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Old 07-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #16
Adv Grifter
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Have to agree, if you're not happy with the DR, then I'm not sure the KLR is much smoother. It appears more road friendly ... and with the right mods it can be very good. It's wider and longer than the DR650 and makes a nice road going dual sport.

But as mentioned, if riding street only ... get a street bike. The DL650 is an excellent choice. If you can spend more ... try a Tiger 800, GS800, Kawi Versys or two or three other bikes in that class. That little Kawi 300 twin is an awesome bike from reports I've read.

All that said, I find my DR reasonably smooth at highway speed for a single. Lots of things can negatively affect smoothness on the DR650 and many owners neglect these important service items:

1. Worn Cush Drive Rubber Bushings ... Replace! They really affect drive line feel.
2. Worn chain and sprockets. This is a BIGGY. Some owners don't have a CLUE regards their chain/sprockets. If unsure, get an expert opinion and replace chain and sprockets if needed. Makes a HUGE difference in ride smoothness on the DR650.
3. Some bright Bulb may have removed your bar end weights? They help. Also, an Alu handle bar like a Pro Taper reduces vibes and is stronger and looks good too.

The DR has several Vibe damping elements built in from stock. The KLR has none of these, IIRC:
1. Handlebar mounts are mounted in Rubber bushings. Very nice!
2. Foot pegs are mounted in Rubber Bushings.
3. DR motor has very effective counter balance system. One of the smoothest singles out there at around 75 MPH in my experience.

Test out a few bikes, go with what works for you!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hawk900dc View Post
I've been riding a dr650 for the past year, I learned how to ride on the thing. I mostly ride around town and take 45 minute trips at 60 to 65 mph to visit family the dr isn't so much fun to me on these trips. Was thinking about buying a klr650 similar bike style more comforts is it worth it? Btw the dr650 is my fathers no ownership here.
I'd try a few other DRs. Your family's may have issues. The DR tends to be smoother than the KLR. The seat, smaller tank, and lack of factory windscreen are typically the DR items needing upgrades to better the KLR onroad. The aftermarket delivers.

If you want smoother than a DR, you may want to check out BMW thumpers or the Husky 650 thumpers. All have the smooth Rotax motor. Otherwise, multicylinder bikes might be your best chance.

I've ridden the DR over 1000 miles/day. Mine eats miles more comfortably than my I4 streetbike now.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:50 AM   #18
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I never tried the '08 and up KLR, but the older ones had a horrible seat. However I am sure the DR is about the same. They are called dual sports, but they all seem to have dirt bike seats. I wouldn't even consider a BMW, that's a whole different league. Even if you can get one for a reasonable price, parts and dealer service is way more expensive than any Japanese bike. IMO, BMWs are for someone who wants a BMW. For value and reliability stay with Japanese. I als can't recommend any Ninja, unless you have ridden a sportbike before and know about the riding position. If you are not riding on dirt, seems like the Honda CB500F might be a good choice. But between the DR and the KLR, I would choose the DR for it's mechanical simplicity. No dual sport is going to be as comfortable as a road bike, but they are all more comfortable than sport bikes. Many people have chosen the DR for super long distance trips. As far as KLRs go, I actually prefer the older style. I sat on a newer one, and it is way to wide for me, felt like a Goldwing with a high seat.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #19
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Update,

I appreciate all the feedback, Ill try to be more descriptive here for why im looking at a KLR650. I like the DR650 but I want something a little more roadworthy. I dont mind the single cylinder engine. But the bike feels small (im 6'3 240lbs) when riding on a highway 65 mph and up. I would like something a little heavier, more comfortable and slightly smoother on the highway. From what I read about the KLR650 (08 plus) it seems like it would fit that niche that im looking for without a major price.

I considered a Vstrom650 but have veered away due to the price, maybe I'll upgrade to a adventure touring bike after a few years.

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Old 07-04-2013, 01:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
I'd try a few other DRs. Your family's may have issues. The DR tends to be smoother than the KLR. The seat, smaller tank, and lack of factory windscreen are typically the DR items needing upgrades to better the KLR onroad. The aftermarket delivers.

