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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK here is the deal, I love my tw don't get me wrong but I ride with a friend who has a vulcan 1500 and the tw is a little out of it's element riding with him, I thought about getting a street bike but I just cant do it. I can not limit myself to just the street.....so what do I get? I want a bike that has good street manners and will also allow me to ride the logging roads and such, I will keep my tw for the trails and use it to ride when I go camping. I am also riding the t.a.t next summer and I will be riding with 2 others on drz 400s, so I want a bike that can handle that to. I like the v-strom but it does not look like a good off road machine to me..am I wrong there? does the klr and dr have good hi way manners? can the drz be ridden on long hi way rides? My budget is under 3000.00 so I will be looking for older models, witch bike is holding up? I have been looking and most bikes in that price range have 20,000-30,000 miles. So far I am leaning to the klr as there seems to be a lot to choose from..but I am torn. so there it is in a nutshell I would like peoples input to help make the choice. thank you in advance for the advice. OH is there a different bike I should consider or leaving out?
 

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Go on the Advrider dr650 forum and you will see this is the bike for the TAT. my 2011 DR 704381_4708055191415_1640350820_o.jpg 1579824_10201998371952955_1176161594_n.jpg
 

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KLR or a DR-650. Now are you going to spend more time on the hi-way? If so the KLR is the better choice. However if dirt is going to be the primary diet then the DR gets the nod. Remember both bikes can be modded into what ever you want but having a good starting point ( Street vs Dirt ) will save you alot of trouble.
 

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I have a KLR & It works great on the hwy. It tops out at about 100 with stock gearing & 1st gear is a bit too steep for trails. It works great on logging roads though.
The miles on the bikes you have mentioned seemed high for the price range. At least compared to my area.
I never did like the oil filter location on the V-Stom. It seems like it would get damaged.
 

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DR400 is a little underpowered for sustained 65+ highway speeds I'm thinking. That said, I have my WR426 geared at 14/40 and it tops out at 93MPH. A friend on his V-Strom tried to pull away from me and we both topped out at 93 MPH. I have a lowering rocker on it and an AirHawk seat pad. It is more dirt worthy than any of the bikes you mentioned and great for the highway at that gearing. Needs to be 40 MPH before shifting into 5th gear. If doing more serious dirt that just roads, slower trails, reduced gearing would be needed.

The WR426 has a lot more power than it's displacement would indicate because of the five valve head lets it breathe. But it'd take a newer WR450 to get electric start.

I had an early model KLX650 and the WR426 give nothing away to it.
 

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Love my KLR. Complements my TW very nicely. KLR does better on the street, TW does better in the rough dirt. A 16t front sprocket helps keep RPMs down on the highway (75 MPH = 4700rpm with 16t , 5200 rpm with 15t(stock)). They have excellent parts availability, huge aftermarket support, and are extremely capable - have been ridden from Alaska to South America. Great bikes IMO.

Look at both Gen I (2007 and older) and Gen II (2008 and newer). The gen I is a bit more dirt biased, the II a bit more street.

DR650 is a great choice as well. In my case, I just found a deal on an '08 KLR I couldn't pass up when I was "looking" (....to buy ;) ) . I think I'd have been happy with either one.

For newer tech (FI, twin cylinder, brakes that actually work, etc) and even more bias to street or long distance travel, Versys or VStrom. If I could add either of those to my stable I think I'd have enough bikes to cover all of my riding needs. :D
 

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I've owned both a KLR (2002) and a DR (2009). I liked both of them, but like other people have said, KLR is more street oriented and DR more dirt oriented. DR maintenence is easier with screw-adjust valves (vs. KLR shim-type valve adjust). I would buy one of the new KLR's again though-not the DR. I think the quality of the Kawi's are better than the current Suzukis. I really like the newest KLR (the limited or deluxe) not sure what they call it, but it has 20% stiffer suspension and a firmer seat, and better graphics all for only $100 more than the reg. model. Two things that the KLR desperately needed. Just my opinion.-Glenn
 

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I've got an 08 KLR and on the hiway the bigger fairing does a nice job of keeping the wind off. Down side is you will want to protect it from getting damaged. That said some people like the older Gen 1's with the smaller DR size fairing. Again it depends on what your primary use will be and of course there are very nice guards to keep the Gen 2's fairing from getting dinged. Orrrrr.... Save your money and buy both! After all to be happy you will need at least six bikes.
 

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I almost passed on commenting on this, because it usually is mostly a case of various owners of the bikes in question providing justification for their own purchase. Then I read some of the comments and I was impressed. Maybe it is because this group of TW owners understands the big difference between street bikes and dirt bikes.

