After I sold my boat and moved to Colorado, I wanted to get an adventure bike to explore the mountains and use for riding to fishing spots. Here’s my KLR story followed by a video, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to see more KLR650 and fishing videos.
My Motorcycle Background
So I’ve been on two wheels practically my whole life. Mostly dirt bikes, motocross bikes and a moped. When I went to Sam Houston State University, I quickly realized how awful the parking is but I noticed that motorcycle parking is right up front by the library. That’s when I decided to get my motorcycle license.
First Dual Sport
In order to get my Class M motorcycle license, I needed to take a written test as well as a driving test. With me being in college at the time, I didn’t have a ton of money so I started looking for the cheapest street legal motorcycle that I could ride to school. I found a ridiculously cheap 1986 Honda xlr250r on craigslist with a title. I went and test drove it and immediately bought it. It was in good shape but used for dirt so I needed to get a mirror, blinkers and some dual sport tires. This would be enough to get my license.
Dual Sport to Super Sport
The XLR250r was fun but lacking power, so I started looking for something else that I could ride to school. Why not a SHSU orange Ninja? Sure! This would be my first real sport bike and what better bike to start on than a Ninja 250. This taught me the ropes and was super forgiving. After a while I sold it and that’s when my brother-in-law showed up at my house on a Yamaha R1. I took it for a spin and a week later I bought a Kawasaki ZX6R. This led to riding with large groups in the national forest, attending meet and greets, and then of course riding track. Texas World Speedway, MSR Houston, MSR Cresson, Grand sport speedway, I was there every weekend. I even raced at Baytown speedway in a 600cc shootout. Well after having a ton of seat time and seeing the aftermath of track days gone bad, I decided to get rid of my super sport bikes and go bike-less.
Now that I’m in Colorado, I decided it would be nice to have bike to cruise around on. I started my search looking at BMW GS models, but didn’t want to spend that much money and the g310 seems a bit under-powered for me.
That’s when I found KLRs. These bikes can be had for cheap, they’re super reliable and there’s a ton of aftermarket parts for sale out there. So I started looking around on craigslist and marketplace but my budget was less than $3k and it seemed like a lot of KLR owners were asking too much. That’s when I found one on marketplace for $2300. It only had one picture and the description wasn’t long. I messaged the owner and he wrote back.
Trip to Vail
The bike was located in Vail Colorado so I arranged a time to meet. The owner was out of state at the time so I agreed to meet with his roommate and if I wanted to buy it, the owner would deliver it to me when he returned to Colorado. Cool.
I’ve never been to Vail before but my god it is beautiful, not to mention far from my house. With the weekend traffic, it ended up taking about two hours to get there but worth it.
2008 Kawasaki KLR650
When I got there, I examined the bike closely and felt the engine because I wanted to start it cold. I felt my fingers in the skid plate for oil. It was dry. When I cranked the KLR, it fired right up despite it being cold which is a good sign. The test drive went awesome too, this has to be the bulkiest bike I’ve owned so that was something new. There were a few scratches which is expected from a 12 year old motorcycle but there wasn’t anything too bad. I’ll take it!
I texted the owner and let him know I wanted to purchase it. He said OK and we arranged a delivery date, two weeks from the test drive. That’s a long time to wait but I didn’t have a choice. I could’ve paid the roommate the money for the bike, signed a bill of sale and then drove away but that’s a big no no. You always want to see the title and match the VIN on the title to the VIN on the bike frame. Also check to make sure it’s in the right name and that it is clean and clear. I know this because I bought a track bike once and the owner said he couldn’t find the title. I paid him and left with the bike only to find out it wasn’t in his name.
After patiently waiting two weeks and thinking everyday the deal would fall through, it was finally time for deliver! To make matters a little worse, my parents were in town visiting. My mom has always been nervous about me riding bikes, especially after my racing days but she took it surprisingly well.
The bike showed up, I unloaded it from the owner’s truck and we did the paperwork. There’s a bill of sale and title transfer required in Colorado which I had printed out and ready to go. Easy enough. I paid the money and the previous owner drove off, leaving the KLR650 in my possession.
I immediately added a gopro mount to record my rides. I also looked the bike over, checked the oils, filled up the tires with air and hooked up a battery tender. Next I took it out for a few 20 minute rides to check for leaks and to see if it would leave me stranded. Good to go. Next trip would be up in the mountains by my house. I chose the most twisty road I could find and headed out. The KLR650, despite its bulky size, was very easy to handle! Turning the throttle wide open is way different than a super sport, it takes a while to gain speed. On a super sport you’d be triple digits in a matter of seconds. This is exactly what I wanted. Something I can cruise around on without getting into too much trouble.
Here’s a video of my mountain ride:
My next video will be more offload focused and I’d like to have some fly fishing in there somewhere. Either way, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.