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View Full Version : Which 650 Dual Sport to get


landman650r
10-19-2008, 11:20 AM
I currently have a DRZ400sm but wanna get a different bike and was lookin at getting a more streetable bike. I've been lookin at the DR650, XR650L, and KLR650. I would like a XR650r but am concerned about the engine being used a lot on road since it was built for racing.


In any case what are yalls opinions of these three bikes? I am wanting to do excursions/adventure riding with camping gear.

If I cant decide I'll likely get a DRZ400s but would like to get the extra umph from the additional 250 cc's

whoa
10-19-2008, 12:57 PM
Might have a look at the BMW F650 Dakar. I put it on the list at one point while considering going DS.

Quick-Silver
10-19-2008, 01:09 PM
I like my KLR650 with the dished out Corbin seat and the forward foot pegs which make for a ride that is fairly comfortable out to between 300 and 400 miles. My Goldwing is comfortable out to between 500 and 600 miles. I have ridden several >700 mile days on the Wing and was both mentally and physically tired.

The older model KLR's are cheap so that if you later decided you didn't like it you could resale without losing too much cash.

:rider:

Bear on a bicycle
10-19-2008, 01:15 PM
I currently have a DRZ400sm but wanna get a different bike and was lookin at getting a more streetable bike. I've been lookin at the DR650, XR650L, and KLR650. I would like a XR650r but am concerned about the engine being used a lot on road since it was built for racing.


In any case what are yalls opinions of these three bikes? I am wanting to do excursions/adventure riding with camping gear.

If I cant decide I'll likely get a DRZ400s but would like to get the extra umph from the additional 250 cc's

You have an SM, that is the most streetable of the DRZ's. The DR 650 won't give much more umph, but may be a bit more comfy on the street. The XR650R is by far the power house of the group & if set up with street tires would be a blast to ride, though probably not comfy for long excursions.

But if adventure riding with gear & what-not is what your after & don't mind a little compromise in the dirt, sounds like the KLR650 is the bike for you!

:rider:

landman650r
10-19-2008, 03:52 PM
thanks for the replies. I think the KLR is ugly but functional. If the marines use em why shouldnt I

KLRKrup47
10-24-2008, 11:34 PM
the KLR is a good bike, each of the 650's have their +'s and -'s but if you are definitely looking to go more of a streetable bike the KLR is the bike for you

And it is really quite capable off road just can't always go as fast as the others off road but you can get to the same places

Josh

The Bruce
10-25-2008, 12:37 PM
If you're getting a new KLR, they are even better on the street than the older model. And can still do light off road duty very well. If I could only have one bike it would be very high on my list. But since I have a street bike I like the DRZs better for dual sport riding. A lot better off road IMHO.

landman650r
10-25-2008, 12:47 PM
thanks, I am wantin to do longer trips off road and the SM would start to wear on me a couple hundred miles into the trip. Multi day trips I dont think would be much fun.

I'll get a street bike for the street but want a bike to do adventures on so I may roll with the KLR

ptwohig
10-26-2008, 02:10 PM
I ride a xr 650l, run 50/50 tires on it, put a Renazco racing seat on it. I constantly zip up and down the interstates at 65-75 MPH in 100 degree weather, and have over 17,000 trouble free miles. I have taken several long camping trips, and have no problems carrying all my gear. With the after market seat I can easily ride 400-500 miles comfortable and have gone as far as 700 in one day. Although this bike might lack a little power it more than makes up for it in reliabilty, the only draw back is the hieght for some riders, but is fairly easy to lower.

JUSTRIDE2666
10-26-2008, 03:15 PM
I have owned an 04 klr and know have a 2008 klr and as far as the streetable part they have come a long way. the longEst trip i have done so far was 500 miles stopped 1 time for fuel she will go 250 miles on a tank and still have res. left. they are great for the street and ok for dirt. THINK OF THEM AS A RED NECK BMW...

