KLR 650 vs. KTM 640 Adventure

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by JohnBoy777, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    I have been looking for a KLR 650 and kinda decided on a new '08 at $5,900 OTD .... then I happened to stop at a local KTM dealer and he had an '06 KTM 640 Adventure (low miles) with hard cases for $7,900.

    Wow... I fell in love with it.

    It is $2,000 more (oh well) -- but is it the better way to go?

    Any thoughts from those of you who've ridden both bikes?

    I'd be an 80% on...20% off rider and I'm 6'3" and 250lbs

    My concern is that maybe the KTM 640 is too dirt oriented for me -- also the seat seemed a little narrow for my fat a$$.

    Thanks,
    John H.
    #1
  2. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    I got my '08 KLR out the door for a WHOLE lot less than $5900.

    Buy what makes you happier and feels better. $2000 buys a lot of bling, or trips.
    #2
  3. disconnected

    disconnected rider

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    I cant be happier with my 640adv and its surprising good on the road....

    The KLR is a great bike too, but it would take to much $ in mods to get it where I would want it to be...
    #3
  4. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    Thanks DC,

    That is one of my concerns since i'll spend more time on road than off...john h.
    #4
  5. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    I think you'd find the 640A is much more dirt friendly while the KLR is a lot easier to live with on the highway. They are both great bikes but tip to opposite ends of the dual-sport continuum. Which is better for you would really depend upon what you plan to do with them. One things for sure tho, there are a lot more Kawi dealers should you ever need something and KLR's have been made for over 20 yrs which means farkles are cheep and plentiful.
    #5
  6. idahoskiguy

    idahoskiguy Long timer

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    An entire industry is based on people buying KLRs and then spending money on them to upgrade everything the 640ADV has in stock form.

    Hmmmm?

    You decide. As the saying goes, "You can pay me now or you can pay me later".

    Just my $.02:freaky
    #6
  7. DavidFarrellGarcia

    DavidFarrellGarcia Been here awhile

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    Kinda depends on when you bought it .... and where since Sales Tax is different everywhere. Nearly 10% around here. I bought my 08 when they first hit.... so probably paid a bit more... although I have not seem them drop much in price around here.
    #7
  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    If your 20% off road means gravel or dirt roads go for the KLR. I went from a 01 KLR to a 03 Adventure and am very happy with the KTM. The KLR did everything the KTM does but not as fast and controllable when it came to crossing rough ground {08 KLR claims better stability}. I like the stock KTM seat better {after a long break in it softened up} for long rides than the KLRs as I could feel the corners of the seat pan thru the crappy Kawi foam. Neither seat is what I would call "all day comfortable" but for 08 Kawi improved their design.

    On the hwy I didn't notice too much difference between the 2. The KLR was smoother at most posted speeds. The KTM had a little more gusto for passing traffic and felt better {not working as hard} at higher speeds. The KLR seemed to get shoved around more by the wind {08 improved the design for less buffeting} than the KTM even though the Adventure is taller.

    When I pick a bike it has to be versitile so a dual sport is without question, the only option. I still find the KTM Adventure the best bike out there for my needs {single track, double track, gravel track,climbing gnarly mountain tracks, comuting, on and off hwy touring , 2 up touring and camping} and will hang onto it untill something better comes along {690 Adventure?].

    But the KLR will also do all of this and the new 08 model will do the on road parts much better so your 80% on road requirement also says "get the KLR".

    Good luck in your shopping.......
    #8
  9. rjdills

    rjdills Been here awhile

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    I have an 05 640 Adventure, and it is a really fine bike.

    But I have always liked the looks of the KLR.

