Help me decide what bike to buy! (Tenere, KLR, etc)

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by tennyis, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Hey guys,

    This will be a bit of a read, appologies in advance. So about 5 years ago I bought a DRZ400. The bike was a lot of fun but I'm not 15 anymore and I found the offroad was a bit much for me and my overweight body haha. I was fine riding the bike, and absolutely loved it but any real single track would lead to me being sore for weaks. Over the years I was riding it less and less. When I did ride it I was riding abandoned railway trails, gravel roads, forrest access, etc. Nothing more then an easy ATV trail. I also had a 2018 Vstrom, and put some Shinko 805's on it and found this thing does the kind of riding I do almost as well. The ATV trails the weight and top heavy make it a bit much. I wound up selling the DRZ with the intention that my Vstrom would be all I would need.

    I had never road a cruiser before and have always loved the classic american styling of the Vulcan Nomad 1700 and wound up buying one of those this past spring. My thought was that will be my touring 2up bike. Well my wife does not enjoy it, she prefers the Vstrom. Somehow she thinks the Nomad is to hard to get on/off, and she does not like the riding position, she has to much room and does not feel as safe. So it sat in the garage and the V-strom resumed its duties as my touring bike.

    I thought about trading it for a KLR650, the place I bought it has a left over brand new one they would trade me even for. It seems like it would do exactly what I am looking for. More comfortable then the DRZ on the road and better then the Vstrom offroad, it seems like it's exactly what I am looking for. The new Tenere 700 also appeals to me though but I wonder if it's worth the extra money (about $5,000 cdn). KTM 690 looks like a great bike, but I think it might be more offroad then what I need/want.

    Looking for other opinions! It's just about winter here, so i'm in no rush :)
    #1
  2. lithodave

    lithodave brachy850 Supporter

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    You have a road bike (strom). Go for klr for your dirt.
    #2
  3. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    I am confused, are looking at getting a second bike just for you to ride, or to replace the vstom as a your only bike ?

    Scott
    #3
  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    If I understand you right, you are looking for a bike to replace the V-Strom - one that is better on gravel and dirt roads, but still suitable for 2-up touring.

    I would recommend a twin cylinder bike, with at least as much power as the V-Strom.

    My suggestions:
    1. Yamaha T7
    2. Honda AT
    3. KTM 790, 1050, 1090 or 1190.
    4. BMW F 800/850
    #4
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  5. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    Second bike

    Sorry guys I tried to make that as clear as I could, which is apparently clear as mud lol. I am looking at a second bike. I currently have 2, a Vstrom that is supposed be my ADV bike and a Nomad 1700 for a touring bike. My wife prefers the Vstrom for touring, and to be honest I do as well. The Nomad just sat in the garage for most of last year. My thought is the V-Strom becomes the touring bike and I will then add a more offroad oriented bike for my ADV bike. I live in Ontario we have TONS of abandonded railway beds, atv trails, forrest access roads, etc. I want something that is better then the V-Strom offroad and better then the DRZ400 on road. That's probably all I needed to say... lol.
    #5
  6. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    T7 or 790 would still be a good choice for that kind of riding. No reason to go bigger when it's only for solo riding.
    #6
  7. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Ok, I understand

    2nd bike with as better dirt capabilities than the Vstom, and better street than the DRZ 400.

    Unfortunately, you did make clear what exactly you found problematic about the DRZ400 street perfomace.

    I live in Colorado and have owned and ridden a bunch of KTMs, that's what I know and that's what I will recommend.

    It's my impression that folks underestimate how good the light KTM exc class (350-450-500) bikes are on the street and as multiday camping adventure bikes.

    Here are some of things that make a KTM exc class a adv bike WITH MODIFICATIONS .

    1) Six speed tranny for high speeds.

    2) Huge aftermarket support to modify bike to you.

    3) Long legs, 200+ mile range with aftermarket tank.

    4) Ability to carry a full over night camp kit with soft luggage systems.

    5) Ergonomic modifications ready available, Comfy saddles. Wind fairings, ect..

    The 690/701 has all the street performance you need, and still is very good for the type of dirt you described.

    The 500 is likely to hit your sweet spot best though.

    Close to the 350 in dirt ...much lighter than a 690-701, yet the engine has the low end and hp needed to still be good on the road.

    So ..my recommendation

    1st ...500
    2nd 690/701
    3rd 350

    Enjoy

    Scott
    #7
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    DR790 with Cogent suspension and weight reduction...on up to a Tiger 800, T700, F800GS/F850GS, 790Adv R, or even a CB500X with knobs.

