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Old 11-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
MotorcycleWriter OP
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DR650 vs KLR650 vs DRZ400 vs TE450

I'm looking at downgrading my BMW GSPD to something that can actually be taken off road. The beemer is great on the street but I already have a BMW R1150RT (Darth) for the street. And if I'm going cross country, I'll probably take Darth. I love the simplicity of the old airhead but I'm just not sure what it is good for beyond looking and sounding awesome. And while that's a big part of motorcycling, I'm simply not taking it anywhere that I might drop it.

So, I'm looking at some equally simple thumpers. I guess the DR650 is air cooled like the BMW but the DRZ, KLR, and Husky are all water cooled, right? None of that is a show stopper for me. I'm really looking for something with good aftermarket support with parts, luggage, and useful accessories, can be taken off road with some confidence, and can do some street miles.

Facts, opinion, and experience are all welcome!
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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The dr650 is air/oil cooled,it is plumbed from the factory with a oil radiator cooler.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:03 PM   #3
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The KLR has been outselling the Suzuki and Honda 650's combined for the last 27 years. Now why is that?
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BUZZARD II View Post
The KLR has been outselling the Suzuki and Honda 650's combined for the last 27 years. Now why is that?
I was sort of hoping someone might tell me why that is. That was sort of the point of the original post. Not really interested in a pissing contest.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:54 PM   #5
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Be more specific with what you want to do.
How many road miles per day, how much off road and what conditions.
Probably the DR 650 with knobbies would work great.
If more long distance Adventure Travel is your desire and you don't mind working harder when Offroad and if the KLR speaks to you then maybe that would work.
The DRZ is more of a dirt bike, but could be set up for some road work.
The WRR is worth considering.Smooth, light, reliable, bigger stator to run farkles.
No comment on Eurobikes.Different class, more money.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:51 PM   #6
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GasGas pretty much said it all. The KLR is the better street bike & feels like a bicycle off road compared to the BMW (though the GS is the best gravel road bike going). tons of support & parts, aftermarket etc. easy to tailor it to your purpose. there a couple problems that are well known & easy to fix and there are 2 or 3 KLR only forums available for help. the oldest & main one has over 59,000 members. the klr has more round the world/adv miles than any other single bike made.... period. people tend to forget this bike was doing RTW trips before there was an internet.

it is generally conceded that the DR is better off road than the KLR... stock suspension is better & it's a little lighter (like 30 pounds). engine is strong & pretty bullet proof. they have a few problems as well but those are also known & fixes are easy. it doesn't come with wind protection & the stock gas tank is kinda small, but no bike comes setup the way you want it anyway.... they ALL want something

the DRZ is better yet for off road but has short gearing & the seat is butt floss. I like 'em, but not for long highway runs. where is the 6 speed tranny for this bike Suzuki???? please build a new version with a true highway gear... I'll buy one!

the KTM640 adventure... not that much of an advantage over either the DR or the KLR (modified). unless you get a clean one at a good price I wouldn't bother looking too hard. the 690 is a whole 'nother deal. there some other candidates as well, but you run into availability and support issues (which don't matter as much if you stay close to home)

the 250s..... surprisingly competent.... depending, that leads to the big question.... what do you want to do with this new bike? like how far off road do you want to go? do you expect sand? mud? river crossings?

and do you want to buy new?
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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So many Alternatives

Looking at your profile it looks like you like smaller bikes with decent suspension.There is a big difference in the bikes you have listed.I have narrowed down my single track light hiway bikes to something I can pickup without injuring myself.The Klr is nice on the hiway but is very heavy(440 ish pounds) The Dr is lighter(370 ish) these 2 have ghetto suspension.The drz is lighter yet (320 ish) better suspension but limited gearing( 5 speed) That leaves The Te 450,great suspension (270 ish with bigger tank and armour) lower service interval and limited hiway capability.Have you considered a 98 or99 Dr 350? decent suspension, 300 ish pounds, 6-speed, reliable. 65 mph hiway cruising.Decent aftermarket.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUZZARD II View Post
The KLR has been outselling the Suzuki and Honda 650's combined for the last 27 years. Now why is that?
Fairing
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:06 PM   #9
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Fairing
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:14 PM   #10
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KLR is cheap to buy, cheap to own, has longer legs than the others, carries more, is generally more comfortable, and is a decent bike for most purposes. If you only have one, it's a good choice.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
... that leads to the big question.... what do you want to do with this new bike? like how far off road do you want to go? do you expect sand? mud? river crossings?

and do you want to buy new?
Don't really want to buy new.

