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Discussion Starter #1
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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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 course...it'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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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<.

Pete
 

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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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?

DL650
Pros:
- 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
-

Cons:
- 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

DR650
Pros:
- 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)

Cons:
- 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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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?
TKC-80's are the best tires I've used, but life is short. Kenda big-blocks were cheaper, but the same problem. I usually compromise and run K60's now. I can steer and I can brake and @28PSI they'll work O.K. in mud.

Suspension, Intiminators up front, Wilbers at the rear. Yes, the Wilbers was expensive, but it's lasted more than 200,000k's on two bikes with a couple of rebuilds. With that I could run with KTM990's and BMW1200's. The lack of power on paper compensated for by me not spinning the rear everywhere - and having control on the washboard roads that are common around here.
 

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Sounds like to me you are leaning towards the DR650. The Goldwing has kinda took the place of the DL. The DR will give you more places to ride. The ride to those spots might not be as nice as the DL, but once there you will enjoy the DR's ability. I have both a DL and DRZ400. I have to remember when riding the DRZ, that yes, I can ride the rough stuff, but the further in I get, the harder it will be to get out if something goes bad. Think the DL (which I just got) will help me stay honest. Plus in eastern NC, not much bad stuff to ride in anyway.
 

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I don't think you said whether you would get a new or used DR. They basically haven't changed in about 20 years. If you can find a well-farkled used one that would be good. (Too bad you're so far away as I'm probably going to sell mine soon.) I wouldn't worry about it being underpowered. If you don't like the stock power (which is respectable for a thumper), there are inexpensive carb and intake mods to liven it up a bit (which I've done on mine). If you want to liven it up even more, you can install a pumper carb and aftermarket exhaust. Everything is relatively easy to work on. Even cruising at around 80 mph, there's still power there when you twist the throttle. Wrung out you'll see 95-100 mph, even with the mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't think you said whether you would get a new or used DR.
Used! Although in Alberta they are selling them new with 5 years unlimited mileage warranty right now which is the first time I've ever been tempted to buy new.
 

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for years I used my DR 650 as a back road touring bike. fun on twisty stuff with the ability to explore places where I wouldn't take the strom. not much fun on the freeway. I added a 5 gallon tank, rear rack, givi e21's and a Sargent seat, center stand. It did go through a stator but that was about it in 54k miles. simple to maintain, easy to adjust valves. I think it would work well for you. I believe the latest iteration was '96 but they had some base gasket issues for a couple years. by '03 they had upgraded the gasket. a couple other issues too that I can't recall well enough to describe so might do a bit of research.
 

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having owned the DR for 6.5 years, i'm gonna say get it. it is easily re-configurable for street or dirt by swapping to more dirt oriented tires, or by 70/30 (street/dirt) and have at it!

i'll be honest and say that on MY DR, road riding is not fun. i run dunlop 606's, which while they are street legal knobbies, they are loud as hell on pavement and create a noticeable buzz in the seat. the seat is another area where unless you spend some bucks on a good aftermarket saddle, you will regret any ride over 3 hours. personally, i use the suzuki gel seat which is low, narrow, and hard as a rock. i do not, however, spend a heck of a lot of time on it, since i'm standing for a good amount on my preferred terrain.

if you get into real off-road riding, you will ver y quickly discover that the suspension is horrendous. heavier springs and either gold valves or intiminators up front, and either a new shock, or a well done re-spring and rebuild/revalve for the rear.

you'l also want to swap out the handlebars, as the stockers are jelly-like. i went with pro-taper raptor bend bars and love em.

i could go on and on, but i'll close with this: as much as i love my Vee, if i were forced down to one bike, the Vee would sadly be gone.

viva la DR650!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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