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Old 08-19-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
n16ht5 OP
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Best 650 for 2-up ADV riding?

Looking for a 2-up ADV bike for my in-laws under ~$5,000.. Hard to choose between....

BMW F650GS
Suzuki DL650 Vstrom
Kawasaki KLR650
.. DR650?


They are not into the dirt riding as much as I am so they want a bigger bike that is really comfortable but will not be too hard to manhandle on two-track. This would be an easy choice if we could get the XT660 Tenere here in the USA

It seems like the DL650 is the biggest bike out of the three.. I have sat on one but not rode it. It felt huge... but super comfortable.

I am leaning toward the F650GS, if we can find a good deal.. although the KLR would be cheaper to keep maintained over the years? I keep hearing reports of them burning oil on the newer 08-up models..

The DR650 is nice but I don't think my mother in law would put up with the backseat for an Alaska trip like my wife did



if the F800GS BMWs were cheaper that would be an easy choice, but dropping 10k+ for a toy is not something we are into.


No big +1,000cc bikes.. they are not ADV bikes IMO.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Here is a KLR owner telling you a 650 Wee is a better or best choice of those you are considering.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #3
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Its only a series of serial #s of the 08 KLRs that are oil burners, they fixed it late in 08 but to 2 up and gear on a KLR you have to beef the suspension and subframe. You would find the Wee alot more comfortable touring but more of a handful on the fire roads, double track, etc. It really depends on how deep your pockets are and the ratio of touring/dirt you are going to do.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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2up riding i would go wee any day, unless you just need the benefit of the wheel sizes for more aggressive rubber. The klr is not near as nice on the rd, seat sucks after a while. If you were planning alot of gravel/dirt the klr would be my choice, but not 2up.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n16ht5 View Post
Looking for a 2-up ADV bike for my in-laws under ~$5,000.. Hard to choose between....

BMW F650GS
Suzuki DL650 Vstrom
Kawasaki KLR650
.. DR650?


They are not into the dirt riding as much as I am so they want a bigger bike that is really comfortable but will not be too hard to manhandle on two-track. This would be an easy choice if we could get the XT660 Tenere here in the USA

It seems like the DL650 is the biggest bike out of the three.. I have sat on one but not rode it. It felt huge... but super comfortable.

I am leaning toward the F650GS, if we can find a good deal.. although the KLR would be cheaper to keep maintained over the years? I keep hearing reports of them burning oil on the newer 08-up models..

The DR650 is nice but I don't think my mother in law would put up with the backseat for an Alaska trip like my wife did



If the F800GS BMWs were cheaper that would be an easy choice, but dropping 10k+ for a toy is not something we are into.


No big +1,000cc bikes.. they are not ADV bikes IMO.
The DL650, if they're comfortable handling it on dirt roads. They're available inexpensively. You might have a little difficulty finding a used ABS model for sale, but the standard DL650 is around for about $3K and up. They're extremely reliable, get decent MPG, have decent power for 2up, and considerable room for a 650. I really like my DR, but it's a bit tight for 2 going long distance if you're not fairly small people.

If they're not big people, the F/G650GS BMW singles are pretty comfortable for 2up. They're also smooth for a single, and they get very good MPG. Carry roadside assistance though. They can, evidently, be difficult to diagnose/repair, even for BMW technicians in a dealership shop. Field repairs could be almost impossible for the average owner. By comparison, an entire DR or KLR could probably be rebuilt over a weekend or two by any intelligent monkey with a decent toolset.

If they don't mind going at a slower pace, the KLR has enough space for 2 moderately-sized people. KLRs have their issues, but the bike has been around so long that they are well-documented and fixes are easy to research online. If I was much bigger, and wanted to haul a passenger as much as I do or more, I wouldn't hesitate to own a bike like a KLR. I've done all my own wrenching on my bikes, and would rather field-repair something like a KLR than a modern BMW.

If they're smaller people, they might even be fine on a modded DR. I wouldn't want to be any bigger than my GF and I though...5'8"/200lb/30"inseam and 5'4"/petite/30"inseam. With a tankbag, tank panniers, and a topbox, there isn't much room to move around. Touring pegs, lowered rider pegs, lowered passenger pegs, LARGER passenger pegs, a Seat Concepts kit, and a 4" rearward shift of the topbox make it work ok for us. It also has stiffer springs, 16/46 sprockets, a throttle-lock and crampbuster, FAR mirrors, 2 12V sockets, and better delivery of go-power than stock. We stop every 100 miles or so for a leg-stretch though.

If they're bigger people than us, they'll likely want at least the space of a KLR or more. The Wee would be my choice for eating ADV miles in comfort on a budget though.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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If you will not be riding anything more aggressive than dirt roads, get the wee.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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I saw an F650 two up with out of state plates in Glacier Park this weekend.

They seemed comfortable, but they looked pretty skinny.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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Okay, so it looks like the KLR is out.

Leaning to the DL650
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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DL of either size. KLR is too small seat wise if they are of any size at all. I'm 5'11 and theres only a 10 or so inches between my back and the trunk.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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The seat on the KLR is plenty big.
It also depends on what tail bag/box you get and where you mount it.
The KLR might be a tad under powered for two people plus camping gear, but I've seen two heavier ADVers 2up on a KLR loaded with a lot of gear and they had no problems.
The Wee has nice power, lower center of gravity and nice luggage on the adventure model.
Look into the 650 Wee Adventure.
The dealer will let you sit on it to see if it's comfy.
A new one costs around 10K though.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #11
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The BMW will have the highest maintenance cost and I find my wife's F650 to be overly complex and it's a 2005. Just changing the oil or swapping a battery entails too much time removing the body panels and such. It is a great bike, has plenty of go 2 up but it will cost you.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #12
n16ht5 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeycreek View Post
The BMW will have the highest maintenance cost and I find my wife's F650 to be overly complex and it's a 2005. Just changing the oil or swapping a battery entails too much time removing the body panels and such. It is a great bike, has plenty of go 2 up but it will cost you.
thanks.. BMW out.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:42 AM   #13
perterra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandoCommando View Post
The seat on the KLR is plenty big.
It also depends on what tail bag/box you get and where you mount it.
The KLR might be a tad under powered for two people plus camping gear, but I've seen two heavier ADVers 2up on a KLR loaded with a lot of gear and they had no problems.
The Wee has nice power, lower center of gravity and nice luggage on the adventure model.
Look into the 650 Wee Adventure.
The dealer will let you sit on it to see if it's comfy.
A new one costs around 10K though.

You may be right on the KLR, for sure if you are willing to scrunch up to the front or if your small and thinner, but add a different seat and a trunk far enough forward to carry a load and it is a squeeze. I'm 5'11" and I have to slide back a bit after an hour on the road. I'm a big guy who is well into my mid 50's and the factory seat is like sitting a saw horse, younger and lighter it might be fine with a ATV seat pad, for me the seat pad just moved it from a 40 mile bike to a hundred mile bike, the Mayer seat took it to a 250 mile at a sitting seat.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:33 AM   #14
n16ht5 OP
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you guys are soft
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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you guys are soft

Ya you betcha. Give yourself 30 years and get back to us.
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