As for use: I bought the GSPD when I was TDY in Tucson last year. It was perfect out there. Lots of gravel and sand reached from slab. I loved it out there so when that gig was over, I had it shipped to N.Alabama where I live.

The conditions here are completely different. Lots of mud and rocks, tree roots, and not that many gravel roads. In fact, Alabama is total crap for dirt roads. There just aren't any in the northern part of the state. This is definitely not Adventure Riding mecca. More of a dual-sport place. Still, a good bit of slab getting from one spot to the next. That GSPD is just too big and heavy for the offroad work around here. That said, I'd like to be able to haul some gear a couple hundred miles into Tennessee or up to Kentucky to do some trail riding and camping.

I also trailer out to Colorado for a week in the summer and ride in the mountains in and around Taylor Park. The GSPD isn't really suitable for that either. The TE250 was great but got pretty gutless above 10,000 feet. My buddy's DR650 was the perfect bike out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adanac rider View Post
Looking at your profile it looks like you like smaller bikes with decent suspension.
I started my riding life about 14 years ago off road. I only started riding on the road about five years ago. So all my early bikes were enduro types for me or for my kids. Still, I'm 5'8 with a 30" inseam so large, heavy bikes are always going to be more challenging for me off road.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:19 PM   #12
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Want to ride in the dirt and still be able to blast down the interstate? XR650L. Want to blast down the interstate and do some dirt? DR650. There are better bikes in this category but they cost 2 to 4 times more (KTM Husky) there are worse bikes in this category and they only cost a couple hundred less (KLR).

The XR is a dirt bike. It is overweight and under powered compared to any of the more modern offerings but it is cheap used and as reliable as a stone. My brother rode the one I own now down to TDF and back up to Buenos Aires before shipping it home, 20k miles total. I'm currently treating it like a 2 smoke 250 woods bike for the last 14k miles now. So the old man has 34k hard miles on it. I had the motor rebuild at 31k with a higher compression piston and a bunch of other goodies and it rips.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BUZZARD II View Post
The KLR has been outselling the Suzuki and Honda 650's combined for the last 27 years. Now why is that?
Because it's cheaper than the other two and it caters to the lowest common denominator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McB View Post
KLR is cheap to buy, cheap to own, has longer legs than the others, carries more, is generally more comfortable, and is a decent bike for most purposes. If you only have one, it's a good choice.
It is the biggest compromise bike of anything out there. So sure it 'does' everything it just does it all really shitty. The XR and DR have aftermarket solutions for all of the KLR 'advantages' plus they both have better suspension, more power, and basically the same maintenance schedule. You can't cut the extra 70 lbs out of the KLR which is huge off road.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:23 PM   #13
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A little 15' step up.

https://vimeo.com/110964785


I may ride a little fast and someday it may catch up and bite me in the ass but maybe not if I give it just a little more gas.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorcycleWriter View Post
So, I'm looking at some equally simple thumpers. I guess the DR650 is air cooled like the BMW but the DRZ, KLR, and Husky are all water cooled, right? None of that is a show stopper for me. I'm really looking for something with good aftermarket support with parts, luggage, and useful accessories, can be taken off road with some confidence, and can do some street miles.

Facts, opinion, and experience are all welcome!
Which Husky are you considering?

The XRL is air-cooled. The DR650 is air/oil-cooled. I like it better than water-cooled or air-cooled motors in low-power applications like long-wearing thumper dualsports. It has enough air-cooling fins to bypass the oil-cooler and keep on riding. Low-powered water-cooled bikes really don't take advantage of being water-cooled, IMO. The SACS air/oil cooling is better for this kind of application, from what I can tell.

