Anyone have both a DL650 and a DR650? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 16 Old 08-03-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 55
Anyone have both a DL650 and a DR650?

For those who have both a weestrom and a DR650, what do you take most often for short in town or local country roads and how do they compare for this kind of riding?

Having owned various motorcycles over the years, the weestrom is my favorite with the KLR650 I had before the wee being a close second.

Last year my wife decided she wanted to come along on the one or two long distance trips I do each year, but NOT on the DL650. I let her choose the bike and after testing many options she picked a GL1500 Goldwing. I must admit the Goldwing is fabulous for two up traveling, but I don't really like it solo. So I'm thinking of selling the weestrom and getting a DR650. I can't really afford to have three bikes and I don't have the space or I would keep the wee and add a wr250 or a crf250l.

95% of my rides are short local in town or under an hour country roads near home. While the wee does this well plus was a blast on the other 5% of long multi day tours solo, it will no longer be used for the long rides and on the rare occasion I do go for a long ride solo I can take the Goldwing.

I find the weestrom good on gravel and dirt roads but beyond my skill on anything beyond that. I have ridden a DR650 and rather then "good" it is FUN on those surfaces plus opening up a lot of riding areas that are more sandy or grassy pasture areas that I have access to.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-03-2017, 06:05 PM
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I have two bikes in my garage right now...'12 DL650 Adventure..and a '08 DR650. The DL is my everyday bike...the DR my "go to the national forests and find some rough double-track or easy single-track".

The DR650 is much funner to ride on dirt and gravel...I fly along those roads at much, much higher speeds. Of's got much better tires for that, it's lighter, and much easier to handle slipouts and such.

However, the DL650 is my everyday bike and it stays on the asphalt 98% of the time. But for regular dirt and gravel...that is compacted pretty well...I have no problems with it at all and it handles pretty well. I rode my '07 DL650 to Alaska and did lots of gravel and dirt...and the Haul Road...and it handled all of it well.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-03-2017, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Louisville, KY
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Nothing wrong with having both, but if I could only have one it would be the DL650, unless I was riding mostly off-pavement. While the DR will handle pavement just fine up to about 85-90mph (although it gets pretty vibratey up there) and is fun to ride, the Wee will do just about everything on pavement better, especially wind protection. The DR is lighter, is very easy to work on, and low maintenance, but you won't be taking a passenger very far. The Wee is much more refined, more power and a better all-around road bike.

I just went back and read your last paragraph again, and it sounds like you're wanting to do more off-road that may be beyond the Wee's capabilities. In that case, it might make sense to go with a DR. Would it be possible to have both for a while until you decide which you like better?
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Last edited by G-Dub; 08-03-2017 at 07:59 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-03-2017, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 55
Now that I have a Goldwing the Dl650 will not ever carry a passenger again and it may never see a multi day pavement trip either. As much as I love the DL I like the wing with the lady on the back better. So I'm looking for a solo bike for speed limits of 65mph and under. DL does this fine but a Dr would open up many more options. Sudden rain strom are common and I'm not that interested in getting cought 50k down a dirt road after it turns to mud.

My hesitation is the feeling that I would regret selling the wee.

I have thought of owning both for a while but I'd have to raid the home renovation fund. As much as my wife supports my motorcycle habit the house fund is out of bounds.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-04-2017, 05:04 AM
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia
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I've ridden with guys or DR's. The DR was 5-10kph faster on really tight dirt roads - BUT beat the riders to death to do that. If it opened up the DR's suddenly became chicanes.

Personally for long days including dirt roads a DL with good offroad tires is fine and probably better than a DR. The main point there is tires

Also, a comment, a DL with good tires was better in mud than a DR. I could just chug through where the DR's needed revs and used to get very untidy in the same conditions.

Don't get me wrong, there are places where DR's will absolutely thrash a DL, but that's not dirt >roads<.

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post #6 of 16 Old 08-04-2017, 10:30 AM
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I have and have owned DL 650's. Not a DR 650 but a KLR 650. Which is close enough in this case. I find that the KLR/DR 650 type bikes are ONLY better in rougher conditions. While they get along fine, any serious miles in one day will leave you not wanting to do that again! Yes, some do high miles on them but there are also riders that do Iron Butt events on scooters.

