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Old 05-15-2004, 05:28 PM   #31
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Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Bush, Canada
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Originally Posted by Mountain Goat
Let me summarize the Popular Mechanics Article on the Dual Sport 650's: BUY THE SUZUKI!

Any way you look at it, those other three bikes just can't compete. So don't feel bad, just ride your old washed-up Hondos, Kawaskis, and whatever and trade them in on the superior Suzuki 2004 DR650.


Yup!! I see what you mean.

Popular Mechanics Comparo

Kawasaki KLR650
The enthusiastic members of the Four-Stroke Single National Owners Club swear by their KLR650s. The big Kawasaki thumper weighs 13 pounds more than the Suzuki or Honda, but it is liquid cooled and has dual counterbalancers inside the engine, a 6.1-gal. fuel tank that gives it a range well over 300 miles, and such standard equipment as a small head fairing and sturdy luggage rack. That 13 pounds is well spent.

Compared to its competitors, the Kawasaki is less expensive, more fully equipped, smoother and is more comfortable. It's pretty good off-road, but its forte is flogging long distances in difficult conditions. For 2004, the KLR is available in Aztec Red, replacing the quasi-military Olive Drab of previous years. The red paint in and of itself should double sales.

A Kawasaki KLR650 dual sport will out-accelerate any traffic, cruise all day at 80 mph and top 100. It has a terrific reputation for being as tough as nails and as reliable as a claw hammer. The really cool thing, however, is that even on knobby tires, the odd-looking KLR is one of the best-handling street motorcycles on the planet. Who would have guessed?
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Old 05-15-2004, 06:32 PM   #32
Mountain Goat
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Now For The Rest Of The Story:

Suzuki builds an air-cooled 650 that weighs only 324 pounds (about 20 pounds less than the portly KLR), offers lots of off-road suspension travel (2" more than the KLR), works well in the dirt and looks supersharp (meaning it isn't an ugly lump like the KLR).

Many enthusiasts think the DR650 is the best dual-sport machine. It's an inexpensive, fun-to-ride thumper that features disc brakes that are larger than most of the competitors', a stainless steel exhaust system . . .

Well the article goes on with more praise for the DR, but my fingers are tired.
Seriously guys, I am just having some fun aggravating you KLR riders. If everyone was just alike there wouldn't be so many different bikes on the market. There is plenty of room in the world for different views and different types of bikes.

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Old 05-17-2004, 05:26 PM   #33
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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larger tank and panniers for the DR

I saw the photo of the DR with the larger gas tank a few posts back.
Any urls for that and panniers available for the DR650 would be appreciated.


Also, although it's a twin, should we be comparing Suzuki's new DL650 here? I've heard it's pretty good off road. Can't imagine it would be anything near a thumper.

Buckaroo screwed with this post 05-17-2004 at 05:52 PM
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Old 05-17-2004, 05:51 PM   #34
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acerbis makes a big tank and touratech makes panniers for the dr-650.
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:19 PM   #35
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In my opinion, this is almost an apples to oranges comparison. The DR and KLR are not built for the same job. The KLR is a "load it up and go" long distance tourer that is hard to beat in the proper environment. It excels south of the border on two lane blacktop and gravel roads hundreds of miles from nowhere.

From what I can tell of the DR, it is much more of a dirt bike, capable of running a couple hundred miles of dirt and home again, but not for weeks at a time.
The other 10% are sociopaths , serial killers and KLR riders. You wont get much sympathy from them.
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:57 PM   #36
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Here's the link to the IMS gas tank. It has been great so far, just don't use the supplied gasket. I bought a fuel proof O-ring for the petcock at the local Autozone and it sealed up perfectly...

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scootertrash screwed with this post 05-18-2004 at 01:34 PM
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Old 05-18-2004, 06:39 PM   #37
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Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Illinois
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DR vs. KLR

I just sold my KLR. I wanted to try a DR650 as I was looking for that 50/50 bike to ride out west from Illinois and be very off road capable.

Regarding the 20 lbs. less in weight, others have said that it feels more like a 100lb. lighter, don't know about that but it feels almost as light as my DRZ400E.

Of course the negative to the lightness when compared to the KLR is that it gives you a naked type feeling on the highway. I've added the Corbin seat and IMS tank to mine. I should have a good opinion after my trip out west in a couple of weeks. The same luggage options are available through Happy Trails for the DR & KLR.

I'll never rip the KLR (too much) it has great ergos: I was amazed how well it performed when doing 500 mile days, never would have it thought it possible on a thumper---and I might buy another someday!!

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Old 05-21-2004, 12:22 PM   #38
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Montreal, CANADA
Oddometer: 83
I owned a KLR for 2 years and put 20000 klics on it. I got to ride a 93 DR650 as well, for a couple of weeks.


-good ergonomics. decent seat. decent wind protection on highway
-excellent reliability
-liquid cooled
-fuel capacity

-weak front brake
-very soft suspension front and back
-ugly compared to a DR
-radiator is vulnerable to impacts
-doohickey issue - only on newer KLR's it seems? Mine never broke and a buddy of mine has 60000 klics and no failure neither
-rubber footpegs are useless in the mud - become very slippery
-the bike is solid (bulletproof motor), but has a cheap feel to it
-metal tank is easily dented on off-road spills

Now the DR:


-good looking bike
-better brakes than the KLR
-better suspension than the KLR
-much lighter feel to it than the KLR
-serrated metal footpegs - necessary for mud riding
-oil/air cooled. very simple. no worries about the radiator or about the water pump seal failing.
-very reliable
-cruises smoothly on highway

-no wind protection on highway
-seat too narrow for long distance touring
-smaller tank = less range

Engine performance is quite similar for both bikes.

I personally prefer the DR in general. With an IMS tank, Corbin seat and a Spitfire windscreen the DR is simply a better bike.
Never Ride Faster Than Your Angel Can Fly
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