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Old 05-06-2012, 08:23 AM   #16
redbastard
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wieght comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie View Post
LOL, some of us older guys like fast bikes. BTW, the 690 while a few LBS heavier then the WR and actually less then the DRZ carries the weight much better then the other two bikes. I've ridden my 690 back to back with a WRR and the 690 feels lighter. Picking them up when they are laying down on the ground is the only place you'll find the WRR feels lighter That being said, there's no getting around that $10K price tag on the 690.

http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/technical.asp

Here's a good resorce for comparing the numbers of bikes. It shows the WR250R at 301 lbs, the DRZ400S at 319 lbs, and the KTM 690R at 336 lbs. Many times it's not the weight but how hard the power comes on that can make tight slow riding tougher on a tight trail . I've got a WR250F and a bmw650, one's fast in trails and can ride on the road, the other is great on the street and can ride the trails.
I say if you wan the KTM and you can afford it you should buy one. The top notch suspention is easier on the body.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #17
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by Wallachian Spikes View Post
I actually like the look of the pre '08s. The quarter faring reminds me of my old GPZ 550 & that's a good thing. I don't care for the look of the '08 & up models. The KLR was always heavy but, now it looks bloated & heavy too.
I prefer the look of the new bike ...especially in black. But aesthetics are personal. I see the new version KLR as a more LD travel bike. It looks the part. Pack it up and go. Trail bike? Not so much!

But there is more:
The new version KLR was a minor upgrade mechanically and KHI should have done much more, like going to F.I. and a whole new motor. We know they know how ... look at the ZX-10 or KX450F. Both astounding performers. KHI did the minimum ... mostly a re-styling exercise.

The new KLR did get better suspension and better brakes. Much better than the old stuff ... but still not close to what the 690 KTM's got. Unfortunately the new KLR also got a serious oil burning issue ... which still seems to persist today, after four years in the market. No excuse for that. Apparently from owners I personally know and ride with ... virtually ALL new KLR's use some oil.
The early '08's were the worst, newer ones use less but you still have to keep you eye on oil level.

But the KTM 690 has had plenty of issue as well. I won't get into it here, but if anyone cares to do the research ...plenty of documentation out there. Don't make me post a hundred links.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbastard View Post
http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/technical.asp

Here's a good resorce for comparing the numbers of bikes. It shows the WR250R at 301 lbs, the DRZ400S at 319 lbs, and the KTM 690R at 336 lbs. Many times it's not the weight but how hard the power comes on that can make tight slow riding tougher on a tight trail . I've got a WR250F and a bmw650, one's fast in trails and can ride on the road, the other is great on the street and can ride the trails.
I say if you wan the KTM and you can afford it you should buy one. The top notch suspention is easier on the body.
Good stuff!
I ride a WR250F also. The main advantage riding fast trails on a 250 vs. a 650 or 690, is less crankshaft inertia. The relatively heavy crank on the 600 class really affects how the bike responds to rider input. They require more effort to turn. This is basic ... and obvious to anyone who's ridden both back to back. It's more than just weight ... its that inertia that you really feel.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:58 AM   #19
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KTM 690 vs. other choices

I own a 690R, but have not ridden a KLR650. I did not get a KLR because I thought it was too heavy. I considered and rode a couple of DRZ400s, but it did not have the down low power that I wanted.

What I was looking for was:

- lightweight
- street legal
- reasonable maintenance intervals
- able to ride long distances (with some mods)
- ability to loft the front wheel easily with throttle only (unfortunately, DRZ does not do this, in my opinion)
- a good all round bike

The DRZ meets most of these criteria. The 690R meets all of them.

If you ride mostly tight single track, then the 690R will be more work than a smaller bike. There are always compromises. But, you know, the DRZ isn't that light for a 400, while the 690 really is light for a big bore thumper. If you don't ride mainly tight single track, then 690 will have no problems. (A strong rider will do just fine on tight single track on the 690.) On tight single track, a rider on a smaller bike will smoke me. And I am OK with that. But when we want to stretch our legs and put some miles in, then the 690 will be good.

