Before starting on this review, I’d like to give thanks to Chris from High Speed Yoyo for letting me use his review format and giving me some very helpful tips on writing a review. This is the first comprehensive yoyo review I’ve ever written, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated
For images of the KLR with comparisons, check out this album: http://imgur.com/a/B3ycf
Specs (courtesy the General-Yo website)
Weight: 66.5 g
Diameter: 54.6 mm
Width: 42.93 mm
Gap width: 4.4 mm
- At one of the recent DXL meets in Long Beach, I got the opportunity to purchace the preproduction edition of the General-Yo KLR directly from Ernie. The KLR (pronounced ‘killer’) is short for Kaiser, Lee, Reed, the three people of the General-Yo crew who designed the yoyo for competitive performance. Ernie’s main goal in the design is to “provide a freestyle/competition throw that conforms to today’s radical style of tricks and competition scoring.” (Quote taken from the General-Yo website) I’ve been a fan of General-Yo since I first started getting into the yoyo hobby about a year and a half ago, and have always been impressed with the designs and quality of construction that their throws have. Let’s see how this collaboration between Ernie and his team members have worked out.
- The first thing that stuck out to me about the KLR was how large it feels in my hand. At almost 43mm wide and 54.6 mm diameter, this is definitely one of the larger yoyos in my collection. Like the Entheos, the KLR shows a departure from previous General-Yo designs, which emphasized classic organic butterfly shapes. In the case of the KLR, the profile is a hybrid between the classic organic and angular shapes. From the response area, the profile is a low-walled angular shape, which helps reduce string contact along the side of the yoyo. At about two-thirds of the way away from the response area, the profile tapers out and becomes more organically shaped, leading to a rounded rim. Overall, the profile is very wide and open, with most of the width contributing to the catch zone. The weight of the KLR is not pushed directly to the edge of the rims, and most of the rim wight is set in a little ways from the edge. The KLR comes with an IGR that is set farther back from the rim than previous General-Yo releases I’ve played with, and it reminds me a lot of the IGR seen on the Peak. In the center of the KLR’s hub is a pointy spike that is suitable for matador play. As mentioned earlier, the KLR feels very large in my hand. The two-setp shape is really comfortable, with my middle finger sitting in the gap very easily. Although the version I have been playing with is a raw pre-production, the first batch of production grade models I’ve seen show an unblasted green and black anodization job.
- At 66.5 grams, the KLR falls right into the sweet spot between lightweight and heavyweight throws. Given the KLR’s size, the yoyo feels a lot lighter than it should when thrown. On a throw, it does not land with a heavy thunk at the end of the string. On string trick, this yoyo is only heavy enough to let you know that it’s there, without feeling any heavier than it needs to.
- All current General-Yo throws come with an AIGR bearing and hat pad response. The bearings are excellent, require little maintenance, and spin for what seems like decades. The hat pads are among the best on the market. They last forever and provide consistently tight binds. My only complaint was that the bearing and pads needed a few hours to break in, as the yoyo would unpredictably snap back and hit me in the knuckles. After the break-in, the response and bearing system work flawlessly.
- Stable, nimble, and smooth are words I like to use to describe how this throw plays. As stated earlier, the weight distribution and size of this yoyo lead it to feeling a lot lighter than it looks. In my experience, the yoyo plays best when moving at a more chilled out pace, rather than at breakneck speeds. However, the KLR can handle any speed of play you throw at it with ease. My favorite tricks to do with the KLR were hopping tricks, as this yoyo just wants to spend as much time on the air as possible. Suicides were a breeze due to the low-walled gap. The gap itself is wide enough to handle many layers of string with ease. The matador spikes were pointy enough for matador play, and the spikes themselves don’t extend too far out into the cup to get in the way of the IGR. Regens are also consistently good with the KLR. Although I have not yet learned how to do horizontal play, I have seen this yoyo played very well in that style, and am sure that it would be an excellent horizontal player.
- Ernie, with the help of the General-Yo crew, have designed yet another excellent throw. Given the recent trend in yoyo companies producing throws geared towards competition, the KLR distinguished itself as being near the head of the pack in terms of aestherics and performance. Props to the General-Yo crew for producing such an excellent throw, and I hope to see the KLR being used to rock the competitive scene!