me know if you need directions. :D



I sent you a pm before this one asking where you got the bike. Anyways, I am currently in Iraq and I am looking to buy the bike December or January time frame. This dealership in Florence, are they "friendly" or are they as what I can expect if I went to the local ones? I want to get a good deal and I really do not have the time and patience for any bs after being in Iraq for what it seems a lifetime. Get my drift?

Tell me how you like the KLR. I was into the DRZ400S, but after all the research and issues with the water pump, I have decided to go to the Kawasaki side. I also would not mind driving that way. The wife and I try to go that way whenever we can go backpacking.

Thanks for the time and help. I like the attitude of helping others or just sharing info. You are one in a million.

PM me if you like about the info on that dealer.


i have been looking around a bit more. whats the top speed of the klr, i read 97mph stock. with the top speed that low for a 650cc 40some hp bike that thing must have incredible torque across the band. however, how many people changed the sprockets up front or the rear?

I have just broken in my new 06 and with a 16 tooth front sprocket it easily reaches 80mph when the tach says 5krpm and 85+mph at 5500rpm. :D

Hello Rob,

Thanks for your kind words and thanks for your service overseas to keep the barbarians on the other side of the pond."

When you return, I will help you get the best price on a new KLR650 that if I can.

I have found the owner and sales staff at Fremont Motorsports, in Florence, CO to be very customer oriented and they have given me several "old guy" discounts on the accessories I have bought from them. :D

And, I have been told by several of their customers that they treat military personnel like they should be treated - very good!!! :D

Good luck Sir and God Speed! Just remember that we all hope you will safely return from a very dangerous assignment. :D Safe Man :eek:

Till you return,


Thanks for the support Joe.

I will send you a pm shortly.

Wow, I just got back from my dealer and was looking at the 06 KLR. I noticed that the fork tubes were slid down about 3-4 inches in the clamps. I kinda thought that was wierd, I figured they must have done that to make the bike a few inches lower so as not to scare off potential buyers with a tall bike. They didn't do that to any of the DRZ's they had there though..

One of my friends might buy an 06 in a couple weeks so hopefully I'll get a chance to ride it and see how it compares to my bike.

The bikes are shipped with the forks slid up like that to make them fit in the shipping crate. If it's sitting like that on the showroom floor, you should immediately suspect that your dealer either (a) was daydreaming when they set the bike up, or (:D is an idiot. Yes, it's also a way of lowering the bike (along with lowering links for the rear suspension) for those who just can't get used to the height of the thing. Also assume that the dealer setup will include a chain that is WAY too tight. And, as been said many times before, re-tighten all fasteners. Then Loctite or safety wire 'em. Retighten fasteners. Got that? Retighten fasteners. OK.

The KLR is dead-nuts reliable. It's an old design, going back to the early 80's, and has been extremely well sorted out by now. No major changes of note since the early 90's on these things, and, in fact, most parts are completely interchangeable regardless of model year. There is an ENORMOUS owner support group around the world (start at, and therefore you never need do more than simply type in a quick question to get meaningful, informed support virtually instantly. You'll hear a lot about the "doohickey." It's a cam chain adjustment lever that has been known to break occasionally. Many bike owners are fanatics, of course, and insist on doing every mod that we possible can regardless of whether it's really necessary (you know, there are the pure performance mods that really make a difference, the ones that you think maybe made a difference but insist to your friends that it's a huge diff because of all the money you spent, and the ones that are just for looks, peace of mind, status, fun, etc.). The doohickey is in the peace of mind category. Sure, you'll hear horror stories from owners who found a broken lever or spring in their does happen from time to time. Of course, you'll never hear from the zillions of owners worldwide who have never even heard of a doohickey, don't care about it, and so are blissfully ignorant...and ride their bikes forever without a problem.

Another advantage of the KLR is that its old powerplant design doesn't allow you to spend piles of cash trying to eke out performance mods that just aren't there. Why is that an advantage? Well, it's strong, reliable, dependable and adequately powered as is from the factory, and your money therefore can get spent on some minor suspension mods, tires, DOOHICKEYS, sexy new helmets, etc, or, in the lingo of the KLR owners, "farkles." Oh yeah, and GPS units, panniers, top boxes, aftermarket tanks, seats, windscreens, handguards, sprockets, turn signals, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, it's a sickness.

It's NOT a great woods bike (leave that to the various 400's and smaller). It's NOT the absolute best 650 in the dirt (the Suz DR and Honda XR have the edge there). It's not the fastest or most comfortable on the superslab (try a BMW or KTM if you can afford to buy or maintain one). However, it's a really great all-rounder, will easily take you around the world if you like (and not leave you stranded when a computer dies or the ABS pukes), has enough cred to have plenty of dirt fun with the right riding technique, will cruise at 70 all day long, will almost always run perfectly and never leave you stranded, will require far less maintenance time than most other machines, and can be had at ridiculously low prices. There was recently a 2005 model with 2,500 miles for $4,400 near me. I found a Y2K model several years ago with 2,200 miles for just over half the price of a new one!

As always, YMMV. :D

i went to another dealer today that i didnt knew existed in my area. i went down there walked in and got quoted 5200$ for the bike and after tax and title reg around 5600$. i told them that that seemed to be a little step and they laughed. the owner told me that the markup on the bike is around 800$ so the bike gets sold from kawasaki @ invoice for dealers for 4400$ i assume. i asked them about a law enforcement discount and he stated he would give me 200$ off so 5000$ for the bike + the other fees.

either way, i would like to get something to replace my current dr200 and that is also able to go 90-100mph or so. the klr seems to be the bike for it but im still questioning myself whether i should spend the 5k right now for something that will do the exact same that i have right now except with a little bit more top speed.

i read across boards and faq's and it seems that the 650 is a tough one to break. besides replacing the hickey and some tightening here and there there is not much that could go wrong with the bike.

i dont know whether prices for the bike will be lower during the winter months as people dont seem to be driving on 2 wheels if there is snow laying outside. supply will be there but the demand should be low.

what do you guys think? will i get a better deal over the winter months, or is 5k for the bike the best i would get?

Hey, one little detail should be pointed out. If you're seriously looking to cruise 90-100 mph, don't bother looking at the KLR any further. The various BMW's, KTM 920, Triumph Tiger, and the V-Strom/Wee-Strom are going to be your only choices if that kind of speed is important to you.

Yes, there are dealers who will sell you a KLR 650 for $5K OUT THE DOOR. Of course, if such a deal is not to be had in your area, it's moot. Several folks have had success by searching a bit further away from home. For them, it was worth the hassle of driving several hours to save a couple of hundred bucks. I still think the best deals are to be had on low-mileage used machines, but I'd never steal the thrill of buying new from someone! :D

I was told that typical dealer invoice on a Japanese motorcycle is 18%. If that is the case, the true invoice price is about $4263.

My information is 10 years old but it came from a friend who sold bikes for years.

Anybody know the truth on this?

i would like to get something to replace my current dr200 and that is also able to go 90-100mph or so. the klr seems to be the bike for it

if you want to go that fast, you really need a more powerful bike imho. i'd bet money that any standard (non aerodynamically optimized) bike under 50hp with any gearing is going to be topping out pretty close to 100 mph. that's pretty much all you get for 40+ hp.

my klr was happy cruising at 70-ish (tho i got tired of the wind), but cranky above 80. also the suspension is not really setup for those speeds.

in contrast, my bandito grande (bandit 1200s) churns along quite comfortably at 90-110 and doesn't start to get scary until indicated 140mph.

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