If you want smoother than a DR, you may want to check out BMW thumpers or the Husky 650 thumpers. All have the smooth Rotax motor. Otherwise, multicylinder bikes might be your best chance.

I've ridden the DR over 1000 miles/day. Mine eats miles more comfortably than my I4 streetbike now.

Funny you say that, The bike is a 2007 DR650 it was left inside a shed in MD and unused for a year, gas leaked into the fuel and a mouse somehow entered the air filter, chewed it up and made a nest. When I first started using it it ran like absolute shit. After one full summer Ive gotten it running nearly flawlessly. Only complaint is it bucks or pulls sometimes when riding in a lower gear and trying to slowly move through my neighborhood. I assume I have to adjust the choke and fuel screw.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:17 PM   #21
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SOOOO....I bought a 2012 KLR 650

After much weight, I rolled out to a dealer in PA and bought a 2012 leftover for $6,000.00. Tried to go lower and even mentioned my military service (75th Ranger Regiment) but couldnt go lower. Ive had it for 3 days and here my breakdown after only having ridden a DR650.

First, The KLR650 is noticably larger to me, Seat is higher, fairing seems huge, looks like a boat compared to the DR650. Sat on the thing and felt like I was sitting in a cockpit instead of a on a bicycle seat. Then the ride, Power delivery was lighter (less torque and pull) but much smoother. Vibration throughout the bike was definately lower except the throttle, felt like it was putting my right hand to sleep but it might just be my death grip of excitement. Wind protection was great, At 6'3 240 lbs the small windshield didnt bother me at all, maybe a bit noiser but not anything that degrades my comfort or buffets my head. When moving it felt like the KLR was very smooth, just cruising along and the fairing provides very noticable stability and comfort , no knees in the breeze. Shifting was simple and easy. At my height and weight the bike is def more comfortable with the seating position and handebar reach. I loved riding in town, on the highway 50+ but dont think it would be much fun on the interstate 70+ for long trips. The only thing I could possible say that is a negative from my perspective is the handbar vibe on the throttle but again that just might be me. Overall I am very pleased and do consider this an upgrade for my riding style.

I very much consider the DR650 and KLR650 to be different animals for commuting and would say to any future buyers in my position to take a second to think about what you want to use the bike for and certainly test drive both of them.

I do minimal off roading, mostly backroads and highway and very little interstate if any. I am happy with my choice and will be giving the 07 DR650 back to my father, hes very excited to ride with me . Many thanks for all the suggestions and feedback.

If you see what you believe to be a sexy man thing riding a red black and silver KLR650 around DE thats probably not me but feel free to wave .
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #22
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Hawk900dc
First, thanks for your service, Rangers rock.
At 6' 3" and 240lbs, you will need to spend some money on suspension, spending money on suspension is like spending money on Mom, good things will come from it, there are a couple of rear shocks out there, both the Moab from Cogent dynamics and the Ricor shock have good reviews, as for the front you may need the next size over fork springs, and valves for the front, i love the Ricor intiminator front valves on my KLR.

For a wind screen on the newer KLR, tall riders seem to like the Madstad, it is adjustable.

For better power, you can use the Eagel Mike KLX jet kit and get a little more power (not a lot) but still get good fuel mileage.

I am 6' 3" and 200, and have done the shock and front (except front springs, mine are stock)
My KLR is a 2007 and has a different windscreen, my neighbor has a 2009 KLR with the Madstad windscreen and i have ridden it, so i know the Madstad worked well.

I installed the Eagle Mike jet kit and have been happy with it, i have ridden street and single track trails, it is better than stock and i still get around 55mpg.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #23
Adv Grifter
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Congrats on the new bike Hawk! The KLR can be a very good bike. But just like the DR ... to be at it's best, it may need a few upgrades. The suggestions about suspension are good ones ... but since you're doing all ON ROAD work, it may not be a high priority, but, IMHO, should be dealt with at some point. It can be SO MUCH better with a high quality shock the re-valved front forks.

One thing that would be a priority (to me) is a better SEAT.

