Wee Strom vs DR 650 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Wee Strom vs DR 650

Has anyone gone from a Wee Strom to a DR 650 and what were the advantages/disadvantages. I rode a DR 650 for the second time tonight and wonder if it is the all around dual sport that I have been looking for. My Wee is VERY comfortable with the Russel seat, electronic cruise, heated grips and heated gloves and jacket connections. It handles well on pavement but seems much too heavy for off road duty. I have not done any off roading accept for a few gravel roads but got into sand and deep gravel and almost lost the bike. Big question. Can the DR be made comfortable for touring and be a real 50/50 dual sport bike. The other option is to get a dual sport 250 and trailer it to the trails. Fewer bikes, less insurance and maintance. I love my Wee but the lightness of the DR has many rewards at my age (old).

All opinions will be appreciated. Greywolf, I hope you have ridden a DR 650.

Last edited by blades4; 08-07-2012 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Wanted to see if I got email messages when replies were posted.
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 10:11 PM
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I rode a 2008 DR650 until I traded it in on the 2012 Wee this summer. The DR650 excels on Forest Service/fire/mountain roads. It is too harsh and buzzy for prolonged riding/touring for the freeway. It is too large and heavy for singletrack. I would describe it as a 70 road/30 off road bike.

I believe that the real sweet spot for off roading is a 250 cc dual sport. You can ride it to the trailhead and it is not so large and heavy so that you cannot ride double track/single track with it. The DR650 did not offer much more off roading capability than my DL650, and the DL is much more capable on the road.

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post #3 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 10:17 PM
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You ought consider a Yamaha TW200 (any year). They are a blast to ride. Like a 2 wheeled Jeep Wrangler. They go anywhere (mud, sand, snow, dirt, gravel, woods, single track, blacktop, railroad tracks - don't ask me how I know). Very comfortable, easy to work on, 75-85 mpg. You can pick up a great used one cheap. It is a dual-sport street legal.

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post #4 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:01 PM
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+1 for the TW200. My '05 was a blast to bomb around on, and the massive rear tire had tons of grip. It weighed in at 240 lbs. They are cheap enough that you could keep both it and the Wee!

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post #5 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:16 PM
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The DR 650 absolutely is a great all around dual sport. I have done single tracks with mine. Is it an ideal bike for single tracks? Of course not but it is capable if you are. Even with one tooth dropped from the front sprocket, mine will still do 90 mph. Will it cruse comfortably at that speed. No it won't but 65 -70 mph sustained speed would be very doable. The DR 650 has a counterbalancer and it is less buzzy then most big thumpers.

I'd rather eat up 500 miles in a day on the interstate on a DR then attempt take a wee on a technical single track.

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post #6 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beewerks View Post
+1 for the TW200. My '05 was a blast to bomb around on, and the massive rear tire had tons of grip. It weighed in at 240 lbs. They are cheap enough that you could keep both it and the Wee!

That would be the best option.

'02 DR 650
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Last edited by Marty; 08-07-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
I rode a 2008 DR650 until I traded it in on the 2012 Wee this summer. The DR650 excels on Forest Service/fire/mountain roads. It is too harsh and buzzy for prolonged riding/touring for the freeway. It is too large and heavy for singletrack. I would describe it as a 70 road/30 off road bike.

I believe that the real sweet spot for off roading is a 250 cc dual sport. You can ride it to the trailhead and it is not so large and heavy so that you cannot ride double track/single track with it. The DR650 did not offer much more off roading capability than my DL650, and the DL is much more capable on the road.
This response is right on. I've got a 2008 DR650 which is just perfect for light off-roading, tough on singletrack, just a blast everywhere else. I also used it for commuting 50 miles a day, and that gets old real quick. Maybe with street tires and a new seat, but probably not.

That said, check out www.DRRiders.com - a great resource and they are fanatics.

So, I have the DL for commuting and touring, and the DR for the fire-roads and just a little singletrack.

Still having the DR, I can't imagine off-roading with the DL. When I dumped the DR on singletrack, it was all I could do to get it up again. A Wee Strom? Another 100 pounds?

Now that I have the Wee, I could see getting a WR250 sometime down the road, err, trail.
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post #8 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:53 PM
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I can't answer your original question as I've never ridden a DR650. However I have put 10,000 miles on a TW200 and 7,000 miles on a DR350. I still have the DR350 and will not sell it even though I acquired the DL650 this winter. I have put about 4,000 miles on the DL now both paved, gravel dirt and rough 4X4 trails.

I've also done week long off road rides with riding partners of KTM 640 Adventure, BMW650Dakar and BMW 800GS. (me riding the DR) This in the desert of Oregon/Idaho.

My .02$ I think I have the perfect combination of bikes DR350s and DL650. I think having just one is simply way too much of a compromise. There are several others on here and over on ADV who have the same combination.

TW200, fine for toodling around and enjoying the slower pace of life, exploring the back country. Honestly horrible on the hwy if you try to take it over 55. But amazingly fun in the paved twisties. Super reliable, but it will beat you up if you push it too fast offroad.

DR350, needs some suspension work to be a desert bomber or a single track machine. But makes a great dual sport bike. My cousin on his 800GS was absolutely stunned how well I kept up with him in the mountains of Idaho. When we got in the technical stuff he was really working to keep the gs on it's feet and I was slowing my pace considerably for him. The 350 bike is super reliable, air cooled carborated machine that can put a smile on my face every time I ride it. It can go all day at 65, but 70 is making it work. I think a 385 kit on it with a pumper carb and forks and shocks off a 97-99 dirt model would make it about perfect. I picked my 1997 street model up with 2,400 miles for $1,600, so they are very reasonable. With a DR350, you could easily take the hwy to your offroad riding areas.

DR650 can handle the highway only slightly better than the 350 and weighs much more.

For me, if I was forced to only have one bike, I'd take the KTM 950 (carborated) even with it's mechanical issues. It's probably the best twin offroad. I was really impressed with my friend's 640 adventure, but heard they are really buzzy and have ongoing mechanical issues.

Just my observations and opinions. It really depends on what you want to do with your bike(s)
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-07-2012, 11:56 PM
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I have both

If I could only own one bike, the DR650 would be it. With a sargent seat and a parabellum windshield, I have ridden from Atlanta to upstate NY, and then headed off road for 5 days in the Adirondacks, then back to Atlanta. Don't know too many bikes that can do 600 mile days and still do a great job off road. I would not want to do multiple days of freeway riding if I had another option, but as far as a great all-around bike, it is hard to beat the DR.
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-08-2012, 12:00 AM
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I had a KLR - as did probably half the guys on here. It's the "Kawasaki DR".

Don't forget that DR (and KLR) are - like the DL - 'compromise' bikes - there are plenty of bikes with more dirt credentials if you're willing/ able/ planning to trailer the bike to the trails. And as the DL frustrates you off-pavement, the DR/KLR will ON pavement: vibey, underpowered, loud, squirmy tires, no wind protection, crappy generator output, crappy seat.

Now, if you're street riding is around town, errands, groceries, a short commute, etc., it's a great, fun bike and you'll love it. If you do much distance, touring, or interstate, you WILL regret trading a DL for a DR, IMO.
Having to tone it down offroad, or even turn back is a buzz kill on the Strom.

...but around hour 3 of an SUV tailgating you when you're WOT, with mirrors shaking so hard they're useless, with numb and tingly hands, blurred vision and ringing ears from wind/ buffeting, sitting on a 2x6 with a vinyl cover on it... that's when the Strom starts looking like "uberbike."
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