Originally Posted by daveburton
I realise these are different bikes in many respects but do you think the DR could be as good as the KTM, even simpler with air cooling. There is a 790 big bore kit as well that takes the DR to 55HP at the wheel apparently.
I realise this is a bit out of context so ignore it if it risks widening the thread too much.
Your prep is getting me thinking along the lines of a single for an across Russia ride although mine will be less certain that your's for some time yet.
"as good as the KTM" at What?
The DR won't match a 625 off road without extensive, expensive mods. Even with the 790 kit, I doubt it could match the KTM in speed.
But as a LD travel/touring bike? For me
, I'll take the DR650. If I were a better mechanic and was willing to carry tools & spares, I would consider the KTM.
Having owned and tested KTM's since the late 1980's ... I do love the bikes. But it's essentially a race bike, not really designed to go 50,000 miles carrying a big load on terrible roads. The DR needs about $1500 to be travel ready from stock. Stock motor is best for Russia or any LD travel, IMHO.
I'd be interested to know what the KTM will weigh once bash plate, bark busters, racks, gussets, tools, parts, hardware and luggage are all attached.
Still lighter than the DR I'm sure. Paul, I'd like to see a weight figure, wet, once you get to that point. I'd go with your 15 kg. figure (33 lbs.) estimate.
Dave, having ridden a kitted DR725 (JE HC Piston, hot cam, Pumper carb) I can assure you it makes no where near 55 HP. The KTM 640's will still smoke the DR in any speed contest ... and I doubt the 790 is much better.
I compared DR's ... back to back to my stock DR650 (two other DR's actually) The kitted DR was stronger and snappier off the bottom ... after that, about the same as my stock bike but used about 15% more fuel doing aggressive riding.
For long range travel, speed and off road prowess aren't a priority (for me). Longevity, simplicity and strength are. Some folks wouldn't be caught dead on a DR or a KLR ... and I can understand why having ridden a stock KLR through Baja and Mexico for 5500 miles and six weeks. It sucked!
A modded DR is better, still ... not much of a dirt bike compared to the KTM. But going RTW isn't about dirt bikes it's about making it through. The DR is the poor mans, low dollar, compromise bike. Cheap and expendable.