Need to choose one bike.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by KustomizingKid, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    Get an Xcountry. If you put a set of marzocchi forks and get the shock reworked or replace it with an aftermarket shock you will have a bike that will run with any ktm on the street and offroad probably be close. Plus on the street it will probably be a more comfortable ride if doing long tarmac trips. The little Beemer really does pretty well and they are getting harder to find now after being so thourghly trashed in the market for limited range, limited watts for electrical gear, funky batteries, but the BMW engineers provided a starting canvas with what the corporate bean counters would allow to finance the project and the buying public would accept as a price for a 650 thumper. I will go out on a limb here and I am not trying to ruffle anybodys feathers but I IMHO think that the X bikes would run circles around any F650 in any kind of off tarnac situation.:wink:
    #41
  2. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I really like the X Country... and I really like the KTM 640 Adventure. Unfortunately I feel like both of them are out of duget. Awesome bikes though! It would be awesome to put an X in the stable and buy myself an S1000rr to go with it after graduation.
    #42
  3. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Are the stock X Country and X Challenge forks the same skinny Showa ones used on previous Dakar 650's? If upgrading to Marzocchi .. well, that's a big hit, no? Like $500 to $1000?

    And what about that funky Air Bladder rear damper? I believe both X bikes come stock with that. :ear What's the cost to convert to conventional shock? Once again ... I'm GUESSING ... $500 to $1000 ... depending.

    I've ridden a couple X Challenges ... as I nearly bought one. Rode a stone stock one with 750 miles Back To Back with my modified DR650. No contest. The DR650 Blew it away. Only advantage the X had was BETTER, MPG, Better front brake ... and a bit smoother on the highway at 80 mph.

    But both X's are good starting points if someone really wants to build a very good bike. But won't be cheap. (few are) The X's are VERY NICE looking bikes with clocks, gauges, levers, controls far superior to the pedestrian items offered on the out dated and seemingly primitive Japanese bikes. But when it comes down to doing BIG miles and Hard use ... I honestly don't believe the BMW's can hang with the Japanese dual sports for long. Something will fail.
    #43
  4. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I'm not sure a DRZ would be my first choice for what you have described. If you're riding 15K per year, you're doing a lot of street and I assume a decent amount of highway miles. The DRZ really starts to suck as you get above 60mph. Moreover, it seems when I had mine and spent time on Thumpertalk, there were more than a few DRZs getting rebuilds at 20K or so. That may just be how they were ridden/treated, but i don't think the DRZ shares the DR's level of durability.

    I'm not trying to imply a DRZ only lasts 20k or that it can't be ridden on longer trips - there are plenty of people that have done just that. I just don't think it is the best bike for it. I think a DR650 would be the better choice, but you already own a KLR so that's sort of a wash. On the lighter side, I personally would try the WR250 before I would go back to the DRZ. given that I went from a DRZ to an X-Challenge, it should be obvious how I think they compare. But mods aren't as cheap or plentiful and sometimes you need to fab your own. Although it sounds like that is your thing. But if you don't like the airshock, you're looking at $600+ for a decent aftermarket replacement. Not to mention $4500-5000 for the bike itself.

    Maybe an older 640 Adventure is in your price range. I don't know much about them, but other than some of them being vibey (hit more miss), I was under the impression the LC4 engine is fairly durable with low maintenance intervals. I could be wrong on that though.
    #44
  5. fleshpiston

    fleshpiston Been here awhile

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    If I were you I'd be lookin at that KLR you already own as a blank canvas... make it want you want ... diversify your skill-set and all that :beer


    .
    #45
  6. Jake Mountain

    Jake Mountain Been here awhile

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    Just curious how many KTM 690's have reached even 50,000 miles without a ton of engine work. I'm guessing none, in my book that is a lot of money for the power. You pay $11,000 for a bike that needs constant upkeep. I'll keep thrashing my $2000 KLR thanks.
    #46
  7. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I've read Thumper Talk DRZ forums too ... and I agree with what you're saying. The DRZ is not a fabulous high mileage commuter IMO. My old DRZ-E only did dirt duty, never had a problem. But I can see them wearing if doing 15K a year commuting. Most dirt riders don't put more than 2K to 3K miles a year.

