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Old 09-07-2014, 09:05 PM   #1
TomAZ1983 OP
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KLR 650 vs. bmw 650 dakar

So I'm new to the whole adventure motorcycle obsession. I really want to purchase a bike in the next few months. I live in southern Arizona and there are a ton of possible trips. Have done a lot of research on this site on both bikes. It seems like they both have some devoted followers. Both bikes seem to be very durable (50,000 miles on both bikes seems doable, no?). KLR's seem to get trashed a lot for being slow and heavy and needing the doohickey/thermobob. Bmw' seem pretty bulletproof, I like the looks better and they have more power. Leaning towards the dakar. I am questioning the dakar's off road abilities vs the klr. It seems like it would do as well. What am I missing. I am looking at a lot of gravel road and two track riding with maybe up to a few hundred miles of highway to get there.

If the dakar going to excel on the highways?


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Old 09-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #2
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomAZ1983 View Post
So I'm new to the whole adventure motorcycle obsession. I really want to purchase a bike in the next few months. I live in southern Arizona and there are a ton of possible trips. Have done a lot of research on this site on both bikes. It seems like they both have some devoted followers. Both bikes seem to be very durable (50,000 miles on both bikes seems doable, no?). KLR's seem to get trashed a lot for being slow and heavy and needing the doohickey/thermobob. Bmw' seem pretty bulletproof, I like the looks better and they have more power. Leaning towards the dakar. I am questioning the dakar's off road abilities vs the klr. It seems like it would do as well. What am I missing. I am looking at a lot of gravel road and two track riding with maybe up to a few hundred miles of highway to get there.

If the dakar going to excel on the highways?


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Well unless you are shopping for used bikes, they don't make the Dakar any more. The Sertao is the more off road capable BMW 650 these days.

Both the KLR and the BMW are capable off-road bikes for what you describe, the BMW is more capable on pavement with a load than the KLR. I bought the Sertao for that reason, 70+ MPG, and because I plan on driving really long distances and don't want some dirt or gravel stretches to stop me. Accessories are probably less expensive for the KLR.

You may want to look into seeing if you can find a Husky Terra 650. It would be more capable than either of the others off-road and quite happy on the highway as well. They have been discontinued, but good deals can be had and the motor is a tuned-up version of the BMW 650.
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:27 PM   #3
TomAZ1983 OP
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Thanks for the info. I also saw the aprilia pegaso 650 and liked them, but they are very hard to find.


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Old 09-07-2014, 11:06 PM   #4
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Eek

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Thanks for the info. I also saw the aprilia pegaso 650 and liked them, but they are very hard to find.


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If you decide you are interested in the Sertao, there is a great thread with more info than you will want
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=747861
I really like the 'Tao for what I plan to do with it. It is not a dirt bike, but can manage the dirt okay.
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Current Rides: '13 Sertao, '98 Bandit 1200, Currently a 1200 piece puzzle: '86 R80G/S PD
Past: '66 Suzuki T10, '72 CL350, '74 GT550, '80 GS750, '7? XT500, '83 RM250, '85 XT500
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
TomAZ1983 OP
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Thanks, don't know much about the Sertao. Will check it out


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Old 09-08-2014, 07:31 AM   #6
acjlarsen
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KLR 650 vs. bmw 650 dakar

The sertao or a used dakar is the way to go. Far more reliable than a KLR. Fuel injection, ABS, 20mpg boost, quieter, more power, 30% more clutch plates...ect. overall ergonomics.. BMW all the way.


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Old 09-08-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
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I ride an '03 Dakar that I bought with 13,000 miles on it - I'll turn over 100,000 miles today or tomorrow
You buy the F650 for the Rotax - as bullet-proof an engine as you will find! Ride it RTW 3X, just change the oil. Easy to maintain IMO - no more expensive than other chain-driven bikes.
No question the F is the better road machine - but if you'll be doing any serious off-road miles, you will want to upgrade the suspension - 500lbs+ - not a singletrack machine, but plenty capable on gravel FS roads.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
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Highway capable and dirt capable?

