650's & Front Wheel Lofting

I have been looking into three different bikes as of late.

  • Suzuki DR650SE
  • Kawasaki KLR650
  • MZ Baghira Enduro

Now I understand none of these bikes are light. I've ridden around on an XR650L quite abit so I've got an idea of what to expect when it comes to handling the weight. Out of these three which one is easiest to lift the front wheel for wheelies and going over whatever the trail presents? I imagine the Suz' and MZ lift the front end much easier; would that be a correct assumption?

Some other questions I have:

  • Just how off-road capable is the KLR650? Is it better left to gravel roads?
  • Are liquid cooled motors really all that and a can of cheese or do the air cooled motors have just as much pep during the heated rides? In other words, are liquid cooled motors better?
  • About the DR650SE: Which color is faster, yellow or blue? :naughty:

Thanks in advance for all your help *hopefully*

I believe the DR650 is the lightest of the 3. It also has an oil cooler so heat shouldn't be that big of a problem. I have a 1990 which will loft the front end in 1st with no clutch, and 2nd with clutch at about 30mph. The gearing is VERY tall and 5th never gets used unless you are doing more than 50mph. You can lower the gearing and probably make the DR650 more dirtworthy than your other choices. Plus wheelies will probably be available in 3rd, and very low gearing will probably get the front end up in 4th.

I think the KLR needs a massive update although I like the bike. Single piston caliper in 2005? What about 39mm forks on a 350 pound bike?

well for what it's worth, probably not much but, i have a 2004 dr650 and i've put on a 14th front sprocket and a set of irc gp1's and ride some pretty tight trails here in PA. with the stock 15th and the stock trailwings you probably better stick to the fireroads but for me the 14th and new rubber works VERY well and i wouldn't trade it for anything. oh and the YELLOW ones are faster :naughty:

I had an 03 DR650, *with* a dynoojet kit, and it would lift the front wheel in first gear.

Before I put the dynojet kit in, it wouldn't lift the front at all -- it would just cough and stumble from lean jetting, as soon as the throttle was opened.

What's wrong with the XR650L?

What's wrong with the XR650L?

That's what I was wondering? :naughty:

stock dr 650 is a beast to lift up. Id imagen like above, changing the gearing would do this bike a lot of good.

What's wrong with the XR650L?

Well, there is nothing really wrong with the XR650L other than being a tad taller than I'd like. The only reason I'm looking into another DS is because I've already owned a XR650L and saw what it could do. Now I'm alittle curious what other bikes can do.

I wasnt really planning on selling the XR650L until a guy with alot of money flashed it at me and told me he wanted the bike. I told him I wasnt interested, he told me he'd buy it for 6k. I told him he's flippin' nuts and that a brand new bike doesnt even cost that much. He said he didnt want to buy a new one and do the modifications I've already done to my bike. I thought to myself for a second, and then said screw it, and let the man buy the bike.

So now I'm bikeless and looking at what other bikes there are. I doubt I'll get another XRL, but I wont say that I WONT get another one. That bike did everything I wanted to except higher speeds. 'Can't have everything from a motorcycle though.

While I'm posting, would a Suzuki DR-Z400S lift it's front end easier than all of these bikes? I hear that it's better offroading than all the rest, but are we talking by leaps and bounds or just little hops of difference?

Thanks again

I can't compare the DRZ400S to the other 650's because I haven't ridden the 650's, but I can tell you the 400 can wheelie totally stock. I could only do it in 1st, but many others can do it in 2nd. Since I've re-jetted and changed the gearing, I can wheelie better in 2nd.

I've owned an XR650L, currently own a DRZ400S and have been temp-loaned a KLR650 for the last six months. I have done a lot of off-roading on the KLR, it can do and go anywhere you want it to but it won't be easy. Needs a gearing change too before it will easily lift the front wheel. Out of your list, the DR650 is probably the best choice if you want big bike feel. The DRZ is a bit lighter but I'm sure it gives up low end torque to the 600+ cc bikes. Lots of highway on the 400 isn't fun either, I'd rather have a 650 if I were doing a long stretch of road on a regular basis. Good luck, any one of those bikes will make you happy.