When I twisted the throttle on the 400 I thought, pretty good, but down low not so good.

When you twist the throttle on the 690 it will make you giggle like a little child.

I can always get a smaller bike one day, and maybe I will. But, for the foreseeable future, it is the KTM. The bike is a brute. I cannot get as excited about a KLR.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck690R View Post
I own a 690R, but have not ridden a KLR650. I did not get a KLR because I thought it was too heavy. I considered and rode a couple of DRZ400s, but it did not have the down low power that I wanted.

What I was looking for was:

- lightweight
- street legal
- reasonable maintenance intervals
- able to ride long distances (with some mods)
- ability to loft the front wheel easily with throttle only (unfortunately, DRZ does not do this, in my opinion)
- a good all round bike

The DRZ meets most of these criteria. The 690R meets all of them.

If you ride mostly tight single track, then the 690R will be more work than a smaller bike. There are always compromises. But, you know, the DRZ isn't that light for a 400, while the 690 really is light for a big bore thumper. If you don't ride mainly tight single track, then 690 will have no problems. (A strong rider will do just fine on tight single track on the 690.) On tight single track, a rider on a smaller bike will smoke me. And I am OK with that. But when we want to stretch our legs and put some miles in, then the 690 will be good.

When I twisted the throttle on the 400 I thought, pretty good, but down low not so good.

When you twist the throttle on the 690 it will make you giggle like a little child.

I can always get a smaller bike one day, and maybe I will. But, for the foreseeable future, it is the KTM. The bike is a brute. I cannot get as excited about a KLR.
This.

Not that there's anything wrong with a KLR. In fact, my dad is wanting a new bike and my recommendation to him was to get the KLR. For the type of riding he's going to do, the KLR is perfect. It already comes with a rack and a big tank and it's probably one of, if not the most comfortable stock thumper on the market. It's also very reliable, which is why the technology has changed so little over the years.

However, if you're questioning whether you should get a 690 or not, you probably really want it. I don't blame you.
I'm questioning whether I should sell my 525 for a 690, for a better maintenance schedule, a little more comfort, and a little added range. But then I would have to sacrifice nimble handling and pep while in the tight stuff.
If I could have a 690 motor on a 525 chassis with a big tank, I'd be thrilled.

You could spend all the money you want on the KLR and it will never be the bike that is the 690. Never.
Just so the KLR owners don't bash me, The KLR is a great bike, very reliable, very comfortable (for a thumper).
Like I said, I even recommended the KLR for my dad, which hopefully he'll pick up within a few months.
For me, I'd go with the 690 all the way.

I'd say, if you've got the extra coin, go for the 690. If you want more performance and less weight, the 690.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
If you only plan on day rides, no hard bags etc. Why not look at something smaller? The KLR is heavy, and the KTM is expensive.

There are a whole host of workable used bikes that would make great day trippers.

I am partial to my wr250r. Yes it is only a 250, but I find it superior to my old xr650l in almost every way. The ergo's are far superior, the engine is smoother, the suspension is better, the stock seat is way better, it's a lot lighter and feels lighter than it's 299 lb wet weight would indicate.

I thought I would miss the power/torque of the 650, and I actually don't... On the trail, the 250 is faster in almost every situation, easier to ride and at the end of the day I feel less worn out. It took a lot of energy to navigate that old 650 on single track. The WR cruises down the highway better too, it'll do 72 mph all day.

If you have the money, the new 690 with an aftermarket seat (I hear the stock on is truly awful) would be nice I'm sure. Of course if you are new to dirt/dual sport, it might be a bit of a beast. (that suckers got a ton of power)
I'm definitely more in this camp of agreement. I'm also much in the same boat as the OP, as I'm 60 years old. I had the first KLR600 in '85 when they came out with an electric start. I had 3 more KLR's after that until about 2 years ago. While bashing around in Colorado in the Silverton area about 3 years ago and after the KLR fell on me in a tight situation, I got to thinking about this beast of a heavy bike on my ride back to my home state. I go to Utah, Colorado, and other locales fairly frequently. I always haul my bike out there, so I can primitive camp comfortably out of my van. In my college educated brilliance, it struck me. What the heck am I doing riding this heavy, slow dirt bike?...OK...dirt bike is a bit of a stretch.

