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The DRZ400E Vs. KLX351 dilemma

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That is the tough question.  Will a 16 year old bike be more reliable than one about half the age with a 40% increase in displacement. 

I had each bike for a couple years and rode in pretty remote places.  Neither ever left me stranded.  Both have a large following and many aftermarket goodies.  Both are about the same to work on. I would still keep the newer bike.   The only other consideration is the power.  The KLX had a CV carb and the DRZ I think has a FCR pumper. 

Maybe the best way is to pick a favorite track, ride both back to back and decide which was most fun. 

Either way you can't lose.  

 

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54 minutes ago, CaptCapsize said:

That is the tough question.  Will a 16 year old bike be more reliable than one about half the age with a 40% increase in displacement. 

I had each bike for a couple years and rode in pretty remote places.  Neither ever left me stranded.  Both have a large following and many aftermarket goodies.  Both are about the same to work on. I would still keep the newer bike.   The only other consideration is the power.  The KLX had a CV carb and the DRZ I think has a FCR pumper. 

Maybe the best way is to pick a favorite track, ride both back to back and decide which was most fun. 

Either way you can't lose.  

 

Yes, this is the question, not sure about reliability. I know a lot of guys have ridden DRZ's to high mileage, and there is one guy on Adventure rider who racked up crazy mileage on a klx351 in Asia, but that was one guy. And yes, the KLX has the stock CVK 34 and the DRZ has the flat slide FCR 39 pumper. I am sure this makes a big difference however, the DRZ just seems to have a very wide powerband and just makes more power. The KLX seems to be very happy at low to midrange, but never comes on at higher revs. Not really bad for the type of riding that I tend to do though.

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That is the tough question.  Will a 16 year old bike be more reliable than one about half the age with a 40% increase in displacement. 

I had each bike for a couple years and rode in pretty remote places.  Neither ever left me stranded.  Both have a large following and many aftermarket goodies.  Both are about the same to work on. I would still keep the newer bike.   The only other consideration is the power.  The KLX had a CV carb and the DRZ I think has a FCR pumper. 

Maybe the best way is to pick a favorite track, ride both back to back and decide which was most fun. 

Either way you can't lose.  

 

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Reliability and longevity either one should do 50-60k, I think the Asia guy mentioned did his first rebuild at about 100,000.

I didn't have the E model so mine was heavier than my BB351 and taller and I am short.

I prefer the 6 speed and the BB351 is plenty of power for me at 160lbs and 1000' elevation is normal did notice I lost a little bit of power at 5-6000' but not enough to matter havn't been any higher so not sure about higher elevations. Only you can judge what works for you and your requirements.

After going about a year without riding the DRZ I sold it with a little less than 5000 miles and 0 issues and kept the KLX ymmv.

Supposedly the 06-07 KLX's where appx 20lbs lighter than the 09-and up KLX, Since selling the DRZ I have purchased another KLX BB351 because I couldn't pass up a good deal and now have 2-2007 KLXBB351's

Edited by Iffykid
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Well after reading everyone's opinions about both bikes I would also keep both even though I don't have any personal experience with either. 

I know the wife might not be keen on riding but they do make great riding partners even if they only join you once a month or so. 

Keep the klx with it's low 1st gear as her bike and kit it out her way for her, once they "pimp" it out they get just a bit more attached to it and are a bit more keen on joining you, well that worked for me anyway. Also pick the least challenging trails for her to join you on so she can gain confidence and ease into it. 

 

I've got a old 2001 dr650 and plan on getting the gearing organized in a way that I can just change the front sprocket for trails and highway. 

I'm still young enough to want the power and play a little bit, guess if I was older I would go for the klx, but for now I still like a challenge and don't mind putting in some physical effort into my trips. 

You are at a crossroad and don't know which route to take, we'll good news is that any route you take will be fun and rewarding in it's own way, there is no wrong or right decision, just a "this or that" decision to make. 

My conclusion is that if you still have a few years of "go" in you then keep the drz ride it like a bat out of hell and just swop it for a klx a few years down the line when you don't feel like putting too much effort into your trips anymore. 

Good luck and enjoy! 

