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Old 01-08-2003, 06:06 PM   #1
inte OP
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KLR650 vs DR650se

I currently ride a KTM620 - amazing speed on dirt but kinda brutal on long pavement stretches - looking for something suited to 70% street 30% dirt. Been researching BMW f650gsds, & KLRs mostly - pretty much sold on the KLR for price/performace but I don't know anything about the Suzuki DR650se other than what I see on their website - exact same MSRP.

What's the story with these?
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Old 01-08-2003, 07:26 PM   #2
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I think the KLR wins out over the DR for the following reasons. 1) Large Fuel Tank. 2) Frame mounted fairing. 3) Comes with rear rack platform. 4) More aftermarket parts. I think the DR is fine if those features are not important, and I like the simplicity of the air/oil cooling on the DR. The GS is by far the best looking, ( I want a Yellow one in my collection). The Beemer costs more, and is worth more. The KLR with the wet sump engine, most likely has the easiest maintenece, I know the oil change on the KLR is very easy, Valve adj not as bad as the beemer. I think the Suzuki is the easiest to do the valves on though , as I believe it has screw adjusters. What we need is for BMW to reinstate the R-80 GS Airhead and sell it new for 5,000, then it would be an easy choice. Bentspoke
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Old 01-08-2003, 07:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Said bentspoke:
I think the KLR wins out over the DR for the following reasons. 1) Large Fuel Tank. 2) Frame mounted fairing. 3) Comes with rear rack platform. 4) More aftermarket parts. I think the DR is fine if those features are not important, and I like the simplicity of the air/oil cooling on the DR. The GS is by far the best looking, ( I want a Yellow one in my collection). The Beemer costs more, and is worth more. The KLR with the wet sump engine, most likely has the easiest maintenece, I know the oil change on the KLR is very easy, Valve adj not as bad as the beemer. I think the Suzuki is the easiest to do the valves on though , as I believe it has screw adjusters. What we need is for BMW to reinstate the R-80 GS Airhead and sell it new for 5,000, then it would be an easy choice. Bentspoke
that aint much of a fairing. The DRs missing bits are easy to come by. The KLR has some more expensive problems. The fan shroud is very subject to breakage. and by all reports the brakes suck ass. And I hear the alternator is lightweight, though I dunno what the DRs is like.

http://www.dual-star.com/index2/Bran...zuki%20DRs.htm

the DR tank can be replaced with an IMS or Acerbis model. the rear rack is an oem option.

But I really think that both will suck for any more than an hour on the road.
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Said Chopperman:

But I really think that both will suck for any more than an hour on the road.
Uh, I have a buddy who rode from Omaha to Prudhoe Bay and back on a KLR, then he went to Tierra del Fuego the next year. I think it took more than an hour
Now the DRZ, THAT sucks after an hour on road
Did 272 miles once and my ass was hurting bad.
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:03 PM   #5
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Uh, I have a buddy who rode from Omaha to Prudhoe Bay and back on a KLR, then he went to Tierra del Fuego the next year. I think it took more than an hour
Now the DRZ, THAT sucks after an hour on road
Did 272 miles once and my ass was hurting bad.
I didnt say it cant be done. It's just a matter of what you are able to deal with.
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:20 PM   #6
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Yeah those radiator parts are a weak spot, When I got my 01 KLR with only 500 miles, someone had already dropped it on that side and broke the radiator screen and that is around $45. I have done half dozen or so 400-700 mile days and in some ways it is more comfortable than a road bike, that square edged seat could be improved upon. Oh and I have the tall screen and the wind protection is excellent, that little fairing works pretty well. If I bought a new one, I would put the radiator gaurd on right away. Bentspoke
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Old 01-08-2003, 11:36 PM   #7
inte OP
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radiator guard?

is the radiator guard a factory part or an aftermarket thing? I saw the tall windscreen & like the idea of having it on the bike.
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Old 01-09-2003, 12:53 AM   #8
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Dual star and happy trails both make radiator gaurds, lots of other gaurds made for the bike also. Bentspoke
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Old 01-13-2003, 03:30 PM   #9
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comfortble, uncomfortable, whatever

Comfort is subjective. Duh.

Objectively, the DR650 cockpit is smaller than the KLR.
A lot smaller.

Subjectively, I sat on the DR for a few minutes and I hurt, so it was off my list without further thought. I find the KLR comfortable for 600+ miles a day. With shorter bars. Okay, it's not comfortable, it's bearable, but it actually hurts my ass and legs less than the old R100GS. Go figure.
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Old 01-13-2003, 04:19 PM   #10
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sold...

Thanks for all the replies ... I know opinions can be real subjective, but the bulk of what I've been hearing is pretty much selling me on the KLRs ... now if they would only offer the diesel version to the public...
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Old 01-13-2003, 04:35 PM   #11
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Re: KLR650 vs DR650se

Nothing wrong with the big DR or KLR, but for a 70/30 on/off-road bike, I'd be looking at the F650GS. They have '02s for .9% interest and '03s at 1.9%. Basically free money and to top things off, your first five payments are on the house. This is one helluva promotion.

