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Old 07-30-2008   #11
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
i wont be buying for a bit so maybe the 800gs "problems" will be worked out by the time i purchase anything. i talked with a guy who had the KTM 990 and he said if he had to do it again he wouldnt buy one. he said it is very uncomfortable on pavement and doesnt perform to his expectations off road. they were in the middle of a BC to colorado trip and he said the seat geometry and it being very flat made it uncomfortable going long distances in the saddle. he also said they are coming out with a 650 model in the next year or so.
as far as the XR and KLR go, i am wanting something that will perform well on pavement pretty good also so it can be used as a commuter before and after the trip. i am not looking to increase my image at all, but rather find middle ground on a bike that does well on both pavement and dirt. it is along way to mexico and comfort to and from is also important.
anymore panier advise? i talked to a guy that had rigged pelican cases as paniers. he loved them but i think if the bike was laid down on them they may not hold up so well. i still like the idea of the rocket boxes, cheap and durable.

keep the advise coming.

Jace Crane
720 290 0499
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Old 07-30-2008   #12
possumturd's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451

I say go for this baby.

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Old 07-30-2008   #13
Repa's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 75
I'm not trying to be snide or act like a dickhead but when you seem so willing to spend at least $15k on a bike why would you be worried about an extra $750 for a solid pannier setup?

On the pannier note. I have the Caribou Peli Case setup. It rocks. I have dropped the bike and they hold up just fine. Jenny Cases make a breakaway model, this reduces the chance of a mounting frame bend after a crash.

If you are totally stuck on the rocket box then I would suggest buying a Caribou rack (minus the cases) and then modify the cans to the existing hardware. The Caribou rack is way more bomber than other racks I've seen. The modification to the cans would be easy. But maybe that's the metal fabricator in me talking as that's what I do for a living most days.

One more final note. I can cruise my 650 90mph on the hiway fully loaded with no problem. Which IMO is plenty fast. Yes the thumper is a little wound up but still far from redline. And the bike is still light weight enough to throw around in the single track and sand of Baja.

Just my 4cents.
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Old 07-30-2008   #14
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
i like to hear that a 650 will do fine fully loaded. believe me, i dont want to spend 13-16k on a bike, especially if that much motor is not needed.
i have plenty of experience on dirt, mostly 2 stroke, track and trail. i have ridden XR's plenty but dont have much saddle time on dual sports. BMW's just seem to be the choice of much, i thought. this thread has opened up my mind to many other options. i am still leaning toward something that has more of a dual dirt/ pavement setup rather than leaning toward the dirt as much as an XR.

i guess if the bike that is falling on the pelican cases is not 4-5 hundred pounds they may hold up. they are much more attractive than a $800 aluminum setup.
Jace Crane
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Old 07-30-2008   #15
Taos, New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 34
If you opt for the KLR, you could mod it however you like and still spend less than 7 or 8 thousand. You can get an used one for around $3000 and it may even have all the mods you want. As far as panniers, Happy Trails has a real nice option for the long haul - I keep mine on for the commute in case I want groceries or beer. I've found this place KLR650.NET - Your Kawasaki KLR650 Resource! - Forums Home to be the best for KLR info and advice. Check out the regional forums - there's likely a few folks that are in your neighborhood who can help you with tech issues.

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