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On 2017-12-10 at 4:18 AM, Because mountains said:

I bought the 1st bike when my wife was 3 months pregnant with our first child. Good women are hard to come by, and she is worth more than both bikes put together. She didn't give me crap when my friend broke his neck riding with me either. She didn't even give me crap when I got T boned by a pickup in town last year! I may be a noob but I bounce well. Don't worry guys, I am not a battered husband :) I randomly bought the DRZ to flip and just liked it. Both bikes fill the same bill, it doesn't make sense to  keep both. 

LOL!!

Sorry, this might be a bit long-winded.


Reminds me when in 2010 I asked my wife if we're giving up trying to conceive a child as I had a deal with a properly kitted VFR800 and it was now or never, because you know budgets.
Wifey wasn't overly concerned about me buying this VFR at the time, and we ended up starting an IVF less than six months later but that another story... I was however happy as a clam at high tide with my new used VFR!

Seven months later I bought my first winter-commuter bike. Still no objections from wifey.

Two years later I became a dad, and I still had the VFR800, as well as the previous VFR750 I hadn't managed to sell. Had a 4WD quad for the winter commuting, as the previous winter commuter bike had started to leak oil at any temperatures below 0 deg's C. I also had started to have the old age heebie-jeebies at my early 40s about crashing on my way to work and having a baby at home.

2013 we got another child (this one was completely home-brewed) and I was still with two VFR's.

2014 I think it was, I finally managed to sell off the VFR750 at a cut-throat price.:facepalm:

2015 I sold my last VFR because I couldn't do forward-leaning bikes anymore, on account of a c1-c2 fusion in my neck. Ended up buying first a hysterically tuned 690 Duke, selling it and then going totally bonkers six months later buying a 990 SMR, since I felt supermotarding was definitely my thing, although I wanted it a bit less hysterical.

2015 I got tired with getting bogged down in car queues with the quad, so I bought a Dominator instead. My intention was to use this old iron-fence to start offroading.

2016 I bought a DRZ400, keeping the Dominator, as the Dominator wasn't quite the thing off-road. It was almost constantly overheating with my style of riding.

2017 brings me with an unexpected stable of three bikes, two kids and a wife who still doesn't care how many bikes I have, as long as the family economy isn't hurt.
To add to that, wifey's actually told me she can see a clear difference when I do not have any bike and having one (or more...), able to maintain that marmonic mental health zen.
In fact, in 2008, when I took up motorcycles again after about ten years without, wifey says I took a turn for being a the better partner.

And who am I to argue with that?? :ride:

Edited by adrian_vg
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Which color looks less putrid to you, green or yellow?

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4 hours ago, Ons Huis said:

Well after reading everyone's opinions about both bikes I would also keep both even though I don't have any personal experience with either. 

I know the wife might not be keen on riding but they do make great riding partners even if they only join you once a month or so. 

Keep the klx with it's low 1st gear as her bike and kit it out her way for her, once they "pimp" it out they get just a bit more attached to it and are a bit more keen on joining you, well that worked for me anyway. Also pick the least challenging trails for her to join you on so she can gain confidence and ease into it. 

 

I've got a old 2001 dr650 and plan on getting the gearing organized in a way that I can just change the front sprocket for trails and highway. 

I'm still young enough to want the power and play a little bit, guess if I was older I would go for the klx, but for now I still like a challenge and don't mind putting in some physical effort into my trips. 

You are at a crossroad and don't know which route to take, we'll good news is that any route you take will be fun and rewarding in it's own way, there is no wrong or right decision, just a "this or that" decision to make. 

My conclusion is that if you still have a few years of "go" in you then keep the drz ride it like a bat out of hell and just swop it for a klx a few years down the line when you don't feel like putting too much effort into your trips anymore. 

Good luck and enjoy! 

No experience with either bike so you would recommend DR650 instead,:facepalm: If you want power to play a little more buy a 2 smoker.

Edited by Iffykid

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36 minutes ago, Iffykid said:

No experience with either bike so you would recommend DR650 instead,:facepalm: If you want power to play a little more buy a 2 smoker.

Did not recommend the dr650, just said I have one. 

2strokes are awesome for weekend fun! 

