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Klr650 --> Drz400sm

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I have spent the better part of today reading through a bunch of posts, trying to learn. So time for this student to raise his hand and aske a few question. I'll start off with a little of my history...

I have had a KLR650 since '99. I know it is a dinosor of a bike. Basicly unchanged since '87 and that was on a revision of a model intorduced in '84.

I currently have 47,000 miles on it with only minor work done. A couple of the famous Doohickys, other stuff in what I consider "common maintance". Batteries, petcock rebuild, carb clean up once, several brakes and countless tires. It is a well known bike that will probably last forever.

I originally got the bike as a sudden need for transportation. What had been a daily driver died, I wanted a bike for years, so I got one. For 2 years I rode it everywhere. Most of those miles came in those first 2 years. In the past 7 years I may have done 10k. So the riding has changed from primary to recretional. Nothing off-road, maybe a dirt road at times. I like the simplicity of a one lunger, I also like the upright seating. I am also guilty of pushing it hard enough in a turn that the pegs have scraped.

I really like the idea of the DRZ400SM. It looks like what I really wanted when I originally got the KLR. Big enough that I can hit freeway speeds if needed, water cooled, simple machine. Back in '99 it was either a 250, air cooled 350, or 650. Being warned that a 250 would struggle to hit freeway speeds and I needed 60-75 miles a day round trip mostly highway to get to and from work I passed.

So now I am 11 miles from work. Highest speedlimit is 50 (I do 60). I don't need the long 70~80 MPH cruising that I once needed (but would still like to do a little for the quick jaunts into the big city). I like the idea of brakes that at least look like they will be effective.

The challenge is taking one for a ride. For some reason all the bike shops have a buy it without riding it policy. I don't know anyone who has one. Talking to the sales staff all I get it the one sided sales pitch on how great they are. They are a salesman, they better say that if they want to sell them.

So as a first time poster, I am asking for comments on the DRZ400SM as a replacment for the old tank KLR650. Weak points to expect, riding comfort, things that I should expect to be different, what ever. I have never spent any time on any other bike except the KLR (it has been my only bike). I am not worried about off-road capabilities, it will simply be a run to the store/bank/work/butt hauler that will spend all its live on streets. As a replacment for the KLR, not an addition.

OK, let's see if I asked this right, time to hit the post button and see what I get back...

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Seems like you know the 650 very well. That said the 400 is about on par on performance stock to stock. They will both reach 55 with in a sec. of each other. The 400 will out maneuver the 650 in twisties hans down. You can do a lot of modding to the 400...read alot....Not much more to be had on the 650. I prefer liquid cooled engines...but I live in the desert south west. 400 will do single track.....not so much on the 650. The 650 beats the 400 on the freeway....in comfort...hands down.....well after one hr that is. Lots of modding to the 400. Did I mention a lot of modding??

Give it a test spin.

Good luck.

Erling

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I think after nearly 50K miles on the KLR650, the DRZ400SM would be a great bike. With that much experience on a heavier dual sport I think you would be amazed with the DRZ. Many owners on here will probably say the same but it's a great bike all around, good power, good suspension, handling and braking. You can't beat it. I haven't run into anyone yet who has ridden one and disliked much about it.

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One thing to add to the above opinions on the DRZ. It is not any more comfortable, possibly even less comfortable than your KLR.

When I was shopping a few years ago, the KLR was high on my list. Unfortunately, too high for my stubby legs. Next was the DR650 or a BMW GS. They fit but I was not 'wowed'. Then I saw the SM. Was like it was made for me.

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For me it works great. I have changed the stock seat with a Corbin and changed the gearing for more highway use 15/38. This bike is alot of fun and in my opinion the best all around bike:applause: Oh yes, these things rip throught the twisties:prof:

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i was in your shoes a while back. the 650 was the bike i was intending to buy. after hearing all the good things about the drz i decided to buy one. i've had it 4 months, put 1200 miles on it and really enjoy it. i'm very happy with my decision. if you are mostly riding on pavement have you considered the bigger drz?

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actually i think this is very ironic, but my dad has an 06 KLR 650 and i have an 08 DRZ SM. Comfort wise, the KLR is much more comfortable than the DRZ. My Drz kept right up with it while it was bone stock and now i have a yosh slip on and re jetted carb. I use my bike for commuting to college and work (both about 15 miles away) and it's fine on highways (speed limit is 50 also) it can get up to 90 fairly easy. My dad enjoys my bike too but hes 47 and enjoys the big comfy KLR seat but with me being 19 I love my DRZ. Hope this helps!

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when shopping for my first bike it was between the KLR650 and the DRZ...all it took for me was to sit on both and the decision was made. The DRZ feels like a pit bike compared to the KLR, which is funny because the DRZ feels like a pig compared to most MX bikes. It may not matter now since you've been riding for 9 years now, but for me as a beginner rider I was much more confident with a light bike that I felt I could maneuver around relatively easily.

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I own both a KLR and a DRZ E model, which I have barely street legal. I think for what you say you plan to use it for, the DRZ would work out great. The KLR is much more comfortable for longer distances on the highway, but the DRZ is much lighter and better off road. For short distance commuting the DRZ should work out well.

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