DANNYROTH
10-26-2008, 03:24 PM
You might look into the V-Stroms. Good ergonomics and handling. Suzuki says the 650 is a dual sport, but that is very misleading. The 1000 will run with the big boys on the open road.

jtm133
10-26-2008, 03:37 PM
been riding an 08 klr for a couple of months...pretty much every day (dont have another pov at the moment)...been on a couple of longer trips (150+) and on dirt roads...versatile bike...

landman650r
10-26-2008, 04:36 PM
You might look into the V-Stroms. Good ergonomics and handling. Suzuki says the 650 is a dual sport, but that is very misleading. The 1000 will run with the big boys on the open road.

I dont think that the v-strom is dirt enough for my taste. I like a light bike, I'm not a small guy, I'm fairly athletic and consider the KLR manageable in single track for me. The v-strom however just seems to be "different"...but they look very cool and if it was fire roads and stuff like that the v-strom would be perfect

TWTourist
10-26-2008, 06:20 PM
I have own a KLR, DRZ and now a DR. Out of the three, I feel the DR is the best 50/50 bike. The KLR would be my choice for longer distance with class 1 off road sections. The DRZ would be my choice for short distance with class 1 - 3 off road section.

I have not own a XL or BMW but the GS800 is high on my list as an adventure bike with class 1 off road sections.

Drumboy
10-26-2008, 07:10 PM
I have a 2000 KLR and love what it is for the price and reliability. I'd love a BMW (for the name) but the KLR is great on the street and ok on the dirt. Me and a buddy rode our KLR's to Mazatlan through Copper Canyon and then up Baja.

ripleyb
10-26-2008, 08:47 PM
Another plug for the KLR. Funnest bike I've owned, goes a long way on a tank, and can keep up with the cages on the interstates. :rider:

achesley
10-27-2008, 09:50 AM
My first KLR in '92 served me well running the roads on it for 3 years and 45,000 miles. Was my re-entry bike after 6 years being off due to vertigo problem due to being hit from behind and left in a ditch for dead in '86 on my '82 XV920TH. Then came my '95 R11GSa and wife talked me into selling the KLR. Next venture into Dual sport ( didn't know the name dual sport existed then ) was a DR350SE, then a newer one which I took off to Arkansas on to start the TAT from the East Border. Getting rained out about halfway, I returned home on the DR350SE, a 522 trip mostly in the rain. Upon getting home, went to my local dealer and bought a new '00 KLR650. Completed the TAT Arkansas plus run all over the Southern US on it. At one time I bought a used DRZ400SE from a friend. Was going to replace the KLR with it. Put all the good mods on the DRZ and took them out to Arkansas and later to Big Bend for a comparison test. For the kind of riding this older dude does, Very few places the DRZ400 Excelled over the KLR. Maybe if I was about 30 years younger, I would of went with the DRZ but my old body like the easy and lazy torque flow of the KLR. On loose gravel roads I found the KLR more stable due to it's longer wheel base. Upon returning home , I sold the DRZ and kept the KLR. Just last week I was talked out of my old friend by a local fireman.
I think I to try a DR650 due to it's lighter weight and easier to load on my MotoTote on the back of my truck.
But the KLR did see a few bikes come and go in my shop. Saw the R11GSa, 2 DR350se go, DRZ 400SE come and go, R11RA come and go. R1150GSa come and go, DL1000 come and go, Bandit 1250 Come. Now the Bandit stands alone till I get it a new running mate. ;-).

eppoh
10-30-2008, 09:15 PM
If you want more streetable, check out the BMW F650 or Aprilia Pegaso 650. Both basically the same bike. Both lighter than the Vstrom and that Austrian built Rotax motor is pretty tough.

I have had both. The older ones are carburetted Pre-2001, and most people who ride them keep them nice.

Either can be found in excellent shape for 3500-4500 bucks, with a few farkles.

I've heard of them being ridden from Alaska to South America.

Hoop
10-30-2008, 09:33 PM
I would like a XR650r but am concerned about the engine being used a lot on road since it was built for racing.

Have no worries about the engine on the XR650R. It is happy to run for hours and hours at highway speed with no problems. It was built for racing in Baja, which is high speed, long distance.

On the Divide Ride, I put in a 500+ mile day on pavement, a little bit of interstate, mostly 2-lane asphalt from Truth or Consequences NM to Frisco CO. The bike had no problems. That was followed by a week of riding a mix of dirt and some pavement back to the Mx border.

