1987 Kawasaki KLR650
The adventure of a lifetime! Back in 1980 I had read an article in RIDER magazine by Frosty Woolwridge who rode to Alaska with some buddies. It stuck in my mind and I always thought that someday, when I had the chance, I would ride to Alaska too. Well in 1989 I had an employer with a very generous vacation schedule so I took off for 5 weeks and rode up through Oregon and Washington. Then my wife met me in Seattle and we took the state ferries through the Inside Passage and she flew home from Skagway. I continued on from Skagway to Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks, and then back home down the AlCan Highway.
This is outside one of the few hotels I stayed in, as it was just too cold to camp that night. It was so cold that the KLR650 was covered in frost and the gas cap was frozen shut. I found out from a local that the correct procedure in such a situation is to hold your key over a cigarette lighter to warm it up so it can melt the ice in the lock. Hey, I'm from California, we don't deal with cold!
I bought the bike used from someone who also bought it for an Alaska trip and it was certainly well suited for the trip. The previous owner had custom fabricated some brackets and I used those to hold the duffel bags containing the heavy stuff like spares and tools. Hopefully some day I'll finish typing up my journal from the trip and I'll post it here. After the trip we were buying a house so I sold the KLR650 for more than I paid for it even though it had 10k more on the odometer. But I wish I still had it. It is a great urban survival vehicle as well.
Kawaski KLR650 Links
- My 2001 KLR650 page.
- KLR Mailing List
- Kawasaki Motorcycles - The KLR650 is still being produced.
- Kawasaki KLR650 FAQ by Steven Johnson
- BigCee KLR650 FAQ
- Another KLR rider's review of my backyard
- KLR650.net - Forum
- Help for choosing the right tires for your KLR650 (I've tried quite a few and for the style of riding I do, 50% dirt, 50% bumpy backroads, I really love the Continental TKC-80s.)
- Parts Suppliers