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Old 09-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
Caveman33 OP
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Another annoying help me decide what to buy thread

I'll apologize before hand, as I know these types of threads are strewn throughout this and every forum, but after searching various threads I'm not entirely convinced on a few issues.

I'm in the process of deciding on another ADV bike (I had an F700GS several months ago) and have it narrowed down to three: DLR 650, F800GS, and the New Vstrom 1000. The Katoom is out of the question (too big and expensive) and they did away with the 990's for some reason.
My issue is, I don't just want the bike to be good in the dirt and suck on the road, if anything I'd rather it be better on the road, as I would like to do some light touring on it.

I assume the DLR is too buzzy at highway speeds and perhaps lacks the comfort and power for serious road riding. If I am wrong on this please correct me.

I'm pretty sure the F800 will be fine, but I've never been on the highway with a thin 21" tire. Is this an issue on tight turns? bumps? feel in general? I've seen them in the dirt and they seem more than competent, but what about "every day" street comfort? I find that parallel 800 to be rather buzzy on the highway in both my F800GT and my former F700GS, so I'm already aware that would be an issue, but aside form that does it get tossed around in the cross-winds like my 700 did? I don't care much about buffeting but getting pushed around bothers me and the high-sitting low-weight nature of the GS's sort of lends to that propensity. Curious if the 800 is better than the 700 in that regard, or if the thinner tire and slightly higher COG makes it worse.

Lastly the Vstrom 1000. By all accounts is much more road oriented but with the right tires and a little bit of protection is supposedly at least reasonable capable of doing some light and not so light off road duty. Not single track or dakar but perhaps some muddy paths, gravel and hard pack dirt? I hear mixed things on its off road capabilities but on road reports are consistently very positive.

So as I see it:
DLR- 45/55 road/dirt
F800- 60/40 road dirt and
Vstrom- 75/25 road dirt

Is this accurate? I like everything I hear about the DLR's dirt personality but there are times you have to do a bit of highway riding to get to the dirt so it needs to be semi-competent on the road as well, and I"m uncertain to how miserable it is on the highway. Are there any bikes I'm leaving out of the analysis? Husky's are not easily found around here so those are out btw. I acutally see some folks dirting on their Ducati hypermotards and I have to think that's not a good thing.

Sorry for the annoying questions. Any info would help. Obviously have a couple of BMers already I have a bias for them but don't want that to be a basis for my decision. Entirely at least.

thanks
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Caveman33 View Post
I'll apologize before hand, I don't just want the bike to be good in the dirt and suck on the road, if anything I'd rather it be better on the road, as I would like to do some light touring on it.

I assume the DLR is too buzzy at highway speeds and perhaps lacks the comfort and power for serious road riding. If I am wrong on this please correct me.

"I'm pretty sure the F800 will be fine"

Lastly the Vstrom 1000. By all accounts is much more road oriented but with the right tires and a little bit of protection is supposedly at least reasonable capable of doing some light and not so light off road duty. Not single track or dakar but perhaps some muddy paths, gravel and hard pack dirt? I hear mixed things on its off road capabilities but on road reports are consistently very positive.

thanks
Extend test ride them both. make a decision. Don't look back.

you've already answered your own questions above.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
1994klr250
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What bike is the DLR 650? The only bikes I know of is the DL 650 wee.strom which has the liquid cooled 650 v twin or the DR 650 which is the air cooled single cylinder.

The only bike I can chime in about is the f800gs since I ride one. I have no issues with the 21 inch front wheel on the freeway. It cruises at 70+ mph just fine. I don't ride it like a sport bike, it corners just fine for me and going over bumps is no problem. I do agree that the 800 parallel twin is a little buzzy on the freeway, but I use a throttle lock so I really don't notice it anymore.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #4
Caveman33 OP
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Sorry, I meant KLR 650.

I will get to test ride the F800 later this week. Its hard to get a test ride on a Suzuki around here. Have to wait for a demo day. Although without testing it on the dirt it will be moot as I already now it will be fine on the street. The KLR I will try to just on though.

thanks
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #5
Cdlabate
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The Big 'V' is going to feel huge between your legs. F800 for the win! The 21" wheel handles just fine with everything you mentioned in your original post.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Caveman33 View Post
Sorry, I meant KLR 650.

I will get to test ride the F800 later this week. Its hard to get a test ride on a Suzuki around here. Have to wait for a demo day. Although without testing it on the dirt it will be moot as I already now it will be fine on the street. The KLR I will try to just on though.

thanks
The KLR is not a very good highway bike, is WAY buzzer...and get's tossed around much more than the 800. It wasn't easy on me or the bike to keep up with my friend on his Suzuki 500GS on the highway... I upgraded from a KLR (1st gen) to the F8. IMHO, the F8 is way better at getting you to the trails and on the trails once you are there.

