Originally Posted by jasonmt
If your best argument is that the DR & KLR are better hauling some camping gear over "rough ground" as a 25-30 year old dirt bike you really have a pretty weak argument given how far things have came since the mid eighties and the plethora of options available with suspension, brakes and power plants that uses 25 year newer technology.
Now if you want to make the argument that the DR & KLR are cheap, readily available and as complicated as a hammer to work on you might have an believable argument though one that should also mention the words overweight, underpowered, under-suspended and under-braked in relationship to their more modern competition.
There still aren't many bikes sold in this country as versatile as the big DR or KLR. Bikes you can ride in singletrack typically aren't going to haul a passenger and luggage very well down the slab at 70MPH+ for 50K+ reliable miles, and these bikes can rail in tight twisties on pavement too. Bikes that can fly slab all day at 70MPH+ typically don't do well on dirt more technical than a gravel road. The DR and KLR are more capable on dirt than that, especially with a few intelligent mods. They can actually be ridden like chunky dirtbikes, by mere mortals even.
Things have come so far as to be truly "better" at versatility? We're offered 250s now that weigh over 300lb+ curb and have a 36" seat height. We're offered subframes that can't handle a 24" duffel bag. We have EFI with sketchy off-idle manners and questionable fuelpumps. We now have dinky fueltanks that can't be upgraded easily/cheaply. We have delicate radiators and finicky waterpumps. We have extra pork that pushes 650 thumpers over 400lb. The power is great, but how does it run on barrel gas and how well does it crash? We're offered close-ratio trannies. On a DUALsport?
A lot of these other bikes might be great, but their focus is usually considerably narrower.