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Old 02-25-2013, 11:23 AM   #31
Tsotsie
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: South Texas
Oddometer: 1,676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
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!
There is no correct or short answer. Lots of opinions from which ever camp they my come.

Both motors have long reliable histories. Both need internal work if you are intending to do long distance. Looks and which year, model, color, now that is a political pi$$ing issue.

One of my current rides is an 08 KLR which I have put on 47,000 miles from new. 4X to Mexico, 2X to Canada, 4X to VA and back through 15 States (4000 miles in 8 days usually) from S Texas, at least 5X 800 mile+ days. Next month it will do another 4000 in 8 days for its 5th ride to VA.

Only driven a DR twice - enjoyed both times. Would I buy one? Sure. I do, however, prefer a liquid cooled motor.

Any bike could do distance - it is all about how you set the bike up for the kind of ride you want. Out of the box, neither bike will fit extended riding.

You will do well with either!
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #32
Beezer
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I'm not saying you can make a klr into a 640 Adventure. I'm saying that after riding one a couple hundred miles over all the stuff I normally ride which is everything from pave to single track, mud, rock, top of the mountain etc. that the difference was not big enough to make me want to buy it. all the talk about what a world beater that bike is and how superior, etc is a bit blown out of proportion. bear in mind my bike is not stock & has had a lot of work... it will wheelie on the throttle alone. my friend got this 640 & rode it a couple weeks & the crank bearing blew up. he took it to a local shop & they fixed everything including new piston & rings so I think it was in pretty good nick. . he rode it half a summer & decided to move on because hes not too mechanical & didn't like the oil change procedure,etc. anyway, it's always been on my list so I gave it a try. don't get me wrong... good bike, like the ride. I have a DRZ & I like the DR too.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:05 AM   #33
East Coast Rider
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You can't go wrong with either the KLR or the DR. Me? I own a 2002 KLR650.


PROS for both bikes:

-Been in production for years, tons of aftermarket support.
-Easy to fix on the side of the highway or in the middle of nowhere.
-All the issues are known, and fixable.
-Pack mules!

CONS for both:

-Heavy and down on power compared to Husky, KTM.
-Suspension for the DR is better from the factory, but I've heard plenty say it is still too soft, as it is with the KLR. The fix for both bikes costs the same (springs, RT emulators or Ricor Intimators). Lots of people change out rear shock on both, too.

Advantages of the DR over KLR:

-Proper gear driven engine balancer, instead of a chain driven, spring tensioner set up.

-A solid ~55/60 lbs lighter (or more, depending on the publication) than a current KLR.

-Not as top heavy/tall.

-I prefer screw & locknut valve adjusters (like my '82 Suzuki GS1100EZ) but valve shims aren't the end of the world...did I mention my KLR's valves are going on 20,000 miles since last adjustment (10K since the last check...where they had barely moved at all since the adjust).

Advantages of the KLR over DR:

-Better wind protection for the road from the factory. (but also lots more plastic to break on the current models)

-Better fuel range from the factory...can be made even better with an aftermarket tank and drops a bit of weight, as well.

-Better suited for taller riders/folks with long legs.

DRAWS between the two bikes:

I think the "your radiator can be punctured and leave you stranded" argument is WAY over blown...for the cost/added benefit of more fuel/lighter tank, an IMS tank protects the side of the radiator very well. For a few bucks, you can make a very stout guard for the front. I have seen a KLR radiator bypassed with a couple pieces of hose and connectors, and it made it home without damage. The KLR's radiator doesn't hold that much damn water anyway.

DR's have 3rd gear blowups (not widespread, I'm sure). NSU screws come loose and drop into a moving transmission at speed can grenade a bunch of stuff. I'd wager that could lock up a rear tire at speed. It is a cheap fix...all you have to do is remove the clutch. That isn't a big deal.

The KLR's doohickey is a serious issue that will result in a blown motor. It can be permanently fixed and made a non issue with EM's torsion spring kit...for about 100.00 tools/parts included.

The weight diiference between a DR and the 1st gen KLRs is markedly less, and made to be practically nil if you add a big fuel tank to give the DR equivalent range. BUT, the KLR will still be heavier to pick up because it is taller.

