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Old 09-09-2008, 08:03 AM   #1
Jccc OP
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DR-650 vs KLR-650(good read)

It looks like the DR has the advantage,minus a few short comings.
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Articl...ID=7039&Page=1
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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Best buys

I consider the DR and KLR the 2 best buys in motorcycling right now. I chose the KLR over the DR after riding both because of the KLR's 6 gallon steel tank and its comfort. To get the DR up tp the Kaw's range and comfort would have brought the price well above the KLR. The KLR is a 1st rate prairie bike.

You just can't go wrong with either. Bikes that cost twice as much are not twice as good, they just cost twice as much.

I'm just 200 miles shy of 17,000 miles on my '08 KLR, with zero issues or problems with the bike.


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Old 09-09-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jccc
It looks like the DR has the advantage,minus a few short comings.
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Articl...ID=7039&Page=1
I read the same article you did, and it says the KLR has the advantage....minus a few shortcomings.

Well, they're both good bikes. I have the one (KLR) and am seriously considering getting the other based on how much I like my DRZ400E.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides
I read the same article you did, and it says the KLR has the advantage....minus a few shortcomings.

Well, they're both good bikes. I have the one (KLR) and am seriously considering getting the other based on how much I like my DRZ400E.
Yeap! i read the same as you! the Kawi ended up 1st again! with a few shortcomings.
I own a Green 08 KLR, and i will only trade this beast for a KTM 990 Adventure ( i know that they are two completly different plataforms, but i love that bike )
The only thing that i sometimes feel on the KLR is somehow depending on the situation it lacks of power, or fast reaction, i only said this cause latetly i am only using the bike for comute to work, and sometimes i need some extra reaction here in the Argentinian Streets and avenues, here is a dog eat dog situation against the cars, its like they dont know you are there, and tend to switch lanes without giving you any warning!! .

but besides that! its a great bike!!!

my 2 cents!
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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I have been doing extensive reading and comparing and both bikes are excellent for intended purposes. But for an epic ride I am leaning in the direction of the KLR. My reasons are for the cost of a tank and seat for the DR, now I am talking retail not some lucky buy on Ebay you can really improve the suspension now we have narrowed the dirt gap somewhat. on the road the DR will not match the new KLR'S in overall comfort at least for me being somewhat long legged. But balance and ease of handling the DR is it. Carrying luggage probably the KLR. Fuck you can hardley find either one here in the NW for sale. But if I was down in mexico going through towns cities and villiages the DR would be a blast alond the beach roads DR. But could you carry the proper fishing gear I mean your headed for Tierra Del fuego and southern Chile and you miss the fishing why are you even there? So my point is I still havent made up my mind but I am leaning to the KLR.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Yeah, the KLR "won" the shootout....

"The Suzuki also won every single impromptu roll-on drag race throughout our testing. The air-cooled motor spins up faster than the KLR and with more punch everywhere in the rev range...."

"The lack of a water-cooling system is part of a 66-lb weight advantage...."

"In the tight twisties, the DR whips through turns more quickly than the KLR..."

"Moving across town is a blast on the Suzuki where its punchy motor and low-speed mobility lead to smiles. Meanwhile, the Kawasaki feels like a pig in parking lots and urban settings....."

"....the DR certainly isn't a lightweight, but compared to the Kawi's fearsome 432 lbs it seems much lighter."

"Suzuki's DR650 turned out to be a competent dirt machine. We would rather spend time riding trails on the 'Zook than pounding pavement - the opposite of the Kawasaki."

And this is the FINAL summary in the article... "Here's how it boils down. The KLR requires a slower pace off-road, but can get to the same places as the Suzuki. The same can't be said for the DR when it hits the pavement. Riders get too sore and tired or simply run out of gas. If it weren't for a few shortcomings like the uncomfortable seat, short fuel range and lack of important instrumentation it might have knocked off our perennial dual-sport Megatron. Faulting a bike for having too much fuel is hard to do, so all considered, the Kawasaki has managed to hoist its big self to the top one more time."

So you'll need a seat, windshield, IMS tank and a trail-tech computers to have a bike thats 66lbs lighter and out performs the KLR in every way.
How much would it cost to lighten a KLR up by 66lbs?
Would it still have enough parts on it to run?
Would it still be as comfy?
Would it still burn oil?
Would it still need a Doohicky?

NO THANKS KAWI! I'll keep my lighter, less expensive, more responsive, Suzuki.


