Which bike to get or keep?
I was considering selling my vee and buying the KLR650 for reasons I'll explain:
The original plan when I bought my vee was to retire and ride it to the Grand Canyon as a retirement present to myself. After the Grand Canyon ride, I'd use it for other shorter trips in my general area of SE Georgia such as Key West, the north GA mountains and countless other places of interest within a couple day's ride.
After retiring I started having family issues; an aging mother and other minor issues including my own health problems. I do love to ride, and as some of these issues persist, the idea of me being several days away from home is out of the question, so I was thinking of buying the KLR and riding locally within just a few hours of home on the many county paved and dirt roads in this area.
However, I am starting to have second thoughts about the lighter-weight KLR. I'm sort of sure that the KLR is a much better dirt road bike--these roads being sandy in some places, and slick red clay in other places--simply because of its weight, but is the vee that much more of a pig in the dirt? I live about a mile down a dirt road which has a clay hill that can get slippery when wet, and a sandy stretch that is prone to washboarding. I have ridden my vee in and out of this road a thousand times with the factory Bridgestone Trail Wing tires and now a set of Dunlop TrailMax tires. They are OK on the dirt road, but not very confidence inspiring above 25 MPH because in the sand or on the washboard the front wheel wants to wash out.
I do own an old KLR250 and it does great on the dirt roads with knobby tires, but it's not something you want to run around on paved roads with (especially in traffic), and definitely not something you want to spend all day on. I am not an inexperienced rider; I have owned motorcycles since I was 12 years old, I'm 57 now. I currently own the vee, the KLR250, a Honda XR200R dirt bike and a Yamaha Road Star. I have ridden in just about every kind of terrain within 200 miles of Canoochee, Georgia. What I haven't done is what I'm now thinking of doing, and that is instead of selling my vee and buying a KLR650 (a bike which I have never ridden), I would outfit my vee with some Shinko 804/805 tires and ride my vee as if it were just as good in the dirt as the KLR650.
The question I'd like input on from riders with some experience on a vee with aggressive dirt tread like the Shinko 804/805 tires, and the KLR650, is can the vee compare to the KLR? Ground clearance won't be a factor on the roads I intend to ride on, and pavement to dirt ratio will be about 50/50.
I look forward to input from vee riders using aggressive tires like the Shinkos, and if you also have KLR650 experience I'd consider that a bonus.