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DR 650 Owners Opinions

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Greetings,

Trying to decide on which bike to buy. The Dr650 or KLR 650. Most of my riding will be on paved roads with some dirt roads and trails thrown in. No jumping etc. I don't expect info on the KLR, unless you own/owned one, since this is the DR forum.

I fit on both bikes well. I must state that I am leaning to the DR because I like the oil cooled engine vs. the water cooled. I have this thought that it has less things to go wrong with it. I don't think engine longevity would be an issue since I take good care of my toys.

Can some of the owners please give me some heads up on this bike as far as maintenance issues, if any. I do my own oil changes and will eventually be switching to Royal Purple, since I sell the stuff, chain adjustments etc. I haven't done a valve adjustment but hope to learn. Anyone know when that adjustment is needed??

Any help in my decision making will be appreciated. :thumbsup:

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Personally I have never ridden a KLR but the consensus from the previous times that this question has come up seems to be that the KLR is the winner for the street but the DR comes out on top in the dirt.

I ride my DR mostly on the street and my only complaint is the wobble that it gets at higher speeds(65+). Others report this wobble too. Would I call it a bad street bike? NO! It is more than adequate. When I do ride it on the dirt it does a great job considering it's weight, but I would hate to ride something less capable (KLR) even on the few times that it hits the dirt.

Flea

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I have the DR, of course, and I've ridden the KLR (reason for owning a DR). The KLR was heavier than the DR, bulky feeling, and had a terrible vibration in the seat. Oh, and it looks funky :ride: . Honestly, you should get a ride on both bikes. I've said this over and over - "My favorite bike, may not be your favorite". You need to get a ride on both bikes before you decide or you may make the wrong decision.

BTW, I've known several KLR owners who did not like their bikes and sold them. I've never met an unhappy DR owner. :thumbsup:

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I ride my DR as a daily commuter back and forth to work, which is only on dirt roads and only 7 miles one way. The only reason I would think of a KLR is that it would be more comfortable on the longer rides. Stock the DR is only comfortable for about 30 minutes at a time. One nice thing about the DR is that it can be altered to be much more comfortable for the long haul, but not lose any of its dirt prowess. I am not sure the KLR can go the other way as easily.

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My 2006 DR650SE will do 80+ on the highway smooth as glass. Some of them may wobble, but mine never has. I was in the cycle shop this afternoon and looked at a KLR..... and was very glad I got a DR. Absolutely the only plus I could find was that the seat on the KLR looked more comfortable. OK, and it has a tachometer. Glad I got the Suzuki. P.S. Check the valves at 600 miles, same as first oil change.

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Only complaints : 1. Stock seat sucks 2. Stock gearing is way too high 3.Stock jetting is way too lean. 4. Stock tires = crashes in dirt (but they are great on the street) 5. Stock mirrors suck 6. Stock tailight will vibrate itself to pieces offroad. 7. Stock handguards are for looks only 8. Stock horn is very weak. 9. Stock exhaust weighs like 25 lbs. Of course, all of these are easily corrected with a little cash. I've corrected all of them except for the seat and exhaust so far!

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I have an 06 that i bought a little over two months ago. I just turned 2000 miles today. i have changed the front sprocket to a 14 tooth (a must for off road) and installed a small windshield, corbin seat and the dynojet kit with airbox modification. The chain was adjusted at 600 miles when sprocket was installed and needs to be adjusted again. i really like the bike, never owned a klr and thought about buying one until i started reading the forums here on thumpertalk. Today i rode two up for the first time, left Cody and headed down to the Kirwin mine near Meeteetse about 70 miles one way of which twenty five are gravel. Eleven miles of the gravel are a four wheel drive trail which requires fording water three or four times. All this riding two up, it was a little tricky but not over demanding. My DR doesn't shake until 90 mph, which i seldom do,,,, anymore!! Overall the bike is great, i do not know how much two up riding i will do and after today it will definitly be left to short trips under 100 miles. I have no bad things to say about my DR. The End :thumbsup:

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I sat on a KLR and did not like it. Felt like I was reaching the controls too much. The DR650 felt right so I bought it. I rode the KLR afterwards and really didn't think it was better on road. The DR650 feels smaller and lighter which is a plus off-road but both bikes are pigs by real off-road standards.

