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Old 05-03-2010, 06:30 AM   #16
jam_nut
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Husqvarna TE-610

I've owned a DR650 for many years and it did very well all around. Wife has a DR350 and I've spent quite a bit of saddle time on a DRZ400. Bought a 610 last fall and wow what an improvement. Better on road than any of the Suzukis. Way better off road than the 650 and even better than the 350 and 400. Although the 350 gets it by weight. All it needs for long range comfort is an upgraded seat which there are several options out there. I'm very happy with the TE-610 for my riding style. (50% back roads, 50% mud/rock/hill climb trail)
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #17
BerndM OP
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Thanks for your comments guys. Overall, it seems the general consensus is not far removed from mine. I totally agree that there isn't ONE perfect bike, but if you absolutely had to choose just ONE bike, to cover as wide a spectrum of riding parameters as possible, the 650 KLR would definitely be a contender.
I actually have the 250 KLR as my "dirt" bike for the local trails. Its great as long as the trip to and from the dirt isn't too far. Compared to the GS, it feels like a mountain bike in weight and agility (and confidence)
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #18
JustAdam
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I know I am not contributing much here, but I got the KLR for a reason :)

Main reason is that it is capable of off road riding, whereas in my opinion, not many of the bigger bikes would be able to do what I can on tight single track, with that said, the KTM in most sizes would crush me - lol

KLR FTW!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:34 AM   #19
Mr.Efficiency
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You are kidding, right? Now don't get me wrong. I love the KLR, I mean love the KLR. It is cheap, you can hammer the living pee out of it... did I mention its cheap?

BUT, the best dual sport... Cmon, isn't that a bit of a stretch. I mean the KTM 690... and all the other KTM's for that matter. Even the liter class KTM adventure can go anywhere that the KLR could and the Katie could get you there on the road. Fact of the matter, the KLR doesn't keep up well on the death race 2010 American roadways and you have to consider that with the realities of the dual sport.

Now I won't stretch anyone's imagination either. I ride an R1200GS and it would be difficult for me to drag it into the giggly bushes... its a big bike, but really folks, BMW doesn't sell it as an off-road bike, they sell it as an all-roads bike.

If I were really going to take on single track I would want a KTM and accept no substitutes, since I don't and I won't the GS is the best all-round performer, and that is the reality of the dual sport world. Most aren't ridden off-road.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:17 PM   #20
BerndM OP
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One of my original criteria was PRICE of the bike. Looking at the KTM line of 650-ish sized machines shows you can buy almost 2 KLRs for the price of 1 orange 690. This is IMO a huge factor in the selection process.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:33 PM   #21
ADVBedouin
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Check out the DR650

It was well said earlier that the preferred bike all depends on the intended riding, but it also depends on what you enjoy riding & seeing parked in your garage. After having a '91 DR650, '88 R100GS, '95 R100GSPD, '01 KTM 640ADV, '04 DRZ400S, & an '07 KTM 525EXC, & currently an '06 HP2 Enduro(chosen over the F800GS) & '05 DR650, I must honestly say my '05 DR650 is the best yet. No sexy European build or components & I've not tried the 'Berg or Husky yet, but...

I would've never guessed how smooth running, lightweight (300 lbs), agile, reliable, well designed, stable, simple to maintain, & generally capable it is on everything. There's good reason why the DR650 thread in ADVR Thumpers is the largest & guys routinely report 30-40-50K without ever seeing a dealer but for tires. Lately I'm just riding narrow, windy country roads & fire roads, so the DR fits that requirement & it is a blast. If I was slabbing it or doing lots of single track, my requirements would be different, but I'd still keep the DR.

For under $3-4K you can find a very low mileage, clean, '04-'09 & put an IMS 5.2 gal tank, Sargent seat, laminar windscreen, etc (see my posts if interested), & you have a bike that will go anywhere. I'd choose this as an RTW bike over any other NA available bike, hands down. Just my .2 cents worth Gents.


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Old 09-09-2010, 12:37 AM   #22
Ed~
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Comparing KLR, DR, R100GS,

The best dual-sport has to:
A. Carry you and your kit comfortably for long distances.
B. Go fast enough to keep up with city and highway traffic.
C. Have close to 300 mile range before running empty.
D. Be able to handle dirt/uneven roads without too much difficulty.
E. Be reliable, or easy to fix or limp home from in the wilds.
Note: I don't include single-tracks or off-road ability.

There is a reason KLR's are so popular and not just because it is cheap. In stock form, it can most easily accomplish most of the above if on a basic experiential level. No luxuries here but it will get you there and back.

The GS is an excellent and comfortable road bike and takes the cake for long distance days: full of torque, good range, and excellent seats and wind protection (with a Parabellum shield). Most BMW's have weight against them. Regardless of rider ability (and that does count for alot for where you can and cannot go) sand and mud will always do you in quicker on a heavier bike. BMW's are more difficult to repair and are not as reliable in the wilds.

The DR has an excellent motor, good suspension for dirt and street, but not enough wind protection. Even if you add an IMS tank, Corbin seat and some windshield, it is still tiring to ride long distances. Excellent and fun city bike because of the responsive motor however.

The KLR with a tall shield and Corbin seat is actually more comfortable than the DR riding long distances at highway speeds as the placement its headlight assembly and tank somehow gives you better wind protection so you are less tired at the end of the day. The engine vibrates which causes its own kind of fatigue.

Both the DR and KLR seem to hold up better on rough & loose surfaces, possibly because they are lighter weight so hard bumps don't stress the frame, suspension, or drive-train assemblies as much. If something does break, it is usually easier to get at and fix. Moto-mechanics in most countries are usually more familiar with Japanese designs even if they commonly work on smaller displacement versions.

