Thumper DS as ONLY ride?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by skysailor, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. skysailor

    skysailor Rat Rider

    Oct 3, 2007
    Kenora, Canada
    Okay, how many of you have a KLR, DR, DRZ....etc., as your ONLY bike?
    Advantages? Shortcomings?
    I know they all suck on a 5 hour "cruise" on the Interstate.
  2. BobbyLee666

    BobbyLee666 Been here awhile

    Jul 7, 2009
    Northern Virginia
    I had a 2008 KLR650 as my only bike for awhile. Really liked it and worked well in Northern VA, even on the freeway. Only reason I got rid of it was my wife wanted to ride sometimes and the thumper just didn't have quite enough get up and go for the both of us.
  3. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

    Feb 25, 2011
    San Diego
    I had my DRZ400 as my only bike for a few years. Best way to deal with it is to not ride any proper street bikes in the meantime that will remind you how much more comfy you can be on the highway :lol3.
  4. plugeye

    plugeye dreamer

    May 11, 2007
    Garland, Texas
    yes, for the last 6 years. i have lost all interest in big street bikes.
    i have no interest in straight-line highway riding, indeed i cant stand riding in a cage for hours
  5. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

    Nov 27, 2007
    Eureka, Ca.
    This is a question I ponder quite often. There are a lot of Forest Service roads and what not where I'm at that take off from Highways 101 and 299 that I'd love to explore but I'm not willing to take my street bike on them. It's way too nice for that. :D I'm going to be acquiring an '06 KLR650 pretty soon. It fits me extremely well and I find it very comfortable. It's underpowered but oh well. I'm still wondering if it could be my only street bike.
    I'd hate to sell the Bandit and then wish I wouldn't have. I've done that too many times with past bikes. :lol3
  6. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

    Sep 5, 2011
    The 2009 KLR is my only ride.

    I find these gen2 bikes very pleasant on the freeway, even hours of riding. Granted, the most hi way /freeway I've done in one day was around 300. I don't like doing over 300 miles in a day on anything, really. Street bike, harley cruiser, DS KLR, Jeep, Volvo or Cadillac. Etc. not fun enough:D

    But, yeah, the KLR for me does gravel roads, forest roads, logging roads, freeways, coastal highways, straight I-5 all in stride.

    I usually ride with metzler Tourances but currently, I have Dunlop D606's due to an off road trip earlier in the month. When I can ride again, I'll put the Tourances back on after the D606's wear out, of course.

    I am 6'4" & 180lbs. The KLR is certainly enough bike to do it all. With a 6.2 gal tank, you can go the whole way on one fill up.:clap
  7. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

    Apr 6, 2007
    Annapolis, MD
    I have never owned anything but single cylinder dual sports starting all the way back in 1977. Seriously. It is all I have ever known.

    I wouldn't hesitate to knock out a several hundred mile ride on my LC4. I have done it on way less capable bikes. But remember, this is the only thing I know.

    I have never even ridden a true street bike or a multi cylinder bike. Ever. So my perspective may be a little off. :norton
  8. ausfahrt

    ausfahrt mach schnell

    Apr 17, 2008
    Fl & Vt
    That is truly amazing. 35 years riding experience and you have never experienced the rush of a 4 cylinder liter bike at full wail?

    You probably don't want to start now.:evil
  9. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

    Jul 3, 2012
    St. Cloud, Minnesota
    I have a Yamaha XT550 that is my only bike. It runs fine at 60-65 and is comfortable. I could ride it on the freeway at 70-75, the problem is how light it is in the wind. For the type of riding I do it is close to perfect.
  10. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Feb 14, 2007
    Whippin' Scutt Farkus
    I've been on a DR650 as my only bike for 5 years. It does all I need, and I've done 400 mile days just fine. I keep myself convinced that it's all I need.

    Now and then I ride a V Strom though and it screws everything up.
  11. patw

    patw n00b

    Mar 8, 2012
    Barrie, Ontario
    It can be done, but it's more fun to have more bikes ;)

    If I had to go down to one bike however, it would be the KLR.
  12. WRC51

    WRC51 Been here awhile

    Sep 8, 2008
    Santa Rosa, Calif.

    Ha Ha you are correct about the rush of a liter bike. My KLR has been my only bike for the last year or so, but I still can remember how sweet it was to wick the throttle on my 07 FZ-1 to pass a car. Hummm, Super Tenere:clap
  13. Rogue_Ryder


    Dec 8, 2005
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    if it had to be me only ride, it'd have to be a 650, I've had a XR650L as my only bike in the past and it was fine everywhere except the really long rides. The DRZ400S could work as an only bike but it does suck on the hwy, I liked it better than the XR650L due the greater seat to peg distance.