My DR650 doesn't shake even going 85 mph+ with unbalanced Maxxis 6006s. Wind blast is not pleasant at that speed and you won't want to ride either bike that fast that long...they are not sport tourers. Maintence wise both bikes are similar. KLR has shim and bucket valves that require fewer adjustments but are harder to adjust and require buying shims. KLR has the doohickey thing and cam chain tensioner adjustment(I think). Both are definitely some of the most reliable well liked bikes ever made. After a year and 8800 miles i still like my DR

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KLR is top heavy, has much less suspension travel, non-spring loaded foot pegs, brakes suck, especially the front, any KLR owner is highly advised to do the "doo-hicky" timing chain tensioner mod. Both bikes need some mods to make them work right but the DR is a much better platform to start with.

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I beleve the DR is a better all around bike and is more dirt worthy by far than the KLR. The hard core dirt guys (DRZ,KTM) will bust on the big DR back on the tough trails, but there are plenty of them (650s) back there. I've never seen a KLR rider last on the tough pine land trails that the DRs routinely travel.

THe KLR is capable on dirt or gravel roads and has a vastly more comfortable seat for extended road trips or adventure riding.

Maintenance for the DR is minimal and the engine is about as indistructable as they come. You could say the DR stands for "Dependable Ride"! :thumbsup:

Mike.

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What made me decide was: I wanted a bike to ride on and off road. If I just wanted to ride on road I would of got a street bike, Or dirt bike for off road. So the KLR is good on road. The XRL is good off road. The DR is the best dual sport period.

If your buying a new one 1st thing to do: change the upper chain roller to a moose. It is noisy and causes vibration if your heavy or doubling up.

Wobble at about 85mph, stock tires.

Like Navaho said, never herd anyone say they hated their DR. Got over 4K on my 05.

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I owned an '05 KLR650 and I now own an '05 DR650. That alone should tell you how I felt about the KLR, but I'll give you a little more detail, cause I hate to see people make the same mistakes I made when they don't have to.

First off, the KLR is a good bike. Really, it is. It comes stock with a large fuel tank and a more comfortable seat than the DR (but those are easily fixable on the DR). It's heavier, so it feels more substantial on pavement, but only at slower speeds, say between 25 and 50 mph. At higher speeds, I felt that the KLR was working harder than my DR is. The KLR has great aftermarket support and a devoted following, so advice is always at hand. It's also an easy bike to work on, but two procedures that are necessary are pretty advanced (beyond my mechanical abilities): the "doohickey" replacement, and valve adjustments. The DR's valves are much more easily adjusted.

The KLR is a bike that has been virtually unchanged for around 20 years, and it shows. It's "rough around the edges", whereas the DR is much more refined and smoother, even though on paper, they look similar. I was actually surprised at how much better built and smoother I perceived my DR to be over my KLR.

The DR is lighter, and for me, that makes it: more fun on the street cause it's "flickable", and more fun on the dirt, cause you're not wrestling as much bike.

By purchasing an aftermarket seat and larger fuel tank for a DR, you eliminate two big advantages that a stock KLR has over a stock DR. Then, you've got a bike that can go anywhere a KLR can, but with more ease, because of the weight difference.

Final note is that, again, I like the KLR. I think it's a good bike. I just like my DR better.

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Assuming you are buying used, there are several maintenance issues to consider on the DR650. All pre-'03 bikes had a potentially leaky base gasket. The problem was corrected in mid '03 and the later '03-current bikes have the updated gasket....it's easy to spot. The '98 and '99 models had a problem with starters kicking back and exploding the cases. There is a starter clutch upgrade available for those bikes but they're best avoided when looking for a bike. Otherwise, the dr is bombproof.

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I dont see the comparison between the DR and KLR....If I wanted something like the KLR, I'd buy a V-Strom.

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I've owned my 2000 DR650 for three years now and I've driven it through many different types of terrain and as well as driven many 2-3 hr trips on the road. The bike is a very competent all purpose trail bike and it can go anywhere provided you do not surpass the suspension's capability which is ok considering your other choice. Furthermore, the stock seat will definitely give you a case of "Numb Butt"

All said, I am completely satisfied with my bike because I purchased it with the intention of using for recreational purposes.

When I first sat on the each bike, I knew the dr650 was the bike for me. As for the KLR, I couldn't picture myself trying to ride over any type obstacle or through a mud hole since I'm only 5'6".

