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Old 02-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #16
Canuman
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I did several long tours on my "A" model KLR this summer. Yes, it is a farkle pig, but I've owned it for four years now, and the expenditure has been incremental. I rode it a great deal bone-stock also. I did many of my mods for comfort and convenience, not because there was inherently wrong with many of the pieces I replaced.

There's an absolute ton of information on the various threads on adapting the KLR to different purposes. By merely swapping the stock 15 tooth front sprocket for either one tooth lower or one tooth higher, the characteristics of the bike change quite a bit. I prefer a 14 tooth, because I don't ride that much slab at all, and a cruising speed of around 70 suits me just fine. Dropping a tooth in the front makes a big difference in the woods. Others I know have gone to the 16 tooth for more highway use. With the proper tools, it's a half-hour of wrenching to change over, and sprockets are very reasonable.

The number of miles you can make in a day really depends on your endurance. I was recently given a book wherein two Iron Butt riders did something like 17,000 miles in 21 days on KLRs -- unfortunately, I don't remember the title, so maybe someone will chime in.

Personally, I find 300 miles a day a pretty comfortable ride on any bike, but I like to pick flowers, take pictures, and chat with the locals. I can and have done days much longer than that my Kaw, but it takes the charm out of the ride for me. A group of ADVers and I are planning a trip to Newfoundland this summer. I've ridden up to the jumping-off point for the ferry before, so I don't have anything to prove. Several of us will likely throw the bikes on my trailer, and tow it behind my van to the ferry dock.

Seems kind of sleazy, I admit. However, with three drivers, we can get through the slab portion of the trip in a long day. My van gets better mileage than three individual bikes. We're likely to be more rested and relaxed for Newfoundland, and take a considerably shorter time getting there.

I'll take my DRZ400. The DRZ would be brutal on the 800+ mile haul up to the ferry, but I'm confident that it will be a total hoot on "The Rock."

If you want a dirt bike, or a dirtier bike like a KTM, and it rings your bell, get one. Figure out ways to get to the good stuff and enjoy it to the maximum, not how to spend thousands of miles droning across the pavement.

That being said, I currently have seven bikes, from a KDX200 to a Goldwing with a sidecar. They are all fun in their own way, and I enjoy them in different situations. If I had to settle on one to the exclusion of the rest, I'd keep the KLR. It does everything well enough. Riding long miles on the road is work. Pushing it through some of the rougher stuff off-road can be hairy. It's heavy. It's not fast. It's never failed to get me there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
I live on the east coast and we have alot of good off road riding, but the pictures I see of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, etc... just pull me like a magnet. What is a realistic number of Highway miles a person could do comfortably in a 8-10 hour day on these bikes. I have limited vacation time, so sometimes you just need to get there! I understand that both are probably better on secondary roads and the big GS is more at home on the interstate, but the GS is out of my price range.
I followed the link posted by Canuman and if I had to do that much work to a bike to to travel on it, I would buy a different bike, a KTM.
Some say Kawasaki went the wrong direction with the KLR, but are the 2008-13 less trail worthy if you discount the fairing. It is my understanding that the changes that were made were ones that KLR owners requested. Were those the adventure riders or the road riders? If it is true that the DR is the new RTW bike, then will Suzuki go the same direction as the KLR?
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Canuman screwed with this post 02-23-2013 at 08:17 PM
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #17
Beezer
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what KTM? the 640 isn't too far from a tittied up KLR, the difference is the 640 comes that way & the klr needs about $1500-2000 and some hours. the 690 is a different deal though
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #18
Canuman
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When you get into the KLR vs KTM discussion, every troll on this board will chime in, and we'll be in JoMomma in ten minutes. Let's drop it. Very different bikes, very different price-points, and intended for very different things.

Also, may I say, a very different riding experience.

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what KTM? the 640 isn't too far from a tittied up KLR, the difference is the 640 comes that way & the klr needs about $1500-2000 and some hours. the 690 is a different deal though
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #19
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People have gone on very long trips on both bikes, the bikes will not be the limitation.
Both likely need a seat upgrade to do 12 hour days back to back, and that would be all I needed on my dr650, it was great on the road in my book, and some people are really spoiled if they think its not.
Its better then most of the street bikes I grew up on!

If going in the dirt, the less weight the better, and the DR is lighter then the KLR.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:46 PM   #20
Beezer
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I know... orange guys get so touchy.... maybe the 640 I rode was sick? just telling you my experience. my friend had one & we rode the pave, the dirt roads, washboard, single track, etc & traded off. the owner of the 640 agreed... not that different. but then my bike has a lot done to it
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
What is a realistic number of Highway miles a person could do comfortably in a 8-10 hour day on these bikes.
I go straight through to Ohio then a week or two later straight through to eastern Maine. At 10 hours I'm at about 500 or 600 miles. I alternate 2-lanes with freeway and end up with a mix of about 70% 2-lane and 30% freeway. And you know how these eastern 2-lane roads can be sometimes entertaining and sometimes clogged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
I followed the link posted by Canuman and if I had to do that much work to a bike to to travel on it, I would buy a different bike, a KTM.
Modifying a motorcycle can be off-season entertainment for some of us. Very few motorcycle owners make modifications that extensive. I have not done even Beezer's minimum list, but I have modified my seat and built lower footpeg mounts. I also built the rack for hard cases and made other modifications that are not "required" in any way except to set up the bike for my convenience and preferences.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:32 AM   #22
AB13
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05 dr 650