Three years ago I got a used '06 KLX250S and proceeded to put a KLX300 cylinder on it along with serious suspension mods. I still often have to make decently long pavement connections for my adventures, and this bike performs those without drama. When I turn off pavement, the experience is almost "other worldly" compared to the KLR's I owned. I can go fast in gnarlier terrain, I can easily pick the bike up when it's on the ground. I just have way more fun with this bike.

Now, this doesn't mean you have to go to a 250cc or so bike to have more fun, but if you get anything more dirt worthy like the 690R on down that still has more DS cred than a plated race bike, you're going to enjoy the experience a whole lot more. If you're not touring off the bike, I think it's just about guaranteed that you'll have more fun with a lighter, more competent DS bike over the KLR. My KLRs were highly modded, a couple even with serious aftermarket suspension parts like a Works Performance rear shock and different forks. Still, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. The KLR is a great value for someone not requiring big performance AND who actually tours off of the bike in any serious manner. If you don't travel off the bike, why punish yourself? I kept my KLR for nearly a year after getting the KLX. After the KLR carb plugged up a couple of times because of not being driven, it was time to say goodbye. I haven't regretted it. I don't think you will either.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TrailCruiser View Post
Then I see the glowing review on the 2012 KTM 690 R and wonder if I wouldn't be better off just biting the bullet and selling the KLR and popping for the KTM.

Finish the KLR and be happy with it knowing that I'm not 25 anymore? Or pop for the orange wundermachine and have the benefit of performance that's likely in another realm?
If you have the $$$ available the 690R looks really nice. I've been avoiding my KTM dealer lately just so I won't be tempted to sit on it.

I'm on my 2nd KLR so I like them plenty, but I'm not kidding myself that the KLR is some sort of dualsport ultimate weapon...

My needs are street biased enough that the KLR makes a lot of sense for me, but if I had a big tax return and was feeling spendy I could see myself riding a 690R home from the dealer...
If your budget allows get the 690R....at least that way one of us can enjoy a fine machine like that...
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallachian Spikes View Post
The KLR is the ultimate bargan bike. It does anything (except motocross) you need a motorcycle to do
No it doesn't.

The primary thing I need my motorcycle to do is to be fun. I had a KLR. It wasn't fun.

If ridding a shittily suspended vintage toaster is fun, get a KLR. If you get enjoyment from riding (anything resembling) quickly, jumping whoops and berms, going over things, doing wheelies, and having functional brakes, look elsewhere.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321 View Post
No it doesn't.

The primary thing I need my motorcycle to do is to be fun. I had a KLR. It wasn't fun.

If ridding a shittily suspended vintage toaster is fun, get a KLR. If you get enjoyment from riding (anything resembling) quickly, jumping whoops and berms, going over things, doing wheelies, and having functional brakes, look elsewhere.
I like to ride fast at times on a dual sport and even with suspension upgrades I felt like it was just a matter of time before my KLR was going to hurt me from getting out of shape trying to do something it was not designed for. Not a problem with the 690r. It is a night and day difference, a huge difference. The 690 is designed to go fast and it does it very well!

If you like going easy on moderate to easy terrain then the KLR will be OK but still be very top heavy. If I was riding to Patagonia or something then I would pick the KLR over the KTM, but for general riding and faster dual sporting it's the KTM hands down. The KTM is expensive but you really get what you pay for which is a motorcycle that is very fast stock and has high end components. I am not out to trash KLRs. They are a great bargain and very good at what they were designed for, but the KLR was the wrong bike for me and the KTM 690r is the perfect bike for me.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:00 PM   #25
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Sell your KLR and buy a used DRZ400S for about the same money and you'll love it and have no regrets. I personally have an XR650L which I like more than my brother's DRZ because it can actually go down the freeway without winding the nuts off it while still being a good single track bike. I ride a 214 lb CR250R for the really technical fun stuff and know the limitations of a 325 lb dualsport and feel the DRZ400S, XR650L, or a DR650 would all be great choices for what you want to do. The KTM 690 is very compitent and pretty to look at but expensive and I think you could have a heck of a lot of fun spending the difference you saved by bying a Japanese bike on gasoline.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #26
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Guy with a KLR was drooling all over my 690ER at a gas station in Fitchburg, MA.
A good HP to weight ratio never gets old. Living 60.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Wallachian Spikes View Post
The 690 will run circles around a KLR in the woods.
Hold on, let's put this into context. That is like saying the Goodyear blimp would run circles around the Hindenburg at the Reno air races.

