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Old 05-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #20
Beastly Adventurer
ram1000's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Tricities Washington
Oddometer: 1,836
I have both the KLR (2009) and a DR650 (2008). I have also owned about 60+- other bikes over the years. If you rode both bikes back to back you would notice the DR to be an easier bike to manuever in the parking lot and much more so in the dirt. The DR has literally no problems while the KLR in the Model year 2008 and 2009 have recurring oil consumption problems on a seemingly significant portion of those bikes. My KLR has had the piston replaced with an after market piston increasing the power and eliminating the oil consumption problem. Both bikes are completely comfortable at freeway speeds although the extra physical size of the KLR frame lends itself better to long distance riding. Realize that many of the people on this web site have taken both to Alaska and back. The rule of thumb is for dirt chose the DR and for packing up enough stuff to go the distance buy the KLR. Frankly I don't measure the reliability of bikes in my purchasing descisions since almost all bikes have proven themselves reliable these days. Getting more specific I find that stock DR650's have a more powerful feel to them though in a drag race the difference is somewhat insignificant. On the dirt however the DR has a noticably better throttle response at the low end. Both bikes get about 50-55 mpg but the KLR comes with a 6 gallon tank where the DR needs a $250.00 aftermarket tank to get an equal amount. If your bike falls over it will cost you less to make the DR look pretty again than the KLR since it has expensive shrouds around the tank. Lastly the DR has built in factory settings to lower the bike a few inches of your under 5'10", but the KLR can be lowered for about $50.00 +- with after market parts. However, the DR still handles very well when lowered whereas the KLR is quite limited for ground clearance having been lowered. I recently sold my Aprilia DorsoDuro to buy the KLR for my only road touring bike. I have ridden the DD to Texas and back and was tired of stopping for gas every 100 miles. There are many other bikes that will fit the classification of these two bikes as well- like the Husky 650's.
A good adventure bike will get you to where you wish you had a good dirt bike! (and back)
:2014 XC800 :2012 WR450
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