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Old 08-19-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
Jeephoto
 
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Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

I test rode a Suzuki DR650 today, thanks to Dennis Lettie, a fellow TWT member. We met at the Oasis at Joe Pool Lake, traded bikes and rode around the local country roads.

I currently ride a í99 KLR 650 and am considering buying a DR650 in the future. I have sat on many DRís at various dealerships, but I wanted to see what a DR was like actually riding it. Since dealers are hesitant about allowing test rides, I posted on TWT a request to ride someoneís DR650. Dennis answered my request. Many thanks to him.


Following are MY observations, comparisons and opinions about the KLR and the DR.

KLR650

Pros
Huge fuel tank, luggage rack, fairing, very tame power delivery, easy to work on. Water cooling, soft seat, huge aftermarket for accessories and parts, huge KLR ownership community to share tips with and to help. Very roomy "cockpit", pegs/handlebar/seat position.

Cons
Tall and heavy. The big gas tank and fairing make the bike seem massive and the height & weight can be an issue for shorter DS riders. The "doohickey" balancer lever; some have had problems with broken ones, but ALL have heard about it.


DR650

Pros
The shortest seat height of all 650 DS bikes. Can be lowered more. Seems lighter than it really is. Feels nimble, like a skinny little dirt bike. Air/oil cooled so no radiator fan or water pump to mess with. Comes in two colors. Peppy power delivery. Exhaust note is a nice thumping sound.

Cons
Small gas tank, no luggage rack. No windshield. Seat is very skinny and hard; my butt was hurting after only a few miles. The handlebars seem kind of low. The whole bike seemed lower, more "squatty" than the KLR.


Numbers donít lie, but they donít tell the whole story. Comparing the specifications of the 650cc dual-sport bikes will not tell you how well each one fits YOU and YOUR style of riding. Both the KLR and the DR are excellent bikes, along with the XR650L and others. A person could not go wrong owning any of the current 650cc DS bikes.

My decision to buy the KLR was its street capabilities and I found a "killer deal" on a good used one. It is a great street bike that I feel I could ride to Alaska or South America and ride anywhere. But I would not feel comfortable trying single track dirt trails with such a big, heavy bike (I can barely touch the ground on it).

The DR I feel would be an ideal multi surface bike that would go anywhere. Short enough to get my feet down, light enough to handle well, ability to go anywhere. Change the seat for a Corbin and maybe a bigger gas tank and you have a great long range DS bike.

In my opinion: if your looking for a dual purpose bike, something to ride streets and trails, the DR is your bike. If you want more street, adventure touring, mild dirt roads, then the KLR is your bike.

None of the current 650cc dual sports would be a bad bike. You just need to find out what works best for you.
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:01 AM   #2
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeephoto
In my opinion: if your looking for a dual purpose bike, something to ride streets and trails, the DR is your bike. If you want more street, adventure touring, mild dirt roads, then the KLR is your bike.

None of the current 650cc dual sports would be a bad bike. You just need to find out what works best for you.
Yep. That's how I would sum it up.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

I've got an easy solution to the small gas tank and lack of luggage rack on the DR...

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11643

But before I forget... the Corbin seat, while real comfortable, added too much seat height for my liking.
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Thanks Larry,

I share your coments. My plan is to add a Corbin seat, 1" handle bar risers and a removable windshield and I think I have my bike complete for the near future. I may add an IMS tank with the Corbin.
You forgot to mention that I have the BBQ rear racks from Ebay. They take a lickin' and keep things from bendin'.

Thanks,
-Dennis
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Thanks for the report. It helped me feel better about my decision to buy a KLR650. I'll just have to work on lowering it and maybe the lower Corbin seat.

Somewhere I saw 3" lowering brackets for the KLR. Will just have to work on lowering the front accordingly.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Seats and gas tanks should never enter in the equation when picking a bike IMO. So many aftermarket options out there for all the bikes.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:38 PM   #7
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeLee View Post
Thanks Larry,

I share your coments. My plan is to add a Corbin seat, 1" handle bar risers and a removable windshield and I think I have my bike complete for the near future. I may add an IMS tank with the Corbin.
You forgot to mention that I have the BBQ rear racks from Ebay. They take a lickin' and keep things from bendin'.

Thanks,
-Dennis
Sounds like yours will end up looking a great deal like mine...
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Looks good AUS. I have a short wind shield and modified a small top for the ebay racks for around town. I need to get the Spitfire next. The IMS tank and Corbin are great.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

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Originally Posted by DeLee View Post
Looks good AUS. I have a short wind shield and modified a small top for the ebay racks for around town. I need to get the Spitfire next. The IMS tank and Corbin are great.
I really love it. I rode it for 250 miles at 80+ mph this summer and could have gone another 250...with a MX helmet and goggles. I rode 8-hour days on jeep trail and single track mountain passes and never missed a beat even with my very limited skills. The spitfire tooks some extensive fiddling to position correctly but now it rocks. At the risk of hijacking this thread completely check out my cockpit....



The only thing I don't like about it is that I have begun to run out of farkles to add....
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:35 AM   #10
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Nonsense, you still need a XM radio!
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:50 PM   #11
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

Little tank?!?!?!

My DR will carry 8.9 gallons of fuel, which translates to about 400~425 miles of range.

With the Corbin seat and the fact that my butt is dead from riding a bicycle, it is doable.



I have XR650R in the garage as well, but like the DR better.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:14 PM   #12
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

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Little tank?!?!?!

My DR will carry 8.9 gallons of fuel
I thought the KLR tank was obscene...

That's over 50lbs of fuel...
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:19 PM   #13
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Re: Test rode a DR650-DR650 vs KLR650

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I thought the KLR tank was obscene...

That's over 50lbs of fuel...
And you might be surprised what it will bring when folks need a gallon
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