Edit: One more thing... Most of the KLR guys I know have repalced the stock seat and put on a Tall windshield for touring.... So both bikes really need seats and wind protection $$$ to be true tourers. That means that we're now a $250 IMS tank away. The DR is 250 less to buy new so you can afford to buy the tank with the savings.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neepuk
Yeah, the KLR "won" the shootout....

"The Suzuki also won every single impromptu roll-on drag race throughout our testing. The air-cooled motor spins up faster than the KLR and with more punch everywhere in the rev range...."

"The lack of a water-cooling system is part of a 66-lb weight advantage...."

"In the tight twisties, the DR whips through turns more quickly than the KLR..."

"Moving across town is a blast on the Suzuki where its punchy motor and low-speed mobility lead to smiles. Meanwhile, the Kawasaki feels like a pig in parking lots and urban settings....."

"....the DR certainly isn't a lightweight, but compared to the Kawi's fearsome 432 lbs it seems much lighter."

"Suzuki's DR650 turned out to be a competent dirt machine. We would rather spend time riding trails on the 'Zook than pounding pavement - the opposite of the Kawasaki."

And this is the FINAL summary in the article... "Here's how it boils down. The KLR requires a slower pace off-road, but can get to the same places as the Suzuki. The same can't be said for the DR when it hits the pavement. Riders get too sore and tired or simply run out of gas. If it weren't for a few shortcomings like the uncomfortable seat, short fuel range and lack of important instrumentation it might have knocked off our perennial dual-sport Megatron. Faulting a bike for having too much fuel is hard to do, so all considered, the Kawasaki has managed to hoist its big self to the top one more time."

So you'll need a seat, windshield, IMS tank and a trail-tech computers to have a bike thats 66lbs lighter and out performs the KLR in every way.
How much would it cost to lighten a KLR up by 66lbs?
Would it still have enough parts on it to run?
Would it still be as comfy?
Would it still burn oil?
Would it still need a Doohicky?

NO THANKS KAWI! I'll keep my lighter, less expensive, more responsive, Suzuki.


Edit: One more thing... Most of the KLR guys I know have repalced the stock seat and put on a Tall windshield for touring.... So both bikes really need seats and wind protection $$$ to be true tourers. That means that we're now a $250 IMS tank away. The DR is 250 less to buy new so you can afford to buy the tank with the savings.
Your bike is good, take a breath, don't worry........

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:31 PM   #8
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As a 4-time KLR owner...

I've been coming to the conclusion that I'm probably a DR650 candidate. I trailer my bike out to Colorado, Utah, California, etc. to ride and camp for long periods, so I don't need a better highway capable bike...which I fully believe the KLR is. The DR650 seems to be universally accepted as a better offroad bike.

Some would suggest that I'd be even better off with a 250-450 something or other of a more aggressive but still street legal bike. I don't know. I like the kind of torque and durability of the KLR and DR. They don't need constant attention when you get everything "farkled up" to your satisfaction. You can hit stretches of pavement between dirt sections and cruise at a decent pace without wailing on the motor. Both bikes are relatively inexpensive and have lots of aftermarket support.

I have a different rear shock and modified fork on my '01 KLR, so it works better than stock, but maybe still not up to the level of the DR...??? An IMS tank on a DR, and it sounds like I'd be ready to go. Oh my...I even went into a Suzuki shop today to look at a DR650, but they didn't have one. I hope my KLR doesn't find out.

One thing to point out in this posted test...and I think it was quite good...is that we're talking about an '08 KLR. I contend that the '87-'07 models were possibly a little better offroad than this new model. I've had 4 KLRs from '85 to my current '01. My '85 was a better offroad model than the '87 and later models IMO. I think if my shop where I used to work also sold Suzukis, I might just order a DR650. I think my more dirt oriented riding habits would probably fit well with this bike. Oh the humanity!
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlmjmjm
Your bike is good, take a breath, don't worry........

Did I strike a nerve?

Thanks! Your bike is good too. In fact, better than mine by the standards of the "professionals" that wrote the article... but it's still heavy and slow.

I'm just messin around here so don't get yout panties in a wad about my response. I'm sarcastic by nature and having a good time expressing my views. At the same time I am stating SOME of the facts about the two bikes while offering an honest opinion for those that are seriously trying to decide between the two. My bias for the DR comes from many miles of experience on BOTH the KLR and the DR.

Ride what you enjoy and enjoy what you ride.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jccc
It looks like the DR has the advantage,minus a few short comings.
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Articl...ID=7039&Page=1
Especially for smaller people and dirtier rides, I'd choose the DR every time.

Renazco seat, Safari tank, Buell headlight/screen, RM suspension, FS carb, 3x3, pipe, racks...you've got yourself a bike that can do it all over the long haul, relatively cheap and with some style.