Iceveign
11-02-2008, 07:14 PM
Have no worries about the engine on the XR650R. It is happy to run for hours and hours at highway speed with no problems. It was built for racing in Baja, which is high speed, long distance.

On the Divide Ride, I put in a 500+ mile day on pavement, a little bit of interstate, mostly 2-lane asphalt from Truth or Consequences NM to Frisco CO. The bike had no problems. That was followed by a week of riding a mix of dirt and some pavement back to the Mx border.

How often does the xr650r requires oil changes? I heard it was like every 600-1000 miles, because it is race oriented. I'm also looking at this bike as I'm new to the dual-sport world.

Marc B
11-02-2008, 08:20 PM
I have the 07 Bandit 1250 and have ridden eerrr chased 2 different DL650s on two occasions, Only when we got to a straight was i able to reel em in. I was so impressed with the DL650s roadability that i would consider trading the Bandit in for one, They have more room and better ergos with plenty of road power. Ive been riding for 4 decades and i just couldnt touch the DL in the twistys and one of the riders was a girl. The KLR,s appeal to me some as well due to the price but they only have 37 hp. compared to the DL,s 67 hp. I want to be able to keep up and be able to do it 2 up if needed, Thats what sells me on the DL. SZ.

Bear on a bicycle
11-02-2008, 08:55 PM
Where are you getting your hp numbers? A DR650 has something in the neighborhood of 40hp.

Marc B
11-02-2008, 09:23 PM
I was looking at a review earlier from one of the mags that stated that HP and i thought ...Man thats more than the C90 i had, 40 something HP sounds more fact for a 650, I also read where the KLR couldnt run with the DR as far as highway, I guess thats where a twin is an advantage vs the big single.

Bear on a bicycle
11-02-2008, 09:26 PM
The DR650 is a single. Are you sure you're not thinking about the DL650 (AKA V-Strom 650, AKA Wee-Strom)??

I would imagine the KLR & the DR are similar in power.

Marc B
11-03-2008, 08:12 PM
The DR650 is a single. Are you sure you're not thinking about the DL650 (AKA V-Strom 650, AKA Wee-Strom)??

I would imagine the KLR & the DR are similar in power.

My Bad, I was talking DL V-Strom, I beg your pardon..Thanks for clearing that up for me. SZ.

cmattfish
11-10-2008, 11:19 PM
my DR650 runs like a champ around town. Depending on the tires you run depends on how the bike will handle. I like being tall in the saddle and it is no slouch.

landman650r
11-11-2008, 08:28 PM
:rider: I'll have a new bike by next Monday....gotta figure out which one I want

KLR650?

XR650R?

jar675
11-11-2008, 10:07 PM
The Klr would be more rode worthy. The XR can be a animal and alot of fun. If you can make it to Houston You are welcome to ride my XRR.:sun:

Drumboy
11-11-2008, 11:45 PM
I really wanted an XR650 but went with a KLR because of the large gas tank and more road-worthiness.

Iceveign
11-24-2008, 12:31 AM
Don't forget about the weight of these bikes. It's something to consider if you plan on doing some serious adv. riding from time to time. I can't imagine trying to pick up a 432 lb. bike by myself. But for the road, cross country and fire roads the KLR 650 sure seems to be popular, so it must be good.

KLR weighs 432 lbs. wet.
DR650 366 lbs. wet
2007 XR650R 277 lbs. dry
XR650L- 346 lbs. wet

I'm currently looking at a dual sport also and have read so much and searched so many forums I almost don't want one now, just kidding. I'm also considering the Yamaha WR250R and the Husqvarna TE610.

Drumboy
11-24-2008, 10:00 AM
I'm 160 lbs and can pick up the KLR fairly easily. I did have trouble one time when it was loaded down with luggage cause I couldn't reach anything stable on the back of the bike to grab onto.

I'd love a lighter bike (man the TE610 is nice) but the seats feel like my Specialized's (bicycle) and I hear they're not too stable over 70.

X1Glider
11-24-2008, 11:27 AM
I put 20,300 miles on my Honda XL600R (the old version of the XR650L, they use the same engine design) before I sold it. It was a very reliable bike. It ran up and down highways at 80 mph just fine and spent an equal amount of hours (but not miles) in the woods. It was comfy on the roads, turned well, no headshake and also was able to go through sand whoops, through streams and over logs, only slower than with a real dirt bike.