If I lived in the mountains and had all back roads to get to and from riding areas a KLR/DR is fun. But using them as a primary bike isn't. I would never take the KLR to "town" because it was better. Might do it to keep the battery charged. The KLR/DR is superior on dirt roads and trails when they get rough and rutted. Everywhere else I'll take the DL 650.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-04-2017, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 55
Good point Pete. I have not tried the DL with anything more aggressive then Shinko 705's. What would you recommend for gravel and dirt roads on the DL and have you done anything to your suspension to get the performance you describe?
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-04-2017, 11:26 AM
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Location: Harrodsburg ,Ky.
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My old bunch all have two or more bikes each. One long time friend in the bunch has a Wee,a 2016 glee .KLR 650 ,and a DR 650,and a Yamahs 250. He takes the DR on more out of state than the KLR and has even taken the 250 on a three state trip! to show up GS1200 BMWs in the real bad stuff they lay out and he did!! Now for our long trips like Alaska four times ,and Colorado its one of the Vstroms.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-06-2017, 09:44 PM
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I started out with an '81 BMW R100 (still have it) and then bought an '06 KLR (50/50 knobs). I got into a crew that does a lot of local (Pennsylvania) dirt road riding. I still ride it often (45K hard miles) at organized roll-chart events (stream crossings, etc), groceries, a trip around Lake Michigan, and for a full week at camp the last 10 yrs. If I was only allowed to have one bike, it would be the simple "Swiss Army Knife" KLR. It does a little bit of everything good enough to be my go to bike for many adventures.

When I rode the BMW in Pennsylvania's ridge & valley system of roads, I hated to be confined to the valley floor mile after mile until there was a hard road through a gap over to the next valley. By now I'm hopelessly addicted to taking those short-cuts dirt roads up and over the mountain on my KLR but parts aren't easy to find or cheap for a 36 yr old BMW. So, I bought the '15 650XT to be my road bike the was dirt-worthy enough to take those short-cuts, albeit, at a slower / guarded pace. Besides, I should slow down a little at my advanced age
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-06-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada
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Thank you everyone for your replys so far. I find when my thought just bounce around in my head I can never sort them out. But when I have to try to make them understandble to others by writing them out I find much greater clarity concerning my thoughts, needs, and desires. Of course every reply, on topic or not, does help. So now I am ready to see if I have a better idea where I'm at with this question.

So I'm going to go at this as a motorcycle comparision, but with conditions. Here are the conditions:

When the DL650 was my only motorcycle is was the perfect compromise. Now that I have a Goldwing I actually find a lot of overlap between the two. So for this comparision I will ask you to consider the two motorcyles (DL650 vs DR650) if neither of them will ever be used for long distance multy day pavement touring - EVER. I will not be using either bike much if at all in the city. From my house I have to drive two hours west, or three hours east, or five hours south to get to a city larger then where I live. North? I'd reach the acrtic circle and still not find a place larger than the town of 8000 I live in now. I also live two hours from the nearest four lane so neither bike will ever be used where speed limits exceed 100km/hr (63 m/hr). And don't forget, neither bike will ever see a passenger again as my fine wife will only ride on the Goldwing now.

Given these conditions, what do you prefer and why? The DL650 or the DR650?

- I already have a 2009 DL. It's paid for modded perfect for me and I know it's history
- I love it.
- good gas range for exploring back roads with few towns
- dependable
- comfortable (but the Goldwing is more comfortable so I'll be using it for long highway droning)
- ABS - I like it

- I find it top heavy and hard to ride on loose gravel, mud, sand, or off road (but I do it anyway, only slow and not too often)
- Mine is getting to be high enough milage that I soon will not be able to sell it as there will be lots of wee's around with less
- Encourages me to blast into the city on a day off and look in stores the increases my stress and dissatisfaction (I want that, Oh look at that shiny new thing!)
- Life is too short to only ride one motorcycle. If I can't have them all I can at least have many of them one after another
- Limites the areas I can ride close to home

- would encourage me to spend more time exploring wilderness around home which decreases my stress and dissatisfaction.
- simple, simple, simple - The Goldwing I am now commited to maintaining for the long haul has so much plastic and complication that I would really like my solo bike being as easy to keep going as possible. Don't underestimate this point. For me it is huge.
- Can easily be modified in either direction, more dirt or more road, depending on how my riding habits evolve
- No overlap between the DR and the Wing. Two bikes for two distinct purposes. I had this when I had a cruiser and a KLR and Iliked it a lot. I can't ride foot forward anymore so I switched that up for the V-strom. Now that my wife has discovered touring on the Wing the DL will no longer tour.
- It's a bike I've never had. Who doesn't like trying out new things just for the fun of it? (this is why I will not get a KLR. I've already had one. It was great. I liked it second best after the DL650 but If Igo this direction again it will be something else)

- I might find it underpowerd for the road and to big and heavy for off road given my limited off road skills
- Having never had a Dr I don't know if I'll love it or hate it
- Will take some time and money to get it set up the way I like it. And no, I can't leave a motorcyle as I find it. They all must be farkled!
- Old tech (this is a pro too - simple)

The list could go on, but this is a good start. Debate the pros and cons for each bike. Where is my assesment off? What am I missing?

If money was no object I'd probably buy a Ducati Desert Sled, but I'm sure good sence would say I should get a crf250l ralley - so in the middle lies the Dr650.
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