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Old 09-21-2013, 06:53 PM   #31
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Spudville, Idaho
Oddometer: 712
Originally Posted by LilGreenBooger View Post
Have you got all the oomph out of your KLR? Have you done the MC mod? I did that and it was like a different bike. I also have the KLX needle, and an aftermarket exhaust. Stainless braided brake lines are like night & day in respect to brake performance.

I've added exhaust, L-modded the air box, no-toil filter. I have not messed with the internals of the carb because it runs perfectly, the spark plug looks just like it should, and it regularly gets 55+ mpg. If I screw with anything I will likely get very minimal power gains and a big drop in fuel mileage, and it's my daily driver. I like only having to fill it up once every two weeks to get to work and back. These mods helped a bunch (in stock form it got 40-45 mpg) but I doubt it has much more than 40hp. I've also done fork springs, shock, and braided brake lines. It will do 100 mph anytime I want it to,(as long as it's not uphill or in a headwind ) but it's not happy about it, with not really much reserve passing power above 75-80 mph. And even with SS break lines, the breaks are still terrible for aggressive road riding. I love it for an all around bike, but when I just need to get somewhere involving lots of pavement, or I really want to carve it up on paved twistys, it pretty much blows.

highjack off

OP. I would look elsewhere besides a big single if you still regularly road ride with friends. I would look at either of the three twin cylinder bikes I previously mentioned. One of those three will likely be my next bike (I will keep the KLR though)
"You can have anything you want, but not everything you want."

"There's nothing like that fresh tire feeling "
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #32
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,250
Thanks for the discussion all. Good things to consider. I think for now I'm going to just keep the Bandit. I've ordered some new handlebars that are a little higher and wider. (Dale's Holeshot sport touring bars). Hopefully this will make occasionally standing feel a little more natural and give better handling in the twisties.

I'm also going to either try to add an inch to my seat or get some 1 inch lowered pegs to improve the peg to seat distance for a hip issue.

For occasional forest roads, I'm fine with the Pilot Road III's I'm running. Traction doesn't seem to be a big issue for the kind of riding we typically do, but I think I will appreciate wider bars.

We often buzz up to the Blue Ridge Parkway or other parts of the NC/Tenn/Virginia mountains. The ride from here (North Atlanta Metro) to there will go alot better with the Bandit.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:55 AM   #33
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: NEGA
Oddometer: 488
I traded my Bandit last year and really wish I hadn't. I had bar risers and aftermarket bars, delkevic exhaust, and dales hole shot stage 1 kit on it. It was a blast to ride and was comfortable on all day rides after I got the bars set up right. I took it on every forest service road in Rabun county and never had any issues, although I was careful not to smash the header on a rock.
"How narrow and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it" (Matt 7:14)

'05 Bandit 1200, '01 DRZ400, '95DR125, '01 KDX200
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #34
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Tampa
Oddometer: 1,404
I have a sport tourer and yet still riding my 650 KLR to Death Valley, CA (from FL!) for offroading. Tire change when i reach the west
KTM EXC - in 530 flavor
'10 Concours14 with >85,000 miles and ticking'
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:17 PM   #35
Isn't that dangerous?
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Providence, RI
Oddometer: 1,490
I had a 2001 1200N Bandit. It is the one bike I wish I never sold!!!! I had Renthal dirt bike bars on mine, it was an extremely comfortable bike. I also had a fox clicker shock on the rear. That bike was a sleeper, tons of torque, it ate rear tires.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #36
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,250
thanks for the continued sharing of info.

Interesting - I've read or heard from several folks who've sold their Bandits and who now wish they didn't sell them.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:12 PM   #37
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
Oddometer: 7,390
Some of the previous posts are laughable. Something must have been wrong with the DR they were riding.

Unless your buddies ride like they want to go to jail, a sorted DR will keep up fine on the road.

People that can't comfortably ride a DR on something more technical than a dirt road really need to check out the bike they're on or examine their technique. The bike is capable of a hell of a lot more than that. The DR will run hilly Texas pasture or pillowy Florida sand berms without breaking a sweat. It'll run dunes, beaches, quad trails, creekbeds, mud holes, whoops, and even singletrack. Just don't expect it to hop big logs like a trials bike, or thread through muddy roots at an enduro race pace.

