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Old 06-30-2013, 08:11 AM   #1
Hawk900dc OP
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Upgrade from dr650 to klr650?

I've been riding a dr650 for the past year, I learned how to ride on the thing. I mostly ride around town and take 45 minute trips at 60 to 65 mph to visit family the dr isn't so much fun to me on these trips. Was thinking about buying a klr650 similar bike style more comforts is it worth it? Btw the dr650 is my fathers no ownership here.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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Absolutely not, IMO. I've had 3 DR's and 1 KLR so far. The DR is easier to work on, has better suspension, is less prone to mechanical features and crashes better off road (less broken bits). In my opinion it is a better engineered motorcycle. For under 500$, you can sort out the range and comfort problem by getting an Acerbis or IMS tank and a Seat Concepts foam and cover kit.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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KLRs are better street bikes. More wind blockage from the fairing. They weigh a bunch more than the DR, so consequently if you ride a bunch in the dirt, you will miss the DR. I think the DR suspension is crap anyways, a pogo stick is a better improvement.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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thoughts,

the DR is fun just around town, the only things that irk me are the torque,iness (power delivery) at times when shifting and the vibrations when on the highway. I did upgrade the seat and thats a nice boost and to be honest ive only ever taken it off road once in the last year, which was fun. Im ok with the DR, but keep looking at the KLR due to the claimed less vibrations, smoother power delivery and comfort. Ive been also been referred to Vstroms, but I think if i get something that big it would be a hassle for short trips around town and getting out of my one car garage garage and cramped driveway.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hawk900dc View Post
the only things that irk me are the vibrations when on the highway. I keep looking at the KLR due to the claimed less vibrations, smoother power delivery and comfort. Ive been also been referred to Vstroms, but I think if i get something that big it would be a hassle for short trips around town and getting out of my one car garage garage and cramped driveway.
I don't think you'll feel any less vibration from a KLR than a DR650. Individual examples will vary some due to mass production and wear, but the KLR is not inherently smoother.

If you want something light weight for short highway trips, consider the Kawasaki Ninja 300. Cheaper than a KLR, lighter, faster, better gas mileage, more comfortable, lower seat height, fuel injected -- I mean, if you're just street riding, why not get a street bike?

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Old 07-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:53 AM   #7
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The KLR has the advantage for girth, whereas you can load it up without interfering with your riding position. Both bikes are much improved with aftermarket suspension parts but the DR is far superior to the KLR off road both in suspension and frame geometry. The stock DR also has the advantage for trail riding considering its power band, not so much more power but easier to use off road. My experience is that the DR has a great low end with a substantial boost felt in midrange whereas the KLR is simply a mild increase throughout the rpm range. But then the extra weight may be responsible for that feeling. I own both bikes and neither are stock suspension or power wise anymore. My DR is a better bike than my previously owned stock KTM 640 both handling and suspension are better but the DR has RMZ forks and Cogent rear shocks and much work done inside the forks. Power wise the DR is at least as good as the KTM was. I bought the KLR for my road trips since I wanted a bike that was capable off road. It serves that purpose perfectly with a 688 piston and suspension components. In short my DR is a 650 enduro and my KLR is a 650 (688cc) dual-sport completely suitable for road trips. I used my DR for many 800-1000 mile road trips before buying the KLR. The DR is smoother than most 650's and though they say the KLR is smoother when using the 688 piston it is not as smooth as my DR was stock or is now. Vibrations of neither bike bother me in any way though.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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BMW f650gs is smoother on road than both. KLR is big and heavy - if you ride mostly on the road her a road bike like the vstrom or f650gs
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:07 PM   #9
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Hawk, remember that each bike is like a tool in a drawer. Each one has a certain purpose.

KLR is more street oriented but can handle dirt.

DR650 is more of a dirt bike that can ride ashpalt. You're getting a bike to suit your needs, find one that has good aerodynamics, can handle the highway with ease etc etc. Take your time, you'll get the right one for YOU
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk900dc View Post
I've been riding a dr650 for the past year, I learned how to ride on the thing. I mostly ride around town and take 45 minute trips at 60 to 65 mph to visit family the dr isn't so much fun to me on these trips. Was thinking about buying a klr650 similar bike style more comforts is it worth it? Btw the dr650 is my fathers no ownership here.
Another KLR vs DR discussion - to add the may many, many before - seems every week someone is asking the same questions! Help me decide...

