Originally Posted by KnowFear
This is the best KLR thread I've seen.
I'm trying to decide between a new KLR, or a new 650 VStrom. One is more dirt and one is more road... I know all the major differences.
Does anybody here have some experience with both of them? If so, can I get your thoughts on living with one vs the other?
The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity. However, I really appreciate quality suspension so it seems that either bike will need suspension work to satisfy me. Thanks in advance.
They are very different bikes. Best to test ride both before making a decision. If you ride more than 50% off road I would go with the KLR.
I owned 2 V-Stroms, an '02 and an '06. Both were DL1000's. But I rode with 2 guys on Wee Stroms (pics below) and we swapped bikes frequently.
I know the Wee pretty well.
I loved the Wee on a tight, twisty road ... and with knobbies on, it's better than the 1000 on dirt roads. The Wee has some power and smooth cruising over the KLR, but if you get into mud, deep sand, steep up or down dirt roads on the Wee ... you are in trouble. Trust me on this.
In a strong headwind the Wee runs out of POOP ... and the MPG goes in the toilet. My V-Strom had no such issues. Wee and V stroms get blown around BADLY in gusty cross winds. The KLR is pretty stable, not affected like the Wee is, which can have you changing lanes suddenly.
Maybe the "new" adventure version is better in the Wind?
Wee, KLR and my DL1000 in Copper Canyon, 2006
One of three major tours into Baja and Mexico on my Vstrom. 90,000 combined.
My first ride to Copper Canyon (2004) on the Vstrom. Here with friend Andy T who was headed to S. America on his KLR. He made it of course.
On rough dirt roads on a loaded bike the KLR rules over the Wee. More fun, less stressful. The Wee will do it ... but you will work harder as a rider. I'm a retired AMA B enduro rider ... and it stressed me. I loved my Vstrom but was never 100% comfortable riding it off road. Not good in Mud or Deep sand ... but neither is the KLR .. but better than the Wee.
The KLR is underpowered and needs suspension and better brakes. It's a blank canvas ... and you won't believe HOW MUCH BETTER it will get if you do all the right mods. The KLR is a "Slow Down, Smell The Roses" sort of bike. Once you adapt to it's pace and relax ... it's great.
The Wee needs fewer fixes. It's tough as nails. The Wee pictured above was up to 65,000 mi. (with LOTS OF OFF ROAD) before my buddy sold it off.
At about 50,000 miles you need to go through the WEE and replace ALL the bearings on the chassis and linkage arms: Swing Arm, Steering head, Link, and Wheel. It's gets loose and sloppy. The new bearings tighten things up, like a new bike again.
Not sure about the KLR ... and how it ages with time, miles and hard use.
I'm sure it's similar, especially if ridden fully loaded off road.