Upgrade from dr650 to klr650?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Hawk900dc, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Hawk900dc

    Hawk900dc Dual Sport Intitiate

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    I've been riding a dr650 for the past year, I learned how to ride on the thing. I mostly ride around town and take 45 minute trips at 60 to 65 mph to visit family the dr isn't so much fun to me on these trips. Was thinking about buying a klr650 similar bike style more comforts is it worth it? Btw the dr650 is my fathers no ownership here.
    #1
  2. 514Advrider

    514Advrider Addicted

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    Absolutely not, IMO. I've had 3 DR's and 1 KLR so far. The DR is easier to work on, has better suspension, is less prone to mechanical features and crashes better off road (less broken bits). In my opinion it is a better engineered motorcycle. For under 500$, you can sort out the range and comfort problem by getting an Acerbis or IMS tank and a Seat Concepts foam and cover kit.
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  3. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

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    KLRs are better street bikes. More wind blockage from the fairing. They weigh a bunch more than the DR, so consequently if you ride a bunch in the dirt, you will miss the DR. I think the DR suspension is crap anyways, a pogo stick is a better improvement.
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  4. Hawk900dc

    Hawk900dc Dual Sport Intitiate

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    the DR is fun just around town, the only things that irk me are the torque,iness (power delivery) at times when shifting and the vibrations when on the highway. I did upgrade the seat and thats a nice boost and to be honest ive only ever taken it off road once in the last year, which was fun. Im ok with the DR, but keep looking at the KLR due to the claimed less vibrations, smoother power delivery and comfort. Ive been also been referred to Vstroms, but I think if i get something that big it would be a hassle for short trips around town and getting out of my one car garage garage and cramped driveway.
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  5. ram1000

    ram1000 Long timer

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    The KLR has the advantage for girth, whereas you can load it up without interfering with your riding position. Both bikes are much improved with aftermarket suspension parts but the DR is far superior to the KLR off road both in suspension and frame geometry. The stock DR also has the advantage for trail riding considering its power band, not so much more power but easier to use off road. My experience is that the DR has a great low end with a substantial boost felt in midrange whereas the KLR is simply a mild increase throughout the rpm range. But then the extra weight may be responsible for that feeling. I own both bikes and neither are stock suspension or power wise anymore. My DR is a better bike than my previously owned stock KTM 640 both handling and suspension are better but the DR has RMZ forks and Cogent rear shocks and much work done inside the forks. Power wise the DR is at least as good as the KTM was. I bought the KLR for my road trips since I wanted a bike that was capable off road. It serves that purpose perfectly with a 688 piston and suspension components. In short my DR is a 650 enduro and my KLR is a 650 (688cc) dual-sport completely suitable for road trips. I used my DR for many 800-1000 mile road trips before buying the KLR. The DR is smoother than most 650's and though they say the KLR is smoother when using the 688 piston it is not as smooth as my DR was stock or is now. Vibrations of neither bike bother me in any way though.
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  6. dankatz

    dankatz Been here awhile

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    BMW f650gs is smoother on road than both. KLR is big and heavy - if you ride mostly on the road her a road bike like the vstrom or f650gs
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  7. One Fat Roach

    One Fat Roach Long timer

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    Hawk, remember that each bike is like a tool in a drawer. Each one has a certain purpose.

    KLR is more street oriented but can handle dirt.

    DR650 is more of a dirt bike that can ride ashpalt. You're getting a bike to suit your needs, find one that has good aerodynamics, can handle the highway with ease etc etc. Take your time, you'll get the right one for YOU
    #7
  8. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    Another KLR vs DR discussion - to add the may many, many before - seems every week someone is asking the same questions! Help me decide...

    While I understand that some have questions, please do a search on the subject. Whatever bike you choose, each will have some maintenance issues and weakneses. Up grade, down grade, sideways grade. Make a decision orSpin a coin.
    #8
  9. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    I don't think you'll feel any less vibration from a KLR than a DR650. Individual examples will vary some due to mass production and wear, but the KLR is not inherently smoother.

    If you want something light weight for short highway trips, consider the Kawasaki Ninja 300. Cheaper than a KLR, lighter, faster, better gas mileage, more comfortable, lower seat height, fuel injected -- I mean, if you're just street riding, why not get a street bike?

