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How's the DR-Z 400 on the highway?

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I now commute on my 1200 Sportster, which is heavy, vibrates and has poor ergo's. I sometimes have to travel 20-30 minutes at a stretch on highways (Pa turnpike and N/E extension) and the Sportster isn't cutting it. The rest of my riding is local and county roads.

I've owned a number of dirt bikes, and want something lighter and much better handling that can serve me well when I venture down gravel roads (or places I generally don't belong) but can also handle daily highway stints. I realize the DR-Z is not a Goldwing, and will get buffeted due to it's light weight, but if it vibrates anything like my Sportster at 70mph, I'm not interested.

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I don't think the DRZ is the bike for you. I don't like it beyond 70.

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I ride my DR-Z on the freeway a lot lately...200 miles round trip every other weekend plus work commuting 12 mile rounds. I am nervous about telling you I like it since it seems heavy, vibrates, and has poor ergo's....but I do like it. It blows around a bit, the vibration I can live with since it smooths out a bit at about 68 (stock gearing), the ergo's could be a problem for the average person. The stock seat is fine with me but most people would be scared off after the first 50 mile ride. You have to be a dirt bike guy in order for this to work for you...do you have a friend that will let you ride his for a 30 minute freeway ride to give you an idea of what you are getting into? I am afraid that if your sportster isn't cutting it you may be disappointed with a dirt bike on the freeway. Mine is an 07 S with SM wheels, FCR, full Yosh, etc. so it has decent power compared to a stock Z and can hold its own with the traffic I ride in. Do yourself a favor and find one to ride first and definitely buy a SM for your kind of riding...not the S. I hope this helps.

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I don't think I would use my 06 drz for regular commuting, it's ok once and a while on the highways for me but not on a regular basis. I would think KLR, XR or DR may be a better choice. I think most of the bikes are a little heavier and geared more for highway use and may also have a more comfortable seat. Good luck.

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I was surprised with mine the other day. I was doing 120km/h just fine. The fastest I had it going before was 110 and it seemed like it was a fight to keep it there, but hit 115 km/h and she just cruised on along.

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I wouldn't want to be on the highway but so long with my DRZ. I had a 10 mile jaunt the other day on interstate 85 and it was not optimal to say the least lol.

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You want a DR650 or the KLR. Stay away from the DRZ. It is a sick bike but it def sounds like it's not what you are looking for.:)

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There is a new KLR at my local dealer, but they don't give test rides :) .

Of the two (DR and KLR), which is most comfortable? What are their relative strengths, both on and off road?

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i have held myn at around 90 for a while and it didn't really seem that bad. :) i really wouldn't find going 70 for a few hours that bad. i might just be used to the ergos and seat and vibes from riding dirt bikes since i was 9, and thats all i have ever ridden. 70 can be hit in 4th, probably not good to keep it there for long, but it can be done. But i haven't really ridden on highways so i cant say much about the wind from traffic and stuff.

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iF YOU WANT REAL COMFORT DONT BUY A drz. iTS great for short and med jaunts but not great long term on the slab. Its great to have 2 sets of wheels and be able to cut across a field any time you want. Mine was doing pretty good. I added fatbars, risers and a stabilizer as well as converting to sm.

Vibes werent too bad at indicated 80. Then i piped and jetted and Im right back where I started. I am going to get a new rubber washer kit and check all mountings on my Yosh because somethings wrong.

Numb hands after 20 min.

Beyond that I think I will put the rubber inserts back in the pegs and fill my bars with silicone.

If you want a smooth cushy ride, get a Beemer 800 or 1200 or a KTM 990 adventure.

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I'm a dirt bike guy ~30 years or so, own a 08 1200 Sportster, KTM 450exc and recently sold a KLR650.

The KLR is fine on the freeway for 20 mile commutes and you will get tossed around a little compared to the heavier sportster. If you ride primarily for commuting purposes and some light off road like gravel roads, the KLR is a good pick. The KLR is also a heavy bike so don't expect it to perform like a lighter bike. Those things weigh a ton if you have to pick one up! If you can only own one bike the KLR is a good all around bike. It is a lot of fun on the country roads and twisities, eats up the miles, gets around 50 mpg, cheap to operate, reliable as a hammer, can ride some 2 up, and easy to work on.

If you want something more dirt oriented than the KLR check out the DR 650, XR650L, and Husky TE610. They all are heavy dirt bikes but have longer legs for the highway commute than the 400 class dual sport. It is always a compromise with dual sports.

For whatever that was worth, good luck.:):D

Just for grins check out the Kawasaki 650 Versys.... That's a commuter with economy and some power.

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For whatever that was worth, good luck.

It's worth quite a bit, actually.

You've confirmed my own thoughts. So the DR 650 is more of a dirtbike than the KLR?

However, I just can't imagine a dropped KLR being anywhere near as heavy as a dropped Sportster

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DR is much better off-road than KLR.

Both good on-road, but KLR has better wind protection.

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the KLR is more of an adventure bike. I think that is the better highway one. If you got some extra money and want a bad ass street bike with dirt tires buy this bitch! 950 vtwin

2006950SuperEnduro1.jpg

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The DR650 nudges the KLR on the dirt side, plus it's air cooled and has a lower seat height. Here is the order of dirt worthiness that keeps popping up on the forums concerning the 650s: XR650L, DR650 then the KLR. I used to own a XRL and can confirm that it was not the greatest on the highway but was ok and is fair to say that it bumps the DRZ in highway commuting mode. The KLR is a tank off road, at least it was for me. Then again I'm spoiled with a KTM 450 for that mission statement.

I know it's hard to get rides but if there is any chance you can get some saddle time on these bikes it would make your decision much easier. Perhaps the local dealers will let you test ride used models? Maybe the DRZ will feel pretty good compared to your sporty??

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as far as the vibration, the DRZ doesn't bother me at all, but like anything, different people have different sensitivities. I can't say I've ridden a sportster so I can't offer a comparison

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It sounds like I should ask this question again in the DR forum, regarding the DR 650.

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