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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I figure, it's time to decide between the two... a VStrom 650 or a KLR 650. I've done my certifications, sat on just about every bike at every dealership in the area, purchased all of my gear, and just need to make this final decision.

I'm planning on using the bike to commute across town and run errands (which sometimes includes hauling my 9-year old to activities and things). I'm 6' tall, have a 33" inseam, and weigh in at 240 lbs. I like an upright, comfortable sitting position. My big thing is that I want something reliable that sips gasoline as slowly as possible.

Is the VStrom for me? I like the KLR as it sounds incredibly reliable and sits very comfortably... but the extra power in the VStrom sounds nice too.

Any opinions for a VStrom newbie??

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
 

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They are both good bikes, the Vstrom being the more luxurious/refined of the 2, just depends what you want?

They both offer their own benefits, strengths and weaknesses.
 

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If you're mostly going to be running across town and such, get the V-Strom. If you are going to be doing more dirt/off road than that, get the KLR. If you are going to mostly ride on the road, but think you might take a gravel road or Forest Service track once in a while, get the V-Strom. (Did I repeat myself? :biggrinjester:)

I have a DL650, and last year I got my son a used KLR650 for graduation. I love playing off road on the KLR, but the DL is waaaaaaay better on the pavement.

Either one will be a great first bike, though. :thumbup:
 
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I had a KLR.

If you haven't ridden both, I can tell you it's like comparing a horse-drawn cart to a jet. Seriously - they are nothing alike, IMO.

The KLR is a thumper, ~30hp, carburated, released in 1987 or so. Cheaply built, prone to a few issues (doohickey, subframe bolts, probably a few other little glitches I'm not remembering). More dirt-oriented. Crap on the highway, IMO.

The Wee (I'm a little out of my element here - I own a Vee) is a V-twin, ~60hp, fuel-injected, released in 2004. Don't know of any "known" issues on the Wee. More street oriented.

If fuel economy is your main concern, then there's little more to consider - but I think your riding style is what will really lean you towards one of the other. If you want to be more comfortable at speed, and value the convenience of a gas gauge, a clock, etc. - get the Wee. If you'd rather knock the thing around in the woods, or don't really plan on ever going for extended trips or on the highway, and you really want a simple, cheap, practical machine, it's hard to beat the KLR.

The ergos, CG, and handling characteristics are pretty similar, IMO.
 

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I had the same dillema, and we're similarly sized with me at 6'3" and 220lbs.

The things that tipped it for me to buy the DL650 were these-
Fuel injection
Better two-up accomadations
V-twin vs Thumper


I am a 90/10 rider and my DL suits well for forest roads and tarmac.

My friend sold his KLR a year ago because he got tired of the way it rode on the road. He took my DL out and told me if he had got that instead, he'd still have a bike instead of the Focus he traded it in for.

I think I chose the better bike for myself, and from your brief explanation, I feel confident in recommending the DL for your use as well.

The price point at nearly 2.5k more for the DL (dealer incentives bring MSRP on the KLR to $5k right now) almost had me go with the KLR, but after spending 400+ miles on the DL, I am happy to have paid the extra.


But all the great stories we can tell you don't mean poo, we can only tell you what we have found is best for us. You need to decide what fits you best and what you can afford to spend.


Edit- I fueled up for the 2nd time today, I calculated my mileage to be appx 51. That was with a lot of city driving and I tend to keep my rpms low and bike slow (still doing initial break in). The KLR will give you better range, but not by much, due to the larger tank. The DL is going to stomp the KLR as far as mileage goes, but you will make more fuel stops.
 

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I've never ridden a KLR650, but for some strange reason I want one.

However, I'm 6'1", 190 pounds, this morning I left the house at 6:15 am on my 2007 ABS WeeStrom, rode 311.6 miles with a buddy who just bought a new 2009 ABS WeeStrom and had to finish the break-in. 5.4 gallons of gas, 3 candy bars, 1 quart of coffee, and I'm still happy! :thumbup:

Your satisfaction may vary.
 

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KLR didn't for me

After owning a 2008 KLR I'm amazed at the ability for many riders to use them as adventure touring bikes. If you're going to ride mostly on the dirt the KLR is the way to go. In every other aspect the Strom is far superior.
 

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I think you ought to buy the KLR.

I'm parting one out starting next week and you might need some stuff:) I use EBAY:)

The KLR is kinda fun, in a slow, noisy, buzzy sort of way. If you are located on good gravel roads, it's probably ok, but if you want to actually ride to get there? Not so much. And don't buy it thinking you are getting a dirt bike, it is way too heavy and underpowered for that.

You want a MOTORCYCLE? Buy the Wee. You a McGiver wannabe? Buy the KLR.

Remember me when you need parts
 
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You want a MOTORCYCLE? Buy the Wee. You a McGiver wannabe? Buy the KLR.
LOL.
Someone on KLR650.net said something once that made all my experiences with the KLR much more enjoyable:

"Don't think of it as a bike - think of it as a tractor."

For some reason, lumping around town and on dirt/ gravel roads, riding a 2-wheeled tractor made more sense.
 

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I've owned both.

Previous posters have pretty much said it all.

Does your commute involve much time above 60mph? Get the Wee.
Do you think you'll be riding the same bike two-up with your kid a few years down the road? Two-up with anything but the smallest passenger isn't much fun on the KLR.
First bike? Want to learn how to work on a bike? Get the KLR.
Does bottom line really factor into your decision? Get the KLR. The $2-3K price difference buys allot of gas.
Do you value simple luxuries like fuel gauge, temp gauge, clock, hazard flashers? Wee strom has 'em.
Are looks important? New KLR's are a big improvement over 1st gens but the Wee is still sexier.

