Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

DR 650 vs KLR 650

Recommended Posts

Wow, a lot of newish members over here! Welcome all!

I posted in the KLR forum too, but thought I' d put my word in here too. I do not own either bike, but have been on both.

j2man broke down the 3 650's correctly. Honda is the right bike for mostly offroading (80+%), Kawasaki is right for mostly commuting/on road (80%) and the DR is somewhere in between.

The DR has a hard seat, and even the gel seat just isn't that great IMO. The stock KLR seat is instant love, and will ward off the monkey butt for hours, literally.

The KLR stock tank is huge, though aftermarket tanks are available for both bikes. Both get around the same mileage (65+/-).

The DR feels more dirtbikish and the KLR a little more, well I dunno, its got its own feel. It is really nice going down the street, it turns really well (you will find yourself dragging the pegs a lot after a while), and is just plain comfortable. The DR reminds me more of my 250; A little less competent on road than the Kawi, but doable none-the-less.

As for the dirt part, most find the DR easier to ride. That doesn't mean better, just easier. My boyfriend has the 650, and he takes that thing everywhere, and I mean everywhere with no problems. I rode it too, and it really wasn't bad, just heavy (but they both are). The DR will feel more typical offroad, but still like a boat.

Both can be lowered if that is necessary. A lot of people do it on the KLR and love it. I'm sure the same goes for the DR.

Judging by your description of needs, the KLR seems to be the better choice. I'm not saying the DR would be a bad choice, I'm sure you would be content with it, but I just think the KLR is the ultimate commuter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The DR reminds me more of my 250; A little less competent on road than the Kawi, but doable none-the-less.

How is it less competent on the road? It's faster, handles better and stops better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Competent as in over all street/highway capabilities probably. Like touring and adventuring. It really is easier to take the KLR on a long trip as long as it doesn't break. ;-)

I drive 50 miles each way when I take the DR to work. It's pretty smooth and has no trouble cruising at 75.

I'm still waiting for my chance to come up on a KLR and blow his doors off.

Hasn't happened yet. ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my riding partners has a stock 05 KLR650. I have the slightly modified DR in my sig. We ride often (50/50 dirt/pavement) and switch rides often. The KLR is very comfortable on the pavement and gravel roads. My DR, though not very comfortable (seat wise) has more power, stops better, and handles much better in the dirt and on crooked pavement. Just my impressions and $.02 (he actually agrees on most points).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The KLR sits higher irregardless of specs. I have under a 30" inseam and 5'9". The KLR did not feel comfortable to me, the salesman was a dip, and I have a soft spot for Suzukis because my first three bikes were Suzukis(76 RM125, 77 GS 400, 78 GS1000E) and it has good balance of price/performance without stupid excess technology features usuable only by the 1% of motorcycle people that can really "ride". I got to ride KLR the other day. KLRs are way more comfortable to ride past one hour on the freeway although frankly there are way better bikes for going long distance on pavement. You can bomb down gravel roads on a harley but you are not going down a washed out jeep trail or through a gravel choked stream. The KLR is a boat under adverse conditions compared to the DR especially with that silly tank choked with gas. The DR is way more fun to whip around backroads, around town or down a gravel two track. Want watercooling and highway comfort? Buy a goldwing.

What kind of nut would want to ride down a tankful in that ugly green/red thing anyway?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Competent as in over all street/highway capabilities probably.

Right, but what IS that exactly? If it's not speed, acceleration, handling or stopping? I think people say it's better on the road because it seems like that's the only thing it COULD be better at. But it's really not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right, but what IS that exactly? If it's not speed, acceleration, handling or stopping? I think people say it's better on the road because it seems like that's the only thing it COULD be better at. But it's really not.

Some will choose the klr because it comes stock with most of the comforts of an "adventure bike." The dr650 needs the tank and seat ($450)....but once you add up the goodies needed to get the klr rideable (brake lines, doohickey, boingers, decent pegs, radiator protection, etc, you have spent as much or more than on the dr. I would take a stock klr any day over a stock dr for the type of riding I like to do....but they both need a little work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How is it less competent on the road? It's faster, handles better and stops better.