I have a 05 DR 650 for sale its been great I bought 2 bikes to replace it a KTM 990 and a KTM 530 pm me if interested.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:24 AM   #23
bobnoxious67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I know... orange guys get so touchy.... maybe the 640 I rode was sick? just telling you my experience. my friend had one & we rode the pave, the dirt roads, washboard, single track, etc & traded off. the owner of the 640 agreed... not that different. but then my bike has a lot done to it
The only time "orange guys" get "touchy" is when KLR/DR guys try to blow smoke up our collective asses...like trying to tell us that $1500-2000 will turn a KLR into a 640 LC4
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #24
Canuman
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That must be one hell of a DR if it took TWO Katooms to replace it. . .

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I have a 05 DR 650 for sale its been great I bought 2 bikes to replace it a KTM 990 and a KTM 530 pm me if interested.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:06 AM   #25
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Grinnin- How would it be doing the 500-600 everyday for 9 days straight. Then riding at least 300 miles a day for the next two weeks, then turning around and riding back home 4,800+ miles. Would you choose another bike?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:17 AM   #26
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Just test road a brand new DR650 and a used G650GS. If I wasn't getting the price I am for the BMW, I would get the DR650 in a heartbeat. Bike is sick as hell. Neat, clean, bare bones but everything you would want in a single. I can't really comment on the KLR, but when I was looking at singles, I didn't like the KLR for a couple reasons: (1) looks like too much plastic, and (2) seems very top heavy. Keep in mind, Iv'e only sat on one, never ridden it, so my opinion on the KLR isn't worth dick, basically. LOVED the Suzuki though.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman View Post

The number of miles you can make in a day really depends on your endurance. I was recently given a book wherein two Iron Butt riders did something like 17,000 miles in 21 days on KLRs -- unfortunately, I don't remember the title, so maybe someone will chime in.
That book would be Passion In The Wind. It was over 23,000 miles in 48 days.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:33 AM   #28
Canuman
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I stand corrected. Thanks.

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That book would be Passion In The Wind. It was over 23,000 miles in 48 days.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:23 AM   #29
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2-KTMs

Traded 1 swiss army knife for 2 scalpels 1 two track 1 single track I think the 530s front tire should last a long time!!!!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:57 AM   #30
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Quote:
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I have a few questions about the DR650 vs KLR650 in particular.
Does the DR650 use the Doohicky like the KLR? If not, how is it counter balanced?
I know this is subjective, but which is smoother (vibrates less)? The engine is usually the biggest culprit as far as vibration, but other components also contribute to it also.
I do not like to fix problems the factory should have engineered out of them (Doo-hickey). What are some of the other problems that have cropped up on these two bikes?
Which one is more likely to go 50-60,000 miles with the least amount of repairs?

Thanks for any help!
The DR is simpler, lighter, lower, and smaller. The KLR has a bit more space on it for large people and/or a passenger. Both have issues that are pretty easy to address, even the KLR's oil burning or the DR's 3rd gear.

I wanted more of a dirtbike, as I already have a streetbike, but have been pleasantly surprised at the slab ability of my DR. I've ridden it almost 1200 miles in a day...even with the stock seat and no windscreen. I didn't seem to need either. My GF and I even commute and tour 2up on the DR, and Phreaky Phil did the TAT 2up on his DR.

A 7.9gal Safari tank is available for the DR, but most people seem to go with a 4.9gal IMS or the newer 5.3gal Acerbis. I barely notice the difference in weight between full and empty.

The DR is VERY smooth on the slab for a thumper. It doesn't seem to mind revs either. I run the snot out of mine sometimes. It also doesn't seem to need a windscreen as badly as many other naked bikes do. I don't seem to get blown around on it much at slab speeds, but my mirrors and handguards aren't absolutely huge either.

Maintenance and repairs on the DR are simple. Valves can be adjusted without needing to swap any shims or anything. The counter-shaft seal might pop out on some DR's, but Procycle offers an inexpensive and easy-to-install retainer that makes that a non-issue. The DR takes tumbles very well, and requires minimal maintenance.

The suspensions on both bikes need help, especially if you and your cargo are heavier than a naked anorexic Japanese teenager. Dirtbike suspension parts can be swapped onto either. Carbing needs help on both too, and a pumper flat-slide carb or EFI are the ticket. The seat on the DR is detested by most. Seat Concepts has a $160-$170 solution. You can create your own for even cheaper.

Aftermarket support for either bike is pretty darn good. Try them both. See which one strikes you as being a better base to build from, given your inclination to farkle or not.
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