I was looking for a DR when I bought my 2002 KLR (now at 41+K trouble free miles). Were I in the market for a NEW bike and had to choose between DR/KLR, I'd go with a DR over a current KLR...and lower the pegs, add material to the seat. New KLR is just way too heavy, and all the plastic is expensive. The older KLRs are much more crash worthy as far as that goes.


While there are options for more HP (you can get a 790cc kit for the DR and a 705 for KLR) I think guys who go after max power are missing the point of the KLR/DR, and should look at the Husky Terra 650 at the very least. Similarly priced & similar in weight but 58HP (??) @ the wheel, with FI and USD forks.

I think with a few mods, both would suit you fine. But maybe consider a Husky Terra 650 as well. Good luck with your search!
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East Coast Rider screwed with this post 02-27-2013 at 12:31 PM
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:06 AM   #34
Qaz OP
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I rode a KLR 650 the other day, although I do see merits in the bike, I don't know. I can easily flat foot the bike, even if the rear suspension wasn't pillowy soft. It did ride nice on the road, but power is not a strong suite. I got it up to 70 mph on the interstate in top gear and then it made more noise and alot more vibrations but not much more acceleration. It seemed to have good low end torque even doubled up. Nice seat and I like the lay out of the bike, but it seemed cheaply made for a $6,000+ motorcycle. Dealer denyed that there is a problem with the camchain tensioner or that some use oil excessively. Although I know for a fact, two bikes that he sold used it at a rate of one half quart to the tank while running down the interstate on trips. Now that makes gas seem inexpensive.
I think the biggest problem with the KLR650 are the owners that fix the doo-hickys and bore it out to 708cc's to cure the oil problem, instead of pushing Kawasaki to recognise the problem and fix it. After all if you will fix the problems, why should they?
I will continue my search, but start looking at twins also. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:52 AM   #35
Foot dragger
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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?
Ive done a few 600+ mile days on my DR,the mirrors dont blur,the bike gets 50 mpg all the time,vibration isnt an issue for me on the DR. At the minimum a DR needs a better seat,bigger tank,for off road and even on road the suspension needs work,then its just the farkles of your choice,there are many to choose from.
A KLR hits 400 lbs and passes it by a ways with gas and farkles,not really what you want off road.
Ive also done dualsport rides on the DR where all the other bikes were plated dirt bikes,and its done fine,just dont push it real hard or pretend its a real dirtbike. The front tire sticks in corners,never seems to slide out,that's a very good thing.

Suzuki smartly equipped the DR with a nice wide ratio gearbox,that's what makes it no problem on the hiway,Ive cruised at 80 for many miles on mine and its smoother at 80 then at 70mph.

If I was near 300 lbs I would get a more powerful bike then a 650 single though.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:43 PM   #36
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
Ive done a few 600+ mile days on my DR,the mirrors dont blur,the bike gets 50 mpg all the time,vibration isnt an issue for me on the DR. At the minimum a DR needs a better seat,bigger tank,for off road and even on road the suspension needs work,then its just the farkles of your choice,there are many to choose from.
A KLR hits 400 lbs and passes it by a ways with gas and farkles,not really what you want off road.
Ive also done dualsport rides on the DR where all the other bikes were plated dirt bikes,and its done fine,just dont push it real hard or pretend its a real dirtbike. The front tire sticks in corners,never seems to slide out,that's a very good thing.

Suzuki smartly equipped the DR with a nice wide ratio gearbox,that's what makes it no problem on the hiway,Ive cruised at 80 for many miles on mine and its smoother at 80 then at 70mph.

If I was near 300 lbs I would get a more powerful bike then a 650 single though.
Maybe a cammed 790 single?

OP...I currently run either 14/42 or 16/42 sprockets. The 16/42 makes interstate runs a lazy jaunt on the DR. Stock 15/42 isn't bad either. 14/42 is even OK. The DR even pulls the 16/42 OK in sand. It has the torque. You just have to give it the gas. If you like to swap sprockets for even better gearing though, the DR is one of the easiest bikes to change a front sprocket on that I've seen. It's much easier than the DR-Z400, IMO, even though it's gearspread is already much more suited to dualsporting than the DR-Z's.
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