Bigger people may prefer the roomier ergos of the KLR, especially for 2-up.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #11
neepuk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando
Especially for smaller people and dirtier rides, I'd choose the DR every time.

Renazco seat, Safari tank, Buell headlight/screen, RM suspension, FS carb, 3x3, pipe, racks...you've got yourself a bike that can do it all over the long haul, relatively cheap and with some style.

Bigger people may prefer the roomier ergos of the KLR, especially for 2-up.
That's a nice bike you just put in to my mind's eye.... But what's a 3x3? RM suspension, fs carb... Those are some nice and expensive mods. That'd give it even better dirt abilities for sure.

The article was pretty proud of the DR's abilitites in the dirt but they felt it needed improvement ON the road at higher speeds and for longer distances.
The Renazco will take care of the butt comfort. The ergos can be fixed with taller bars and risers, taller seat (renazco has that covered), cut 1 inch out of the height of the pegs and weld them back together.
RM suspension would be overkill (but very fun)... You can alway just put in springs and emulators and call it good. It doesn't need any suspension changes to match the KLR but some suspension work will help the on-road manners.
The DR will need wind protection to get higher marks and I'm just not sure that the Buell set up is much better than stock but it does look great. There are a lot of good windshield options out there and the aforementioned Safari tank will help around the body too.
For 2 up.... Not fun at all on the DR. Don't do it. The KLR wins that one!

So, what's your guys ideas for the most "road-worthy" DR? What's the cheapest minimum required equipment needed to make the DR as roadworthy as the KLR.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:43 PM   #12
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You guys all make good points. I'm a KLR guy who is giving a serious look at a buddy's '06 DR. I'm getting to the point where I love my KLR on the highway, and am beginning to resent that top heavy under-geared beast on the trails. Most of this is due to the fact that I simply love my little DRZ on the trails. I want the trail capabiliteis of a DRZ (or close to it) with the slab capabilities of a KLR (or close to it). It is my feeling that the DR represents just that. I think I can gain a lot in the dirt and lose very little on the pavement.

Then, factor this in: for some reason (maybe a function of their original retail prices) used DRs are several hundred dollars less than used KLRs. I think I could sell my KLR and buy a farkeld out DR that already has the tank, risers, foot pegs, etc. Havent made up my mind yet, just sayin'
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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that was a weird article. It seemed like throughout the whole thing they kept saying how the DR is better, then at the end gave the 'win' to the Kawi. Whatever, I'd trust what I read here on adv from folks that own and actually USE the bikes way more than 'professional' reviewers anyway. Read through the respective 'owners' threads here and you'll come to your own conclusions about strengths/weaknesses and what they are good/bad at. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #14
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Its about versatility, reliablity, and value, not power...

If it was all about horsepower and going zippity fast through the wilderness I would buy a racing bike. Neither bike is a racing bike. The KLR, DR, and Honda's XR 650 represent the three best buys in motorcycling and probably the three best buys in transportation. The KLR is the long distance one, the DR is the mderate distance bike, the XR is the short distance bike, yet each bike can be modified to do what the other bikes do, and do it quite well. Each bike can be modified to be whatever you want it to be. Dual sports like these are not locked into being only dual sports, they are extremely versatile, reliable, well mannered, inexpensive platforms. Pick one, you can't go wrong. Best of all, they can make a $15,000 crotch rocket sweat on twisty paved roads, and sweat hard.


Doohickey?...more myth than fact, I've had 2 KLRs, 30,000 combined miles on the 2 and that mileage is still climbing. Never did the doo, never had any problems with either bike. The internet exaggerates issues.

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoberTx
If it was all about horsepower and going zippity fast through the wilderness I would buy a racing bike. Neither bike is a racing bike. The KLR, DR, and Honda's XR 650s represent the three best buys in motorcycling and probably the three best buys in transportation. The KLR is the long distance one, the DR is the mderate distance bike, the XR is the short distance bike, yet each bike can be modified to do what the other bikes do, and do it quite well. Each bike can be modified to be whatever you want it to be. Dual sports like these are not locked into being only dual sports, they are extremely versatile platforms.

Best of all, they can make a $15,000 crotch rocket sweat on twisty paved roads, and sweat hard.
Well said.
For arguments sake I'd claim that the DR and the XRL are far more similar to one another than to the KLR. The KLR is kind of in a class by itself. It's more like an affordable F650gs... It's an odd comparison to begin with. 66 lbs and the added maintenance and problems associated with liquid cooling are impossible to overcome off road.
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