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Old 04-17-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
balto68 OP
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Two-up on a 650 dual sport

So I've done lots of searching and I've asked questions elsewhere regarding riding with a passenger on a bike like the KLR650 or the DR650. Some folks will say flat out not to do it. Others will say they do it all the time with varying success. Others will come down somewhere in between.

Why all the varying opinions?

I'm a fairly new rider with a little bit of experience and looking to buy my first bike. I am willing to invest in a few extras, like an aftermarket seat. I am looking to ride up dirt roads and jeep trails (no single track), and on occasion I'd like to use the bike to take my lady camping and things like that. Do I simply need to admit that I'm asking for too much in a bike?
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
Yankee Dog
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I know a couple of guys that ride their KLRs 2up all the time. The missus and I tried it and it just didnt work for us. Just not enough room. I went with a 2005 BMW F650GS (the thumper model). It is the only DS bike with a seat meant for two people.

I went down tooth in front and up two in the back. Put knobbies on front and back. Doesnt like to go more than 65-70 but does real good in the rougher stuff.

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Old 04-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
ThumpnRed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balto68 View Post
So I've done lots of searching and I've asked questions elsewhere regarding riding with a passenger on a bike like the KLR650 or the DR650. Some folks will say flat out not to do it. Others will say they do it all the time with varying success. Others will come down somewhere in between.

Why all the varying opinions?

I'm a fairly new rider with a little bit of experience and looking to buy my first bike. I am willing to invest in a few extras, like an aftermarket seat. I am looking to ride up dirt roads and jeep trails (no single track), and on occasion I'd like to use the bike to take my lady camping and things like that. Do I simply need to admit that I'm asking for too much in a bike?
It really depends on how much total weight you are putting on the bike. If you weigh 250 and she goes 180, I would say no, dont do it. If however you are 180 and she goes 120, then go for it. It will make the bike handle different though, so be prepared for that. Light trail duty getting in and out of a camping spot should not be a big deal (provided you aren't hauling 100 pounds of gear).
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
kubiak
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i been going two up for decades on a 650 dualsports and feel very safe on them. i think it is all about the rider and passenger. my wife knows to be neutral on the bike and not lean side to side while riding, that probably helps too.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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I take my wife out every now and then on the KLR. Usually just short rides around 100 to 175 miles. I don't get on the interstate! Like to ride
National Forests roads. It sure does beat taking her Honda Shadow on the dirt roads. I just can't ignore them dirt roads.

We tried it on a DR650, she did not like it at all.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balto68 View Post
So I've done lots of searching and I've asked questions elsewhere regarding riding with a passenger on a bike like the KLR650 or the DR650. Some folks will say flat out not to do it. Others will say they do it all the time with varying success. Others will come down somewhere in between.

Why all the varying opinions?

I'm a fairly new rider with a little bit of experience and looking to buy my first bike. I am willing to invest in a few extras, like an aftermarket seat. I am looking to ride up dirt roads and jeep trails (no single track), and on occasion I'd like to use the bike to take my lady camping and things like that. Do I simply need to admit that I'm asking for too much in a bike?
What are your sizes and how much comfort is your personal tolerance?

We're 5'8"/200lb/30" inseam and 5'4"/petite/30" inseam. We 2up all the time on my DR. It's not ideal though. Our butts are round, so we take up space quick. The seat should be longer and more comfy, especially for using a tankbag. I lowered the rider pegs about 1", added touring pegs to the skid, and fabbed some lowering brackets for the passenger pegs that allow stock, 2" lower, and 4" lower positioning. With a Seat Concepts kit, we can go about 200 miles before needing a break. If you're much bigger than us, a DR will not be comfortable at all for much longer than a spin around the block, unless you do some considerable mods to the seat and ergonomics.

Phreaky Phil lengthened the seat on his DR, and he did the TAT 2up with his wife.

The KLR and BMW 650 thumpers have longer seats than the DR.

The DR hauls us and our luggage just fine on the slab. It's jetted and has slightly lower gearing though. Upgrade the brakes with at least a braided stainless hose if you want to be able to stop decently with a heavy load. A larger rotor would help too.