I think you'll adjust to the size and hugeness of the fairing and overall size of the KLR in a short time and miles. You're a big guy ... so in the end the XL size may be to your liking. Room to spread out, lots of luggage room.

There is SO MUCH info on KLR's and SO MUCH you can do. But remember: Rome wasn't built in a day.

For now, ride and enjoy Summer. In 6 months or a year you'll know the bike and will have had time to read up on it and study your options. At that point you may feel like it's time to make some improvements or additions.

Ride Safe!
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #24
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Many Thanks!, Still in the break in period for now (not supposed to go over 4k RPM which is about 60 MPH) but i dont mind the shocks or the seat so far. Seat is a huge upgrade from the DR650 and on that I had the Sargent Seat. Whats the suspension upgrade for? bottoming out on big bumps? or just comfort? I havent noticed anything bothersome with it.

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Old 07-07-2013, 10:20 PM   #25
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by Hawk900dc View Post
Many Thanks!, Still in the break in period for now (not supposed to go over 4k RPM which is about 60 MPH) but i dont mind the shocks or the seat so far. Seat is a huge upgrade from the DR650 and on that I had the Sargent Seat. Whats the suspension upgrade for? bottoming out on big bumps? or just comfort? I havent noticed anything bothersome with it.
If it works for you .. go with it! You are the only person you have please! At this point I'd just have fun with the bike. All things will be revealed in time.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #26
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Many Thanks!, Still in the break in period for now (not supposed to go over 4k RPM which is about 60 MPH) but i dont mind the shocks or the seat so far. Seat is a huge upgrade from the DR650 and on that I had the Sargent Seat. Whats the suspension upgrade for? bottoming out on big bumps? or just comfort? I havent noticed anything bothersome with it.
Suspension upgrade is for bottoming, mainly off road. I'm only 150lbs and I've bottomed it quite a few times if the bumps are big enough. A friend is about 200, he could almost bottom the front on pavement just with braking.

He put progressive springs in the front and a raising link in the rear, made a huge difference. He's been thinking about making a new link now. The store bought link is 10mm longer if I remember right, he is going to make a 5mm longer one and see how it works. He said the one he has works great off road but rides pretty rough on the street, and maybe one in the middle will split the difference.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:52 AM   #27
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Longer links will lower the bike. Shorter will raise it. It also changes the geometry of the linkage. Shorter decreases leverage, making the spring effectively act as if it were a heavier weight spring. Longer does the opposite.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #28
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Be sure and check your oil at every gas stop! KLR's will sometimes use some oil. Most do not , but if you keep an eye on it you will not have a problem.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #29
Adv Grifter
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Be sure and check your oil at every gas stop! KLR's will sometimes use some oil. Most do not , but if you keep an eye on it you will not have a problem.
That is good advice Don.
My KLR Guru buddy claims just about 100% of the '08 onward KLR's use some oil. Machines that used lots of oil were replaced and rebuilt by Kawasaki and some guys have gone to after market re-build kits. These guys don't use oil as a rule ... but among STOCK bikes, ALL years ... they pretty much ALL use oil. This especially true when ridden at high speeds on the highway. The Guru's '09 was broken in correctly but still uses some oil. Not a lot. He frequently rides from San Diego up here to NorCal. About a 500 mile ride cruising on I-5 at about 75 MPH. In that distance he adds about 6 to 8 ounces in that distance. Around town riding or mild commuting sees almost NO oil use.

We did a 3 day, 1000 mile ride a year or two ago. He added a bit of oil twice on that ride, then topped up for his 500 mile ride back to San Diego.
He's not bothered by it. In a way you could say it's a good thing as you continually add in FRESH oil. So maybe not all bad? But as Don said, on longer runs at speed ... DO keep an eye on your level and try to determine your typical oil usage in a given distance.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:08 AM   #30
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still loving it, anyone else notice the 2012 models have blacked out engines parts? I just think the bike as a whole looks very nice, maybe sexy even. I keep opening the garage door to check it out, It is my first bike (that I own) afterall. Gotta finish this 600 mile engine break in soon.
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