But I'm into the balance between reliability, economy and enough power (in that order). 

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2 hours ago, Ons Huis said:

Did not recommend the dr650, just said I have one. 

2strokes are awesome for weekend fun! 

But I'm into the balance between reliability, economy and enough power (in that order). 

Sorry for miss understanding your mention of the DR650.  I had a 2013 for awhile and it was a ok 50/50 bike I found myself riding more on the dirt side of the equation and moved onto the DRz and then the KLX and now looking at the 390RR for the weight savings but at a steeper price tag.

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Yeah, already did all the "loctite fixes", Man that is a lot of loctite! There is never enough power I guess. Which bike do you think  would be more reliable? Long lived? I plan running the one I keep up over 20K miles, probably a lot more than 20K.

There is no more reliable (dirtish) bike than a DRZ. Unless it's a DR650. They are the Goldwing of the knobby world, an apt comparison given their weight.
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25 minutes ago, Iffykid said:

Sorry for miss understanding your mention of the DR650.  I had a 2013 for awhile and it was a ok 50/50 bike I found myself riding more on the dirt side of the equation and moved onto the DRz and then the KLX and now looking at the 390RR for the weight savings but at a steeper price tag.

No probs. 

Well the only reason I got the dr650 and not a drz is because of availability, there simply aren't any available here in south africa (2nd hand in my price class). 

It's got a very loud basically free flow exhaust, jetting is a bit lean but I was working on it till last week when I went down in the mud on my way to work and well I'm on sick leave now (broken/fractured femur neck and head, accident was on Thursday, surgery was on Friday),.... 

Where was I going with this?,... Oh yeh, yeh I was just looking for a do it all bike to replace my dr200, from long trips to daily driver, in the end it came down to any 400cc bike in my price range really and the only 650 was the XR or DR.

I envy the OP for his luck in having to choose between 2 awesome bikes, but for me right now in my life I'd go with the drz, more fun and yes more demanding in the tricky stuff but I still enjoy it, I'm not that old yet 😋

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I think most that replied would like to have either or both. OP needs to keep both, one as a wife/buddy bike. I'd come be a buddy to ride either.

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21 hours ago, Because mountains said:

Yes, this is the question, not sure about reliability. I know a lot of guys have ridden DRZ's to high mileage, and there is one guy on Adventure rider who racked up crazy mileage on a klx351 in Asia, but that was one guy. And yes, the KLX has the stock CVK 34 and the DRZ has the flat slide FCR 39 pumper. I am sure this makes a big difference however, the DRZ just seems to have a very wide powerband and just makes more power. The KLX seems to be very happy at low to midrange, but never comes on at higher revs. Not really bad for the type of riding that I tend to do though.

I got the ultimate answer for you, sell the KLX, gear the DRZ a little taller and put the new updated Recluse auto clutch in it.

Since your like me and want a bike as a do it all machine. Most people agree the 5 speed box is what keeps the DRZ from being that ultimate do it all bike. I do it all. From 13 hour days on hiway and forest service roads, to tip toeing through tight, hilly, rocky, rooty, nasty single track and my solution is to quick change my countershaft sprocket for what ever riding I'm going to do. I've got the change down to about 10 min. anywhere from a 13T to a 16T with the same 110 link chain and a 42T rear. But I realise not everyone's going to do that, so running stock S gearing (15-44) with the Recluse would give a decent hiway gear and be awesome in the tight nasty stuff.

But for sure keep the wife, a good woman is worth her weight in gold. :thumbsup:

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17 hours ago, Dmouse said:

Which color looks less putrid to you, green or yellow?

Man, they are both ugly bikes, guess the green one wins the color game. I was always a fan of the Hulk comics growing up.

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11 hours ago, Ons Huis said:

No probs. 

Well the only reason I got the dr650 and not a drz is because of availability, there simply aren't any available here in south africa (2nd hand in my price class). 

It's got a very loud basically free flow exhaust, jetting is a bit lean but I was working on it till last week when I went down in the mud on my way to work and well I'm on sick leave now (broken/fractured femur neck and head, accident was on Thursday, surgery was on Friday),.... 

