I’m sure almost everyone that watches the Long Way Down & Long Way Round series dreams of owning an BMW R1200GS, including me. Unfortunately along with costing a whole lot of money, its a whole lot of bike for a beginner. It’s heavy, has lots of power and just isn’t really made for beginners. Knowing this I started looking at the smaller GS bikes, including the BMW G650GS, the BMW F700GS, and the BMW F800GS. After deciding I thought these would be good bikes for me I did a little research, some people agreeing they are pretty good first bikes and others not.
Eventually my dad took me out to the dealership and I had the chance to sit on these bikes and see what I fit on and what they looked like in person. The 650 was too small and I only just fit on the 700, yes I know there are adjustments that I could make to make them fit better but don’t really want to have to worry about outgrowing the bike super fast. The 800 on the other hand, I fit pretty well and it was also pretty comfy.
At this point I went onto craigslist just to see what used F800s were going for and damn those things are expensive, I would probably end up saving for about 2-3 years to afford one. Now this was around 2-3 months ago and up until now I just kind of ignored looking at other bikes and ignored the price that I could not afford for 2-3 years thinking I would get the money in a year somehow. I know now that this just wont happen however I will not let that be the end of my dream of owning a motorcycle as a teenager.
Very recently I decided to look more into Kawasaki’s KLR 650. My dad had mentioned the bike to me before and I had looked at it but never really done any research into it or considered it as a first bike or really a bike that I would want at all, until now that is. I have now done some research, looked at prices for a used bike on craigslist, and watched some review videos on YouTube. Yes it is a heavy bike, no it doesn’t have the most power, and no it is not the most comfortable. The thing is, you can buy a better seat to make it more comfortable and from what I hear, the bike is practically bullet proof! Plus, you just cant go wrong with the price, especially used.
As of now, it is looking like there is a good chance that the the Kawasaki KLR 650 will be my first bike. I am liking everything about it, it is a great beginner bike from what I hear and you just cant go wrong with it. I am still looking at around a year of saving but when you think of it, its really not that long of a time. Also, I still have around 4½ months before I turn 16 and can get my learners licence. If I really want to, at that time I can take my MSF course and all that stuff and get my learners so that at least when I can afford the bike I am able to ride it. Until then, I will just have to keep dreaming and living my dream through videos on YouTube.