Thank you very much for taking the time to type all of that. Excellent answer, and gave me at least some sort of idea for each of my questions/concerns.
Originally Posted by Shibby!
Where to start... I'll try to stay in order:
1) A modified DR650 makes an ideal adventure bike. It tops my list right now followed by the X-challenge and KTM690 and
That's what I've read, and what made me start looking for one. A dr was actually what I started out looking for a few years ago when I ended up getting the XRR
2) No idea what people are saying, but unless they have first hand proof I wouldn't take it for much. There was a guy on here from Japan I believe with 80,000 KM when he rebuilt the top end, then put another 40,000 KM on it before I believe it was wrote off.
I personally have 35,000-40,000 KM on mine. It's "loose" but still rips! Not a single engine issue yet.
That's good to know. I imagine any dual sport that gets ridden hard is going to feel 'loose' after 40,000 KM. I'm assuming you mean all of the little stuff, like foot pegs, levers, pivot points, bolt threads starting to get rough, that kind of stuff.
3) There's lots of talk but few people get their oil checked. I run with 2000 KM oil changes and filter on every second oil change. I'm sure oil tests would show 4,000-5000 possible.
Sounds about right. I guess when I get a real odometer I can judge that a bit better. I'm thinking trail tech vapor, it seems to give the basic information for about the right price.
4) I run a Seat Concepts foam and cover. For the price I think it's pretty good. Haven't tried others so can't compare other then knowing it's a big improvement over stock.
Looks like a good enough seat at the right price, I'm putting it on my wish list.
5) Windscreens make a HUGE difference. Definitely put one on. Doesn't have to be large. Depending on your set-up even a cut down 990 screen works wonders.
I'll come up with something, but I know one will be a big help.
6) Between myself and my friend we have 15,000 KM of HARD dual sporting with Coyote bags and no subframe issues. I did switch mine out to a steel subframe and have put on an additional 28,000 km's. (I was running a Coyote and Wolfman Expedition saddles). These have been tested on everything from gnarly single track, back road bombing to Baja at race pace, even included a 4.5 ft drop to flat.
By the way, 1.6 KM/Mile.
I've done some rides with others and depends where and what you ride. Locally I wouldn't switch the XRR for anything else besides maybe a 530 / 450 / 570 converted dirt bike. On the road the XRR sways more towards an offroad mostly bike. It'll do highway but it likes to be offroad. A DR650 can do both, and I would say it's middle of the line. The 690 and X-challenge are both expensive, modifications required as well (expensive), and open the door to much more to go wrong. Simple is key. No electric start, no batteries, very little electrical, blank sheet for customization = All good in an adventure bike.
Those that have and push FI haven't had a bike not want to run three mountain passes back into the back country. Once again, simple = better. You can fix a carb on the side of a trail with simple tools.
Right now I have a borrowed KLR from a friend, he has my XR. We are both wishing we had something in the middle of the two for longer days. I'm liking the wind protection and smooth ride/power. He's loving the extra 20 HP and the 100+ pounds lighter weight.
I'm still on the fence between getting a second bike, probably a DR, or just putting more stuff on the XR. I'm thinking I could get the XR close to the long ride ability of a DR with the right mods. I guess the trick is to do that correctly without losing any of the off-road ability that the bike is great at.
Simple is better for sure in my mind. We still have the water cooling to worry about though, but in almost 20 years of riding water cooled dirt bikes I've never personally had a failure. I've crushed radiators before, but never had one leak. Both of my XR's radiators are actually squeezed in a bit from the previous owner, but it doesn't seem to cause problems at this point. I would like to someday add a KTM fan, DC power, and a cord for my GPS. I'm still running AC only on everything.
One of my complaints on the XR is vibration, and I'm sure a lot of that is caused by a worn chain, stock gearing, and the Trackmaster II tires. The KLR I have been riding the last few days is smoother, but seems to have similar engine vibrations if that makes sense.