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Old 03-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #151
bigalsmith101 OP
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I agree with this.

It should be noted that Tom and I eventually chose Suzuki DR650's as our steed of choice for our adventures, rode them 18,000 miles from Seattle to Buenos Aires, and besides Tom's stock rear shock blowing a seal, and his carburetor giving him a hassle, we had no issues whatsoever. Mine even withstood 3 serious accidents and was more or less no worse for the wear.

My experience on a DRZ-400 is very similar. Too tight of a gear ratio for the highway, and if swapping sprockets for the highway, too wide a ratio for the dirt.

That being said, most of my riding is mild, road oriented riding that doesn't take me too far off the beaten path. However, we did see some gnarly riding on our DR650's and it would be prudent to choose a bike that was at least as capable off the road.

Any bike I run will be running a stock gear box though, as I'm not inclined to swap one over.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Biggest problem with the DRz is the tight gear ratios. Gear for the street and first is too tall in the dirt. Gear for the dirt, and the bike wants to scream on the street. Nova racing sells a replacement wide-ratio gear set that will fix that problem, but it will cost ya. I ran with a guy the other day- him on his DRz and me on my DR. This guy has decades of experience, and can leave me in the dust without trying. That said, we got lost and into some no track- his bike was geared for freeway and first was fairly tall. He got through, but stalled it once or twice and had to watch it. I didnt have issues, but my bike is geared lower and has a wide ratio spread. Gearing is huge..

The DRz isnt as wide, so even with an aftermarket seat it wont be as comfortable on the long haul. That said, that has its advantages too. You can get a DRz down to about 300-310 lbs, where a DR stripped will be down to about 340 at best. Its also a narrower bike in the woods, and it has more ground clearance. I have gotten my DR through some nasty shit, but the DRz would no doubt do it even nastier.

I think if you end up considering a WR, XRL, DR, or DRz, you really cant go wrong. Each will have its advantages, all are pretty reliable, and all can be pretty well farkled. Money is no object? Nova gearset in a DRz with all the farkles you can throw at it. Runs cheap gas, reliable, enough power, can carry some weight (with some subframe enhancements), good on the street, great in the dirt, light (ish), and needs little maintenance.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:01 PM   #152
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I'm planning to do a similar trip to this in about 1.5 to 2 years. I had a KLR for many miles, and now just picked up a KLR. I've pondered the question of whether it would make a good RTW bike, and thus far, I think it would. I'm going to ride the one I have for the next year and see how it holds up and then make a decision.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:28 PM   #153
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owned an XR650l now own a WR250r

the only thing the XRL has over the WRr is torque and a little hp... The WRr is a better bike hands down on road and off... never owned a dr650
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:14 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjm204 View Post
I'm planning to do a similar trip to this in about 1.5 to 2 years. I had a KLR for many miles, and now just picked up a KLR. I've pondered the question of whether it would make a good RTW bike, and thus far, I think it would. I'm going to ride the one I have for the next year and see how it holds up and then make a decision.
I met more than one traveler on a KLR650, and they are great bikes, and do what is asked of them. I've seen heavily modified KLR650's and stock, overloaded KLR650's. They all made their respective journeys without notable issues. One rider from the states said after riding his current KLR, there is no way he'd ever go back to his previous Dr650. Of course, my friend now rides a DR650 and would never go back to his KLR. All personal preference really.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:18 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
the only thing the XRL has over the WRr is torque and a little hp... The WRr is a better bike hands down on road and off... never owned a dr650
And overall size, and a carburetor, and air cooled, and no fuel pump, and age old proven reliability.

The WR250R is also a very good bike, and has made many RTW trips under many an ADVrider.

Both great bikes.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:08 AM   #156
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True enough, a Wr250 is a tight, tight cockpit, especially with luggage added.

Did you find parts for the DR650 and mechanic's knowledgeable about the bike in South America or didn't you require their services?

I just think it would be good to roll up with a bike they doesn't look like a spaceship to the locals, but a bike into which they have been elbows-deep before and know how to repair.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #157
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The only parts that I needed for my DR650, or that Tom needed for his DR650 were:

Front and Rear tires
Chain and sprocket set
Tubes to replaced botched flat tire repairs

I fried the electrical wiring on my Vapor Tech trail computer, and thus fixed it myself with wires from an electrical shop.

Eventually Tom's OEM shock gave up the ghost and had to be replaced with a unit sent in from the states after several failed attempts by different mechanics to fix his blown seal. His carburetor also gave him hassles at the very end of his trip (last two days). It turned out to be a severely worn needle jet. I sold him my oem carb when he got home, and he is still riding his bike.

I left home with a Cogent shock and stock carb. My shock held up, my carb never gave me a problem.

In Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Argentina and Chile, the DR650 is not uncommon. It is used as a Police bike in Mexico, Panama and Colombia. There were dealerships in Mexico, Panama, and Colombia that we visited.

We got a full service of our bikes in Colombia, also where Tom bought a brand new chain and sprocket set (I had my father send me one).

Due to the simplicity of the DR650, anytime we stopped at a mechanic (twice or three times) there wasn't much of an issue. The guys all dove head first into the problems and came up with solutions.

One time, I failed to notice that I pulled a wire loose when re-installing my
gas tank after replacing the spark plugs. I got a tow over 50 miles to the next town where a hole in the wall motor cycle shop solved my embarrassing problem.

Another time, and undoubtedly the most serious fault that we encountered was when Tom's bike burnt out it's stator coil pickup, thus requiring a replacement. We had to organize a tow for 120miles, whereupon Tom rode two up behind me on my bike. The mechanic ended up cutting off his coil pickup and soldering one on from an XR650L. It's still on his bike now running like usual. That was in Panama.

