When recently asked what my dream bike is, I had to take a moment to really consider it. I salivate a little at the thought of a shiny BMW R1200GSA. I test rode one at Overland Expo ’11 and it was dreamy. Nicely balanced with a lower center of gravity, smooth riding transitions between dirt and asphalt. The beast had so many buttons of luxury at my fingertips. I couldn’t help but feel at home sitting atop a much cushier seat.
Then I look at my KLR. I have put into it as much as I bought it for, modifying it every which way under the sun to make it a more comfortable ride. And it still has zip ties holding on plastic parts, with paint flaking off the tank in my attempt to cover up the 20 years of oversized dirt bike styling without the grace of a European designer And for as “ugly” as this Kawi is, I can’t help but smile because it has taken me to all the places I had dreamed of yet…so isn’t that essentially my dream bike?
My KLR has never stranded me. Any problems I have encountered, I was able to fix. When I think of traveling far and wide, this matters, a lot. I have heard too many stories of a BMW down and out for services unkown, and when I think about traveling farther and farther out, I don’t know if I want to trade in my KLR. It’s not sexy, it’s not a classic, but it certainly has taken me everywhere I have wanted to go (and some places I probably shouldn’t have.) When I bought the KLR in July 2009 with 8,800 miles, I had no idea 34,000 would turn over so soon in September of 2011. I have enjoyed the many, many miles.
Places my KLR has taken me so far: all over California (home), Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Alberta, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington, British Colombia, Yukon Territory, and Alaska; then home again.