    Jeff at Procycle allegedly stripped a DR down to DR-Z400S-similar curb weight.

    The more modern bikes offer EFI and ABS.
    #8
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  9. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    Considering how you describe yourself physically, I'd think overall weight of the bike would be a big concern.
    #9
  10. NOrrTH

    NOrrTH Adventurer

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    790 Adv R or CB500X Rally Raid
    #10
  11. rickh123

    rickh123 Been here awhile

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    Is your V Strom 650 or 1000? If it is 1000 go for KLR.
    #11
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  12. WRC51

    WRC51 Long timer

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    I have a Super Tenere and had a KLR before that. Both great bikes IMHO but completely different. The KLR was a do anything bike, it would have been perfect with a 6 speed and the power to pull 65+ on the freeway. A higher out put electrical system to run heated gear and I would have bought another. The Super Tenere is HEAVY but it also is a do anything bike and I mean anything as long as you are on a paved road. Get it on a dirt road and things get interesting really fast, and I would not like to try and upright that monster when I fall. So if I was going to buy a bike today I think I would go with the KLR, it can be have mods added to up the power and it is as simple as a rock.
    004.JPG IMG_0415.JPG
    #12
  13. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

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    I had a 2012 klr and not a bad bike for what you are talking about doing with it.I found the power to tame but I am spoiled from over 30 years of offroad racing.It is sort of a pig but can do anything just not fast.Might want to check out the dr650 also as I here they have pretty good road manners.The ktm is more bike than you need for your plans but they are modern and fast.
    #13
  14. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    You may even want to consider a ThinStrom undertaking with your current DL, or get a 2nd one with ABS and/or spoked wheels. Upgrade the suspension and install some knobs. Voila! You have something lighter and better off-road than a near-stock DL, while having something better than a DR-Z400S on slab.

    IIRC, some of the ThinStroms ended up being only about 20lbs heavier than a stock DR650. That's lighter than a KLR650, with EFI and 20+HP more, and the possibility of ABS.
    #14
  15. lithodave

    lithodave brachy850 Supporter

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    If you can trade straight across the Nomad for KLR, go for that.
    #15
  16. b4thenite

    b4thenite Long timer

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    Get used BMW R1200 GS. Air Cooled GS with less than 30k miles for under 6k. wut!!!
    Anything else would be uncivilized.
    #16
  17. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad Been here awhile

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    I really liked my old '13 KLR offroad and to tool around town on. The downside for you is that given the physical limitations that you mentioned...a KLR is going to be a bit of a handful to handle when it goes down off-road (compared to your old DRZ400). If you're talking very tame trails and you take it easy, it might not be a problem for you.

    Within reason (to me...under 65 MPH)...the KLR is comfortable on road. Even after putting Shinko 705's (80/20), highway front sprocket, taller windscreen, etc., I was never a fan of taking mine on the interstate. That's just my two cents though.

    If you get a KLR and intend to take it off-road, ditch the plastic splash guard and get a skid plate on it immediately. I was lucky...I shattered the plastic splash guard into a bunch of pieces on my first trail outing and managed to cause no further damage. I ordered a skid plate as soon as I got home.
    #17
  18. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Supporter

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    Despite the better wind protection, I find the DR650 better than the KLR on-road, engine-wise at least. It has a few more ponies (maybe, depending on who you ask) and feels super relaxed and calm at 70+ mph. The KLR seems like it's straining a bit more. The DR needs mods to make it as comfortable, though. Windscreen and seat. Off-road, the DR blows the top-heavy KLR away, especially with some simple suspension upgrades.

    You said you're a big guy? I can confirm the DR650 rear shock can get it's spring replaced with no special tools, like a spring compressor. Simply disassemble, replace the spring, reassemble, and reinstall by hand. I'm not sure about the KLR spring.
    #18
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  19. zoo

    zoo Been here awhile

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    go for the klr. You have a good touring bike so no need for a big displacement heavy bike for off road adventure. the klr has everything you need to patrol old railway beds and back roads, loads of fuel, rack, and very reliable.
    I have and did klr's,at,ktm exc's, and now the 790. Truthfully, for more than a day, camping gear, remote areas and cheap as marbles, klr is the best.
    #19
  20. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

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    2nd bike with as better dirt capabilities than the Vstom, and better street than the DRZ 400


    ____
    RE Hima
    CRF250L Rally ABS
    G310GS
    Versys X 300
    Mighty DR
    KMT 390
    Maybe even a CB500X 19" front.
    #20