What's wrong with the XR650L?

It's a Honda. :naughty::D:naughty:

Get a KTM 625/640 with 15/45 or 15/50 and wheelie in whatever gear ya want. I can throttle wheelie in 3rd any time any where and usually in 4th. I can with a good bit of body english wheelie in 5th. All of this without ever touching the clutch. BTW I have 15/50 sprockets

I plan to buy an already street legal dual sport. The local DMV is pretty screwy here. When my dad was looking into making an off-road bike street legal he went to the dmv and they told him something along the lines of an off-road motorcycle not passing emissions or some chit like that. I'm worried they are going to give me the run around so I have been trying to look into whats already street legal.

It's a Honda. :naughty::D:naughty:

Hey now. I'll put my XR650L against any KRL650, any day any time any situation :D

Hey now. I'll put my XR650L against any KRL650, any day any time any situation :naughty:

Ok , how about a multi-state hi speed romp. :naughty:

Ok , how about a multi-state hi speed romp. :naughty:

Okay. To say the KLR is a high speed freeway machine is laughable. My XRL is out of it's element there, but I cruise 70 MPH every day, no problemo.

I don't beleive he said it was a high speed freeway machine. The KLR will still go faster than the XR650L though. That I know for a fact. :naughty:

well, on the topic of the dr650, i just drilled my carb slide and shimmed up the needle and adjusted the idle screw setting and it has made quit a difference in the feel of the bike. with that done the front end wants to come up pretty easily now. i won't try it myself(yeah i'm a big sissy) 'cause i don't pariculary like the taste of dirt(and i'm pretty sure that's where i'd end up) but i know it feels alot peppier than previously and that' even with the 14th front sprocket. and drilling the slide and shimmig the needle were free to boot so... just an fyi.

I've got an '04 DR 650, and the only thing I've done so far is remove the snorkel, and backfire shield. I can get the front end up with no problem mid throttle in 1st, shut throttle, then snap...with NO pulling...doesn't come up far, so add a little english and it'll loop pretty easy...2nd is a little tougher, but I havn't installed my DynoJet kit yet, nor opened up the airbox.

By the way, if you decide on the DR.....BUY A SKID PLATE PRIOR TO GOING OFF ROAD!!!!!!

Take my advice on this one.....

I have a 99 DR650. On the pavement 1st and 2nd don't need the clutch but 3rd does. In the dirt 3rd and 4th are good on higher speed trails that have small whoops or humps cuz you can get the front up easilly and go 100 or 150 feet at a high speed. Master the big bore and enjoy the torque bro!

As for air cooled vs liquid cooled. The KLR being LQ cooled has tighter tolerances in the engine and this is allowed due to a more constant eng temp that prevents smaller changes in size of components. This helps make HP.

I live in the interior of British Columbia and the temp in the summer gets into the 40's. I have riden single track with my 2-smoke buddies in this weather and have seen their LQ coold MX engines boil-over and overheat. With the air/oil cooled DR650 i have never had any problems with heat. The engine got damn hot and the performance diminished some but it still ran like a top and using 98oct fuel help prevent pre-ignition.

I love the DR and would NEVER trade it for a KLR650 but.. on the hwy the KLR kiks ass, it's faster accelerating and way more comfortable on longer rides.

I ride tight single track in the woods and can still hit 100mph on the hwy. Now that's a bike to have !!

As for the Honda XR650L,, it's a nice bike but it is still the old air-cooled technology( like the DR)with the LQ cooled technology price. Your still paying for the name.

I ride 30km to work every day on the highway and it's a blast, i keep my speed arround 110k, the bike kinda likes it there. The smaller 400's are kinda slow on the hwy but look prety good in the tight woods.

In town i have a hard time NOT doing wheelies, it's just too easy with the DR and tooooo damn fun.

What ever ya do ,,,Just Give'r bro!

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