    Not sure why the OP seems dead set against the DR650. It's a better dirt bike than the KLR, cheap and easy to work on, faster, lasts well over 50K miles. (with any luck) ... even makes a decent Super Moto. Many DR owners have TWO sets of wheels and do a quick change to go dirt riding.
    Early LC4 640's had issues. By around 2001 they got better. All have the WORST vibration of any bike I've ever ridden. Good performing bike but can have Gremlins.
    #47
  8. gplassm

    gplassm Been here awhile

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    This is putting it mildly. After owning and servicing 3 of them, I will never again own a bike that has "LC4" on its cases. IMO - The RFS engines are a better gamble for longevity than any LC4. JMO.
    #48
  9. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    I ran a Xr 650, KLR 650, Dr 650, and now a DRZ 400. Out of all 4 of these bikes, I would pick 1 of them because they are all affordable and long lasting.

    XR 650L. I did close to 20 000 kms problem free
    KLR 650. I did 16 000 kms problem free
    DR 650. I did 12 000 kms problem free
    DRZ 400. I did 14 000 kms problem free

    I could of racked up many more miles before fixing any of them !!!

    The XR650L was a power house with super suspension, with stock gearing I could black dirt cut line at 110-115 mpr
    The KLR 650 was lagging in power and softer suspension, but I could hold in there on the same cut line at the 110 mpr.
    The DR 650 was just like the Honda power, but the suspension was just a bit softer, and it would only run at 100 mpr.
    The DRZ is lees power, but the suspension rocks, so I powerd it up on stage 1, and it runs at the 80-87 mpr.

    The best bang for the buck is the DR 650 2012 new at $5600 out the door. Year end models are a good deal.

    From Jeathrow Bowdean. PS: Bike is a bike is a bike I guess. In 2 more years, I might do the KTM 690 ???
    #49
  10. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I already own the KLR, I just can't see trading it for a DR650... I could just slap a Suzuki sticker on my KLR and save the hassel. I also know I COULD make the KLR way better, but sometime you can only polish so much.
    #50
  11. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    Not quite right, they are generally on 17" wheels front and back with wide rims, typically 3.5" in front and 4.25" in back, tires something like 120/70 and 150/60
    #51
  12. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    They are not the same bike.
    #52
  13. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    Need to choose one bike.
    <!-- #dg-post-title --><!-- message -->So for a number of reason I need to thin out my current heard down to only one bike. Now I love my sport bike and I love the dual sport but I really can't have more than one bike until I am done with school. So the plan is now to get rid of all the bikes and replace them with one dual sport and some SM wheels :d

    So I have a few options that are within budget... Number one being keep my KLR and start the farkles. Now I like my KLR, but it is HEAVY and I just don't know if there is enough polish to make it shine like I want to. It's not that the KLR is a bad bike, I just want to go off road, and I don't mean gravel roads. So that means the other option is to ditch the KLR for a lighter bike that is a better base for what I want to do. Within the budget that leaves really one other option, the DRZ 400.

    So I guess I am torn on wether or not the DRZ is better enough to go through the hassle of selling the KLR to buy one. My one last concern is durability, can the DRZ go a minimum of 25k miles between rebuilds?
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->__________________
    1989 KLR 650

    From Jeathrow Bowdean
    I answered this earlier with some info on DRZ's for you, so you could find out the info that you wanted. You stated that the KLR is HEAVY, then you wanted to do more off road, and not just gravel roads !!!

    I only offer you some opinions of what I felt well owning one of these DRZ which I have today as my off road bike, then I give you the DRZ forum web page so you could find out more info from 100's of dudes who drive them every day.

    The best tool for off road "In the opinion of most of us that off road, is a lighter bike." The DRZ 400, DR 650, XR 650 L, KTM 690, and a few more bikes fit into this catagory of "More off road then just gravel roads !!!" compared to the heavier KLR.....So the question is ??? What do you want to do about this !!!

