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Wow. First Post. KTM does some awesome bikes. You wouldn't be unhappy with your purchase. A buddy of mine has a SV650 with Givi hard bags and says it's the best bike he has ever owned. Gas, Tires, Oil and Chain is all he has ever done to it.
 

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The KTM LC4 is an incredible bike,its better in the dirt than the KLR but not quite as smooth on the hiway(yes Ive ridden both).if you gonna do a lot of desert and "occasional" freeway,its a good bet for you.......if you gonna do "occasional desert and more freeway,the KLR might be better.The only problem maybe that its not exactly a beginner offroad bike.....its tall and heavy...youll have to practice before you attack the tuff stuff.You might be better off to buy a street bike and a used XR250/400,but if I was you Id say hell with it and buy the Katoom...its a neat bike
 

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KTMs are beautiful, top'o'the'line machines. They're also pretty pricey. When I look at the price tag on a new sickle, the same thought always comes to mind, "For that much I could buy two used bikes!" For the price of an LC4 you could get a great used SV650 AND a good used XR 650. This of course assumes you have the space to store two bikes, but what living room wouldn't look better with a SV.
 

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youre probably right......the KLR can probably handle what 95% of us(including me) will ever be able to dish out at a cheaper price---both to buy and maintain.I let my enthusiasm for KTM cloud my judgement.The best bet for this guy is probably either a KLR or an SV and a used off road bike. But I still want a KTM.























































































































































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I know I'm going to step on some toes here, but in my own experience I would shy away from a dual purpose bike if I were using a bike as a general street bike. The main reason is that dual purpose bikes are dirt bikes which have been made street legal. While these are excellent bikes they seem to become worn out more quickly than bikes designed for street use. Their design basis is not longevity in the face of constant droning. Again my comment is generalized and other's experience may vary.

A dual purpose bike is about as different from a GL500 as you can get. Do you have any friends who own one you could borrow for a bit to see if you really like it?

Some people have experienced severe rim damage on KTMs from hitting curbs, etc. I don't know if the newer KTMs mount stouter rims or not. Anyone else know?

Also the big dual purpose bikes are very tall (I have to tippytoe my brother's 2001 Honda 650 with my 32 inch inseam) which makes it diffcult to balance heavy loads. Another thing to consider is the seats on these bikes which bear striking resemblances to sitting on a pine log. My brother bought the Honda DP for the purpose of commuting to work and found it viciously uncomfortable. I personally find that type of bike a poor choice for heavy street use.

All these criticisms are basically niggling and can be dealt with so... get what you like and to hell with what anyone else thinks. You are the one who has to live with it. Just try to get test rides before you buy.
 

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I have ridden the LC4 extensively, off and on road. It is a very capable off road bike, heavy but can handle it all. Obviously a lighter bike would be better on the tighest singletrack, but I have had no problems. On the freeway if your ride is over15-20 miles at a time it could get old. As with all dual purpose things, it can do it all. but it doesn't do any of it best.
 

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How much have you had to put into your KLR? I spent about 2k to make it decent on the road. The brakes are frightening until you get an oversized front brake rotor and steel braided lines. Then once you do that you must buy progressive fork springs to keep the back tire on the ground.

Once I added everything up that I sunk into my 00 KLR I should of just bought the KTM instead. I probably would still own the KTM. Though there is nothing more fun in the tight stuff than a dualsport.

Oh, I also had my KLR self destruct at 11k miles, turned out to have a pitted crank from the factory. Luckily still under warranty at the time. A guy down the street from me had his blow at about the same time (and mileage), though his warranty was expired so he had to buy a salvaged motor.

If you live where freeway traffic runs about 70 mph the KLR is fine, but if its like here in the SF area where traffic runs 80 - 85 mph your a sitting duck...