Take a look through www.procycle.us, because they can upgrade the DR650 suspension with RaceTech or Cogent parts. They can also build a reliable DR to over 50WHP, and they carry many other parts/accessories.

The KLR long had much better aftermarket support and word of mouth. It also came with stock parts more suited to travel. The aftermarket for the XRL and DR650 have caught up though. IMO, the DR is a better base bike to build from, unless you're really big or unless you want to haul a passenger. The KLR just has a bit more space to it. It feels like a much larger bike. The newest-gen KLR is also considerably heavier...well over 400lb curb. The stock DR is around 367lb curb, while the XRL is around 345lb curb. The KLR and XRL feel considerably taller at the seat, but the XRL has the pegs up high, so the ergos can feel pretty cramped for anybody tall enough to get their feet down at all without laying the bike way over.

The DR tends to run smoother, especially at 75MPH+ down the slab. Mine cruises happily at 80-85MPH indicated. I don't need a windscreen or an aftermarket seat, but many seem to like a wider seat. I do prefer a large tank though. I like having 5gal or more on my DRs. With well-tuned carbing and suspension, a DR will also wheely like a sumbitch.

If you're not wary of buying bikes that were only offered a few short years, the TE610/630 and TR650 Huskies are some sweet rides too.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Which Husky are you considering?

The XRL is air-cooled. The DR650 is air/oil-cooled. I like it better than water-cooled or air-cooled motors in low-power applications like long-wearing thumper dualsports. It has enough air-cooling fins to bypass the oil-cooler and keep on riding. Low-powered water-cooled bikes really don't take advantage of being water-cooled, IMO. The SACS air/oil cooling is better for this kind of application, from what I can tell.

Take a look through www.procycle.us, because they can upgrade the DR650 suspension with RaceTech or Cogent parts. They can also build a reliable DR to over 50WHP, and they carry many other parts/accessories.

The KLR long had much better aftermarket support and word of mouth. It also came with stock parts more suited to travel. The aftermarket for the XRL and DR650 have caught up though. IMO, the DR is a better base bike to build from, unless you're really big or unless you want to haul a passenger. The KLR just has a bit more space to it. It feels like a much larger bike. The newest-gen KLR is also considerably heavier...well over 400lb curb. The stock DR is around 367lb curb, while the XRL is around 345lb curb. The KLR and XRL feel considerably taller at the seat, but the XRL has the pegs up high, so the ergos can feel pretty cramped for anybody tall enough to get their feet down at all without laying the bike way over.

The DR tends to run smoother, especially at 75MPH+ down the slab. Mine cruises happily at 80-85MPH indicated. I don't need a windscreen or an aftermarket seat, but many seem to like a wider seat. I do prefer a large tank though. I like having 5gal or more on my DRs. With well-tuned carbing and suspension, a DR will also wheely like a sumbitch.

If you're not wary of buying bikes that were only offered a few short years, the TE610/630 and TR650 Huskies are some sweet rides too.
All the reasons you state are why I've been leaning more towards the DR then the KLR or XR. I really like the Hondas but man, I'd need a ladder to climb up to that saddle.

My favorite dual sport bike, on the surface, is the TR650. It got great reviews and I wanted one when they came out. I really like my TE250. Husky was building a great bike. I'm almost sad to see them leave M.V. Agusta. I've seen TR650s come up for sale regularly but for my needs, they just weren't around long enough. This will drive up the price and availability of aftermarket parts and spare parts started out double the price of Jap bike parts. Plus, it's only got around 7" of suspension travel while the DR has more like 11". I don't necessarily NEED that much travel, but it does give me more latitude to play around with the ride height. For the $6,000 price tag of a well-cared for TR650 I could get a nice DR and set it up the way I want it, plus have enough money left over to buy my wife a small dual sport to get started on.

Just tooling around on the web looking at aftermarket stuff like gas tanks, racks, and other accessories for the DR650. They are about half the price of Husqvarna parts and a third the price of BMW stuff. Multiple vendors, multiple products. Competition is good.

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