Well I just feel it is better long-range, esp. on the highway. I had no problem handling the KLR, and I'm pretty weak. I thought it was more comfortable, and if all he wants it for is highway and dirt roads, it just seems like the right choice. It stops fine to me, and while its no powerhouse, its got more than enough.

I guess its all really subjective. We all have different opinions about what makes a good bike. Heck, if I were in his position, I'd get a Buell Ulysses. But between the two, I'd pick the KLR. And other people I know who have ridden both would concur.

AZ:

Try them both out if you can. You are the only one who can really decide which is right. They would both be great for what you want. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that people feel that the KLR is a better street bike. However, they refer to the big tank and more comfort on long rides. Acceleration, handling and stopping are higher on the list for me. Right now the only thing that would absolutely convince me that the KLR was the one to get would be if I found out that the DR wouldn't handle the summer heat here. The hottest I've seen it so far is 107 F. One guy complained about the Suzuki gel seat getting really hot. Has anybody else had this problem? What about a Corbin seat? Is it any better, or will I have to get a sheepskin pad or something? The Corbin only costs $60 more, so I could handle that.

If I want to mod the DR for a little better performance, where should I look for parts? I'll want a K&N filter at the very least because of all the dust in this part of Arizona. Maybe I won't even feel the need for more power. My last dual sport was an XT 550, and I thought that was fairly quick. I'm going to asume that a 2006 DR 650 will be significantly quicker than an 82 XT 550.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just posted in the KLR forum on this topic. Sound's like you're going the DR route. I think it's what I would do. I cannot stress how much you'll want to get a Corbin seat. Don't bother with the gel,Not much better than stock. The DR come's geared pretty tall stock. You can cruise 80 all day long. If you change the front sprocket down to a 14 from a 15 stock it help's a lot. You can still cruise 70 easily. Better than my DRZ400 stock. I have thought seriously about getting rid of my DRZ and getting a DR. Good luck I hope this help's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just posted in the KLR forum on this topic. Sound's like you're going the DR route. I think it's what I would do. I cannot stress how much you'll want to get a Corbin seat. Don't bother with the gel,Not much better than stock. The DR come's geared pretty tall stock. You can cruise 80 all day long. If you change the front sprocket down to a 14 from a 15 stock it help's a lot. You can still cruise 70 easily. Better than my DRZ400 stock. I have thought seriously about getting rid of my DRZ and getting a DR. Good luck I hope this help's.

Hey, I just posted in the DRZ forum asking about commuting on one (DRZ). It's neat and kind of high-tech, but is it worth the money? What kind of mileage do you get? The Super Moto is kind of freaky and different, too. Wouldn't those tires be absolutely useless in the dirt, though?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a corbin in the mojave and california/baja and the seat never got hot. I'm not even sure why the gel seat would get hot, but anyway I'd definitely recommend the corbin, and I don't even like corbins. Their seat for the DR is one of the few corbins I like. The bike didn't have any real problems in the heat, but it definitely was a little down on power in the 100+ temps. I mostly noticed it around the mexican border when I was trying to follow a faster bike and pass cars on a two lane twisty at 85 mph and up. You might not have a problem with it feeling slower in the heat with a KLR, but then maybe it's just because it feels slower all the time.

It seems that people feel that the KLR is a better street bike. However, they refer to the big tank and more comfort on long rides. Acceleration, handling and stopping are higher on the list for me. Right now the only thing that would absolutely convince me that the KLR was the one to get would be if I found out that the DR wouldn't handle the summer heat here. The hottest I've seen it so far is 107 F. One guy complained about the Suzuki gel seat getting really hot. Has anybody else had this problem? What about a Corbin seat? Is it any better, or will I have to get a sheepskin pad or something? The Corbin only costs $60 more, so I could handle that.