The KLR, Sertao/Dakar, TR650, and DR650SE are all worth a look. Buy used, especially if you aren't 100% sure what you want.

I'm a big fan of the simple air/oil-cooled DR650 myself, but my buddy likes the BMW 650 thumpers. He gets better MPG with his EFI F650, but my DRs tend to be more economical and simple for other things.

Check out places like www.procycle.us and www.kientech.com for DR650 parts and accessories, to see what is available for this simple and economical bike. Somebody else can steer you better towards accessories and parts for the KLR, TR or BMWs.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
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Is cost a factor?

just got a 2003 KLR with aftermarket seat, crashbars, etc, for $1500 with 18k miles on it.

I think you would be hard pressed to find a BMW in that range without a crazy amount of miles on it...they seem to hold their value better.

In terms of accessories, I think the KLR wins in terms of availability and price. In terms of comfort, I think the BMW would have it.

I think both can be made to handle offroad equally well, as they both will need suspension upgrades.

In terms of reliability, Ive only had KLRs, so I wont try to comment on KLR vs BMW, ill just say I havent had any major or unexpected issues on any of my KLRs I have owned.

Dont think you can go wrong with either bike though
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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I found the Sertao to be a bit better offroad than my 2009 KLR. Lower COG with the underseat tank. Neither one is a dirt bike though!


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Old 09-08-2014, 08:02 PM   #11
TomAZ1983 OP
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Wow, thanks for all the info! I wasn't looking to do much single track riding. If the bmw is as good on gravel and two track, I'll probably go that route. I'm not looking to spend a ton, but I see the used Beemers for 5-7000


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Old 09-08-2014, 11:45 PM   #12
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Just curiosity ...why not the 650 VStrom Adventure?


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Old 09-08-2014, 11:55 PM   #13
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I was in the same boat, test rode both and the Klr was the winner. For the price difference I couldn't justify a BMW. Happy trails had crash bars high way pegs and skid plate for about 300. And i found a used 09 Klr for 2200. I loved her.

With that said I now own a tenere and a husky tr650 terra. As time goes on the tr gets used less. I do want to put knobies on her and use the tenere for long trips.

Buy a used Klr for cheap. It will probably have some after market stuff with it. Get a bigger windshield for longer trips. And beat her up untill you decide if adv is for you and what direction you want to go. Big bike or little one. The Klr is easy to maintain and almost bullet proof. My buddy put 47000 on his 09 and just sold it to another friend. Never changed the doohickey. He bought a 13 Klr. If you do have to bring it to a dealer for something it won't cost nearly as much as a BMW. And any joe can work on a Kawasaki.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:36 AM   #14
TomAZ1983 OP
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I was looking at the v stroms, but everything I saw said that it was pretty much a road touring bike with a little dirt road ability.


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Old 09-09-2014, 04:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomAZ1983 View Post
I was looking at the v stroms, but everything I saw said that it was pretty much a road touring bike with a little dirt road ability.
For many gravel roads a wee-strom with the right tires will work fine. If you get onto more difficult roads, it may need sturdy crash bars, but a BMW and a newer KLR both have plastic and bars too (if you're going to drop them).

I have the older KLR with softer plastic and it's cheap enough for me to drop it without worry.

The stroms also have cast wheels but that's not an issue until the impacts get pretty hard. I've seen groups of stroms up in Maine looking for gravel and dirt roads.

A rider in the next town has a BMW 650 single. When I mentioned my planned trip to Inuvik and Alaska he said he'd take my bike instead of his. "This thing's a fricken' computer." Of course the KLR also relies on an electronic ignition. But he didn't seem to trust his own bike.

Having taken that trip I recognize that a wee strom could have completed it very well. The KLR has led me toward more trails around here and that has been fun. The strom would probably lead me toward longer roads. Can't say either way is wrong.
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