First of all, forget the V-stroms. Horrible off-road, although good street bikes. The DRZ400S is not a bad choice, and two of your friends already own them, so checking one out should be easy. A well set up DRZ is a better dirt bike than either the KLR or the DR. Slightly better than a DR, which is in turn better than either generation of KLR. The older KLR is a better dirt bike than the newer one, since it is much lighter, while as a pure street bike the new KLR is the best budget tourer made. As some here have stated, it has a fairing and substantial wind-screen. It also has a huge gas tank, giving an effective range of well over 250 miles. You could ride comfortably with your friend who owns the Vulcan.

The new KLR would be my last choice in the dirt, however. At 430 pounds with a full tank, it is 110 pounds heavier than a DRZ, and taller and more top-heavy to boot. Not to mention all of that pretty plastic to smash if you ever go down. A good dirt bike it aint, IMHO. I'm not familiar with the terrain on the T.A.T. , so you are the best judge of whether or not you could put up with it in the dirt.

If you are tall(over 6 feet)the older KLR is not a bad dirt bike. Not much heavier than a DR, but the DR has one huge advantage for average height and shorter riders. The DR is designed to have a choice of suspension settings for two seat heights. The seat height on an older KLR is listed at 37", while a DR has a choice of 35" or 33" depending on setup. In rough going off road, the ability to get a foot down has saved my butt many times. I'm 5'10" and I can flat-foot the DR on the low setting. It still has almost 9" of suspension travel on the low setting.

If you are average size you will likely need new springs on all except the new KLR. Both the older KLR and the DR have bad seats, and the DR needs a larger gas tank, unlike the KLR. All of the bikes I mentioned have a 5 speed gearbox and that is one less gear than they need.

Frankly, the DR is a very capable street bike with just a few modifications, and I personally find it to be much better in the dirt. Your experience may differ.
 

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He said he has a $3,000. budget so a new anything is out. I like the DR and TW combo because the two bikes are very similar very easy to work on both air cooled DR has an oil cooler and both are fun to upgrade!
 

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The post above is one of the best info posts I have read on TAT no mater what bike you are riding. so check it out if you can not see it join Advrider it is free and has a TW200 forum. enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thank you all for your input so far..I have found a 99 klr for 1500 in my area that i am going to look at, I think the klr might fit the bill, I like the dr but there are not that many in my area for sale. The v-strom is out, the drz in my opinion is not big enough for the long freeway ride I have planned...so I will keep you all posted on my search. I do have the xl 500 that I bought in a fit of stupidity and I thought I would use it but I just don't have the desire to fix it up so I think I will sell that thing. my body is getting older and my brain still thinks it is 18 and the xl is a beast to start.
 

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thank you all for your input so far..I have found a 99 klr for 1500 in my area that i am going to look at, I think the klr might fit the bill, I like the dr but there are not that many in my area for sale. The v-strom is out, the drz in my opinion is not big enough for the long freeway ride I have planned...so I will keep you all posted on my search. I do have the xl 500 that I bought in a fit of stupidity and I thought I would use it but I just don't have the desire to fix it up so I think I will sell that thing. my body is getting older and my brain still thinks it is 18 and the xl is a beast to start.
If you go with the KLR try to find one with the balancer tensioner up grade, also referred to as a "Doohickey". It is a must do for long trouble free miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you go with the KLR try to find one with the balancer tensioner up grade, also referred to as a "Doohickey". It is a must do for long trouble free miles.
I had been wondering what that was, Is it a big deal to install if the klr does not have this upgrade?
 

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If you go with the KLR make sure your life insurance is up to date and will made out just saying! good luck you might be better off with the TW.
 

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The Doohickey install isn't that hard to do, just takes a bit of time. While you're at it its a good time to check / set the valves. That job is a bit of a PITA because it seems like I never have the correct shims & have to wait till my order comes in. My KLR had less than 1100 miles on it & the tensioner spring was lying broken in the case when I disassembled the case to install the new tensioner.
 

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I wouldn't knock off the DRZ unless you feel the need to cruise at speeds greater than 65. The DRZ will HAPPILY do that for many thousands of miles without any issues. If you want to blaze down the highway at 80 mph all the time, get yourself a DR 650. Forget the V-strom if you want to ever be able to do anything more than smooth graded fire roads, because it's rubbish in any real dirt (fantastic motorcycle for street use). The DR will do just as well as a KLR on the street, and will certainly be easier to ride off road. Besides all that blabbering, as I've said before and will say again, the DR 650 is probably the single-best all around motorcycle ever built by any company. It is also an awesome platform to be modified to suit just about whatever style of riding you could possibly want to do with it.
 
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