Originally Posted by BerndM
Let me start by saying that I LOVE my 2006 R1200GS, and I would NOT consider replacing it with ANY other bike, BUT, lets get real here, the GS is a big, heavy and VERY expensive piece of machinery, and NOT optimally suited or designed for "serious" off-roading. Right??
So, I've spent some time looking at all the different dual sports out there and it appears (IMHO) that there is no PERFECT bike for that purpose, BUT the best may in fact be the Kawasaki 650 KLR. If you factor in ALL the variables, such as purchase price, registration, insurance, operating expenses, cost to repair or replace parts, weight and off-road capabilities, I think you'd be very hard pressed to find anything better. I know "better" is very subjective, but let's face it, honestly, other than extended touring (which many do successfully) on the KLR, does anyone actually believe that the GS will go places the KLR can't? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I think the KLR is capable of going many places you'd never want to take the GS to. It is no problem riding the KLR 100 or 200 miles on the pavement, and then take it off the road and do stuff the GS can't match, because of its size and weight.
Not trying to start a fight here, just a lively discussion regarding the REALITY of the off-road aspect of our riding.
I've owned a BMW R1100GS and have ridden the R1200GS including the 2010 model, which I realy liked the new motor. I have ridden an 06 KLR 650, have owned an 08 KLR 650 and presently own a 2009 KLR 650. To put in my perspective, some may disagree, but thats ok, I think neither bike is light and agile enough to be considered a true dual sport; more apropriately should be classified as adventure touring bikes. As adventure touring bikes the BMW excells in long road haul high speed travel and the KLR despite it small cc manages the job for us quite well.
We sold our BMWs in favor of the KLR due to lower initial cost, lower maintenance and outfiting costs, better gas milage and less curb weight and the KLR seat doesn't kill my butt.
The BMW GS will probably last longer than the KLR, you can make anything last longer if you throw enough money at it; on the other hand you can buy 3 KLRs for the cost of a BMW, if one blows up, hasn't happened yet, or accidently roll a KLR off a cliff, I'll go buy another one, not so with the BMW. If you lunch the BMW, to replace it you may have to mortage the house, prostitute the wife and sell off one of two kids
Loaded touring up to 75 mph on the KLR works for me. If I need to go faster take the BMW, if you realy need to go fast in total comfort get a GL1800 Gold Wing 110 mph for the most part L.A - Tracy, CA.
The best bike, is the one you ride.