Where was I going with this?,... Oh yeh, yeh I was just looking for a do it all bike to replace my dr200, from long trips to daily driver, in the end it came down to any 400cc bike in my price range really and the only 650 was the XR or DR.

I envy the OP for his luck in having to choose between 2 awesome bikes, but for me right now in my life I'd go with the drz, more fun and yes more demanding in the tricky stuff but I still enjoy it, I'm not that old yet 😋

Wow man, hope you get well soon.

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2 hours ago, bucket list said:

I got the ultimate answer for you, sell the KLX, gear the DRZ a little taller and put the new updated Recluse auto clutch in it.

Since your like me and want a bike as a do it all machine. Most people agree the 5 speed box is what keeps the DRZ from being that ultimate do it all bike. I do it all. From 13 hour days on hiway and forest service roads, to tip toeing through tight, hilly, rocky, rooty, nasty single track and my solution is to quick change my countershaft sprocket for what ever riding I'm going to do. I've got the change down to about 10 min. anywhere from a 13T to a 16T with the same 110 link chain and a 42T rear. But I realise not everyone's going to do that, so running stock S gearing (15-44) with the Recluse would give a decent hiway gear and be awesome in the tight nasty stuff.

But for sure keep the wife, a good woman is worth her weight in gold. :thumbsup:

That is an interesting thought, never thought about a Recluse. I tend to like riding my KLX kinda like a trials bike in tight stuff, slow, on the pegs, balancing and weighting/de weighting a lot. I can still do this with the DRZ, and infact, can practically track stand it. The issue is, the tight stuff is just so much more rewarding on the KLX because it practically stops moving and won't stall. The DRZ is currently geared at 14/49! and the 1st gear is still really tall. It is running around 50mph at 6K rpm. What are the auto clutches like to ride, can you still use the clutch the same way?

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1 hour ago, Because mountains said:

That is an interesting thought, never thought about a Recluse. I tend to like riding my KLX kinda like a trials bike in tight stuff, slow, on the pegs, balancing and weighting/de weighting a lot. I can still do this with the DRZ, and infact, can practically track stand it. The issue is, the tight stuff is just so much more rewarding on the KLX because it practically stops moving and won't stall. The DRZ is currently geared at 14/49! and the 1st gear is still really tall. It is running around 50mph at 6K rpm. What are the auto clutches like to ride, can you still use the clutch the same way?

Wow, you must ride way differently then me. 14/49 really tall? I'm thinking my 14/42 is really low! IF I use my 13/42 (similar to 14/45) I'm thinking I might as well have a trials bike. Lol I like to attack the trail, use momentum to get over and through obbsticals.

But the Recluse is like cheating, so many top enduro and Supercross riders are now using the auto clutches now because they work so good in the tight narly stuff. Recluse has recently improved there product for bikes like the DRZ. They now use thinner steel fiber plates to get more in there, along with steel inserts on the clutch basket to keep the thinner plates from wearing in to the aluminum basket  fingers.

You can still use the clutch manually , but at low idle when you release the lever, it just sits there and idles till you raise the rpm  a little. The only down side is you don't have as much engine braking.

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My DRZ rides well at very slow speeds, almost stopped....in fact I think the FCR I installed made more of a difference at crawling speed than anywhere else. Of course the bike is heavy and steers fairly heavy at slow speeds also....and I do have to work the clutch a bit. I didn't enjoy the wife's 2014 KLX 250 as it really really lacked in the power dept. and wasn't all that much lighter than the DRZ, although it FELT much lighter. 

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7 hours ago, shuswap1 said:

My DRZ rides well at very slow speeds, almost stopped....in fact I think the FCR I installed made more of a difference at crawling speed than anywhere else. Of course the bike is heavy and steers fairly heavy at slow speeds also....and I do have to work the clutch a bit. I didn't enjoy the wife's 2014 KLX 250 as it really really lacked in the power dept. and wasn't all that much lighter than the DRZ, although it FELT much lighter. 

Did your wifes 2014 have the BB351? I found it makes a noticeable difference in power.

For me I run 14X47 and cruise comfortable between 60-65mph and can still swap the counter shaft 13 or 15 depending if I want more or less gearing in about ten minutes.

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