For the price of a KTM you can also pick up a GS650. If memory serves a stock KLR 650 dynos at about 27 hp, bmw GS650 is right at 50 hp stock. You can also test ride a BMW, Kawi is buy it and hope you like it. Add in available antilock brakes and BMW starts to look good, well for more street orientated. Off road the KTM is going to smoke them both. Still KTM and BMW offer hard luggage. KLR does not have that option from the dealer
 

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I think that as far as aftermarket support goes it's really hard to beat the KLR. A number of vendors (but probably not the Kawi dealer, as you say) sell luggage racks which can be used with Givi cases, aluminum panniers, or soft luggage -- I recently switched from Givis to aluminum panniers. I agree that a steel-braided front brake line ($45) is something you should upgrade to, but few people run oversize rotors. Progressive springs are pretty cheap ($80 for for springs, $80 for shock spring). As for freeway traffic, I normally cruise at ~80 mph with no trouble, even 2 up. A 16-tooth front sprocket ($20) helps, but isn't necessary. Rear wheel horse power for a KLR 650 is in the mid-30s.



I'm not disputing that a KTM will be better off road, a BMW will be better on the highway, and both will have more power than a KLR. The KLR, however, will be better on the highway than the KTM, probably better off road than the BMW, and it will be drastically cheaper than either.



Cheers,



-Lujo

'99 KLR 650

 

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I'm kind of surprised to hear about the motor problems. Not too common, except for that ridiculous business with the self-destructing balancer mechanism [the infamous KLR "doohickey" fiasco]. I owned a KLR for four years and had a similar experience. As soon as you buy it you have to spend about $1500 just to fix the bulls*** problems Kawi has let slide for what, 17 years now? i.e. no front brakes [a very expensive fix 'cause you need an oversize rotor], new rear suspension, some sort of [expensive] protection for the exposed gas tank area, etc. Basically, the deal is that you don't pay much, but you don't get much either. To be fair, the aftermarket support is fantastic and for certain kinds of travel, it's the only economical choice.
 

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I've ridden a few SV650s, and have recommended them to friends at work, (both of whom are quite happy with them now), and they're cool bikes. But, I just let my neighbor, who's owned his SV650 for a year, ride my KTM Duke II, and he was raving about how it's so much more fun to ride than his SV. I can't claim it's a better all-around bike than the SV, and it's not my only bike, and the seat height is pretty high, but if you can ride one before you decide you might change your mind about a KLR or SV. I'm 5'9'', and the seat's not too high for me, but I've been riding for a long time. A beginner might be a bit intimidated unless they're over 6' tall.



Just my 2 cents - having a somewhat unique bike is appealing to me, and I don't see many "Adrenaline" orange bikes on the road. It's generally more fun than my Aprilia RSV-R, even though it's not nearly as fast.
 

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In that case, you should rush right out and buy the KTM. ALWAYS buy the one you "Want" It's not supposed to be a Camry.
 

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How about a BMW GS. With the saddle boxes and trunk you should be able to do your shopping for a few weeks in one trip. You can also use it in the desert. It'a a bit heavy and high; but with some practice you'll get with it.
 

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I agree with the two bike proposal. Buy the SV and an old XR 600 or even and old KX500. You could have either for $1500. When compermising between street and dirt you never get the best of either world. Now that I think of it buy a used SV and the KX. The KX is one hell of a desert bike.
 

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Oh thanx for reminding me, the balancer let go 3k before the bottom end... Heck, probably was the reason the bottem end let go, well if something dropped on down and ground around. Though when the dealer says factory defect (on the bottom end), you dont argue.



I bought the M.A.P. Industrys front rotor kit for $500. It came with floating rotor, adapter, steel braded line and galpher green racing pads.



Other mods included



K&N air filter

Dynojet kit

Supertrapp IDS II (15 disks on road, 12 off)

16 tooth sprocket

progressive fork springs

acerbis bark busters with added air foils

gel grips

new handlebars

Kawi soft tail bag (totally loved this thing for $99)

Ortlib dry saddlebags

bag supports

Halogen headlight bulb (though blew the fuse on high now and then)

Avon Gripsters (slipsters in the rain, down right terrifying)

Metzler street rubber

Probably a thing or two more that the old melon let slide...



The seat was next until the bottom end blew and took 4 months to get it out of the shop. At that point it was time to say good bye. Still it was one hell of a blast in the twistys. Hence why the LC8 KTM is on my wish list.

I must admit the aftermarket is too strong for the KLR, too many goodies to zap the bank account. But it needs several of the goodies just to make it safe on the road.
 
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