If I want to mod the DR for a little better performance, where should I look for parts? I'll want a K&N filter at the very least because of all the dust in this part of Arizona. Maybe I won't even feel the need for more power. My last dual sport was an XT 550, and I thought that was fairly quick. I'm going to asume that a 2006 DR 650 will be significantly quicker than an 82 XT 550.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Everyone talks about shorter gearing for the dirt, but neither bike is a real dirt bike (60-80 lbs too heavy), so that makes no sense to me.

Wow... I love the DR in the dirt. I guess I'm just old... :thumbsup:

When I was a kid 300+lbs dirt bikes were the norm.

There were nuts back then launching their 300lb bikes over crazy gaps, bombing single track, and generaly tearing it up.

Its no CRF250 but its real enough for me :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an inseam of 30'' I would not even think about lowering my dr it was made for me.I had no idea the specs say the klr is the same height the salesman at the kawi dealer said the dr was lower.On top of that they wouldn't have a klr fo a month" I bought my dr in july "I also have no complaints obout the gel seat ,8 hour rides no problem .I live in southern california a hot seat has not been a problem for me.With the gel seat it works for stock or I.M.S tanks.I just happened to go to breakfast next door to the kawi dealer today and sat on a klr it was lower then i expected but not as low as my bike.On my dr I put a 14 tooth front sprocket on to help in the dirt.awesome mod by the way,I still find myself going 90+ sometimes. my speedometer may be off but i had throttle to spare.that on top of only wearing an offroad helmet .I am completely happy with my dr on the highway.Also In another thumper mixed forum I remember reading about needing to change or mod the front fender to not cause wobbles at high speeds. If thats true plus the brake and front shock issues addressed earlier in this thread.A big metal tank,small plastic bash plate and under powered water cooled engine with a bigger price tag make me very glad I was lucky enough to have found myself on my beautiful windshield free dr hey did i just go on a rant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets pretty hot and high humidy here, and I have never had a power loss problem. I realy don't know why my gel seat gets so hot, the bike only sits outside at work, but after those 90+ sunny days the thing is very hot. I have no problems with the confort of the gel seat it is fine for me, just the temp. I ride my bike when ever the weather is above 40 and it is not raining in the morning. The bike does just great and I am very happy. When looking I went and looked at everything and price was not an issue with me, seat height was. I realy wanted a Triumph Tiger but that thing is HUGE, then a BMW what a BIG bike. Then I went and looked at an 640 Adventure, Too tall again, Well I will try a Honda, always had good luck with Hondas but too tall, looked at the KLR, and it was tall looked at a DRZ too tall, sat on a DR and it was very close to fitting, Also looked at a Super Sherpa, would have been fine for me but I like to ride 2up with my wife and a 250 was a little small I thaught, but I liked that bike a-lot. So I went with the DR for the power, and I could manage it ok. When the wife went looking for a bike of her own we looked at all the smaller DS bikes and all where pretty dang tall, execpt the XT225, great little bike. I would not think twice about setting out cross country on the DR. I know it would get me there, the size of the tank is a non issue for me anyway, I like to get off and look around on my travels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kientech.com

This Guy has all you need for your DR. But I rode mine today for the first time, and loved the power it had up to 50 MPH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you have air valves on your fork caps? How do you like 'em and where did you them?

I guess I'm casting another vote for the DR..but I'm biased, I'm on my second one. (first one was a '93). For all the reasons already mentioned here, you are getting 10 yo tech instead of 20 yo tech. I think it's inexcuseable for Kawasaki not to fix the doohicky issue. I just read where an '06 had a broken spring! :thumbsup:

There's plenty you can do to a DR to make it your own...

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a341/telcobilly/scoots/my_dr_decals_2006_a.jpg

If your going to do any woods riding get the DR. Here is mine, can't seem tp get the kid too far away from it.

http://www.dualsportbc.com/photogallery/showphoto.php?photo=809&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just looking at the gas mileage thread on the DR. Does mileage really suck that bad, or are these guys just not riding for mileage? I mean, I know plenty of people that get 50 or better with a Sportster, and that weighs like 200 pounds more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×