Much like the KLR, the design has been around forever and it's proven. Each bike does everything you want, but not great. However I feel the Honda does each of those things better than the KLR.

I can't comment on the DR650. I think, Casey (Gotdurt) rides one and takes it to City Park in Austin on a regular basis. I used to mountain bike there so I can say that the terrain is pretty rough.

Drumboy
11-24-2008, 11:40 AM
Much like the KLR, the design has been around forever and it's proven. Each bike does everything you want, but not great. However I feel the Honda does each of those things better than the KLR.
Everything except fuel range!

X1Glider
11-24-2008, 11:59 AM
Everything except fuel range!
Sometimes it's good to get off your butt and take a break, get some feeling back in your hands, get a drink, take care of bodily functions... IMS and Clark also make bigger tanks.

Drumboy
11-24-2008, 12:03 PM
Sometimes it's good to get off your butt and take a break, get some feeling back in your hands, get a drink, take care of bodily functions... IMS and Clark also make bigger tanks.
I agree on that one but it's nice to have the fuel capacity in remote areas. The only reason we got the KLR's is we were planning a Latin America trip and wanted to have lots of fuel if we needed it and I was pushing for the XR but that was the deciding factor.

How big are the aftermarket XR tanks?

Iceveign
11-24-2008, 12:56 PM
I personally don't take the comfort of the seat or the size of the tank into account when it comes to buying a dual sport. I've already decided to buy a Renazco dual sport seat(http://www.renazco.com/) and an after market tank for which ever bike I chose. I believe the IMS and Clarke tanks are 5 gallon tanks, but it depends on what bike I suppose.

Iceveign
11-24-2008, 01:08 PM
I'm 160 lbs and can pick up the KLR fairly easily. I did have trouble one time when it was loaded down with luggage cause I couldn't reach anything stable on the back of the bike to grab onto.

I'd love a lighter bike (man the TE610 is nice) but the seats feel like my Specialized's (bicycle) and I hear they're not too stable over 70.

The TE610 not being stable over 70, that's the first I've heard of that, I've read completely the opposite, that it's sixth gear is high and runs well over 90. But that bike is probably going to be out of my price range anyway, but I think I do want a fuel injected bike over a carb'd one, which narrows my choices.

ed29
11-24-2008, 01:11 PM
The KLR is like a two wheeled jeep to me. It is one of many bikes in the garage, and if I had to pare down to just one bike it would be in the top two to pick from. Folks have covered the street manners pretty well in earlier posts, so I will add that in Arkansas we pushed them pretty hard on rocky trails and the big heavy bikes did alright all things considered. My skid plate is all dented and gouged, so if you get one and plan on working it hard then a good plate is a must have.

It works for me as my large dual sport, or small adventure bike, whichever way you look at it. Comparing it to a KTM 990 is like comparing a mid size SUV to a trophy truck. Not equal machines in technology, capability, or intended purpose. The SUV and the trophy truck will both take you down the wash, just differently. As the KLR and the KTM will both go up the goat trail, just with a different experience resulting from the trip.

In answer to the original question from the first post, from the 650s you listed the DR or the KLR would fit the bill. My prefernece is the KLR. I have loaded it with enough camping gear for two people and still had no issues riding class 1 as well as pavement. Unloaded and with the panniers off class 3 is still fun for the most part. Beyond that level of challenge I prefer my smaller, lighter XR250.

X1Glider
11-24-2008, 01:11 PM
The only problem with huge tanks is when you're tired after a full day of riding and you go down. Picking up all that top heavy weight sux. If the roads are easy gravel or just rutted, that's easy, but if you want to actually go off road, that's another story. When a huge tank is half empty, the fuel sloshing from side to side can throw you off a little and may even surprise you. That's when the smaller tank is nice. So really, it's nice to have both sizes.

X1Glider
11-24-2008, 01:22 PM
The TE610 not being stable over 70, that's the first I've heard of that, I've read completely the opposite, that it's sixth gear is high and runs well over 90. But that bike is probably going to be out of my price range anyway, but I think I do want a fuel injected bike over a carb'd one, which narrows my choices.