While I understand that some have questions, please do a search on the subject. Whatever bike you choose, each will have some maintenance issues and weakneses. Up grade, down grade, sideways grade. Make a decision orSpin a coin.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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is that an upgrade?
more like a sideways move.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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Have to agree, if you're not happy with the DR, then I'm not sure the KLR is much smoother. It appears more road friendly ... and with the right mods it can be very good. It's wider and longer than the DR650 and makes a nice road going dual sport.

But as mentioned, if riding street only ... get a street bike. The DL650 is an excellent choice. If you can spend more ... try a Tiger 800, GS800, Kawi Versys or two or three other bikes in that class. That little Kawi 300 twin is an awesome bike from reports I've read.

All that said, I find my DR reasonably smooth at highway speed for a single. Lots of things can negatively affect smoothness on the DR650 and many owners neglect these important service items:

1. Worn Cush Drive Rubber Bushings ... Replace! They really affect drive line feel.
2. Worn chain and sprockets. This is a BIGGY. Some owners don't have a CLUE regards their chain/sprockets. If unsure, get an expert opinion and replace chain and sprockets if needed. Makes a HUGE difference in ride smoothness on the DR650.
3. Some bright Bulb may have removed your bar end weights? They help. Also, an Alu handle bar like a Pro Taper reduces vibes and is stronger and looks good too.

The DR has several Vibe damping elements built in from stock. The KLR has none of these, IIRC:
1. Handlebar mounts are mounted in Rubber bushings. Very nice!
2. Foot pegs are mounted in Rubber Bushings.
3. DR motor has very effective counter balance system. One of the smoothest singles out there at around 75 MPH in my experience.

Test out a few bikes, go with what works for you!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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Hawk900dc
First, thanks for your service, Rangers rock.
At 6' 3" and 240lbs, you will need to spend some money on suspension, spending money on suspension is like spending money on Mom, good things will come from it, there are a couple of rear shocks out there, both the Moab from Cogent dynamics and the Ricor shock have good reviews, as for the front you may need the next size over fork springs, and valves for the front, i love the Ricor intiminator front valves on my KLR.

For a wind screen on the newer KLR, tall riders seem to like the Madstad, it is adjustable.

For better power, you can use the Eagel Mike KLX jet kit and get a little more power (not a lot) but still get good fuel mileage.

I am 6' 3" and 200, and have done the shock and front (except front springs, mine are stock)
My KLR is a 2007 and has a different windscreen, my neighbor has a 2009 KLR with the Madstad windscreen and i have ridden it, so i know the Madstad worked well.

I installed the Eagle Mike jet kit and have been happy with it, i have ridden street and single track trails, it is better than stock and i still get around 55mpg.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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Congrats on the new bike Hawk! The KLR can be a very good bike. But just like the DR ... to be at it's best, it may need a few upgrades. The suggestions about suspension are good ones ... but since you're doing all ON ROAD work, it may not be a high priority, but, IMHO, should be dealt with at some point. It can be SO MUCH better with a high quality shock the re-valved front forks.

One thing that would be a priority (to me) is a better SEAT.

I think you'll adjust to the size and hugeness of the fairing and overall size of the KLR in a short time and miles. You're a big guy ... so in the end the XL size may be to your liking. Room to spread out, lots of luggage room.

There is SO MUCH info on KLR's and SO MUCH you can do. But remember: Rome wasn't built in a day.

For now, ride and enjoy Summer. In 6 months or a year you'll know the bike and will have had time to read up on it and study your options. At that point you may feel like it's time to make some improvements or additions.

Ride Safe!
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #15
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Many Thanks!, Still in the break in period for now (not supposed to go over 4k RPM which is about 60 MPH) but i dont mind the shocks or the seat so far. Seat is a huge upgrade from the DR650 and on that I had the Sargent Seat. Whats the suspension upgrade for? bottoming out on big bumps? or just comfort? I havent noticed anything bothersome with it.

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