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Old 06-01-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
Ax4x4
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Default Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Started with a '58 BSA 650 Spitfire Scrambler back in the day, when I was 18, and have ridden Honda and Yamaha trail bikes and dual-sports ever since.

Retired in '04 and moved from the heat of Arizona's desert to Zane Grey's beautiful Mogollon Rim country, high in the White Mountains of east-central Arizona, going on 5 years ago.

Enjoyed the heck out of riding remote mountain side single track on my Yamaha XT225, that is up till about a year ago when a couple of really close calls riding solo in the back country convinced me it was time to transition to exploring in my Jeep for safety's sake.

I sold the XT so as not to be tempted to push my luck again, and have alternated between kicking myself for doing so and justifying the sale as necessary if I didn't want to end up between a rock and a hard place. With no one to ride trails with here on the mountain that wouldn't be good, especially now that I'm pushing my late 70s.

However, once you're hooked on motorbiking, there's no turning back. So I've read Craigslist in Show Low religiously these past couple of months looking for a bike that made sense, and late last week that bike showed up.

A low mileage '98 KLR 250, garage kept its entire life, in virtually pristine condition, with high altitude carburetor jets, aftermarket shocks front and rear, UniFilter, and a free flow exhaust. 2" taller in the seat than my XT225 and a bit heavier, more like the XT250 I earlier had in that regard. But with the always dependable kick start and 6 speeds instead of 5, like the XT250 had. So I matched the guy's OBO thinking, bought the bike, loaded it on my trailer and back home I went - a new '98 KLR 250 owner!



The road never ends if you enjoy bikes - not even when your pushing your late 70s like I am! Just remind me on occasion that I didn't get this bike to ride remote single track, but to enjoy the miles of graded residential and forest roads here, and to explore my community in depth on two wheels instead of four!..

Last edited by Ax4x4; 06-01-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

That bike looks great, I have on 07 KLX250 and really enjoy it, I think you will have a lot of fun.

I to do a lot of solo riding and probably the best investment I have got for that is an Inreach satellite text messenger GPS. The GPS device is pricey and requires a monthly subscription like a cell phone but I am on the base plan which works out to about $13 a month. I can always check in to let my wife know where I am and how I am doing. It is a reassuring knowing that an emergency call is always possible in the event something were to go horribly wrong. For me it is well worth it.


Be safe.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
Ax4x4
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

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Originally Posted by Brlux View Post
..That bike looks great, I have on 07 KLX250 and really enjoy it, I think you will have a lot of fun..
I've enjoyed every bike I've had, and plan on enjoying the KLR as well. My Hondas and later on the Yamahas I rode were old school technology wise. Easy to care for with necessary parts and aftermarket items available online. Looks like the KLR will be much the same maintenance wise.

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Originally Posted by Brlux View Post
..I to do a lot of solo riding and probably the best investment I have got for that is an Inreach satellite text messenger GPS. The GPS device is pricey and requires a monthly subscription like a cell phone but I am on the base plan which works out to about $13 a month. I can always check in to let my wife know where I am and how I am doing. It is a reassuring knowing that an emergency call is always possible in the event something were to go horribly wrong. For me it is well worth it..
For anyone riding solo, especially offroad, such a setup can be a life saver. But, like I said, I have no intention of going the places with this bike that I went with the XT225 that I sold about a year ago.

With a 31" seat height, about 55 lbs less weight and a 6 speed transmission with a lower first gear than the KLR has, the XT225 was a nimble, easily manageable trail bike, one that I found myself pushing too close to the edge more than once.

Except for wrestling it out of situations that a heavier bike wouldn't have allowed me to escape, I'd have had that bike on top of me with no one to help. At my age I can't afford a mishap like that. Heck, at ANY age, a mishap like that while riding solo can be a life changing event - not for the better.

I love riding the KLR on forest service roads and in residential areas here in the Heber/Overgaard area. It has considerably more get up and go than my XTs had, and its extra height and weight makes it feel more at home with the kind of riding I'm doing now.

Bottom line is that it's great to be up on two wheels again. Having ridden for a long time there's no substitute for motorcycling, even when you're sneaking up on a bit long in the tooth like I am!..