I specifically rode to Austin one weekend just to demo ride the TE610 and found it to be a most excellent bike. Fuel delivery was great, acceleration was great and it handled well at a short burst at 85 mph. Comfort was just ok. After all it was designed to do some fairly difficult off-roading as well as street duty. I've seen pictures of people jumping these things. I loved the bike personally. Would I choose it over the Honda? No. I know the Honda is stone reliable. I don't know that about the Husky. And with Austin being my closest dealer, I'm not willing to travel that far for oil filters and brake pads or some other silly thing like a sensor issue.

Drumboy
11-24-2008, 01:28 PM
The TE610 not being stable over 70, that's the first I've heard of that, I've read completely the opposite, that it's sixth gear is high and runs well over 90. But that bike is probably going to be out of my price range anyway, but I think I do want a fuel injected bike over a carb'd one, which narrows my choices.
IDK, I didn't ride it but he said it wobbled really bad over 65. He was thinking about softening up his suspension and I told him that I didn't think that would help and told him that my KLR was similar until I got an Acerbis Supermoto front fender.

There's no real answer for 'Best Dual Sport' because they're all different of Street capability, OffRoad Capability, Price etc. Look at what you want in these categories and go from there.

brown
01-24-2009, 09:49 PM
I just bought an '09 KLR. It's my 24th motorcycle. I think we are going to get along just fine. I don't think you can go wrong w/ one.

GTgirl
01-24-2009, 11:28 PM
Yep....no doubt, the KLR is definately a great way to go! And the 2009's are sooooo hot looking!!!

Delores
K1200GT
KLR650
V-Star650
H-D 883R

Pooh Bear
01-25-2009, 10:31 AM
MX REALLY likes to get dirty, so I think the KLR will be too heavy for what he does. MX, Dan likes the DR650 because it is lighter and he climbs better with the first gear. He sold the KLR after he did a steep hill-realized that it does better with gravel and such than for more active riding like rutted hills. The weight just does not sling around well as you maneuver up.

landman650r
01-25-2009, 01:25 PM
I posted this prior to me getting my xr650r, I think my original post was before December. I now have the 650r so I have stopped looking(for now).

Pooh Bear
01-25-2009, 05:10 PM
And does it get you around! I didn't check the post date.

GTgirl
01-25-2009, 05:32 PM
MX REALLY likes to get dirty, so I think the KLR will be too heavy for what he does. MX, Dan likes the DR650 because it is lighter and he climbs better with the first gear. He sold the KLR after he did a steep hill-realized that it does better with gravel and such than for more active riding like rutted hills. The weight just does not sling around well as you maneuver up.


I know what you mean....I love the KLR for dual sport but I am snooping around for another lighter bike that I can get some air time with.

Delores

euromedic
02-24-2009, 09:45 PM
Might have a look at the BMW F650 Dakar. I put it on the list at one point while considering going DS.

I LOVE my F650 Dakar

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j266/euromedic/F650/Panniers1.jpg

Ive had to modify the saddle though, it is horrible in stock form. Beaded seat cover under sheepskin is doing the CBOA trick for now, but a Sargent/Corbin/etc upgrade is in the future. Aside from that, servicing made easy with the FAQ section of f650.com.

It is certainly too heavy to take on singletrack in the Sam Houston forest, especially when it is sandy. Jamie will vouch to that :-) But it served me well on my trip to Utah, rode the highways there and then took it on various trails around Moab before returning. The waterpump seal replacement is a bit of a bugger, but with practice and a modification to the oil return line it is not bad. Only needs it every 25-45000 miles anyway.

whitesands
03-10-2009, 07:01 PM
If you want something more streetable the KLR may be the bike to go with...Keep in mind that the 07' and 08's were reported to have oil consumption issues by alot of folks...I think Kawasaki gave it a new oil ring for 09'....

Marc B
03-10-2009, 07:50 PM
I didnt think it was the 07 still the first generation bike, I know the 08s have a ring problem, The rings go south on them bad and they did fix it for 09, They should have a recall on the 08, not a good thing. SZ.