My $.02.
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Old 01-13-2003, 05:27 PM   #12
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I completely agree ... I think

I had looked into that BMW promotion - very nice, but one of my concerns with the BMW is maintenance costs. For example, some of their cars require the owner replace the battery with a BMW-only battery ... for $400! It's an odd shape so no other battery will work!

Do you know how brutal the maintenance costs on these are? I currently own a KTM 620 & parts for it are extremely expensive!

Ding up a plastic panel on a KLR is one thing ... I can't imagine what it's like to replace one on the BMW ... that sort of thing.
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Old 01-13-2003, 05:52 PM   #13
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Re: Re: KLR650 vs DR650se

Quote:
Said Arch:
Nothing wrong with the big DR or KLR, but for a 70/30 on/off-road bike, I'd be looking at the F650GS. They have '02s for .9% interest and '03s at 1.9%. Basically free money and to top things off, your first five payments are on the house. This is one helluva promotion.

My $.02.
I just bought a brand new KLR for $6500 (Canadian dollars) out the door tax freat assembly and all. I looked at a Dakkar and they told me a base Dakkar with no ABS, or heated grips would be about $11500 out the door. I was also told that I would have to bring it to the dealer for thier overpriced scheduled maitenence, otherwise they would not honour thier waranty. The KLR comes with one year unlimited milage waranty, and I can do my own maitenance. Hell, one of the BMW dealers I went to (Mc Bride Cycle) wouldn't even talk to me. I tried to get a salesmans attention, but they didn't seen interested in selling me a bike. Do I not look like a BMW rider? The Dakkar is a verry nice bike but definatly NOT WORTH $11500. The DR650 is also a good bike, and the engine is probably more reliable, and lower maitenence than the KLR (no chain driven dual balencers). But the DR comes with a much smaller tank, and uncomfortable seat (compared to the KLR, and F650), and is lower than the KLR. It was about $450 more expensive than a KLR as well.
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Old 01-13-2003, 07:36 PM   #14
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Re: I completely agree ... I think

Quote:
Said inte:
I had looked into that BMW promotion - very nice, but one of my concerns with the BMW is maintenance costs. For example, some of their cars require the owner replace the battery with a BMW-only battery ... for $400! It's an odd shape so no other battery will work!

Do you know how brutal the maintenance costs on these are? I currently own a KTM 620 & parts for it are extremely expensive!

Ding up a plastic panel on a KLR is one thing ... I can't imagine what it's like to replace one on the BMW ... that sort of thing.
Who cares what a specific BMW car battery costs? An original equipment battery for a 650GS sells for under 60 bucks. It's Yausa equivalent, YB12AL-A, sells for like 40 bucks. As for KTM maintenance costs, I do know plenty about that and have yet to find them anything but reasonable. Ditto on parts thus far. Not that the big Katoom has needed much. The few things is has needed, however, have arrived in a couple of days. But that's not the topic here.

In the end, KLR or DR, two great motorcycles that I wouldn't try and talk anyone out of owning. Both have a nice following and thus enjoy plenty of aftermarket support and both are more dirt oriented than the F650GS, plus cheaper to patch up after getting tossed down a rocky trail.

Anyway, I fully recognize how much a GS costs in comparison to the KLR or DR. (A bit over $3k more, at msrp.) But your original question mentions these three candidates and you say that the bike will be used mostly on the road by a very wide margin, 70% to 30%. That makes the GS the best tool for the job because it's more biased towards street use and I merely mentioned that BMW's current promotion makes its entry fee far more palatable than it first appears on the surface.

Best of luck with whichever you choose.



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Old 01-13-2003, 08:17 PM   #15
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Hello all, a new member with an opinion (have to break the cherry sometime and don't want to ask what kind of oil is the best one to use).

I ride a KLR currently, a '01 w/ about 12k which I bought new in 02/01. I have added many mod's for long distance touring comfort and better dirt capabilities. I looked at the F650, DR, KTM and the KLR and for ME the best choice was the KLR.

It was decided on the basic features already mentioned, larger tank, the fairing small though it is does knock at hole in the wind and lot's of different heights of shields readily available.

Another reason that I choose the KLR was the number of different hard luggage racks available for the bike. While the BMW has stock or aftermarket, Hepco Becker, Touratech etc, available, the KTM Touratech, the DR I was having trouble finding any choices for it.

So based on want I wanted the bike to do, which was haul my tail with the gear to fish the western rivers and the money I was going to spend to get it to what I wanted it to do I went with the KLR. I have yet to regret my choice, I am very pleased with the bike and its abilities.

As previously mentioned (as with any bike) there are a couple of short comings, front brakes (need stainless line), better skidplate, upgraded front springs, some better radiator protection and for long mileage days a better seat but this will cost less than $500 depending on the seat choice.

But even with these upgrades and others I have done like hard luggage and spares I have bought (turn signals etc.) I still haven't reached the price of the F650 stock.

Just a newbies pov
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