ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Road warriors
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-29-2012, 06:40 AM   #1
pitbull OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
pitbull's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Oddometer: 2,483
KLR 650 vs. DR 650?

I'm putting this in RW, because both bikes were ridden on the road only.


A couple friends have KLR's and have let me take them out for rides. While they are comfortable, competent bikes, I found them an uninspiring ride. I realize they are not meant to be an exciting bike and are more of a functional ride and I do appreciate that fact. If I were taking a long, multi continent, several month long trip I would not hesitate to choose a KLR.

However, last year on a trip to costa rica I rented an old, beat up DR650. I expected it to be virtually the same bike as the KLR. It felt like a completely different ride. It could very well have had something to do with the twistier roads and elevation changes that made the ride feel more inspiring, so perhaps it's not fair to compare the bikes when I road the KLR on flat roads at home and the DR on CR roads.

The DR just felt like it had more oomph and even felt like it had more go on the highway. I've often heard the KLR is a better highway bike, but it didn't feel that way to me. The DR also handled much better than I anticipated in the crazy, twisty, paved roads in Costa Rica. I've never had the opportunity to ride a KLR in similar, twisty conditions.

So, for anyone who's had more time on both bikes, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the differences. I'm considering picking up a used 650 and I'm leaning towards the DR at the moment.
pitbull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
ridewv
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 441
I’ve had a couple of each over the years. I’m now on my 2nd DR, a 2006. I ride them on roads for the most part. They're both good bikes. From my seat of the pants feel the DR is just a bit quicker. Dyno results show similar power which is around 36 at the rear wheel, the DR is around 50 pounds lighter though. Overall I prefer the DR 650 over a KLR. An exception would be riding in inclement weather where the KLR’s fairing and engine shrouds offer pretty good protection. The DR’s gearing is a little tall for trail riding but perfect on roads. (I really appreciated the tall 5th gear when riding across Oklahoma .)
My DR’s have been totally trouble free. Valve clearance was checked at 7,000 miles and was fine. At 12K they were adjusted, which is a much easier task than on a KLR. The DR uses a gear driven counter balancer. Both my KLR’s (1998 and 2008) consumed oil so I always needed to keep an eye on the level, especially if they were run at higher speeds on the highway. The oil turned dark soon after a change and before 2K I needed to dump in the remaining 1/2 qt, from the 2.5 qt oil change. By 2,500 miles more could be added but then is when I typically changed the oil. The DR oil stays honey colored much longer which is surprising since it uses it to cool the top end. Neither of my DR’s used any oil. One road trip from AZ to Oregon and zig zagging back in Cali was 4,900 miles on the same oil. I kept an eye on it but the oil never dropped below full. That is pretty impressive to me considering a lot of those miles was 75+ mph (85 indicated). At these speeds the DR is steady while the KLR could get a little squirrelly. IMO the overall build quality is just better on the DR.
I wish the DR had a little bigger tank but it generally gets over 50 mph so you can count on being good for 150 miles or so. For me the stock seats aren’t very good on either of these bikes so they all got Corbin flat seats early on.
__________________
BMW: 2014 R1200GSA, 1993 R100R
HD: 2004 FXDXI
Suzuki: 2006 DR650
Honda: 2000 CB750
ridewv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 08:27 AM   #3
DAKEZ
Beastly Adventurer
 
DAKEZ's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: OR
Oddometer: 19,598
once you put a larger gas tank and a good seat on it the DR650 is better in every way to the KLR.

If you are never going to leave the roads for the trails a KLR could be the way you want to go.

If you intend on leaving the roads. the DR is a Clear winner.
__________________
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
Bib
DAKEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
Outwardbound
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Strongsville, OH
Oddometer: 674
Donning my helmet and flak jacket......

BTW....which oil is best?
Outwardbound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
Unstable Rider
Beyond Thunderdome
 
Unstable Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: 10,000 Lakes Minnesota
Oddometer: 2,424
But WHICH tires?
__________________
.
-“Ah, you're wasting you're time. They can't track us over rocks.
Tell them that.......... --Who are those guys?”


~Butch Cassidy
Unstable Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
JerryH
Vintage Rider
 
JerryH's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 4,798
KLR is by far the best road bike, including bad roads. And it's liquid cooling comes in handy in places where it is really hot. The DR is a much better off road bike, but will definitely need a bigger tank if you actually want to go anywhere. I found the KLR more comfortable (pre '08) but some people don't notice things like this. Lack of liquid cooling make it simpler and easier to work on and less to go wrong. Both are reliable and capable. As of now, both bikes still have carbs and available centerstands. For me it would almost come down to price. Tires depend on what you plan to ride it over.
__________________
I won't spend more on a bike than I think it's worth, but if it's a good deal, I don't seem to have a problem buying bikes I don't need.
2002 Vulcan 750, 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
1980 Puch moped
JerryH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
rider33
Studly Adventurer
 
rider33's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: The Wilds of Western Wisconsin
Oddometer: 973
to me the DR feels like a smaller bike which is a good thing in dirt, not so much on the highway. If you don't want or need the rack, the 6+ gallons, the liquid cooling, or the weather protection by all means go for the DR as the build quality is a bit better. On the other hand, if you do want those things while most can be added to a DR, by the time you do so it can get to be pricey. If the DR feels right to you, it is right. Having owned both, to me fit was a bigger issue than function, the KLR just gave me room to stretch out.
__________________
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck
rider33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 01:33 AM   #8
clapped_r6
The Spoad Warrior
 