DallasDon
03-11-2009, 04:41 PM
You might take a serious look at the Kawasaki Versys.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/?gclid=COLa-OmN65QCFQfNIgodE2EjBQ

achesley
03-19-2009, 06:17 AM
After 9 years on a '00 KLR, I sold it to a friend and headed for Austin tomorrow to get a DR650. Something lighter, Something different. ;-) My Bandit needs a mate in the garage.

Marc B
03-19-2009, 09:33 PM
TJs on N Lamar has a like new used 08 DR 650, dont know how much they want for it but it looks perfect. SZ.

achesley
03-20-2009, 05:49 AM
I'm picking up an '04 from a TWT inmate. Spending tonite in Austin, taking care of business tomorrow and coming back to Louisiana with bike. Family in from OK that I want to visit with Sunday or I'd head for Big Bend from Austin. ;-).
Heck, I've had a '96 and '97 DR350SE an '0? DRZ400SE so it's time for the DR650SE.

1txbiker
03-26-2009, 05:37 PM
I have riden & raced XR's most of my life. They have always made great dirt bikes, but not so great 50/50 bikes and I would ride one on the freeway. I now own a 07 650 DR, with a complete FMF SS pipe, a flat side carb and some other mods and this bike is a hoot to ride anywhere... It's set up as true 50/50 almost super motrad, meaning I have both street & dirt tires, but still use the 21' front. My friend I bought my 650 from rode it on a 3200 miles on a east coast swing and smoked many street bikes on the Tail of the Dragon... longest day was around 800 miles I think.
So my point is, as other have said all the 650's have +'s & -'s. BMW & KLR king of the road... KTM & XR650R king of the Dirt... Best 50/50 DR 650!!!

stratosurfer
03-28-2009, 12:50 PM
The USMC used the KLR 250 not 650 for many years. They now have a diesel version of the KLR that is based on the KLR 650, but it greatly modified. Having had a KLR 250 I can understand why they used them so long (2 years), they're very versatile and super light. I rode KLR 250 on the road in summer at 70MPH for short bursts, I got blown around pretty good but it never got hot.

tjrockit
09-14-2009, 07:09 PM
I've been riding the Honda XR650L for a year now and have done long road trips, dirt roads and MX style, single track off road with it and love it. I wanted something more dirt oriented that looked cool and was near bullet proof. The XRL is it. Add an aftermarket over-sized tank and you're ready to do the distance. :rider:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r82/tjrockit/TurboCity_New002.jpg

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r82/tjrockit/Off-Road-15AUG09001.jpg

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r82/tjrockit/Off-Road-15AUG09005.jpg

Geezer
10-11-2009, 09:54 AM
The big problem with trying to pick a new bike is that there are so many choices. I had a KLR 650 and sold it. Then bought a new DR650, which now has over 23,000 miles on it and made trips to Canada, the Great Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, etc. With some modifications it can go anywhere dependably.

Good luck!

landman650r
10-12-2009, 03:25 AM
Thanks...I've had my 650r for almost a yr now and cant be happier...I just need a more street worthy bike now

Drumboy
10-12-2009, 05:57 PM
Thanks...I've had my 650r for almost a yr now and cant be happier...I just need a more street worthy bike now
How is the 650R on long street rides? I'd really love to get one but I'm worried about the maintenance.

landman650r
10-13-2009, 12:52 AM
How is the 650R on long street rides? I'd really love to get one but I'm worried about the maintenance.

What do you consider long? lol

Its riding a dirt bike for long periods of time. Vibration is in handlebars makes ya numb at long periods...The knobbies suck on road. It would be great for TAT I think and trips like that.

My other option is gettin SM set up. To be honest, I think that the bike is great and if I had SM set up with street tires it would probably be fine on long street trips.

Drumboy
10-13-2009, 09:38 AM
What do you consider long? lol

Its riding a dirt bike for long periods of time. Vibration is in handlebars makes ya numb at long periods...The knobbies suck on road. It would be great for TAT I think and trips like that.

My other option is gettin SM set up. To be honest, I think that the bike is great and if I had SM set up with street tires it would probably be fine on long street trips.
I've done 578 miles in a day on my KLR but 300 miles in a day is more of what I consider 'long'. I was more talking about about maintenance and engine durability.

I want something a little more fun than the KLR like drz, xr4 or 650r.