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. ruppster

    ruppster Been here awhile

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    Used V-Strom 650.
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  11. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Even better.
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  12. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

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    Weestrom is hard to beat if you are sticking primarily to the tarmac. I never felt that it was too large or bulky for short, around town trips. But on the open road it was a dream. Good wind protection, good motor, suprisingly nimble and awesome range.
    #12
  13. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Where are you located at? I'm looking to trade my KLR for a DR, maybe we could work something out. :deal
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  14. NC Rick

    NC Rick Cogent Dynamics Inc

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    I agree that the BMW F650 is a better road going bike than the DR or KLR but it takes the weight to whole new levels. The DR is round about 375, KLR 410 and the F650 (new number for that bike in the latest iteration) is 500. I doubt the Wee-strom is a bunch more heavy than that.
    #14
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    is that an upgrade?
    more like a sideways move.
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  16. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Have to agree, if you're not happy with the DR, then I'm not sure the KLR is much smoother. It appears more road friendly ... and with the right mods it can be very good. It's wider and longer than the DR650 and makes a nice road going dual sport.

    But as mentioned, if riding street only ... get a street bike. The DL650 is an excellent choice. If you can spend more ... try a Tiger 800, GS800, Kawi Versys or two or three other bikes in that class. That little Kawi 300 twin is an awesome bike from reports I've read.

    All that said, I find my DR reasonably smooth at highway speed for a single. Lots of things can negatively affect smoothness on the DR650 and many owners neglect these important service items:

    1. Worn Cush Drive Rubber Bushings ... Replace! They really affect drive line feel.
    2. Worn chain and sprockets. This is a BIGGY. Some owners don't have a CLUE regards their chain/sprockets. If unsure, get an expert opinion and replace chain and sprockets if needed. Makes a HUGE difference in ride smoothness on the DR650. :clap
    3. Some bright Bulb may have removed your bar end weights? They help. Also, an Alu handle bar like a Pro Taper reduces vibes and is stronger and looks good too.

    The DR has several Vibe damping elements built in from stock. The KLR has none of these, IIRC:
    1. Handlebar mounts are mounted in Rubber bushings. Very nice!
    2. Foot pegs are mounted in Rubber Bushings.
    3. DR motor has very effective counter balance system. One of the smoothest singles out there at around 75 MPH in my experience.

    Test out a few bikes, go with what works for you! :freaky
    #16
  17. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    I'd try a few other DRs. Your family's may have issues. The DR tends to be smoother than the KLR. The seat, smaller tank, and lack of factory windscreen are typically the DR items needing upgrades to better the KLR onroad. The aftermarket delivers.

    If you want smoother than a DR, you may want to check out BMW thumpers or the Husky 650 thumpers. All have the smooth Rotax motor. Otherwise, multicylinder bikes might be your best chance.

    I've ridden the DR over 1000 miles/day. Mine eats miles more comfortably than my I4 streetbike now.
    #17
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I never tried the '08 and up KLR, but the older ones had a horrible seat. However I am sure the DR is about the same. They are called dual sports, but they all seem to have dirt bike seats. I wouldn't even consider a BMW, that's a whole different league. Even if you can get one for a reasonable price, parts and dealer service is way more expensive than any Japanese bike. IMO, BMWs are for someone who wants a BMW. For value and reliability stay with Japanese. I als can't recommend any Ninja, unless you have ridden a sportbike before and know about the riding position. If you are not riding on dirt, seems like the Honda CB500F might be a good choice. But between the DR and the KLR, I would choose the DR for it's mechanical simplicity. No dual sport is going to be as comfortable as a road bike, but they are all more comfortable than sport bikes. Many people have chosen the DR for super long distance trips. As far as KLRs go, I actually prefer the older style. I sat on a newer one, and it is way to wide for me, felt like a Goldwing with a high seat.
    #18
  19. Hawk900dc

    Hawk900dc Dual Sport Intitiate

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    I appreciate all the feedback, Ill try to be more descriptive here for why im looking at a KLR650. I like the DR650 but I want something a little more roadworthy. I dont mind the single cylinder engine. But the bike feels small (im 6'3 240lbs) when riding on a highway 65 mph and up. I would like something a little heavier, more comfortable and slightly smoother on the highway. From what I read about the KLR650 (08 plus) it seems like it would fit that niche that im looking for without a major price.

    I considered a Vstrom650 but have veered away due to the price, maybe I'll upgrade to a adventure touring bike after a few years.
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  20. Hawk900dc

    Hawk900dc Dual Sport Intitiate

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    Funny you say that, The bike is a 2007 DR650 it was left inside a shed in MD and unused for a year, gas leaked into the fuel and a mouse somehow entered the air filter, chewed it up and made a nest. When I first started using it it ran like absolute shit. After one full summer Ive gotten it running nearly flawlessly. Only complaint is it bucks or pulls sometimes when riding in a lower gear and trying to slowly move through my neighborhood. I assume I have to adjust the choke and fuel screw.
    #20