Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Dual Sport Shootout - July Dirt Bike Mag

Recommended Posts

Anyone read the article in July dirt bike mag? 650 Comparison of KLR, DR, and the XR650 L. It seems they talked up the L the most, but there is not really an overall winner.

The L was declared the most "dirt oriented" of the three, being the least heavy at 325 lbs without fuel. Also, they liked the L's suspension for serious dirt riding. However, they said it handles "weird" in the dirt, but doesn't do anything nasty, comparing it to the way bikes used to be and calling it a time machine. They stated the DR's suspension keeps it from being used for serious dirt riding, and that basically the bike's target is your "soft-core" rider. However, they did state the DR stock had the most first gear power of the three. As for the KLR, "it's clearly no dirt bike at all, it's just a dirt-road bike". In the end of the article, the L was the bike that they declared as most tempting to buy, do a few mods (re-gear, knobbies) and have a great dual sport bike, but "you just have to pretend it's 1993".

Overall, pretty cool 8 page article with nice pics, etc, lots more. On the very next page after the article, the KTM 690 Enduro is in it's own bike category as the absolute winner (MSRP $10,498).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked the mag up yesterday. DB made it sound like The Honda was pretty good bike for being 'archaeic'. Im cool with that. My XR hasnt lost a drop of coolant yet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I picked the mag up yesterday. DB made it sound like The Honda was pretty good bike for being 'archaeic'. Im cool with that. My XR hasnt lost a drop of coolant yet!

I kinda got that sense as well... I don't know man, as for the handling of the L, I've had my bike for about a month now and have taken it on almost any trail I use to ride with a dirt bike (as well as exploring new trails), up and down some pretty steep rocky, rutted hills, and through some nasty mud puddles and creeks. 2 weeks worth of that riding was in complete stock form with no mods at all, and I still have the trail wings (that will change in a few days). I wouldn't say I've accomplished all of these feats as smoothly as I would like, but I think my errors have been me just being a bit rusty than that of the bike's capability. I've even caught a little air off tops of hills and table tops.

According to the article, maybe I'm not noticing much of a difference, because I'm used to riding XR's back in 93'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading that article, the Honda is the easiest to get "dirt worthy". I will say though once setup for dirt, forget about road riding with the other makers. We came upon some guys from a DS ride and started following. They were trying to shake us(built KTM 525, and built 650L) and soon found out while I was in last that @ 90 our dirt built bikes are not road worthy with our setups on pavement against the DR and KLR. I watched as my KTM buddy passed a car @ around 90, only to see his ass end shimmy:bonk: :lol: . It would have been funny to find these guys on their off road section though. I rode with one off road and they are NOT that adept @ off-road-even with proper tires!!!! :worthy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had mostly dirtbikes.... six XR's, RFS, LC4, 2T - but in the middle of those I wanted to try a dualsport and see if the compromises offroad were worth it.

A few years ago I built a KDX220R with a full Fredette motor, then found someone who wanted to swap for a current year DR650 with 1200 miles on it.

It came to me with an 18" rear off a DR350, Eibach spring, Racetech front, etc. I put a big plastic tank on it and rode it all over Colorado.

The damper rod forks are letting that bike down - if it had front suspension and CAME with an 18" rear....it would be a pretty good bike. I did aftermarket tank, but it could use 4.5 gallons or so oem.

I found an '87 (first year, awesome old skool graphics) KLR with 8,900 miles on it, just dealer serviced to the max after sitting a while....for $1250.

Did some of the things you do to make 'em better, and went to a number of dualsport get-togethers, and a trip to Baja. Stock suspension is not adequate for Baja unless you're a gentle trail rider....I'm not.

Both bikes can be made to work pretty well, but it'll cost you more than the XR-L, which IMO needs a couple bucks thrown at suspension, and a bigger tank if you do long offroad rides (my favorite thing to do in CO)

I rode a friend's XR675L last year, and the motor just blew me away. The taller gearing makes it a good choice for trips like Copper Canyon, where you have pavement to cover before you go offroad much.

Everything I've done to my XR can be done to the L.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not up on those bikes but have they actually changed much over the last decade?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.

I rode a friend's XR675L last year, and the motor just blew me away. .

Is this a kit or something? an XR675L????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not up on those bikes but have they actually changed much over the last decade?

Nope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own both, 2006 DR650 Suzuki and I have a 2005 Honda XR650l , both have mods. and I will say that they are two different animals. I do enjoy different things about each one of them. I do occasionally jump off one to the other just to compare.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

man I'd dig seeing that article, I think they did something on ds bikes back in the April issue as well

problem is no one around me carries that magazine it seems, and while I'd be fine subscribing, I kinda missed both issues now

I'd have to order both issues separately I guess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To quote the wise man Krannie....

The XRL is an overweight, underpowered, flexy-framed Pig, period.

1988 technology with 1993 forks.

It is for sight seeing and getting Milk.

The WR is the NEW XR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To quote the wise man Krannie....

The XRL is an overweight, underpowered, flexy-framed Pig, period.

1988 technology with 1993 forks.

It is for sight seeing and getting Milk.

The WR is the NEW XR.

While one of MXJunky's favorite bikes of all time was an '05 WR450, the WR is by no means 'the new XRL'. The WR isn't even street legal, in Washington State it takes an act of congress to get a (non-KTM) dirtbike plated. People love XRL's because of their reliability, versatility and fairly cheap sticker price. The WR is an excellent trailbike, but is simple not as versatile as an XR650L.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this a kit or something? an XR675L????

yes, it's an XR650L with a 675 big bore kit, with a higher compression JE piston (I think, could be Wiseco).

Stout motor, lots of motive power down low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the WR250 XR650l comparison, it's all about what you want from a bike.

I've taken a stock xr650l and done about as much as humanly possible-upgraded front and rear suspension, top end work, dropped as much weight where possible. It is now a great trailbike and will handle the technical stuff at slower speeds. However, it is still a porky pig! I've forced the bike through enduros and while it and I did make it to the end of the race, it wasn't a pretty or fun ride. Even when free riding enduro trails with friends I cannot keep up with a buddy on a WR250-where the WR250 is simply the nimbler/more agile bike.

Now-as soon as we hit fire road there is no way the WR250 will keep up. Wide open trails (and picking up milk) are where our bikes shine.

-Scott

To quote the wise man Krannie....

The XRL is an overweight, underpowered, flexy-framed Pig, period.

1988 technology with 1993 forks.

It is for sight seeing and getting Milk.

The WR is the NEW XR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note...check the couple of cool pics of the late Bruce Ogilvie racing a XR600. Good stuff. RIP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazes me that the same bike can be produced for 10-15 years and people still purchase it for an ever increasing price each year. Honda tacked another $500 onto the msrp for the 2009 model...which I think is exactly the same as last year's model?

If people would stop buying these outdated machines the manufacturer might feel the need to move over some 7-8 year old technology to garner some more interest in these products. :worthy:

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  

×