DR650 vs KLR650????

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by jcs212, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. jcs212

    jcs212 n00b

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    I have been trying to figure out which bike to buy. I have read great reviews on both the DR650 and the KLR650. I plan i ridding the bike from Los Angeles down through central and south america. Which bike would be best for this trip? and which bike would be easy to find parts for in south america? also am im crazy to even think about maybe a KLR250?? the only reason i am thinking about it is... and around $2000 for a used one which is half the price of a 650..... if the bike gets stolen which in south america its a good chance that it will..... i can always buy another one.... basically getting 2 bikes for the price of 1.... but will the KLR250 even make it all the way down there??? any info would be great!!!

    Thanks Jimmy
    #1
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  2. sleepywombat

    sleepywombat the DR650 pig

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    i have a klr250 and a dr650, in my experience i would take the dr650, air cooled means less things can go wrong with them, and with all the right modifications you can turn the dr into a bike that can eat up miles and miles of tarmac and still tackle some dirt, the klr is less dirt friendly, and although more geared to road touring it is in my opinion not as good as the dr especially for the $$$
    #2
  3. joshinthecity

    joshinthecity www.joshinthecity.com

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    Personally,
    the ONLY bike I would take on a trip like that is a DR650.
    Totally dependable and great on both surfaces (with the right rubber)
    Slap on a Corbin and the IMS tank and you're good to go.

    Josh.
    #3
  4. Paves

    Paves Beetrt/liver sausage

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    You can't beat a KLR650. They just don't break down so the 'less complicated' argument doesn't hold. KlRs just go on and on, and unless you plan to go motocrossing, do dirt just fine. Have a look around this forum and others and see what the most popular bike for long distance trips is. You won't see as many DR650s as KLRs.
    #4
  5. Mr.Grumpy

    Mr.Grumpy Banned

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    Please use the "search" function (return to "Thunpers" fprum and use the orange "Search Forum" tool for most efficent results. The "Search" tool that you can access while reaading the thread does the WHOLE website. Too much.). This question has been asked, answered and debated many, many times. Make coffee, get comfy and read all about it!
    #5
  6. Rusty Rocket

    Rusty Rocket Life behind "Bars"

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    DR650 owners don't mind answering this question again.:D (They don't call him Grumpy foe nuttin' )
    #6
  7. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    I personally never liked the KLR's styling. It may be an excellent bike, but it just doesn't tickle my fancy. To me it looks old fashioned, square, army-ish. It's wind protection will no doubt be much better that the DR's one with that front fairing.

    For a trip you are planning to do however I think you can't choose wrong between any of these two bikes. The KLR is slightly heavier (40 lbs or so?). The DR is lighter and has the simplicity of an aircooled engine but lacks some wind protection. That doesn't matter much to me, but for some that's more important.

    Good luck with your choice!
    #7
  8. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    :norton There's a couple from Ottawa Ontario, who went down to South America on both bikes((KRL650 & 250))),,, the girl feels like dropping a hand grenade into the tank of the 250 everytime she has to climb any kinda rise or hill. just not enough power, stick with the 650 in either brand & you should be okay,,, XR650L is in the same league. good luck on your choice & trip
    #8
  9. NJCapoNut

    NJCapoNut Dirty Boy

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    I own a KLR650, but I've spent some time on a DR. Both are great bikes, but I'd want a KLR650 for this trip. More comfy, better wind/weather protection, and the liquid cooling in the heat down in SA will be a definate plus.

    Good luck either way!!
    #9
  10. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

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    Truthfully, any bike from 125 to a 1000, will do the trip fine. We are spoiled with the larger bore bikes. My friend from bulgaria(spelling) rode a cz250 for 10 years, through turkey, and all the surrounding lands, fully loaded. He transported clothing with it for a job!

    What ever bike you choose, you will still thoroughly enjoy your trip. Unless you are a highly skilled preformance guru, who cares more about the bike than the trip.

    My o2.:D
    #10
  11. rbrdown

    rbrdown I like cheese.