clapped_r6's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Ridgefield, WA
Oddometer: 2,634
+1 to all comments

if you're going for all road, go klr. if you wanna get dirty, get the dr
__________________
colonel angus sez, "sometimes you just gotta superman that ho"
clapped_r6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
marksbonneville
Studly Adventurer
 
marksbonneville's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Arizona, Prescott more less.
Oddometer: 961
KLR or DR? wow never heard this comparison brought up before I hear that Amsoil makes all the difference in either bike. Here is an idea.......go test ride both and buy the one YOU like best.
marksbonneville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
ParaMud
Studly Adventurer
 
ParaMud's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Orange, CA
Oddometer: 625
Are they not a bike in the same category? Both to heavy for fun on single track and both uncomfortable going fast on the freeway? Seems like its just personal preference.
__________________
08 wr250r
04 xt225
ParaMud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2012, 11:49 PM   #11
DAKEZ
Beastly Adventurer
 
DAKEZ's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: OR
Oddometer: 19,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
Are they not a bike in the same category? Both to heavy for fun on single track and both uncomfortable going fast on the freeway? Seems like its just personal preference.


So you are saying you know nothing about either one then.
__________________
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
Bib
DAKEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #12
ridewv
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: West Virginia
Oddometer: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
Are they not a bike in the same category? Both to heavy for fun on single track and both uncomfortable going fast on the freeway? Seems like its just personal preference.
I'll kind of agree they are "to" heavy for really gnarly single track sections but they're quite comfortable even at their top speed. But if you want to ride 100+ mph, or continuously over 80 mph, these would be the wrong choice.

But take street riding in a state like WV. Most everywhere you go will be on two lane roads. On these roads you're going up or down and either turning left or right, it's just a matter of how sharp. "Straightaways" are somewhat rare.
The state is not just poor from the current economic downturn, it's always been poor. We have maybe more miles of roads and bridges to maintain per capita as any state. My point is the roads are curvy and hilly but in constant disrepair. So the KLR and DR650 are two of the better bikes to ride on these type of freeways. They'll also run down the interstate at 80 mph all day long to get you to the next place to play.
__________________
BMW: 2014 R1200GSA, 1993 R100R
HD: 2004 FXDXI
Suzuki: 2006 DR650
Honda: 2000 CB750
ridewv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #13
greer
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Glasgow, Kentucky
Oddometer: 3,656
pitbull--

Are you looking at a pre-'08 KLR, or a 2008 and newer? That'll make a difference.

Sarah
__________________
'08 DR650
greer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 05:33 PM   #14
Lornce
Lost In Place
 
Lornce's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Way Out There.
Oddometer: 17,761
Happy New Year, Pitbull.

There's one of each in our garage so I'll offer a few observations with a few qualifiers.

'01 KLR - Corbin seat, taller bars, lower footpegs, stock suspension, 685 piston mod.

'00 DR - Corbin seat, IMS 18L tank, firmer Iebach springs front and back.

1. Weight: I measured a difference of 20lbs between the DR and KLR - 385 vs 405lbs respectively - And that with a lighter GSX-R muffler on the DR.

2. Comfort: I prefer the KLR for the roomier ergos and additional weather protection.

3. Highway: See above, though the DR motor feels a tad more spirited at highway speeds.

4. Gravel Roads: KLR feels more "planted" on loose road surfaces at higher speeds. The DR's aftermarket springing might alter it's geometry, making it noticeably twitchy on gravel roads. Or maybe it suffers from too little trail. I'm not sure.

5. Single Track: Shoot me, but I prefer the KLR. Albiet, the higher bars-lower pegs combo make standing more comfortable and it's softer stock suspension makes it work better over loose and/or muddy surfaces. Again, the DR's geometry in combination with firmer springing make it nervous in loose/muddy conditions.

6. Oil Consumption: Neither bike uses oil between changes. Though the KLR was fitted with a 685cc piston by the PO because he was appalled at the need to add 1/2 litre at the end of a 4000 km road trip.

Range: I like range. Even with the stock tank the KLR wins hands down with 400-450+kms before running completely empty.

ymmv, fwiw, imho.
Lornce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2012, 08:14 PM   #15
damasovi
Beastly Adventurer
 
damasovi's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Ensenada, Baja California
Oddometer: 2,609
in 2005 i had this question, at the end I went with the KLR for simple reasons,

a) range
b) comfort from stock seat
c) better 2 up capable,
what I did not know was the oil/air cool vs liquid cool, and still I don't care. The only issue were the DR was better (for me) was it's shorter seat height, but since the price difference was so close I figure I was going to install a bigger tank on the DR and that made it more expensive and the 2 up capability was reduce significantly so KLR won.

Just cause you ask a very old question I will recommend you also take a look at the Vstrom 650 if road use is your thing and the GS650 single if you can't decided between the DR vs KLR

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/445/Mo...uki-DR650.aspx
Damasovi
__________________
A motorcycle or scooter always turn a bad day into a great time!
KLR 650, Honda Beat scooter!!
damasovi is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014