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Old 03-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
Ddgfarm OP
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Location: Upstate NY
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Best Thumper for Continental Divide Trail Ride

Hi folks, wasn't sure whether I should post this question in trip planning or here in Thumpers.

I am planning for a Continental Divide Ride this August. I am trying to decide which bike would be best for the trip.

I own a couple of thumpers, a '09 KLR650 and a '06 KLX250s. Right now, the plan is to do a "supported ride". That is, my wife will be driving along the route and meeting up at night so I don't need to carry much gear.

I would be interested in the opinion of riders who have done the trip on which bike would be more fun. Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
Semi-reformed Tsotsi
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It wil most certinly be the one you did not take!
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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This guy recommends doing it on a KLR.
Yellow 2006 Suzuki DR650
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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It's a long ride from NY, I'd take the KLR.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
das ist gut
been there done that
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Depends greatly on information you have not released:
where you start the ride
How much miles a day you travel
What size you are?
How far to go between fuel
planning is much important. Decide the trip requirements first, then you decide the machinery to take to the battle, yes?
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
Ddgfarm OP
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Thanks for the responses. Just to give a little more info which I should have put in my original post.
I was planning on trailering the bike out from NY.
I weigh just about 200 pounds.
I have the Acerbis 3.7 gallon tank on the KLX and the KLR has big tank, so I believe both would be sufficient for fuel range.
I was hoping to get around 150-200 miles per day.

It looks like a buddy is going with me, otherwise I would bring both bikes and decide on the day. My tow vehicle is a 4 popper so it would be hard to tow a bigger trailer with 3 bikes.

There are trip reports of people who have done the ride successfully with either bike. The KLX is a lot more fun when things get gnarly but long stretches of easy road are much easier on the KLR seat than the KLX. So, I was wondering if people who have done the trip have wished they would have taken a bigger or smaller bike.

Some inmates I know did the trip last year on 650's. They carried a fair amount of gear even though they didn't camp. They said some of the hills and water crossings really wore them out and they are all better riders than I am.
It is hard for me to understand the mix of terrain without having done the ride. I know there is both easy and hard stuff but not sure the percentage of each.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:37 PM   #7
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use the KLX250S

I rode my 2006 KLR 650 last year from Maryland down the Blueridge Parkway and then the TAT to Silverton Colorado and then homeward on Interstate 70 East. It was a great ride and bike was great on the eastern TAT. I sold my KLR 650 and now own a 2006 KLX250S with the 3.7 Acebus tank. I felt that I needed a smaller bike for the rest of the western TATs sand and rocks. We are also trailing our bikes to Silverton this August.
The only "issue" I have is the two lane ride back to Silverton COfrom Fort Orford OR. I am glad I won't be picking up the KLR 650 weight as I did 3 times on Warlock Road Arkansas and twice in the sands of Oklahoma.
i pack light , but a 60 years old it a hassle.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Location: central Montana
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I have lived in Montana for 29 years. Missoula,Dillon,Whitehall and now Harlowton. I have been through all of the areas that are considered the CDR.
I have been riding a '07 Suzuki DR650 for the last six years, some long trips,some short 250 mile day rides.I am also interested in riding the CDR in this state.
From Canada to Lincoln, MT., you will be mostly if not all pavement. The National Forest Circus has been closing many back country routes to motorized use! The Forest,BLM and county roads that are not paved are well maintained. You will have moments here and there that will be challenging, but nothing that can't be handled with the great KLR.

But the amount of hard packed and paved secondary roads are many and long, so that gives the KLR a comfort edge for sure.

From West Yellowstone to the end of the line, sorry, have not been there for years. Hopefully some one who has will pipe up!

Good luck and take your time and enjoy you ride.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
Ddgfarm OP
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Thanks guys, that is exactly the type of experienced wisdom I was hoping to get!

That's too bad about the Forest Service cutting off more back country routes in Montana though. Here in NY, there is almost no access for motorcycles in public lands.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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either one will work as it's all forest roads and such.
if your klr is setup well to travel then you have the fuel range needed for the wy section in the great basin.

we have an alternative option route in Colorado called the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route - COBDR if you want something more into the higher country.

the big difference is the COBDR is farther west on the south end and goes through san juans. the skill level needed here is slightly higher than the CDR.

in the center it also farther west and up at higher elevations.

on the north end past the Colorado river it follows a similar route through Steamboat but take some additional and more interesting detours.

the goal of the CDR was to stay as close to the divide as possible, where as the COBDR goal was to take the best dirt route across the state.

either way it's a blast. have fun!
Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
NM map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
Butler Maps website:
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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Take the 650 Thailand- Caddillac!

First the Earth cooled. Next came rats, cockroaches and KLR's... and life was good.
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