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KLR650 or lighter equivalent?

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I am looking to purchase a dual sport. The KLR650 looks like it would suite me well, but am wondering if there is something similar, but a little lighter, preferably a 400.

Riding style

- short commutes around town

- bike touring (typically 500 miles max)- highway, gravel, dirt

- some trail riding (probably of least importance)

Criteria

- decent comfort and wind protection on the highway

- good cruising up to 65, capable of rare 70-75mph jaunts

- ability hit some trails from time to time

- ability to carry light camping gear while touring

The KLR seams like the best fit for me, but I would be interested in something a little lighter if another bike might fit the bill?

Also, I am pretty lightweight, so I will not need all that much power. A bike with a short stand-over height would also be a plus.

Any ideas?

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Other bikes I have looked at a little are the XT250, DRZ400, and DR650. But I am not sure how road friendly they are for touring?

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I put 15,000 miles on a 06 KLR in a couple of years and loved it! I'm 5'8'' 170# and had no problems riding atv trails in local forest. Made a few long highway trips , 350 miles in comfort! Can cruise all day at 75 mph with stock gearing. I know a guy who has one with 45,000 miles on it and still thumpin'!:)

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of the bikes listed, or similar... which do you think comes closest to the highway comfort of the KLR?

I have also read the KLR is a little tall for short people, do you know if either of these sit a little lower than the Kawasaki?

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The more I research, it really looks like the KLR will suit me best.

It looks like this bike hasnt changed much over the years asides from he 2008+ models, they changed the suspension and it ended up with a little less travel. Suspension travel isnt too important to me espicially since I am a light rider, BUT... I will still be riding on trails ocasionally...

Is the new suspension a better design alltogether, or is it just more suited for road riding?

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The more I research, it really looks like the KLR will suit me best.

It looks like this bike hasnt changed much over the years asides from he 2008+ models, they changed the suspension and it ended up with a little less travel. Suspension travel isnt too important to me espicially since I am a light rider, BUT... I will still be riding on trails ocasionally...

Is the new suspension a better design alltogether, or is it just more suited for road riding?

I'm pretty sure the redesign was to make it more street nice. I didn't like the look at first but i love them now! With the correct tires those things will go anywhere!:)

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Take a look at the suzuki DR 650's their really good bikes street or trail. Their lighter than the KLR's too. My dad and uncle do alot of street and trail riding together and my dad bought a DR and never looked back. My uncle bought a KLR and he says he should have got the suzuki.

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I like the DR650 too, but the fairing and windshield on the KLR would probably be an advantage for me more often than not. The majority of the time I will probably just be ripping around dirt/gravel roads, which is why I leaning towards the KLR.

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Have you looked at the KTM 690?

That's what I was going to recommend.

Depends on the riding you want the bike to do well.

The KLR650's not a singletrack machine.

My KTM 525 isn't a long-distance adventure bike.

They can do it, but you'll be a lot happier on the right bike for the application.

Given that most of your riding is street/longer distances, I'd shy away from the "dirt bikes" like my 525, DR/YZ/XT/etc.

There's also the twins, a V-strom might be worth looking into.

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V storms are cool, but I want something with a little more forgiving for off-road. That being said the ktm 690 looks like a really nice bike, and I am guessing would be fairly highway and long distance adventure worthy?

The only reason I havent been looking into them (690) as much is because of price. I could get a pretty decent krl for around 3k I think. But I am guessing a klr would come at a much higher price?

EDIT:

question- with proper tires (think 50-50 street/dirt) how would the KLR and v-storm compare off-road? or at least on gravel and rough minimum maintenance dirt roads/trails etc.???

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I am looking to purchase a dual sport. The KLR650 looks like it would suite me well, but am wondering if there is something similar, but a little lighter, preferably a 400.

How about a XR650L?

36220466_d.jpg

Riding style

- short commutes around town

- bike touring (typically 500 miles max)- highway, gravel, dirt

- some trail riding (probably of least importance)

Short commutes: Yes. Bike touring: Yes. Trail riding: This bike is the MOST offroad capable of its class.

Criteria

- decent comfort and wind protection on the highway

- good cruising up to 65, capable of rare 70-75mph jaunts

- ability hit some trails from time to time

- ability to carry light camping gear while touring

Good comfort, NO WIND protection, will do 60-75 effortlessly, Best in class at trails, has plenty of aftermarket support and options for baggage.

The KLR seams like the best fit for me, but I would be interested in something a little lighter if another bike might fit the bill?

346 lbs w/fuel, read to ride. The KLR650 is 432 lbs, DR650 is 366 lbs. The XR650L is the lightest in its class.

Also, I am pretty lightweight, so I will not need all that much power. A bike with a short stand-over height would also be a plus.

Any ideas?

The tallest bike in its class...:) Thats always been an issue with the Honda.