I like the wee more. More power, less vibration, less noise. Sexier.
 

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Have had both, but from your description of your needs (commuting, some two-up, good gas mileage) I'd say DL650 hands-down.

I bought my KLR new in 06, paid around 5k. It was my only bike, did everything from fairly nasty trails to 3k mile pavement tours. Put about $1500 in farkles on it.

Bought my 06 Wee in 08 very nicely equipped with about 11k miles for $4500. Rode it to AK, FL, VT, did the Blue Ridge and back to WY over the next couple years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Put a few more upgrades on it, and I figure I'm about even cash-wise vs. KLR.

Bottom line: I love off-road riding, so if I had to choose just one I'd probably go with the KLR (sorry, I just don't enjoy the Wee off-road). If I remove trail-riding from the equation, the Wee wins every time.

> Better wind protection

> Smoother, doesn't feel like you're wringing it's neck at speed

> Way better two-up (took my wife on a day cruise through Yellowstone last fall, and the first thing she said when getting off was "wow, that thing's so much more comfy than the KLR...")

> Better fuel economy (typically 48-50 with the KLR, 55-58 with the DL)

> Better resale value (even well-farkled KLR's are a dime a dozen)

Oh, and I traded my KLR for a DR-Z. Much happier on the trails, and I've got the Wee for the road. Damn near perfect combo IMO.
 

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.....
I'm planning on using the bike to commute across town and run errands (which sometimes includes hauling my 9-year old to activities and things). I'm 6' tall, have a 33" inseam, and weigh in at 240 lbs. I like an upright, comfortable sitting position. My big thing is that I want something reliable that sips gasoline as slowly as possible.
I've had my share of commuter bikes, and I can say that the wee is an excellent commuter, with a couple caveats. For me, a commuter bike is one that I will ride in a variety of weather (hot, cold, mildly rainy), most of the year, with the ability to haul stuff as needed. The wee meets these needs for me with a couple caveats. The stock windshield is crap .... first thing I did when I got mine home is replaced it with a bigger screen and the madstad adjustable bracket. Secondly, in the stock configuration it has minimal storage, although it does have a pretty decent size luggage rack. Add a topbox or saddle bags and that will cure it. Third, the fairing seems to offer some weather protection, but I haven't tested it yet.....only had mine three days now. In some ways, my scooter gives me better commuter benefits than the bike, but the wee feels much more spunky on the road.

Can't compare it to the KLR, although lots of other folks here have. But over the last three years I've had about a dozen other bikes, and the wee feels really great to me.

Vic
 

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question?

Your title is a question. Your body is a statement. One I agree with.

Now whowhatwherewereyousaying??
 

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I figure, it's time to decide between the two... a VStrom 650 or a KLR 650. I've done my certifications, sat on just about every bike at every dealership in the area, purchased all of my gear, and just need to make this final decision.

I'm planning on using the bike to commute across town and run errands (which sometimes includes hauling my 9-year old to activities and things). I'm 6' tall, have a 33" inseam, and weigh in at 240 lbs. I like an upright, comfortable sitting position. My big thing is that I want something reliable that sips gasoline as slowly as possible.

Is the VStrom for me? I like the KLR as it sounds incredibly reliable and sits very comfortably... but the extra power in the VStrom sounds nice too.

Any opinions for a VStrom newbie??

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
I admit I didnt read all the other posts. But, I just traded my KLR for a Wee. The main reason is that I wanted to be able to take my son (now 16 and almost 6' tall) for rides with me. I also have 2 little girls that are wanted to go for rides with Dad. The KLR is a great starter bike. It is easy on and off the power. And for most things will get the job done. Until it comes to riding 2 up. It did OK when my son was smaller, but I could no longer fit on the bike with him. The Wee is smoother, turns better, handles winds better, has less vibes and 6 gears. I also commuted 40 miles a day on the KLR (put 10K miles on her in 2 years) and it almost seemed like it took forever to ge where I was going (and I road it 650+ miles in 14 hours). The Wee makes the ride too short and always leaves me wanting more. I bought my Wee the same day I took my son for a 180 mile ride. The 2 are not comparable. Dont get me wrong. I liked my KLR, and it wa a good bike for what it was and what it can do. I love the Wee even though it is more of a street bike. Just my thoughts.
 

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Both Great Bikes

Both are great bikes but have different applications. I own both 08 KLR & 09 DL650 and a Yamaha FJR 1300. I took the KLR to Alaska in July 09, great ride but the KLR lacked power for the long haul out of Vancouver (round trip just over 9500 km). It was reliable and fantastic on the dirt roads. However, the Dl 650 would have preformed better because of the twin cylinder engine and greater top end speed. Most of the other issues that crop up on these types of rides come down to matching the correct tires to road and experience.
The reason I took my KLR is that my riding buddy rode the same bike.
Depending on your riding skills I would choose the DL 650 over the KLR. Or another approach, if you ride mainly on hard surfaces choose the DL650 or if the riding is on loose surface opt for the KLR with appropriate tires. Good luck!
 

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I have never rode a KLR but i feel that the Strom is more suitable for comfort and is a bigger bike. I guess it depends on what type of riding you will do.
 

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The only negative I have heard about on a KLR is a weak counterbalancer gear or chain or something like that. I'm not 100% sure what it was, but I remember seeing that it was an easy fix. Eitheer would be a fine bike. I would repeat as others have said, the wee makes a better all around bike. The KLR would be a little better for off road riding.
 

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Sold a KLR, bought a DL650.

If you want to ride on paths that are difficult to walk on, buy a KLR.
Otherwise, get the Wee.

If you want to look like a knarly adventurer, buy a KLR.
If you want comfort for you and a passenger, long distance comfort, buy a DL.
 
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