    How many bikes are we allowed to have? I'm up to seven, and I really also have the hots for the new fuel injected KTM 990 Adventure.
    #9
  10. humdinger

    humdinger bp

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    All depends what you are after. The KTM is really a performance orientated bike. The KLR is more comfy for longer stints in the saddle. Both are awesome fun!
    #10
  11. DougRoost

    DougRoost Been here awhile

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    You might also throw a leg over a DR650 before plunking down any cash.
    #11
  12. mothra

    mothra Rally Driver

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    I went from a well equiped KLR to a BMW gs Dakar last year and while this is not the same as comparing the KLR to a 640A buy whichever one makes you happier. $2K is not much of price difference is you like the ktm better, especially if it already has cases installed. I believe that the service intervals on the ktm are more frequent than the klr but that is to be expected on a more highly tuned motor. And the ktm has actual brakes that stop the bike.
    #12
  13. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Ah, too easy to pick on ya. Honestly though the whole motorcycle industry relies on spending money to upgrade things> The 640 can use many upgrades too. Its up to the individual and what he or she needs in a bike. If you have a KLR or adventure that is bone stock thats fine, but I would have to mod both to make them fit my style. And for everyday commuting, the KLR I would have to mod less. For off road, the ktm would need moded less. Sure I don't have to mod either, but I believe the general public enjoys modding their rides to suit their needs.
    #13
  14. colomtnbiker

    colomtnbiker wimpy old guy

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    My wife and I each have KLR's. I have never had my butt on a KTM, so I have no comment on them . I farkled the hell out of both our bikes, aka, spent a bunch of bucks. It was for a purpose. During 4 months of riding in the last year, we have traveled 14,000 miles in Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and and 8 US states. I upgraded known issues and I/we have had no problems on our travels. We are both over 50. What ever you buy, enjoy the hell out of it. We love being on the road to somewhere.
    Oh yes, I specifically bought the KLR's because I can do all my own maintenance, we call our bikes jeeps.
    #14
  15. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    The KLR is most likely a better choice for my 80 on/20 off style -- but the KTM 640 is soooo cool, and it has hard cases already.

    I wish I could just buy a used KLR650 - there's a real nice one at my local KTM dealer (a green pristine '05 with 4k miles for $3,100) but GOD, GOD, it's sooo flippin' fugly -- hell, I must really be shallow, 'cause a just can't get past the look of it.

    Come to think of it, that's why I don't drive a Subaru

    John H.
    #15
  16. geezee

    geezee geezee

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    Hey John, Others,
    first post here......
    I just joined the forum as I am starting to look into getting a bike such as the KLR650, in the 2000 and newer range to keep the cost down, and get rid of my VT1100 Cruiser... I agree, the looks, especially the green ones, ugh ! I guess it works if ur into hunting ?! I suppose repainting it would be an option if the looks are a deal breaker for you.....?

    Noob question here, whats the (comfortable) highway cruising speed on these things ? You cannot test ride them at the dealer's here in my state, sorta limits your ability to even have a clue what they are about , short of asking experienced riders.....

    geezee
    #16
  17. RudyS2MT

    RudyS2MT Rudy in MT

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    I was going to look for a good used KLR last Spring when I found a used 03 BMW Dakar. IT had Jessie boxes. PIAA lights, and many other "Fakles". Never had considered buying a BMW before that time.

    The KLR may have been a wiser choice for many reasons (dealers, cost of parts and farkles, etc.) but the Dakar fit me so well and was set up as I wished.... The initial cost was more but in the long run I would have spent more on the KLR for the needed extras. So it's been my "German Girl" for the past 7 months and I have never regreted my decision.

    In facing the same sort of chioces I wish you all the best in your decision! Either one can not only get you there but make you smile in the wind!!!!


    Rudy
    #17
  18. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Ah, just do what I do, leave it covered in mud!
    #18
  19. edgarop

    edgarop Adventurer

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    i have an 03 KTM ADV with 17k . Ive had it for 4 months and 6k miles later I love this bike. I commute 70 miles each day. the seat is a bit uncomfy but it works, this bike is fun to ride it handles very well in the twisties.
    #19
  20. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Well, you better take that Adventure out for a test ride and see if it's to your liking and then decide.

    The first thing you'll notice about the 640 is that it sure feels like a dirt bike.
    #20