New owners decision ~ DL1K vs KLR650 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ottawa Ontario
Posts: 7
Unhappy New owners decision ~ DL1K vs KLR650

Hi all. First post and what a dilemma I'm in! Before I get into it though I want to congratulate the moderators and participants of this forum. What an incredible source of knowledgeable V/Wee-Strom enthusiasts.

I'm 50 and bought a new '07 DL1K (black of course) about 2 months ago that has 3500 miles on it so far. Have been reading lots, and I mean LOTS of stuff on this forum, and others. Like the bike a lot and I'm giving it a fair chance, but don't have the same love affair I've had with my soon to be departing Triumph SprintST. I want to love it, I really do, but just can't yet despite adding a set of Roger's beautiful Caribou bags.

I know there are reportedly fixes for the things that I find hard to swallow about the V-Strom. Specifically the absolutely insidious wind buffeting I experience despite having the cut the stock screen down 2" and installed spacers to increase the rake. I know, lots of other screens available. No, I haven't put a MadStad bracket on yet. Also right up there on my gripe list is the most irritating sound of a popcorn maker going on in the airbox. I had a TBS done around 1200 miles. Emissions systems stuff eh. I'm mechanically challenged and a little nervous about getting "inside" all by myself. That's why I bought a new bike. Haven't tried a Yosh box or PClll to alleviate the fluttery performance down low and into the mid-high 3K rev range either. That's why I bought a new bike. Because I don't have much faith in my dealer mechanic (who has never ridden a V-Strom btw) I would probably ride 1000 miles to have someone set this thing up properly (if at minimal expense) before making a final decision on whether to keep the V-Strom OR the new '08KLR650 that I'm picking up in two days. Yup, that's where the Triumph is going (trade-in, but that's a whole 'nuther story). I understand there's no perfect beast out of the box or everyone would be riding one. That being said, I haven't spent any time on a KLR and will no doubt find things about it that I'm not tickled with. It will get the same opportunity to prove itself as I'm giving the V-Strom. Before I start sinking a pile of money into fixes I want to be confident that I'm fixing the right one for me.

So, my dilemma is in making a choice 'cause I can only keep one and I want to hit the road for some serious adventure touring in the not-too-distant future. What's a guy to do?

I just re-read this. Wow, sorry for the whiny, snivelling first post but I had to get it off my chest. My, that's feels better.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 01:09 AM
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Your not whinny...just being honest. Are you "sure" the TB synch was done well, because allot of 07 models run very well after that. As for the new KLR, it looks like a neat bike......but I'm a DR650 kinda guy. I would've gotten the 650 Strom if I were you. It is superiour to the KLR on the road, and "capable" offroad.

Can somebody who lives nearby, give this fine fellow a hand with his 1000?

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 343

The Triumph is a great bike, and hard to follow. There are two parts to motorcycle ownership that are important.

1. That you are riding the right bike. (Some people love the Road King by Harley Davidson, but if you live down a 20 mile washboard dirt road, it may not be the best commuter for you.) I can't see the Vstorm being the wrong bike for anyone except the height impared... it just does everything really well.

2. That you love your bike. I can't make you love a bike the way that I loved my VFR, the way I love my Strom, or the way that you love your Sprint. I hated the Maurader I owned... you couldn't pay me to keep that one. It just happens or it doesn't.

I love my strom and know I need to fix the stumble and the wind buffeting, but I know it is the right bike right now... so even though I have work to do... it is the right bike.

If you are really not liking it, I bet the two fixes would only iliminate the bads... not add goods

Then again maybe I am full of crap! Good luck with your decisions, use 50% logic and 50% heart and it will come out right.

And Hawaii!
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 84
There's a thread going over at KLR650 dot net right now... "What does this phrase mean" and the phrase is 'you have to want a single'.

Coming from the Sprint to the Strom and going to a KLR 650 is going to be a big change and eye-opener for you. RIDE ONE FIRST.

Owners of the '08's claim very little to no buffetting. Big K has addressed issues that had plagued the 87-07 models, but Big K made the bike less off-road worthy, with more things to break and less suspension.

I like my KLR and probably will never be without one, but I think you're in the right place to ask about 650's. Maybe a wee with a different windshield setup would be your ticket.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 09:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 1,684
I own a DL 650 and recently rode both the newest and the older KLR 650. So I feel I can compare them.

Both of them are capable of doing on and offroad, but only with certain limitations.

You can load a KLR with luggage and can ride it everywhere, but much less comfortable and fast than a DL. You can replace the tires on a KLR to some more street oriented ones BUT there is still annoying vibrations on the handlebar which is quite tiresome on long trips and you almost cannot use the mirrors at all.

That vibration is less on the '08 KLR than on its predecessor. Also the wind protection is improved a lot. There is clean air, no buffeting at all.
An experienced rider (like PonchoV for example) can ride it solo very fast so you have to be hard on the throttle even on a DL 650 to keep up.

I felt both KLRs much more lighter than the DL. They feel themselves home on gravel.

There are tons of factory and aftermarket farkles for the DL (I don't know how is that with the KLR?).

The DL is set up by the factory for paved roads. It has a little higher ground clearance, a little more fork travels and a little wider handlebars than average touring bikes which make us the feeling its a dual-sport machine, but it is not. You can set it up to handle better the gravel roads (offroad tires, bash-plate, different handlebar, crash bar) but even a stock KLR will beat ya.
But when it comes to paved roads it runs wonderful. You can cruising at 70-90 for hours. Even the stock seat is comfortable compared to the KLR's seat. Once you find the no-buffeting-position of the screen (or replace or remove it) it is a blast to ride, especially on twisty roads. And the DL can do it even when 2 up AND loaded with luggages.

(a 1K can even fly, but that I've only heard, never seen :mrgreen: )


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post #6 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ottawa Ontario
Posts: 7
Thanks for the support guys! Don't get me wrong. The DL1K is a great fitting bike. I'm 6'2" and flatfoot it perfectly. The seat is comfortable. The beast goes like stink when I ask it to. Maybe it's a "mother's eye" thing but I find the bike quite attractive. No, don't be asking for pictures of my girlfriend based on that statement.

I've only test ridden the KLR for about 20 minutes, nowhere near long enough to form anything other than a first impression opinion. I will report back after a few hundred miles. It is a real difference coming down from a triple to a v-twin, to a single thumper. Kinda like going from butter to granola in feeling.

I agree Kawasaki has taken some of the off-road worthiness away on the '08's and added some glitz, no doubt in an effort to appeal to the adventure traveler wanna-be's. Much the same as big 4x4SUV's that have never even seen gravel, never mind boulders and streams. Really great $50K vehicles in a light rain though. Having driven Jeep CJ7's for many many years to places now reserved for 4 wheelers I have to laugh at what some people get themselves into vehicle-wise.

Bottom line is that I'll just have to wait and see. When I figure out how to post pics I'll put one up with them side-by-side.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-23-2007, 01:28 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lehigh Twp,Pa
Posts: 8
I own a KLR and a DL1000. There is no comparison. If you need a bike for long distance and/or interstate, the DL is the way to go. If you ride occasionally and/or short distances, the KLR is a great and economical bike.

I am keeping both for now but if I had to let one go now, it'd be the KLR.

Now if I am comparing the DL to a Sprint or one of the other bikes in it's class or near it's class, I may feel the same as you do. I too am not pleased with the low rpm performance of the DL. My TB's are spot on too.

'05 DL1000
'06 KLR 650
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