    I used to live in New Orleans and it was always a long ride to get to the good roads so I added a street bike and just last year went down to 1 bike the R1200GS while living in San Jose. Honestly out here I would be more than happy with something like an X-Challenge or 690 as my sole bike. I rented a F800GS out here in CO when they were first released and it was IMHO the best bike you could ask for, more than enough hwy power but still nimble enough to blast down fire roads.

    I think a budget minded compromise might be a KLR with the 685 Kit and some suspension work.
  14. SRG


    Nov 18, 2004
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Multi cyl. streetbike, meh, what for? Speed you can't use, silly/uncomfortable rider position, tiny travel stiff suspension.

    My 640 is fast enough on the road for me, is great fun in the twistys (even on DOT knobbys) and I can go down any gravel road or trail I care to.

    If the 640 isn't quick enough for you on the road - get a KTM twin. Still no need for 1000+ cc's, or 3 cyl., or 4 cyl.
  15. GSequoia

    GSequoia Where are my tools?

    Jul 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a KLR650 and nothing else running. With a 16t countershaft gear it's adequate on the highway for commute, I stick it at 72mph (80 indicated) and use my freeway pegs (the rear set) and cruise along.

    One day I'd like to get something with my cylinders for daily commute but the wife seems to think there's better things to spend money on...
  16. GaThumper

    GaThumper Road Less Traveled

    Jun 29, 2006
    Thumpin' in North GA - headin' for the Smokys
    I currently have two thumpers, 350 and 650, a vintage 1000cc inline 4, a modern 1300cc V4, and a 1400cc V Twin. The V4 is a Yamaha Venture touring bike and while it's a cool ride and I love the V4, I bought it primarily for passenger comfort. I love my '79 Suzuki GS1000, bought it new and still love the feel of that inline 4. A modern liter+ sport bike is probably a big rush! The V-Twin I've never bonded with and is for sale.

    If I have to get down to a single bike, it would be my DR650. I can ride it on the street and enjoy it and I can ride it on trails and enjoy it. There are better street bikes, and there are better dirt bikes, but it is my choice for a 50/50 bike. If I didn't enjoy dirt and exploring I might choose a different bike, but I'd give up street before I'd give up the dirt.
  17. bscman

    bscman Been here awhile

    Jun 10, 2012
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Living in NW Washington there are far too many dirt roads to own a street bike...and not enough nice, calm, warm, sunny summer days to take advantage of a big highway cruiser.

    I'm a thumper owner, simply because I'm mere minutes from some great USFS, DNR, and private timber company roads with amazing hills, views, trails, etc.

    In my neck of the woods, I don't think you can take advantage of a hwy bike like you can a dual sport. You'll miss out of far too much riding. Besides, when your gear is designed to get offroad, wet, and don't mind taking the dual sport out on a nasty, overcast, storm-rolling-in kind of day.
  18. Miss Jane

    Miss Jane Ride like a girl

    Mar 9, 2009
    Central Victoria
    I like little country back roads, so my thumper is perfect for me. It happily does the 2 hours to the city on the freeway, then comfortably copes with traffic. The best bit is, on a whim I can take any road I feel like exploring - dirt or tar.

    Getting my bike ready to do a 9,000km trip to the tip of Australia and back, it will be mostly on outback dirt roads and I can't wait to go.

    Love it.:D

    WARRIORPRINCEJJ Crazy, on a ship of fools...

    Jun 29, 2009
    Leanna Decker's panties
    Another (solely) Gen. II. KLR 650 owner, here...


    I bike.

    I commute on mine, everyday...albeit a very short commute (about 12 miles one-way), 50/50 stoplight-to-stoplight and highway. The best part of my day is running out to the garage, thumbing the starter, hearing it make half a turn, and the bike firing to life. It is anvil reliable. Once I got the bike farkled to my liking (good skidplate, crashbars, and Pelican topcase), it was perfect.

    There are few times I find myself wanting more (and my perspective is pretty trustworthy, as I've been fortunate enough to have owned about every make of bike made). However, that being posted, I do miss the hooligan aspect of some of my past (more powerful) bikes. In addition, where I live, you have to slab about 100 miles (in any direction) to find a decent County Road (BLM-type road). In that role, the KLR is tolerable, but not the most fun.

    Having shared that, (this portion of) this post sums-up my entire obsession, right now...

  20. Motojon76

    Motojon76 Dirty side down

    Feb 21, 2012
    Central Flatistan
    This is my only ride period. No cage and no other bikes at the moment. I ride it 45 miles one way to the shop and still like taking the long way home on Friday.

    Love it everyday.