Last edited by Ax4x4; 06-02-2017 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Nice looking bike. I have a 1990 KLR250 and itís amazing how few changes there are between yours and mine, at least cosmetic changes. About 4 years ago I moved into an old Class A RV and have been seeing the country. However, Iíve found I like to winter over in the Sierra Vista area. I like my KLR250, itís always been reliable, but at 6í4Ē and 220lbs I wish it had a little more horsepower. Not a lot of HP just enough so I could cruise it at 70 and not have to drop down to 50-55 for every hill I come to (and as you know AZ has a lot of hills). You sound a bit like me, Iíll be 70 in August and my first motorcycle, which I got at 18, was a 1959 Matchless 650 twin.

Steve

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Iíd like to die peacefully in my sleep, like my granddad, and not die screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

Last edited by Rockdoc; 06-02-2017 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Hi Steve,

Nice to meet you.

From the mid '80s to '05 the KLR 250 was basically the same bike. And why not?! Kawasaki had a good thing going and felt no need to make major changes. Even the USAF and the USMC used the KLR 250, rating it a "robust battlefield performer." No wonder it continues to serve its owners and riders as well as it does.

Sierra Vista in the winter is a nice place to be. I was born in Arizona and raised in California and Arizona on ranches my father operated. Spent my life from high school on basically in the Valley of The Sun, then moved to the White Mountains' Mogollon Rim country full time going on 5 years ago. Winters here are occasionally cold and snowy, but not so harsh you can't enjoy them. And summers on the mountain are simply awesome compared to the furnace like heat and ant pile congestion of the Valley!

Hey, if you find yourself wandering up this way, on the road from Payson to Show Low, look me up as you pass through Heber/Overgaard! If you have your bike with you we'll tour some of the 'high spots,' places people enjoy seeing if they slow down enough to admire the local scenery!

Ride safely..

George
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ax4x4 View Post
Hi Steve,

Nice to meet you.

From the mid '80s to '05 the KLR 250 was basically the same bike. And why not?! Kawasaki had a good thing going and felt no need to make major changes. Even the USAF and the USMC used the KLR 250, rating it a "robust battlefield performer." No wonder it continues to serve its owners and riders as well as it does.

Sierra Vista in the winter is a nice place to be. I was born in Arizona and raised in California and Arizona on ranches my father operated. Spent my life from high school on basically in the Valley of The Sun, then moved to the White Mountains' Mogollon Rim country full time going on 5 years ago. Winters here are occasionally cold and snowy, but not so harsh you can't enjoy them. And summers on the mountain are simply awesome compared to the furnace like heat and ant pile congestion of the Valley!

Hey, if you find yourself wandering up this way, on the road from Payson to Show Low, look me up as you pass through Heber/Overgaard! If you have your bike with you we'll tour some of the 'high spots,' places people enjoy seeing if they slow down enough to admire the local scenery!

Ride safely..

George
Nice ,It really is a pleasure to read your posts ,it's encouraging to see you older guys still at it .I totally agree with your assessment once it gets in your blood, Not much you can do but scratch that itch ...
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Thanks Don! Nice to hear that others look at 'old guys' still riding and take a certain degree of inspiration from those of us who fit that image. One thing I have in common with Steve, judging from his photo, is neither of us have put on excess weight, which would seem to indicate that staying active, strong and healthy is as much a lifestyle choice with him as it is with me.

Still, we're smart enough to know that putting a bike down hard with critical parts of us absorbing the fall will hurt a lot more at our age than when we were in our 20s! So we live by the old aviators adage: "There's old pilots. And there's bold pilots. But there's no old bold pilots." No way, after all these years, that we want to have it said of us that we were "too soon old, and too late smart" as far as riding is concerned!
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Old Arizona Rider, New to the KLR 250..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ax4x4 View Post
Thanks Don! Nice to hear that others look at 'old guys' still riding and take a certain degree of inspiration from those of us who fit that image. One thing I have in common with Steve, judging from his photo, is neither of us have put on excess weight, which would seem to indicate that staying active, strong and healthy is as much a lifestyle choice with him as it is with me.

Still, we're smart enough to know that putting a bike down hard with critical parts of us absorbing the fall will hurt a lot more at our age than when we were in our 20s! So we live by the old aviators adage: "There's old pilots. And there's bold pilots. But there's no old bold pilots." No way, after all these years, that we want to have it said of us that we were "too soon old, and too late smart" as far as riding is concerned!
Amen , Well said
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