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Old 04-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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The varying impressions/reports are because everybody is built differently. I rode two-up on my 1996 DR650 with no issues at all. My wife even liked to sit in the little space between the end of the seat, and the steel rack. She said that it was quite comfortable there. The stock seat was torture for me, though, and I ended up buying a Seat Concepts kit.
The best thing I did was made lowering brackets for the rear foot pegs that dropped them 3 or 4". She could ride all day back there after that.
Power-wise, the bike was totally fine. It pulled us all over for years.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
Yankee Dog
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Its not about the power. Its about the seat space. Sit on the various bikes 2up. You will see what I mean immediately. We tried the KLR and the XR650L. The KLR was tight. the XR was impossible. She was sitting on the rear fender.

If you are only looking at dirt roads, and your budget fits, then one of the larger dualies, like the weeStrom, or Tigers or baby Beemers will do the 2up job better.

There are no free lunches. You gotta decide what your priorities are. Although let me say, if the missus is comfortable and will ride with you, you will get to ride more often.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
Sig_Sour
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Having the suspension redone/upgraded for the extra weight (be it wife, cargo, or both) makes a world of a difference.

Doing nothing to the suspension and just having a women or 100 pounds of gear on the back will decrease your riding pleasure (on the bike anyways ) because the bike will feel "wonky" and her nagging when you drop it off road (so much easier with a shifting, nervous passenger) won't help that. But a simple preload and dampening adjustment, available on many stock rear shocks, can make a substantial difference. Better yet, getting a good aftermarket shock that is set-up properly for the expected weight will really return the 2-up/cargo riding experience back to nearly 100% enjoyable.

Investments and/or mods to the fork (Ricor Intiminators, preload adjustments, etc.) will also increase 2-up riding enjoyment as well but not quite as much as rear suspension upgrades...though I'd still advise BOTH because when you redo the front and rear suspension on any old-school (non-Euro) 650 you end up with an entirely different bike since stock suspension is usually the least tolerable component group of any of those 650s (DR650, KLR650, XR650R, etc.).

Also, you can get custom dual-level seats for almost any bike...these can increase the comfort for both rider and passenger. Just Google "2-up seats".
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
balto68 OP
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Thanks everyone for your very helpful replies!
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
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All about desire

Wife and I ride 2up on my KTM 690 enduro all the time. No it's not the best choice, the seats more like a brick, I'm 190 she's 115, and its a smallish compartment for a DS. I've got a great tank bag, rear pak, some soft panniers with racks, and a gel seat cover that I bought at WalMart. We've done a few 200+ days, even a 300+ gorgeous day that we didn't want to end.

I had a Harley for many many yrs, but I'll say that my best adventures were 2up on my DS
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balto68 View Post
Thanks everyone for your very helpful replies!
I concur!! Not looking to do the same as you but this is great future reference knowledge for sure
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:25 PM   #13
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Just Do It! Actually I agree w/ the above, it mainly depends on what size you are. We go two up on the Husky but I'm 5'8" 140# and she's 5'2", if we were much bigger it wouldn't work. It is rewarding to take her places she wouldn't see otherwise and she's not afraid of falling down (we've done some goat paths). The 630 came stock w/ a 6.4 rear spring and I run a D908 rear (strong tire) so it handles the weight well. I run a Sweetcheeks seat thing and it helps her comfort also, distributes some weight under her legs. A KLR would be your best bet for room/comfort. Ride a little slower and teach her how to fall w/o breaking a wrist...











A little spill last fall (damn rut hidden by leaves...). Good times!

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:52 AM   #14
Phreaky Phil
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Here's our DR on the TAT.

The 650s are capable of 2 up adventuring, but the biggest drawback with most is the seat. The best mod I did to ours was lengthening the seat base and having Russel Day Long build the seat. It's as good as any bike out there. The 6500s will cruise at 60-70mph all day. If you want to cruise faster for long periods then you will need some more power. But when the going gets tough the smaller bikes are in their element.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #15
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I have a KLR thats set up for 2up. Proper spring rates front and back. Widened and lengthened seat, back rest for her, MX pegs for both with hers lengthened by 1". Over the years she's become quite the passenger and I can go just about anywhere I want/normally would ride by myself. Biggest downside is the KLR engine is barely capable on the highway.
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