The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

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sagerat
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The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by sagerat » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:35 pm

I've been doing a lot of dualsporting with the my 2009 R1200GSA and the Adventure has been amazing on gravel roads, two track, and one memorable stretch of no track. (Hey, my riding buddy who lured me into that was on a 1997 Goldwing.)

Still, I have been thinking of adding a middleweight dual sport back into the stable. I had an '05 KLR for three years and put 17,000 miles on it touring the West and dualsporting on the weekend. (I found a need for speed meant a KLR and a Ural duo was insufficient, so good bye Kawi and hello GSA.)

I was going to just pick up a used second generation KLR, but two buddies with DRs keep saying get the Suzuki. One of them is a former KLR pilot, so I trust him; plus the man also has a Ural, his third. I sent him down both the KLR and Ural paths, but I'm assuming he's not recommending a DR as a revenge ploy.

Thoughts from the collective of DR vs. KLR? Thanks.
2004 Ural Tourist (2004-2018, 48,000 klicks)

2012 Ural Gobi (Forward to the horizon)

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure (KIA, sniff)

2017 Kawasaki KLR650 (Semi-orphaned by Urals)

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by Nybigdog82162 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:44 am

Had a 2007 KLR 650, great bike, had it fully rigged for Adv touring...but a bit heavy for rough stuff. I miss it the most of all the bikes I've owned.

I've been keeping an eye out for a nice DRZ 400, lighter bike but just as bullet proof. Maybe even 2 pair of shoes for it..super moto & knobbies.
Tim

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by planeflyer21 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:10 am

Funny you ask this. I've been looking at the reviews of both, particularly the reviews by people who have owned or ridden both.

The DR650 seems to be coming out on top.
Jon

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by siberman1 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:53 am

My experience: I rode solo a DR650 around the world. Believe me, it was an experience. Some hunting/fishing/BLM roads are better than anything in Siberia, including the Trans-Siberian Highway.

DR650 - Plus: Better suspension, still simple, lighter than KLR, air cooled.(more simple) Minus: smaller gas tank, rear brake wears out fast

KLR - Plus: cheaper than DR, bigger gas tank Minus: Crummy suspension, heavier, doo-hicky problem, crummy rear brake

Trip around the world--
Not many motorcycles can take a trip across Russia including Siberia, where parts, fixes, are non-exist.
I saw broken rear springs (2 pcs) on Yamaha and KLR
I saw broken rear shock rod (the part in center of shock) 2 pcs. KLR
I saw broken rear swing arm on KLR
I saw broken down (who knows what) BMW - no fix, electronics, Dead on road, no fix possible, put it on the Trans-Siberian Express train.

Gas was a problem for me, but I stopped many more times, but never had real "breakdown" issues. Clutch burned up near Lake Baikal, local MC club rooted around boxes of clutch parts, found some that would fit, even if not right. Repair was easy. I was hit 5 times and lost 2 windshields, all turn signals, bent clutch pedal, gear pedal, straighten them, everything still worked.

It seemed like KLR & Yamaha & BMW could go forever without going to gas station. My NUMBER 1 PITA: Any Gas stop in Belarus, Ukraine, or Russia. Total F^*king A$$holes!

KLR got hit, went down, and would not start again. No fix, problem unknown, put it on the Trans-Siberian Express train.

I was able to fit larger Heidenau tires on DR, so they lasted and did well to make it to Vladivostok. KLR, Yamaha had to replace rear tires near Mogocha. Also, use soft bags. When you go down, they do not tear stuff off the bike or bend metal parts. They took a lot of the damage from "hits" and bike going to "sleep". Keep it as light as possible to make it easier to pick it up. :lol:

Just my experience, I'd go with Suz DR650

YMMV
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by stagewex » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:19 am

Owned a 2005 KLR650. Kick my a$$ that I sold it as it can be a forever bike whether you use it for around-the-world or just local stuff. Poor Man's GS.
I also had a tough decision between the two since Honda and Yamaha kinda abandoned this niche.

I went with the KLR specifically because I wanted Water-cooled vs. the Air cooled DR. That was really the deciding factor.
So, so many little upgrades for the KLR. Where I first read the word "farkle".
Stagewex

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2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
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1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
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List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by thecrumb » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:40 pm

What are you going to do with it? Day rides? Long distance?

I think if you already have the GS I'd go for the DR or even something smaller. I've had a KLR and a GS and could probably (with a bit of coaxing and the right tires) take the GS everywhere I took the KLR. The GS always sounded more expensive when if fell over though :\

If I were to get another 'dual-sport' type bike I'd really be looking at something small - 400 maybe. So much lighter.
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by gobium » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:45 pm

I have dr650.
I love it

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sagerat
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by sagerat » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:44 pm

thecrumb wrote: I've had a KLR and a GS and could probably (with a bit of coaxing and the right tires) take the GS everywhere I took the KLR. The GS always sounded more expensive when if fell over though :\
.
Bingo!

DR or KLR would be used for day and half-day trips on local logging roads and two tracks.
2004 Ural Tourist (2004-2018, 48,000 klicks)

2012 Ural Gobi (Forward to the horizon)

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure (KIA, sniff)

2017 Kawasaki KLR650 (Semi-orphaned by Urals)

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by 4Paws » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:19 pm

Been pondering the same question and keep going back and forth; for me it's boiling down to best deal available on a used one. Both great bikes. Leaning towards the DR myself plus the idea of a set of wheels with road tires for the DR has a lot of appeal. Looks like 4K will buy a lot.
Dan
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by gobium » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:32 pm

:D My DR650 has factory oil cooler .

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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by MonkeysUncle » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:30 pm

I like my KLR but, it's too tall, I'm 6' but still end up on my toes whenever I stop, and it's too heavy. I could get the seat cut down but not much I could do about the weight. I like having it water cooled as Albuquerque can get pretty hot. I've ridden in stop & go traffic with temps over 100°F and it never missed a beat. Except for regular maintenance and tires it's been pretty much bullet-proof.
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by Yakatak » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:03 pm

I also have DR650
I also love it.

Tank size issue is easily fixed with larger and lighter from aftermarket. Like your KLR, there is a TON of aftermarket goodies for these things.
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by jeffsaline » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:24 pm

I have a Gen I (1987-2007) KLR650. The doohickey isn't an issue that about $50 and an hour of time can't fix. I've ridden mine from Canada to Mexico on the Great Divide Ride route. I find the weight and height aren't issues. I'm 5' 9" and about 175 pounds.

If I was making a purchase decision between the DR650 and KLR650 Gen I the deciding factor was whether I was going to be doing long distance travel or only local (day long) trips. For longer distances I'd pick a Gen I KLR650. For local trips/riding I would pick the DR650. I would not buy a Gen II (2008-present) KLR650 as I don't care for the looks or ignition system.

I don't know about the DR but the KLR has a wonderful support following (similar to this Ural group) at www.KLR650.net .

Best,

Jeff
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by irondad01 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:51 pm

I know you were asking about those two bikes but just for the fun of it maybe look into the Yamaha WR250R. I never had one but what I've heard they are an amazing little bike. Cruise down the highway at 70 mph and real nimble on the trails. It does have high tech stuff on it but it seems to be bulletproof. Carl
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Re: The single question: DR650 or KLR650?

Post by Subsnowden » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:31 pm

Easy answer. Another Ural!
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