    Then you are just about done school as you stated, and you are commuting roughly 15 000k or miles a year, so what bike would best suit you for this kind of operation in the list above !!!

    All we can do is offer you information of what might work, and I know it dose not make sence for you to switch from one bike to the next, but don't put the DR 650 in the same class as the KLR 650. These bikes might seem the same, look the same, and both have 2 wheels and single cylinder motors, but they do not handle the same in your "Off road catagory that you are looking at.

    I posted all the weights so you can make a more informed decision, and most impotant "of all of this" is that many of the ADV dudes also offered so awesome ideas as well !!!
    So the only thing left for you to do from here is to keep what you have, being that you don't think it is worth changing form the "Heavy KLR", or pick something that will do more then "Just gravel Roads as you stated.

    Good luck on your quest Kustomizing Kid


    <!-- / sig -->
    #53
  14. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I have ridden a DR650 a DRZ400 and the KLR and to me the DR650 felt almost the same as the KLR.... Now I could be totally wrong, but being as it is my opinion I really don't see how I could be. The DRZ feels immensely lighter and more nimble than both bikes to me.

    I guess if it was between the KLR and the DR I would rather keep the KLR and spend the time and money modding it instead. I'd rather have a Moab shock for the KLR than a bone stock DR.
    #54
  15. jessepitt

    jessepitt Ride More

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    You must not have put many miles on the DR. It is thirty some pounds lighter than the KLR. If you didn't notice or feel the difference then perhaps you were on the highway? Try one off road or even on fire roads. I have a friend who owns a DRZ and a KLR. When he rides the DRZ I have a very hard time keeping up with him. When he rides the KLR he can NOT keep up with me anywhere but straight slab, and I can cruise just as fast and comfortably as he can. On twisty back roads I have to slow down and wait for him.
    #55
  16. jessepitt

    jessepitt Ride More

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    You must not have put many miles on that DR...
    #56
  17. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    How many KTMs with LC4 engines have you owned ? What's that you say,
    you've never owned one ? I guess that makes you an "internet expert" on KTM
    LC4 engines :rofl


    Unlike you, I have actually OWNED three KTMs which had LC4 engines.
    They are very reliable bikes when maintained properly, and the maintenance
    is not difficult or complex with the exception of the oil change on the 640
    Adventure which is a bit involved because some of the oil is carried in
    the front frame down tube. But this is hardly the sort of thing that makes a bike
    too much hassle to own, and it adds maybe five minutes to the total time required
    for the oil change unless you are mechanically incompetent.


    KLRs are fine bikes for people who have low standards regarding how a bike performs.
    For some people a KLR is the perfect bike. A KLR has its place in the motorcycle world and
    as long as it does what you want a bike to do it can be a satisfying bike to own. But a KLR
    doesn't come close to a KTM 690 in ANY performance parameter. Your claims
    that a KTM LC4 needs "constant upkeep" are misinformation and this can be backed up
    by people who actually own and ride a 690/640.


    .
    #57
  18. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

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    What kind of money are you actually working with? Kinda hard to give helpful advice without knowing more about your budget. Had a garage full of all kinds of different dirtbikes and dualsport bikes. Little 250's for riding trails and XR650R's and L's for longer trips and everything in between. Got rid of all of them when I started building this motorhome. Wanted one bike I could take with me that would do it all. My XR650R was pretty well set-up and I had a street wheelset for it (19/18). Put many trouble-free miles on that thing, but my younger brother sold all his Hondas and switched over to a 450EXC. Never really thought a KTM could replace an XR, but I watched him put over 350hrs of absolutely brutal riding in all kinds of conditions on that machine. Never a hiccup. Absolutely no maintenance required beyond oil changes. That finally convinced me.

