Kawasaki KLR650, or Suzuki DR650?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by bruh44, Mar 23, 2004.

?

Which do you preffer KLR650, or DR650

  1. KLR650

  2. DR650

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  1. bruh44

    bruh44 Adventurer

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    I plan on picking up a dual sport here shortly. But I'm kind of shopping in the dark. So far I like the KLR's a bit more. They have a few extras the DR's don't as far as I can tell. So what do you think?
    #1
  2. dr650bc

    dr650bc Been here awhile

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    Had a DR - picked it over the KLR as it was sportier(handling), smoother, capable of being lowered(factory engineered), and lighter. Ended being a great bike for 5 yrs before I moved up to the V-Strom. I have a few posts showing some trips if your are interested.
    #2
  3. Rad

    Rad Just me

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    KTM 640 :lol3
    #3
  4. bruh44

    bruh44 Adventurer

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    I like those KTM supermoto bikes, but they're way to expensive for me. This is the begining of a hobby for me, guns, are my ongoing hobby. You have to be rich to afford both, and I'm not. Infact I may end up selling my M1A so I can get a newer bike.
    #4
  5. txhardcore

    txhardcore KLR A-11

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    I picked the KLR for these reasons-bigger tank, water cooled (TX heat), wider seat. That's the advantages of the KLR. The lighter DR is easier to handle in the dirt and the thinner seat isnt a problem on short trips. It isnt about which bike is better it's more about which bike is best for you. What are your expectations of the bike you are going to ride.
    #5
  6. fixer

    fixer KLR-riding cheap bastard

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    welcome to the assylum bubba! i see you followed the trail of breadcrumbs i left! :D

    it seems to depend on whatcha want to do with it... many seem to prefer he KLR if yer gonna do lotsa miles and lotsa highway, with some dirt.

    ohh, one more trail for you to follow...

    www.multisurfacemotorcycling.com
    #6
  7. bruh44

    bruh44 Adventurer

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    And thank you for the trail...

    Well I think I'll be riding mostly on the road, but there are alot of National forest service roads around here I'd like to check out. I'm not looking to get into hard core dirt biking, just wanna do some exploring, and have some fun is all.
    #7
  8. topes

    topes Banned

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    Tell them the truth. You chose the KLR cause you were able to steal it from the retarded dude who formerly owned said motorcycle. You know you really wanted a Honda.
    #8
  9. BigDave

    BigDave Adventure Drummer

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    I had a KLR for 4 years. Even though I liked the bike, I was never comfortable on the freeway. No power, the wind blows it around etc...
    I did choose it over the DR at the time because of a smoother engine, water cooled and 6.4 gal tank. I know guys take the KLR all over the world, but not for me.

    I know its more $, but have you considered a F650GS? What about a used big trailie?
    #9
  10. Claim Jumper

    Claim Jumper will work for knobbies

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    I ride a KLR so I am biased towards this model. A friend of mine had a DR 650 till recently (he got a DRZ 400) and it was a cool bike, very different feeling from the KLR. I don't think the DR is that much superior to the KLR in offroad, dirt road stuff. I personally felt it was a little short for me and somewhat cramped. This would get old fast on the highway. The KLR is OK on the road but not an all day highway bike for me. I will ride it all day on gravel roads though, anytime.
    #10
  11. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    I spose that since I ride a KLR, I should select it in the poll, but as has been said, it really depends on what you want to do. Plus, I have not ridden a DR, only looked at'em. I'd very much like to ride one.

    I think of the KLR as a modern version of a good ol' general purpose big Brit single--"modern" meaning early 80's technology. It looks more like a dirt bike than it is. I've done several 600+ mile days on it, no sweat.

    The DR looks even more like a dirt bike, a mid-90's dirt bike. There is less of it, which is generally good, but the cockpit is even more cramped than the KLR--a lot more. It would really hurt me after awhile on the highway. There's not much room for luggage. But the design is objectively better, as is the build quality.

    All in all, they're more alike than they are different. Neither is a KTM nor ever could be.
    #11
  12. sandersr

    sandersr Adventurer

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    When I bought my y2k KLR, I tried to talk myself into a DR650 but couldn’t. Now 4 years & 20k miles later, I’m sure I made the best choice because:

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    • Compare the seats, the DR’s is like sitting on a narrow log.
    • The KLR comes with:
    A tachometer

    A luggage rack

    A bigger fuel tank

    A decent seat

    • There is tons of practical accessories for the KLR650. More than for the DRs.
    • There seems to be more information available on the web for the KLR650
    • I like my 7 gallon IMS tank I got for my KLR650
    • In y2k the DR650 actually cost more than the KLR650. This has since changed.
    #12
  13. CCH

    CCH Been here awhile

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    I echo the "pick which is best for your uses" theme. I have the KLR650. It is not an ideal highway bike, but I'd much prefer it to a DR650 in that capacity. If I were a serious off-roader, I probably wouldn't pick either. For commuting, forest service roads and general wandering I find my KLR650 tough to beat for the money.
    #13
  14. fixer

    fixer KLR-riding cheap bastard

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    yup, so it does, but i'm curious how many riders shift by the tach and how many shift by ear?

    having said that, it's curious than my '92 Ford Ranger with a manual trany had no tach, but the '96 with the automatic has one. hmmmm... :huh
    #14
  15. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

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    You should look at the used market then, and not invest a whole lot. It's too bad you didn't get started during the winter. Prices are lower then.

