Originally Posted by jon_l
I think 98% of riders would agree with your first assertion, very few with your 2nd, and everyone would agree with the 3rd.
I bet you are in the very small minority who thinks the DR-Z400 is as highway capable as the DR650.
That said, it is a nuanced distinction. Leaning a little more dirt, def. prefer the DR-Z, a little more street, the DR. Both are cheap, reliable, and good tools for their niche.
I think the DR650 is one of the best, all-rounders out there; if I could have only 1, it would make the short list along with the KTM690R. Fortunately, I have a street bike, so I downsized the DR650 to a WR250R.
I wonder if the OP should consider the WRR too. Smaller than the others being discussed, but surprising, for 250cc
Perhaps I should clarify my second point. The gearing on the 650 is a bit better for highway, but the seat is still seemingly made of plywood. I wouldn't want to sit on the DR650 or DRZ400S for more than an hour going down the road, but even with the stock seat I can manage 2+ hours without too much discomfort on my KLR.
Maybe a Gen1 KLR would be the best compromise? Still better road manners than a DR650, not as much plastic to break, more robust than the Gen2 KLR in the off road category, lighter weight, and still KLR simple.