    So I bought a 2010 450XCW, plated it, and picked up a set of a SM wheels. Ended up replacing the SM wheels with a set of 19/17 Woodys wheels, which I've found to be a lot more versatile. But I've put over 9,500 miles/250hrs on it so far (mostly high-speed DS and on-road) and Rob's raced Vegas to Reno and a few enduros on it. Just pulled the topend to replace the rings and found the Wossner piston had developed a weird crack, but from what I can gather it seems like a fluke thing. No other damage (cylinder still looks brand new), $150 to fix, and that's the only trouble I've had with it. Oh, had to adjust one valve, once. With close to 10,000 miles on it, there's still no play whatsoever in the rod, and no reason to think it won't go at least another 10,000 before I might need to split cases and replace the crank and rod. The maintenance intervals can be very misleading if you're not... racing.

    People say they don't make'em like they used to anymore, but I think that might be a good thing. This bike is SO much awesome-er-er than the old dualsports. And they're not particularly expensive to own if you take care of them and are capable of doing your own work. No, it's not a streetbike, but there's no real reason why it can't be ridden like one. Way more performance than than a WR250, but that would be my second choice, and there are lots of good deals out there (08-11 bikes with low hours in good condition for $4500-ish?).

    To me, the real issues are, 1) intended use, 2) money, 3) maintenance.

    1) If you want an offroad-oriented dualsport, you know you're going to be giving something up. Comfort. Got a Renazco seat on mine and that's about it. Last big ride I did was from Bend, OR to the bay area. About 550 miles / 12hrs in one day. Honestly wasn't that bad. Wind blast bothers you at higher speeds? Get a fairing. Personally, I can't see needing much bigger of a bike. Ever. Ride 2-up all the time and it'll cruise along happily at 85mph all day long.

    2) No advice to be given here. Nicer things tend to be more expensive, and while the KTM's are definitely higher-priced, think they're also high-value.

    3) It's not a Honda Civic. If you just want something you can fill-up with gas and never think twice about, that KLR is probably the bike for you. But I haven't found the maintenance to be very expensive or difficult to stay on top of. Simple stuff, like changing the oil, etc.
    #58
  19. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    Some one else mentioned that you will have to give up one thing for another, and this is so true. You need to tell us what kind of budget you are working with so people like us can assist with what you want. We need to know what KLR you have. It would be nice to know what height and weight you are, along with your credit card number.Ha Ha.

    You want more then gavel roads. You want 25k miles with out rebuilding. You want 15k riding mile. And you don't see or feel the difference between the DR and KLR that stump the rest of us in this forum ???

    The older KLR is like what some else said, it is 407 lbs to 378 lbs = 29 lbs.... And the Newer KLR's is 435 lbs in Canada curb weight. The New DR is 378 lbs in Canada curb weight, so this leads me to belive that the DR is 57 lbs Canada curb weight difference of new to new.

    The DRZ is 317 curb in Canada, so the diff from new KLR is 435-317=118 lbs. Old KLR 407-317= 90 lbs.
    Dr 378- DRZ 317= 61lbs. WEIGHT WEIGHT and WEIGHT....

    Some said that if you are planing 15k miles a year on a DRZ, you should consider the DR for that kind of miles. I totally agree, unless you change the seat and grips crappy foot peggs and fuel tank. I'm and exception to high mile DRZ's, but don't think that I never put some funds in mine so I can do those 700 km or 434 mile days.
    Knowing what I know now, I wish I had keeped my DR, but that is to late for should of. 2 more years, then something diffrent !!!
    From Jeathrow Bowdean PS: Fill us in on more info so we have a better idea of much more stuff. Don't pussy foot around so that the rest of us waste time over the "Need to choose one bike." AND YOU DID TALK TO THE DUDES ON THE DRZ FORUM DID YOU NOT !!!
    #59
  20. toadl

    toadl Been here awhile

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    Awakening a thread from the dead, but I saw something you wrote else where that caught my attention so I read some of your posts. I have a DRZ400. I machined some wheels from a CBR f2 to fit my bike. They make it a little nicer to ride on the street and I put more aggressive knobbies on the origanal rims. Maybe you could do something like that with the KLR. also, I've been looking at the KLR's and I've noticed a few people have been machining the steering stem so that the KLR could mount DRZ400 forks. I would thing that would make your KLR a lot more aggressive bike offroad. It seems you have some mechanical ability and maybe that would be possible.
    Lets go riding this summer.
    #60