I agree with the suggestion to try both and then to decide what fits you best. Then I suggest you stick with your decision and be happy with your choice since you will surely be influenced by others on this site who own fancier bikes. Goof luck and :thumbsup:

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The KLR is just too complicated for my style of riding, I have 06 W/ the usual mods and i'll tell you the biggest surprise of this bike is the way it handles on the street. This bike is uncanny in the way it tracks in slow and fast speed turns. I've owned quite a few bikes that were considered real handlers but they have NOTHING on the DR :ride: . So if you like to play on the street or in the mountains, this bike is fun! Wish i could figure a way to add 10HP and a 6th gear...Nirvana! :thumbsup:

Motoretro

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The KLR is like a Buick. The DR is like a Subaru WRX. The KLR has soft power, soft springs, soft brakes. My KLR buddy (who has owned about 40 bikes) rode my my DR last week and said he hasn't that much fun on a bike in a long time. On a tight twisty road it's almost as good as a super motard. It's lighter in the dirt. The engine is smoother on the highway. The KLR's trump card might be the seat but may buddy says it's too soft. He even removed the wind screen because of buffeting. I'll use my DR as a commuter, canyon banshee, fire road scorcher, adventure tourer, and it'll even see some ligh-duty trail use. I have a KTM for serious dirt work and a Ducati for road trips but If I could only have one bike the DR 650 would do nicely.

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I've been lurking for a while and threads like this have helped me lean towards the DR650. Thanks!

I am going to look at one this weekend. After I decided to get back into motorcycling I started looking at the SV650, SV1000, and the DR/DRZ bikes. I want a fun bike that handles well and has some flexibility in handling different terrain and dirt roads. After I realized that the DR was an easy choice.

I've also been reading through the threads about tire choices and I am a little confused. If anyone could point me to some threads about street tires that fit on the stock wheels I would appreciate it. I have already come across some info about the Avon Distanzias as a good choice for street/motard.

Thanks.

Sean

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I've been lurking for a while and threads like this have helped me lean towards the DR650. Thanks!

I am going to look at one this weekend. After I decided to get back into motorcycling I started looking at the SV650, SV1000, and the DR/DRZ bikes. I want a fun bike that handles well and has some flexibility in handling different terrain and dirt roads. After I realized that the DR was an easy choice.

I've also been reading through the threads about tire choices and I am a little confused. If anyone could point me to some threads about street tires that fit on the stock wheels I would appreciate it. I have already come across some info about the Avon Distanzias as a good choice for street/motard.

Thanks.

Sean

In addition to my DR, I have an SV650 and just sold a DRZ400. If I could keep only one bike, it would be the DR because it so versatile and fun. The stock tires (Trailwings) are GREAT street tires, IMO.

The DR seat is a problem but you don't have to spend $ on a Corbin. You can fix the stock seat. It just takes a little of your time and a trip to Wal-Mart. You'll love the results.

I gathered up an electric knife, heavy duty stapler, some 1/4" deep staples (Arrow #JT21), a dense "memory foam" pillow, some 7/16"-thick closed cell foam padding (camping mat in sporting goods for $6), and a small can of spray glue (crafts dept). I took the seat cover off, removed the foam from the seat pan, turned the foam upside down, and carved out the middle with an electric knife, just like you would scoop out a baked potato to stuff it. I was careful to leave at least 1/2" - 3/4" outer shell so the seat would retain it's stock form once "stuffed".

I took the memory foam pillow and carved out a section equal in length and width to the foam I removed from the seat. The thickness of the memory foam will be a judgement call. This stuff compresses a lot. I used about a 4" - 5" thickness which compresses to less than 1". (You'll want to taper the ends a little)

I then trimmed out a piece of 7/16" closed cell foam padding to match the length and width of the memory foam. I glued them together and put them on the seat pan (no glue on seat pan). There is a ridge on the seat pan so I carve out a void in the foam to even things out, and also tapered the front and rear edges. All this was done with the electric knife. You might not think that the seat cover will go back on but it will as the memory foam is compressed quite easily.

With the seat cover back on, it looks just like a stock seat but now it's triple-density foam!! When I sit on it, the seat height drops about 1.5" but fluffs back up when I get off. It's soft but offers a lot of support. I've given it a 200 mile test and two 125-mile tests, and it's wonderful. :thumbsup: The cost was about $50.

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