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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, all.

Looking for a second bike for riding around town and exploring tame forest service roads. So far I've narrowed it down to a Vstrom, a Versys, and a KLR. I'm 6' 4" and 300 lbs with a 34 inch inseam. I think any of these three would work for what I have in mind but they all seem to have obvious limitations. The KLR seems fine for the sort of maintained gravel roads I want to ride but getting to them on a single gives me pause. The Versys is an unknown because I haven't sat on one and then there's that 17 inch front tire. Which leaves the Vstrom. I keep leaning toward a 1000 even though it seems that the 650 would be more sensible choice. I just wish it would warm up here already so I could see if I could get someone to let me test ride. I miss test rides.
 

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The KLR would be ideal for you IMHO, and many have ridden them all over the world..........
 

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Yeah KLR

Lighter, 21" front wheel, I take my KLR places I'd not dream of taking the Strom.

I can do 500 km mixed on pavement off pavement days on the KLR versus 1,000 km days on the Strom.

The KLR will do 60 mph all day and the big tank is a pleasure.

Unless your off pavement is a long ways away - the KLR will be the better machine. Sargent seat really helps too.

Vstrom and Versys both great machines but not so much if you need to pick it up.
Vstrom with the right tires is extremely stable in gravel and it's a real canyon carver.

What is your other bike ?
 

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What is your other bike ?
A big ol honkin ST1100. It's great for all my distance needs. I forgot to add in my original post that I might also like to commute 100 miles round trip on this second bike which was why I was hesitant about the KLR. That's what led to me to think Strom in the first place. 50/50 interstate and forest service roads is really what I'm after. And I do mean well-tended gravel roads. No way would I think about taking any of those bikes on anything more challenging than that.
 

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As good as the KLR is, no way would I buy a new bike with a carburetor. Ive repaired enough of them in the last several decades to see the effects of today's gasoline on them. For a while I basically had a motorcycle carburetor shop going, worked on 1-3 a week, til the tide turned to fuel injection. Even my own ZRX1100 and CB750 werent immune--the ZRX is now better than new, but Im in for my bi-annual CB750 carburetor disassembly and clean procedure. Which, for me, takes the KLR off the list
The Vstrom1000 would be most excellent for one at 6'4" and 300lbs. The legroom is most excellent, torque is supreme--I REALLY enjoy mine. But...It's a great long-distance machine as well, and you just might ride it long distance while your ST sits. Just as my ZRX sits in the garage since I got my DL1k.
Which leaves the 650 Vstrom. Less expensive than the 1000(if that's a concern), engine is smoooooth!, tremendous torque for a 650cc engine, not lacking in legroom, light and agile enough for your stated needs.
Between the Versys650 and the Vstrom650, Id go with the Vstrom just to get that marvelous 650cc V-Twin engine.
 

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Yeah go with the 650 Strom ....light enough you might want to adjust pegs/seat for your height and perhaps some shock work.

Or ditch the ST1100 and go with the 1000 as a do all. Loved my ST1100 at speed but a pig in town and on hot days.
 

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Greetings, all.

So far I've narrowed it down to a Vstrom, a Versys, and a KLR. I'm 6' 4" and 300 lbs with a 34 inch inseam. I think any of these three would work for what I have in mind but they all seem to have obvious limitations.
These were the three bikes on my short list ten years ago when I decided to get back into biking after 25 or so years away.

I had ridden my son's KLR around town and on some trails. I didn't think I could live with the sound of that engine's exhaust. It was horrible, and this from someone who owned the SR500 single in the avatar, with stock and aftermarket exhausts. Why does the KLR sound so asthmatic compared to the old Yammy. This was to be my one and only bike, and I had concerns about highway riding.

The Versys: One good look and two minutes sitting on it at the dealer's was enough. No No No! Mechanically fine, 17 inch front wheel not to my liking, way too restrictive for movement on the bike. (6-3 and 225 lbs at the time). Plastic covers over the frame to make it look like something it wasn't assaulted my senses.

DL650 had most of what I wanted, and is what I bought. Turned on by them since they first showed up. Seating position was a minus. A big one. I like to move back and forth (and side to side too) on the seat when riding and felt confined. Fixed with a custom seat which does not have the scooped out section, but is virtually straight from front to back. Only good if you have the leg length for it. ABS is nice, but I pull the fuse when seriously doing off road. Big deal is the selection of tires. I have used stock, Michelin Pilot Road 3, Michelin Anakee 2 and Full Bore (similar to Shinkos). On road handling from quite good to excellent (by my standards). Gravel and off-road handling varied from barely usable to quite acceptable. I have a set of Mitas E-07 ready to spoon on, and expect these will do the dual duty quite well. Plenty of after-market goodies for the Strom (and the KLR too, seemingly). Only time I felt the bike needed more power was riding fully laden with camping gear keeping up with traffic at 130-140 Kph into a fierce head-wind for two hours steady. The VStrom 650 should pull your weight as long as you respect its limits. Suspension may need upgrade, but such is the case for all of these bikes, I'd think.
I haven't felt the need to upgrade the springs, but I am now 85 pounds shy of your weight.

Of the three again I would pick the Strom. Great for commuting. With tires like the E-07 (and to some extent the Full Bores) you will have be adequately shod for your purposes; especially since you have that other bike for longer highway use.

That stock seat will be murder, and most of the seats offered may be fine but do not allow the freedom of movement I need and that you may want. At your size you will have to do something about the seat. (The newer DLs feel as bad to me when sitting on (in) them at the dealer's). Sitting so much higher now, and with a long torso, I needed mods to the windscreen as well. (I have yet to sort that out completely).

In short, the Versys miserably failed ergonomics and aesthetics tests, KLR sounds horrible and is lacking on the highway, Strom (of any ilk) needs mods but is best choice. In my humble opinion based on an incomplete data set and fraught with bias.
 

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Greetings, all.

Looking for a second bike for riding around town and exploring tame forest service roads. So far I've narrowed it down to a Vstrom, a Versys, and a KLR. I'm 6' 4" and 300 lbs with a 34 inch inseam.
Go with the vstrom 1000, at 300 lbs you may still need to upgrade the suspension, especially as you intend to ride on bumpy/back roads. With the bigger displacement you will get noticeably stronger low end grunt and your engine will run much easier at higher/highway speeds.

I had a 2012 vstrom 1000 and found the low end satisfactory, although the suspension didn't pass muster, for me. Also, it did great eating up highway miles, if it had cruise control I'd probably still have it. The only upside to the 650, in my way of thinking, is the better gas mileage.


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