    If you get a good price on one, you should be able to ride it for a while, and then sell it for just about what you paid for it if you decide you don't like it.
    #15
  16. sandersr

    sandersr Adventurer

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    Shift by the tach??

    I just thought it a cool gadget to check the idle speed & to visually check that I'm in high gear (in 5th, the speedometer needle is to the right of the tach needle).
    #16
  17. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    Yeah, no shit, go figure.

    As to the KLR tacho...I pulled all the instruments off. I mean, with a big thumper between your legs, whattayou need a tach for? Plus, the power drops off very dramatically a ways before redline--which the KLR won't pull in top gear, anyway. So I don't shift by ear or tach. I shift by feel.

    To me, it's not the stuff that the bikes have or don't have, it's the substance of the bikes themselves. I actually, subjectively, philosophically like the DR more, but it simply fits neither my frame nor my purpose as well as the KLR. Put another way, you can alter suspension and add crap and take off crap, but you can't make the KLR much lighter or make the welds prettier, and you can't make a DR bigger. Although you could lower it, put 17's and clip-ons and rearsets on it and have a hell of fun little play racer. :lol3
    #17
  18. ram1000

    ram1000 Long timer

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    Although I would probably go with a DR650 myself, I think that your information regarding your question leads you to a KLR. I ride a KTM 640 with a friend on a DR650 and another on a KLR. I bought my wife a DR650 because it can be lowered so much. The KLR has the least suspension of the three. I used to race mx and therefore like to ride using the suspension. The DR seems to have adequate suspension and I am sure I could have it revalved and resprung ( which I did with the KTM) and be satisfied with it. The forks on the KLR are somewhat spindly and although they could be resprung they would flex a lot in hard corners. That is why you can buy a fork brace for the KLR. The DR has beefer forks and don't flex enough to notice. A new rider would not notice this occuring anyway. The tank on the KLR is a great advantage, but I like the idea of a plastic tank so I would buy an aftermarket tank for the DR. All in all I got everything I wanted in the KTM: suspension, 4.8gallon tank, more power than the others. If I were to do it over I would seriously look at the DRZ400s. I think it has almost equal power to the KLR and DR650 and it has better suspension and water cooled, like my KTM. That would make it smooth enough on the road to sustain 70 mph which is fast enough for an adventure bike. I think the bootom line is what fits you physically first. The DR works for shorter suspended people, but if your 5' 10" or more either one is virtually fun...
    #18
  19. dhaynes

    dhaynes Alpha geek

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    I just bought an '04 KLR-650... only have 450 miles on it. Also have an '04 GS-1150 Adventure. Haven't tried the DR.

    I based my decision on the availability of aftermarket parts and partly on the amazing resale value of the KLR. Judging by the used prices I see for them, I could ride it for a year or two and sell it and it'd cost me less than $100 a month.

    I looked at the DRZ-400... looked like a very nice dirt bike with lights. The KLR is more in-between.

    I'm just shy of 6' and the riding position on the KLR is excellent - more than comfortable enough to do a full day on it. I put 272 of those miles on last Sunday... was perfectly comfy at the end of the day. I do plan to get some slightly taller handlebars.

    I don't agree with most folks asessment that it gets blown around a lot. I ride out here in Montana where it's windy with a capital F. The wind blows so hard cross-ways here that I've had it drive the front end of my BMW completely out of the lane on the interstate - temporary but complete loss of steering at anywhere from 60mph to 85mph. It was blowing pretty dang hard the other day (crosswind up to 30 to maybe 35mph) and the KLR felt fine - it moved differently but not any worse than the BMW does. My guess is that the type/brand of tires may have more to do with that sort of handling than anything else.

    I imagine that if one or the other has a significantly more comfy seating position for you, that'd be the one to go for. Neither will be fun if they don't fit you. If the KLR is to tippy or the DR is too small, it won't be as fun as it could be... and fun would be the major goal here. (hopefully it is... if it's not... you're a sick, kinky bastard! :))

    All opinions expressed here are guaranteed to be free from substance or validity. No karma was injured during the production of this posting. Your mileage may vary, if in doubt consult your family witchdoctor. Do not look directly into laser beam with remaining eyeball.
    #19
  20. LabRat

    LabRat Playpen Attendant

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    Guns and motorcycles. You should fit in just fine around here! :gun2 :shoot :2guns :gun1 :icy
    #20