The reasons I like the Honda:

* Super reliable, no radiators to mash.

* The lightest.

* Great aftermarket support.

* Seems to have the best resale - What I've seen, but no real data.

* Best at trails.

It's a true "dual sport" where as the KTM 690 and its like, are more "street bike crossovers".

Thats my $0.02...

Edited by F350JOHN

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Ive done 4000mi trip on mine... ride report is in the xr650 forum

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I have an 09 KLR and my friend has the XR and the XR is better in the woods than mine it is very tall. I put a low Sargent seat on mine which helps the KLR alot I'm 5'7.The KLR is probably the best all around bike it is 70/30 street to trail while thw XR is probably 40/60 The KLR probably has the most after market parts than any.

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I have an '07 DR650 and built it up to suit me (suspension mods, carb/intake mods, exhaust, Sargent seat, lowered foot pegs, etc.). I love the bike and it grows on me year after year. I recently did a portion of the TAT (Trans-America Trail) from Jellico, TN to the OK/AR border with it (about 75% off road) with three other friends. Their bikes included an '09 KLR, a new leftover '09 XR650L, and a new '10 DR-Z400, and I got to try each one. Here's my personal take on each:

KLR - very comfortable on the street with little/no wind pressure on the chest due to its wind screen & fairing; not as much torque or snap as my DR or the XRL, even though it had a jetted carb and air box mod; a heavy beast off road; oddly, however, it was the only bike in the group that didn't get dumped off road through all of the gravel & mud we encountered (chalk it up to rider skill/ability and Dunlop D606 tires); more of a hassle to work on due to fairing removal & water cooling (I don't know about valve adjustments, however); burned oil throughout the trip - about 1/2 quart per 1000 miles.

XRL - very tall with a cramped riding position (I'm 5'10" w/ a 30" inseam), my knees felt like they were in my chest; strong motor (nearly on par with my modded DR; only mod on the XRL that I know of was an FMF Q4 exhaust installed at the dealer, but I'm guessing its carb was re-jetted to match); more capable off road than my DR; geared very tall so highway speeds are a breeze (1st gear could be lower, however); low-tech and easy to work on; burned almost a quart of oil per day (major issue here because the bike was brand new - I don't know the outcome yet, but the owner was going to take it back to the dealer after the trip because it's under warranty).

DR-Z - most friendly/flickable off road of any bike in our group; boring to ride after coming off of the other 650s due to its lack of torque; very buzzy at anything over 60 mph - and it was geared taller than stock by its owner! Cramped riding position (just like the XRL, my knees felt like they were in my chest); horrible long distance comfort (2x4 of a seat, and the seat was a Corbin!); DOHC and more modern tech (a little harder to work on yourself - i.e. valve adjustments, IF you ever need to do them); burned zero oil on trip.

DR - like I said above I set it up to my liking (a true do-it-all bike FOR ME); very comfortable riding position with my ROX bar risers/Sargent seat/lowered foot pegs; very torquey motor - especially with the airbox mod, FCR-39 pumper carb, and exhaust; low-tech and easy to work on (I do all of my own maintenance and valve adjustments); burned zero oil on trip; on the ride home after the trip I did 650 miles on the highway in one day with zero comfort issues - other than just fatigue and sheer boredom.

I hope my take on these bikes, with my experience on each during a punishing TAT ride, sheds some light on your decision.

Edited by DR Da-da
keep adding info as I think of it

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Here's my personal take on each:

XRL - burned almost a quart of oil per day (major issue here because the bike was brand new - I don't know the outcome yet, but the owner was going to take it back to the dealer after the trip because it's under warranty).

That is a major issue! No XR or XRL I've owned has ever burnt oil... In fact I've never heard of such thing with Hondas...

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That is a major issue! No XR or XRL I've owned has ever burnt oil... In fact I've never heard of such thing with Hondas...

Yeah, we were all floored over the issue. The Honda name is usually synonymous with bullet proof reliability. We were all scratching our heads and wondering if the oil level check procedure was being done correctly (for me on the DR and my other buddy on the KLR with oil sight glasses, the XRL's in-the-frame oil dipstick is cumbersome). However, we all checked, rechecked, and checked again and the oil was in fact low and required a quart almost each day. I'll ask him if he ever sorted out the problem and then post back . . .

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Yeah there is def something wrong.. my 03 with 35,200 mi doesn't burn a drop. I change it every 1,500 - 2,000 miles and its always the same.

I think the DR and XR are about equal as far as comfort.. I put bar risers on my XR and it helped a lot. stock was a little cramped. My wife and I rode 2-up to Alaska with a boat load of gear and the little XR did just fine.

IMG_7842.jpg

then went dirt biking near denali park.. KLR would never have made it. DR would have though

IMG_8809.JPG

rode my buddies KLR.. nice on the road!

IMG_8973.jpg

a handful offroad!

IMG_9010.jpg

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