I'm not even that good of a dirt rider, I'm fairly short (5'8"/30" inseam), and I only use a full-on knobby on the front frequently. The rear just gets an inexpensive, long-wearing DS tire like a Kenda K761 or K270. A sorted DR rides trails like a heavy, cushy, vintage enduro. It'll then cruise down the interstate better than many mid-sized '80s standards.

Now...If you want a bike that will pin your eyeballs back in their sockets from a roll-on at 80MPH, you'll want something with more cylinders, and a LOT more power, like a Tiger 800XC. If you want a bike to competitively race enduros with, you'll want something at least 75lb lighter, like your KTM 400. But if you want a bike that can comfortably take you all over the continent, offroad or on, without costing an arm and a leg, the DR is a good candidate to look at.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:53 PM   #38
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,250
Put some new, higher and wider bars on my Bandit today. (Dale's Holeshot Sport Touring Bars). Whew, was more work than I imagined - re-routing cables, drilling holes and making the bar end holes bigger for stock bar ends etc. Dale is a nice guy and helpful - he returns emails regularly and I even spoke to him on the phone.

Will be testing them this week.

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Old 09-30-2013, 11:34 AM   #39
Auto-X Fil
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Montrose, PA.
Oddometer: 703
Once you have a bike you love, don't give it up! Those bars look nice. Let us know how they ride!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:32 PM   #40
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Oddometer: 976
Originally Posted by mikem9 View Post
Thinking about trading my 03 Bandit 1200s for a somewhat newer DR 650. They are valued at similar levels. I have an EXC 400 for dirt oriented dual sporting. Have been thinking of getting a large dual sport bike for a while. Based on your own experiences will I be disappointed trying to follow my buddies on 2 - 4 day trips through the mountains. They ride a range of bigger street and adventure bikes (GS 1200, KTM 990's, Kawasaki Concourse, Ducati Hypermotard, 80's BMW air head touring bike, vintage honda CB 750 etc).

I enjoy the Bandit - Good torque, smooth motor, Incredibly dependable. Comfortable on medium length trips. Handles as well as I need. Easy to pass cars. Can stay up with any bike in our group. Feels just fine if I need to go on the highway.

But, something about cruising around in "thumper mode" just enjoying the scenery, being able to go on more dirt roads and not feel like I'm tearing my streetbike up etc. Has me thinking.

Thanks for any thoughts!

I have a 2005 Bandit 1200S, and I behave badly on that motorcycle Personally, the one fault of the Bandit is it isnt worth shit, so why bother selling it? Keep it. Use that for running with your buds on mountain roads, and consider a reliable thumper as well.

I also have a 2008 DR650. I love it. Since you have the KTM, getting some dependable dirty-capable bike like a WR250R doesnt serve much purpose. I think, if you like dirt and also like cruising street, the DR is about the perfect bike. Ill toss the XR650L on there as well (hope youre tall). The DR is no KTM and it wont go fast offroad, but it will go many places if you have the balls or skill. Take as much weight off it as you can, armor it up (still be about 7-10 lbs lighter than stock), and ride it around.

Good luck. Ill actually read the rest of the thread now

**EDIT** You might also consider a KTM 690. It seems to last before rebuilds as Noahs KTM is proving. It prolly wont be as faultless as most old school thumpers, but it has a lot of balls and it will haul ass on the street or in the dirt. Expensive though..

**EDIT2** After reading the thread , I see youre basically looking at a streetbike that does dirt roads. What about something like a KTM 950 or 990? That will easily handle dirt and gravel (and prolly more) but will be pretty fast on the road..

Dont believe that a DR cant do more than fire roads. I suck offroad and ive done way waaay more than that. You could build up one with a 790 kit and big valve head and gsxr exhaust and cam and all that, but a 990 is still going to ruin it on the street. It seems to me a big KTM is more what you need than a DR.. Just IMO

GSF1200S screwed with this post 10-01-2013 at 11:50 PM
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