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    Yabut with the larger bore bike it would only have taken 5 years!!:lol3

    Seriously though, I have a KLR650, my dad has a DR650 - there's huge overlap in what the two bikes can do, probably moreso than any other two midsize DS bikes IMHO. You're going to have to mod either one, so I'd look for the one you can get the better deal on, including the mods you want to make. The liquid cooled KLR is probably a benefit in the temps you're going to see, as long as you get the radiator some protection, but many DRs have done it so I don't think it should be a dealbreaker.

    Good luck - and like Holeycaveman said, it's mostly the rider, the bike's just a tool - so have fun and stay positive and you'll make it.
    #11
  12. Ruffus

    Ruffus Dirty Old Mudder

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    I'm just curious,,, does anyone know the horsepower numbers of these 650's???
    #12
  13. racer

    racer Long timer

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    Don't know about the DR650, but the KLR is 38 stock.
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  14. Kbetts

    Kbetts Long timer

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    Well, I was going to do a slam but seeing as you're from an area noted for excellent style I'll pass with this comment. My feet lack style and are old fashioned, but they get me where I need to go.


    Per the DR vs KLR, I think I'd buy the one I THOUGHT would work and give it a try with a couple of local trips loaded as if I was going for the big trip. If I didn't feel comfortable with the ergonomics and ride environment I'd sell it and try the other. I've only been to Mexico and Canada on the KLR but neither are much different than the States. The KLR250 sounds like a bit of a challenge but dooable. I couldn't do it because fat guys on little bikes are one of the most classic jokes in the whole world.:rofl
    #14
  15. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Both would do great and both would need some minor modifications to do it. I'm a DR650 guy (we have two), so that would be my choice, but if you set them up right, you would be fine on either.
    #15
  16. yard dog

    yard dog cheap but not free

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    Is the DR as electrically challenged as the KLR? I have never seen stats on how much current the DR has for powering accesories. Thanks! Ken
    #16
  17. rbrdown

    rbrdown I like cheese.

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    I think the DR is around 43. I couldn't feel any difference in power having ridden them side by side a bunch of times, probably due to the DR's lower gearing.
    #17
  18. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Either bike will do the trip fine, obviously. But if you want to know what the best bike is, it's the DR. The DR has a better frame, better suspension components and better brake components. It's lighter, even after being kitted out for travel. The engine makes more power and is oil cooled, which means no coolant or water pump to deal with, but it won't overheat.
    With tank, seat and a little windshield I like the comfort better than the stock KLR's, and it's actual performance is better on or off road.
    More people use KLRs for this sort of thing because they've been selling KLRs almost 10 years longer than the DR (it's especially obvious when noticing the fork, brake discs and calipers), and because for some reason most people will not change a motorcycle to work for a different purpose. The KLR is "tour" oriented on the showroom floor, and the DR is not. Spending six or seven hundred more and turning a few bolts to kit out the DR will get you about two thousand dollars more bike than the KLR, but most people won't think this way.
    For instance...
    Once upon a time I suggested to an Aprilia Mille owner that his bike would make a neat streetfighter if he took the fairing off and put a superbike bar on it. He thought I was crazy, and thought that would ruin the bike. The next year Aprilia came out with the Tuono and he traded his Mille for one. And so, the KLR's continued popularity doesn't surprise me.
    #18
  19. Kbetts

    Kbetts Long timer

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    The KLR has the numbers to show Snowrider is biased and centristically minded.

    Just because the the DR is "Better" for Snowrider has nothing to do with anyone else. Neither break down, neither cost much, neither have high maintenance requirements. The KLR is physically larger than the DR and fits some riders much better than a DR ever could yet weighs only a little more. The design of the KLR has proven itself and has no betters in it's own market or people would be buying something else.

    BTW Snowrider, how many DR are running around with 50k on the Odo?
    #19
  20. yater

    yater Long timer

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    Side-by-side shootouts have shown that klrs are for fat old guys with no balls. I have pics to prove it.
    #20
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