This is my personal assessment based on 10 years of ownership of the bikes above, riding solo on the AZ highways, exploring the 4-Corners, to Baja and Copper Canyon, and much of Mexico & Central America.

Consider that the best all around anything is always striking a balance between requirements so what you get is by definition a compromise and not the best riding experience. In fact, possibly quite the opposite. This may be heresy but if part of Adventure Motorcycling also includes getting to and appreciating the destination, then maybe some sacrifice of the riding experience can be made...

ergo the KLR.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:04 AM   #23
Ed~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jam_nut
I've owned a DR650 for many years and it did very well all around. Wife has a DR350 and I've spent quite a bit of saddle time on a DRZ400. Bought a 610 last fall and wow what an improvement. Better on road than any of the Suzukis. Way better off road than the 650 and even better than the 350 and 400. Although the 350 gets it by weight. All it needs for long range comfort is an upgraded seat which there are several options out there. I'm very happy with the TE-610 for my riding style. (50% back roads, 50% mud/rock/hill climb trail)
Interesting review of the TE-610 here:
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45410
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:23 PM   #24
boatmole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerndM
Let me start by saying that I LOVE my 2006 R1200GS, and I would NOT consider replacing it with ANY other bike, BUT, lets get real here, the GS is a big, heavy and VERY expensive piece of machinery, and NOT optimally suited or designed for "serious" off-roading. Right??
So, I've spent some time looking at all the different dual sports out there and it appears (IMHO) that there is no PERFECT bike for that purpose, BUT the best may in fact be the Kawasaki 650 KLR. If you factor in ALL the variables, such as purchase price, registration, insurance, operating expenses, cost to repair or replace parts, weight and off-road capabilities, I think you'd be very hard pressed to find anything better. I know "better" is very subjective, but let's face it, honestly, other than extended touring (which many do successfully) on the KLR, does anyone actually believe that the GS will go places the KLR can't? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I think the KLR is capable of going many places you'd never want to take the GS to. It is no problem riding the KLR 100 or 200 miles on the pavement, and then take it off the road and do stuff the GS can't match, because of its size and weight.
Not trying to start a fight here, just a lively discussion regarding the REALITY of the off-road aspect of our riding.
I've owned a BMW R1100GS and have ridden the R1200GS including the 2010 model, which I realy liked the new motor. I have ridden an 06 KLR 650, have owned an 08 KLR 650 and presently own a 2009 KLR 650. To put in my perspective, some may disagree, but thats ok, I think neither bike is light and agile enough to be considered a true dual sport; more apropriately should be classified as adventure touring bikes. As adventure touring bikes the BMW excells in long road haul high speed travel and the KLR despite it small cc manages the job for us quite well.

We sold our BMWs in favor of the KLR due to lower initial cost, lower maintenance and outfiting costs, better gas milage and less curb weight and the KLR seat doesn't kill my butt.

The BMW GS will probably last longer than the KLR, you can make anything last longer if you throw enough money at it; on the other hand you can buy 3 KLRs for the cost of a BMW, if one blows up, hasn't happened yet, or accidently roll a KLR off a cliff, I'll go buy another one, not so with the BMW. If you lunch the BMW, to replace it you may have to mortage the house, prostitute the wife and sell off one of two kids

Loaded touring up to 75 mph on the KLR works for me. If I need to go faster take the BMW, if you realy need to go fast in total comfort get a GL1800 Gold Wing 110 mph for the most part L.A - Tracy, CA.

The best bike, is the one you ride.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:30 PM   #25
NachoRoto
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Like someone else said earlier. The Klr and gs are too much alike. The drz400s would be a better second bike if keeping the gs. But I never got to ride my Klr with real knobbies on it. I sold my Klr to get my gs. When the right deal comes along I will own either the Klr or drz400 again. But ad a beater for exploring this time.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #26
Jafo28
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"If you lunch the BMW, to replace it you may have to mortage the house, prostitute the wife and sell off one of two kids "

Would glady do all three to keep the GSA up and running! Only change I would make is getting rid of both kids!!! If you buy one, I will throw the second one in for free!!!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:29 AM   #27
TWINGS
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This could be a contender.




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Old 09-10-2010, 09:36 AM   #28
FatChance
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Since no two people will agree on what dual sport really is, no two people will agree on the best dual sport bike. Do you want a dirt bike that can be ridden on the road some distance to an offroad destination so it doesn't have to be trailered or a road bike that can be ridden off road to the limits of your dirt abilities? Everyone has a different set of compromises. I want something that I could ride to Montana to take off road once there if I wanted. That is MY type of dual sporting. For me, the DR650 is the best compromise but that will vary for everyone else...
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:50 AM   #29
ADVBedouin
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Hp2 Enduro

TwinGS, that's a contender, if not the ultimate DS bike IMHO. I've both a DR650 & HP2E & often wonder which I'd go RTW on, (probably the DR650 though). You've set yours up perfectly with the HPN tank & bags.

The HP2E is great b/c of the threaded valve adjusters, shaft drive, tubeless tires, air/oil cooling, 386 dry weight, 600w alternator, etc, plus it's all day comfortable. A BVMarkus underseat tank would give it all the range needed. I fabbed a Vstrom screen on my HP2 & can sit behind the thing all day now, & I just need some heated grips. I'd likely beg Al Jesse to make me some quick-click Odyessy bags & call it good.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:10 AM   #30
tallguy-09
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Honda XR650L

I had one in the 1992 in Germany; loved the engine and the high seating position.
My R1200GS is a road bike at least for me. The XR650L was a lot more fun
because it was less heavy so I'd recommend this for the more casual off-road application if you can say so.
I'm surprised to see that Honda has not made any real changes to it for at least 15years or so, can that be?
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