I wouldn't hesitate to take my current DR650 back to South America.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbySands View Post
True enough, a Wr250 is a tight, tight cockpit, especially with luggage added.

Did you find parts for the DR650 and mechanic's knowledgeable about the bike in South America or didn't you require their services?

I just think it would be good to roll up with a bike they doesn't look like a spaceship to the locals, but a bike into which they have been elbows-deep before and know how to repair.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #158
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wrr ergos

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbySands View Post
True enough, a Wr250 is a tight, tight cockpit, especially with luggage added.
.
I found the ergos of the wrr to be one of the biggest improvements over the xr650L. That and the fuel injection an water cooling, oh and lighter weight, less vibs, and stronger subframe. Shoot I forgot to mention the 340w stator output too. The xr650L is not a bad bike, just dated.

Dr650? Never owned one. They look like good bikes though.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:57 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
I found the ergos of the wrr to be one of the biggest improvements over the xr650L. That and the fuel injection an water cooling, oh and lighter weight, less vibs, and stronger subframe. Shoot I forgot to mention the 340w stator output too. The xr650L is not a bad bike, just dated.

Dr650? Never owned one. They look like good bikes though.
The benefits of the WrR are renown. Lighter bike by far, better fuel economy, longer service intervals, massive stator (great for running extra gear), etc.

The DR650 is indeed a good bike, and run forever as well. I had 30k miles on mine when I sold it in Argentina. The next guy (an Aussie) put 15k more on it before selling it again as well. Don't know what happened after that.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #160
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DR vs XRL

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Originally Posted by bigalsmith101 View Post
The benefits of the WrR are renown. Lighter bike by far, better fuel economy, longer service intervals, massive stator (great for running extra gear), etc.

The DR650 is indeed a good bike, and run forever as well. I had 30k miles on mine when I sold it in Argentina. The next guy (an Aussie) put 15k more on it before selling it again as well. Don't know what happened after that.
It seems to me that the DR is a superior bike to the XRL... By most accounts the XRL has a better suspension though, by my account it is equal to the WR250r, even though the WRr looks better on paper overall... The stock suspension works very good on the XRL. I have seen many people modify an XRL, but as far as stock suspenders go the XRL is excellent... yeah the lack of USD forks is not sexy, but the stock fork and shock work great. While owning one I never considered changing the suspension.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:49 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byron555 View Post
It seems to me that the DR is a superior bike to the XRL... By most accounts the XRL has a better suspension though, by my account it is equal to the WR250r, even though the WRr looks better on paper overall... The stock suspension works very good on the XRL. I have seen many people modify an XRL, but as far as stock suspenders go the XRL is excellent... yeah the lack of USD forks is not sexy, but the stock fork and shock work great. While owning one I never considered changing the suspension.
Right out of the gate an XRL has better suspension than a DR. But for overland travel and loaded bikes, both models are likely to receive an upgrade anyway, rendering the issue to mostly a moot point. Neither the DR or the XRL have USD forks.

My current DR is not a good example of a stock bike though, as it's farkled to the moon.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:17 AM   #162
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Just saw this thread and thought I would comment.

I use to own a very well setup DR650 (FCR carb, GSXR 1000 can, Ricor modified front and rear suspension) and it is a great bike that you can pretty much fix with a hammer. I took it on part of the TaT about a year ago and dumped it a couple of times when pushing it. The bike and I both survived.

I now own a WR250R as my long range DS bike. The thing about the WRR is it is so easy to ride once your get use to the power band. While some people complain about the lack of damping on the WRR stock suspension I found it to be much better than my Ricor suspension on the DR. One of the the spills I took on the TaT with the DR was coming into an off chamber decreasing radius turn too fast. It was clear I wasn't going to be able to pull it off so I went for the ditch on the side of the road and was planning on using part of the ditch as a berm to make the turn. When I hit the ditch the DR became very unsettled and I went over the bars. Fast forward a year later and the same scenario with the WRR, I hit the ditch, ride up the berm, now running along a ridge that parallels the road thinking that was a stupid idea and how am I going to get back on the road? Easy point the WRR back to the ditch and ride it right back to the road. At no time did I feel like I was out of control.

In the end I think it comes down to what type of riding you will REALLY be doing. If you are not sure about the fuel quality I would think the DR is the way to go. If it is mainly paved and non paved roads (gravel, dirt, sand, etc) and you are really in the outback for a good bit of time, I think I would go with the DR since it is pretty darn simple. Then again the 350 watt stator on the WRR is nice to have when it gets cold.

If you are going to be dealing with a lot of rocks, single track, sand, mud, basically more technical stuff then I would opt for the WRR since you will not get beat up as much.

Either way you will have an adventure!
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:33 AM   #163
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Have a WRR & an XRL. Would not part with either one. Can't go wrong buying either bike.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #164
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Have a WRR & an XRL. Would not part with either one.
But you did
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:29 AM   #165
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FI is absolutely great,as long as it works. I love it on my 1250 Bandit.
Same with fuel pumps,carry a spare. Neither KTM or Honda trust FI enough at this point in time to run it in Baja or Dakar,dirt/contamination and FI dont get along well.

I dont see many pics of 6'+ guys or gals riding WR250R's,the loaded WR's I see appear to leave barely enough room for a large person to sit on the seat.

For those 8 hour days in the seat I can scootch back on the seat on my DR and stretch out,even when its loaded.

Stock jetting on a DR will go to high altitude with 0 problems as has been seen on many RTW trips,seems like a no-brainer.

XR650L's sometimes break subframes when loaded,and have been known to overheat and cook their valves/rings,not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Tuckers are doing well on their DR's,simple is good.
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