Quote:
The 690 r makes 65 H.P...
Not a chance. Try about 50. I don't know much but I do know orange. If you can show me a reliable source where a stock 690 made 65HP I'll eat my words.



To the OP,

I've ridden both. Honestly, listen to the guys here saying a smaller bike would suit you better for what you want to do.

I'm only 42 but I race Vet Expert in Enduros/Hare Scrambles/Cross-Country (or Vet A if that's what it's called in your neck of the woods) so I consider myself to be a fairly fast old(ish) guy. I have a plated KTM 525EXC and that is my do-all bike. I've raced it in Enduros, Hare Scrambles, Endurocross and rallies. It has taken me on 2000 km weekend treks. I have ridden it to MX tracks, ran practice motos and rode it home. The majority of the 20K kms on it are casual rides with my buddies with lots of trail. The 400-500cc bikes really are more fun for the do-all guys.

My current XC/Hare Scramble bike is a KTM 250 XCF-W and I only mention this so that you know where I come from when I say that the KLR and the KTM 690 are really not suited to trail use. If I was wrestling a KTM 950 in the Ganny every weekend, I'd probably think they were actually light bikes! The KTM carries its weight low and is marginally better than the KLR (I'M strictly talking trail use) because that weight is also biased heavily to the rear due to the location of the fuel tank under the seat. The 690 steers like a barge if you are a sit-down casual rider. It does much better when ridden aggressively standing over the bars though. The KLR actually steers well sitting down but quickly gets unhappy when the pace is too much for the dated suspension. That happens when you shift out of first. Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'm sure if I spent more than a day or two on each I would figure out the best way to ride them but I won't.

If you are 170lbs, are you a short proportioned guy or a tall skinny guy? The KLR has a nice low seat for shorter riders but the pegs are high for guys with long legs. I'm 6'3" and my knees are almost up into my elbows on a stock KLR! IMO all Japanese DS bikes need taller bars and/or risers. The 690 was much more comfortable for my height but the seat is higher too.

Power, no contest. Both bikes have good low-end torque but once the revs pick up, the KTM hauls ass. The rear weight bias makes it fun on gravel roads if you can steer with the throttle. It slides nice. You sit on the bike and you can move around a bit on it and use body english. The KLR you sit IN and can't really move around much. Standing on the KLR was hard for a tall guy like me, but not the worst stock bike I have ever done it on. Read here if you are curious and need a comic relief.


Anyway, I'm not going to recommend orange or red or yellow or any other color of the rainbow. I'm just going to say that if you want to enjoy a trail ride, keep it 450cc and under.



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Old 06-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #28
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Dr-z400s
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #29
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Once you have seen a WR250 up close, one that is set up right, you just WANT ONE.

I will keep my KLR, but for local dirty work, the WR250 is on my wish list.

I want and NEED about 4 bikes...
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:46 PM   #30
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Once you have seen a WR250 up close, one that is set up right, you just WANT ONE.

I will keep my KLR, but for local dirty work, the WR250 is on my wish list.

I want and NEED about 4 bikes...
I hear you brother. 4 bikes is just about right. Touring, short rides and cruising around town, dual-sport, dirt.

I am hoping to drive a few hours to buy a WR250R tomorrow, having sold my DR650 last weekend. Waiting for an e-mail to confirm the appointment.

The DR650 is a very versatile machine, but I need less weight more than I need more power. And I can save real money on insurance at the same time with 400cc less.
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