Man, I have NEVER
seen a group of riders get more bent outta shape about other bikes than DS riders. Never. Ride what suits you and your style.
Me? I ride a KLR. The folks I ride with most have a DRZ400, a KTM450XCR-W, and KTM525 when we do dual sport rides. When I found this KLR, I was looking for a DR650.
I'm the stereotypical KLR owner. I'm cheap...but mostly out of necessity. Practical...I've made functional, effective improvements to brakes and suspension front and rear for less than a grand. Paid $2K for the bike nearly 4 years ago. Bike just rolled over 41K. About the only mod it needs now is a real bash plate...but what dual sport doesn't need a good bash plate?
I ride the KLR long distance. I've been to AK and all across western/northwestern Canada from coastal SC. 10K and change for mileage on that trip. Changed the oil twice. Not so much as a hiccup.
I regularly visit Asheville for DS rides, and ride it up from Charleston. We ride all weekend and then I ride back to Charleston. I wouldn't think twice about running the KLR down Hurricane Creek (aside from not having a proper aftermarket bash plate yet)...but I know I'd be much more tired than somebody on a smaller/lighter bike.
Never below 50mpg, no matter how loaded down. Last time I checked the valves (9K miles ago), they had barely budged from where I set them 10K miles before that, at 22,000. This bikes spends most of its time between 4,500 & 5,000rpms.
The KLR has been happily mud covered from top to bottom...it's been ridden thru the rain for hours. Do I do super hardcore single track? Nah. But I certainly haven't been across anything that would make me sell it for another bike, just for the sake of having more HP or better suspension.
It just keeps going, and takes everything I throw at it. As mentioned above, I am cheap, mostly because I have to be. Would like to have a KLX400/DRZ400, but my budget just doesn't allow it; Additionally, a DRZ/KLX just isn't physically big enough for long distance ADV type rides to suit me, so the KLR stays.
In my eyes, the closest competitor to KLR for somewhat similar $$ is the Husky Terra. Good looking bike. Good reviews. Needs more fuel capacity and I'm sure the seat sucks like every other DS seat. Every bike needs a bit of tweaking.
Headed up the St. James Bay Road and Trans-Taiga later next year. What bike am I taking? The KLR.
It a great all around, functional bike. A factory race bike it is not. Sexy, it is not. HP king, it is not.
All that said...I'd LOVE to have a new R spec 1190 ADV.