Originally Posted by beergut
WHy does the KLR suck so bad? What can make serious improvements?
As has been stated in the thread already, the DR and KLR has comparable power levels, as do a few other dual sport bikes like the XT 660. The reason is reliability and economy. They are designed to be affordable, so they don't use much exotic materials, and most have engines dating back to the 90s or even 80s in original form. They are also built to last, they really only need an oil change at specified intervals to make them last for tens of thousands of miles without issues.
You can spend the money the factory didn't want to spend to increase performance, but usually the cost outweighs the gains. Not familiar with prices abroad, but just reflowing the head costs like 1/6-1/8 of the cost a used bike. A new carb, a few hundred dollars. Lightening the crank for faster throttle response, like a 1/4 of the cost of a used bike. A new exhaust system and carb jet, again, several hundred dollars (which will add 2-3 hp at most). Boring the cylinder, upwards of 700-800 dollars. This assumes that you can do all the mechanical work yourself.
Having spent all that money, you'll end up with a bike that still doesn't come close to a KTM 690, for either power, weight o chassis components (brakes, suspension, wheels). Bascially, you're paying a lot more than it's worth, and it's also an investment you won't recoup when selling the bike.
-edit- well, the poster above basically said the same thing as me. Serves me for not reading the thread properly.