The F8 will comfortably do interstate all day long, scrape the pegs if dare to push it, and do just fine off road! In fact, every time I do an off road coarse with the F8 I'm amazed at how well it handles...
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:14 PM   #7
Caveman33 OP
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Originally Posted by Cdlabate View Post
The Big 'V' is going to feel huge between your legs.
That's what she said...sorry... it was too easy :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdlabate View Post
F800 for the win! The 21" wheel handles just fine with everything you mentioned in your original post.
If the 21" is okay in the twisties, not like a sport bike but okay, the 800 is probably the best allarounder. I honestly like the size of the V but probably not as much in the dirt.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #8
Caveman33 OP
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Originally Posted by tofire409 View Post
The KLR is not a very good highway bike, is WAY buzzer...and get's tossed around much more than the 800. It wasn't easy on me or the bike to keep up with my friend on his Suzuki 500GS on the highway... I upgraded from a KLR (1st gen) to the F8. IMHO, the F8 is way better at getting you to the trails and on the trails once you are there.

The F8 will comfortably do interstate all day long, scrape the pegs if dare to push it, and do just fine off road! In fact, every time I do an off road coarse with the F8 I'm amazed at how well it handles...
Good to know. Thanks. The KLR folks always say it's okay. Good to get the perspective of a former owner. Believe it or not the F700 wasn't all that bad off-road and the F800 is said to be much better.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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I rode a new stock KLR 650 in 2007. I had mixed feelings about it. Scary in some loose deep gravel, so it takes some mods to get it dirt worthy. Suspension was Barcalounger soft on washboards. A little buzzy at 70mph and not a lot of HP. The newer ones are supposed to be better, but they basically are heavy under powered bikes, that can take you anywhere as long as you are not in a hurry.

I was rather disappointed when I got my f800gs. The suspension was adequate at best. The vibrations at highway speeds annoying and the seat was uncomfortable. The 700 and 800 share the same frame and engine. The 800 is just tuned to make a little more HP. It is geared lower, that may enhance vibration some or at least come earlier in the power band.

My bike had a bit of a wander with knobby tires but don't recall it being sensitive to wind blast.
The 21" wheel never was a problem but it does result in some geometry differences compared to a 700. Increase stability, lose a little quickness through the corners.

Makes you wonder why I have it after 6 years? Different springs, different seat, a power boost and geared higher all made those issues go away. I did 2,000 miles last month over all types of roads. Smooth as silk, handled all the curves just fine and very stable at any speed.

I don't know anything about the new DL1000, except what I have read. Sounds like a great bike at a reasonable price. Not that much heavier than a f800, with a lot more power. Riders claim no vibes. Lacks dirt creds of a F800 but capable of doing dirt and gravel roads.
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itsatdm screwed with this post 09-08-2014 at 08:26 PM
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
Caveman33 OP
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Makes you wonder why I have it after 6 years? Different springs, different seat, a power boost and geared higher all made those issues went away. I did 2,000 miles last month over all types of roads. Smooth as silk, handled all the curves just fine and very stable at any speed.
Did you replace the sprockets to gear it higher? What did you do for the power boost?
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:45 PM   #11
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The power came mainly from installing an AF-Xied. It is a plug and play oxygen sensor spoofer that tricks the ECU to read air fuel ratio's that you dial in, to read stoich (14.7). The ECU then adapts your AFR to change other stock fuel map mixtures in open loop.

I have not seen a dyno report, but plenty of exhaust readings to indicate it is doing what is claimed.

I doubt it adds a great deal of HP, but you can definitely feel the change in torque. The first clue was I could pull a taller gear up grades that I had ridden previously.

Why not change the gearing? I did that with a 17 tooth sprocket. That worked so I kept it. I think the engine smoothing out was a combination of richer fuel mixture and taller gearing. 80mph is only 4,700rpm.

It takes a while for the ECU to fill in all the possible fuel maps that are in the ECU. I think mine is full, because I had no problem making high speed passes or staying with my buddy on his R1200gs.

It hasn't changed my fuel mileage that much as long as I stay out of the throttle. 70-75mph gave 46mpg. Back roads including some 2 lane curvy hwy's averaged 55mpg, ranging from 52 to 58.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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Why not change the gearing? I did that with a 17 tooth sprocket. That worked so I kept it. I think the engine smoothing out was a combination of richer fuel mixture and taller gearing. 80mph is only 4,700rpm.

I've looked into doing this to eliminate the buzz at 70mph, or at least reduce it. Wife's 700 cruises at 70mph at under 4k rpm and it's very smooth.

My only concern is, did going up 1 in the front hurt you on the trails too much?
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:59 PM   #13
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Its adequate for fire roads. Some of the local one are fairly steep, but doable with a DL650 (just slower). If I was going to do some real dirt that required slower speeds in first gear, I would gear it down again.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #14
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I transitioned from a 04 DL1000 to the F800GS. Kitted the DL with crash bars, skid plates, TKCs, stiffer springs, changed gear rations, and I eventually realized it was still a huge road bike no matter how hard I tried to transform it. It was a great price and a whole lot of fun on the road, but I loathed it in the gravel. Recently test road the new DL1000 for grins. The DL is improved, but the F800GS is still a better solution for me as an all-arounder. The 800 is not the perfect end-all bike, but it fits my needs and I have no regrets on the purchase. As others have mentioned, the 21" front has not been an issue.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:03 AM   #15
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How different is the 800 really going to be based on the experiences described in the OP's post? If the 700 was so bad he sold it already is the 800 really going to be that much better on the highway?

If it were me I'd probably get the Strom. Unless I am reading it wrong the OP's primary use case is highway riding and for that I think the liter Strom is the best of the bunch. Plus that new khaki color is really nice and I bet you never have a single problem with it other than gas, oil and tires.
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