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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all let me apologize for this post! I know it's been cussed and discussed a hundred times in posts on this and other websites and I've read them all. But, I thought I would throw it out one more time as it might help me make my impending decision.

I sold my BMW RT which I had owned for several years. My back to back to back 500 plus mile touring days are over. This has left a glaring hole in my garage. So I decided I'd buy a lighter bike to ride around town. I even considered a Burgman but decided I'd be better off with a dual-sport of some type.

I've narrowed it down to a KLR or a Wee. The one who must be obeyed says I can only have one. I rented a KLR for a day a couple of months back. Put 250 miles on it and loved the versatility compared to my RT but it beat me up. I never could get comfortable on the thing. I'm told that with a few mods (seat, shield, pegs, etc) I could make it alot more user friendly. I've done a short test ride on a Wee and it seemed to fit me much better. The Wee ride was about 20 miles of pavement. I wished I would have had the opportunity to ride it on a dirt road.

The local dealer who sells both keeps asking me if I will be riding more on road or off. That's a tough question as some days I will be taking that 200-300 mile day trip and other days I'll be riding some of these great unpaved roads in western Colorado. I've got no desire to ride single tracks or jump rocks. I just want to explore some roads where I could take a 2wd pick-up.

My question with a KLR is will I be able to take those 200-300 mile day rides with a level of comfort?
My question with a Wee is will I be able to ride those milder/unpaved roads with a level of comfort?

Thanks in advance for any input and I need to move soon as my wife keeps mumbling something about using the money for new furniture.
 

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You can ride dirt roads all day on a Vstrom.

Picture by Black Lab, Rte 630 in New Brunswick:

 

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I've owned both.......2004 & 2005 KLR's (his & hers), and my current 2008 Wee. I believe your last sentences pretty much narrowed down your future riding routes: paved roads and some unpaved "roads" (i.e. NOT single tracks nor cow trails???). The KLR can get tiring after 150-200 slab miles COMPARED to the Weestrom. Yes, the KLR seems much lighter in the twisties and I prefer it for "grocery runs" around da hood, but the strom eats up miles without tiring the rider. Anything over 70 m/hr on the KLR can get "buzzy" and twitchy. I think it all boils down to what PERCENTAGE you plan on riding paved vs unpaved?? Both are able steeds.........both go to Alaska and back year after year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I should have added in my original post that my local dealer is selling new 2011 KLR's for $5299 and ironically at another nearby dealer there is a 2009 (non-abs) DL650 for sale for $5299. Skid plate, moto engine guards, Pelican topcase, and soft side bags with moto racks. 1500 miles.
 

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To me, the only question is how much do you want to spend... the KLR is considerably less money.... for a reason

Just saw your post.... I'd still take the WEE...
 

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Unique viewpoint, perhaps ...

I have been riding for 50 years, and I do not like gravel and dirt.
Of course, I have encountered lots of gravel roads, but parts of me
tend to clench up a tad when I see that gravel is right ahead.

Now, there is a stretch of road that, one day, I will travel, unless I dawdle
enough that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador paves the
Trans-Labrador Highway. I didn't even know of that road when I bought
the Wee-Strom, but knowing what I know now, I would have been even
more sure that the DL-650 was right for me.

OK, bear the above in mind, and ride with me on a stretch of road near
Whitburne Newfoundland. The mediocre pavement ended, and there I was
on gravel, the first gravel I had met on the DL-650. The bike felt amazingly
stable, and I was more comfortable on gravel than I had ever been before.
I increased speed, and shifted up, and there I was, cruising along at 60 MPH
in sixth gear, and I kept it up for 5 minutes.

Understand, I was thousands of miles from home, in a foreign country,
with no medical coverage whatever, and just my skills to protect me;
nevertheless, I was confident and secure on unfamiliar gravel, at greater
speed than I had ever ridden on gravel before.

After about 20 miles, the gravel ended. Except for brief patches, and one
intentional ride on terrible roads, I have not done much gravel since, but
I surely enjoy the added confidence that this fine motorcycle bestows on
me when the surface is not to my liking.

I expect to ride the Trans-Lab before long,
and I expect to feel confident when I do it.

I sat on a KLR in a showroom recently, and I thought of the orangutan.
Catch a glimpse of one of these creatures, at speed in poor light,
and you may think you have seen a man. A closer look shows otherwise.

Similarly, the KLR, which suits many fine riders, is not the bike for me.

Your $, your butt, your choice. You now know mine, emphatically.
Keith

P.S. My bike is named COLORADO. It named itself.
 

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Wow. Make that WOW!

I should have added in my original post that my local dealer is selling new 2011 KLR's for $5299 and ironically at another nearby dealer there is a 2009 (non-abs) DL650 for sale for $5299. Skid plate, moto engine guards, Pelican topcase, and soft side bags with moto racks. 1500 miles.
Helluva deal. Git that Strom! :thumbup:
 

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I have a 2009 KLR and a Vee. First vee, second KLR. I have spent extensive time in southwest Colorado, (Durango to Gunnison and all points between), and if you live anywhere near that area the KLR would be the hands down choice. The jeep trails will leave you less worn on the KLR vs the Wee, and the twisties are a hoot on the killr. Change out the seat, ( I went with a Seat Concepts), and a taller windshield if you so desire, and you will be good. Pre 2008s do need a doohickey swap, but all it takes is a little time and about the same amount of money.
 

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Sounds like the Wee is a no-brainer for your riding. It would be a tough decision if you were looking to do lots of road and some actual off-roading, but for gravel and dirt roads, the Wee will handle your needs no problem.
 

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I have owned both, not a wee a vee. I was so happy to sell the KLR and get another DL1K. Comfort, wind protection and SPEED!

I had a car lane change into me totaling my other Vstrom.

I rode to Panama w/ 2 other KLR guy's. The KLR's rock on dirt. They blew me away. But on the street......
 

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I've had both as well. I had a good seat on the KLR and windscreen.
For what you describe I would rather have the Wee. Neither is perfect and both are a compromise. For me I think anything over 200 miles was pushing it on the KLR, the vibration and wind wore me down afterward.
The Wee can easily be all day comfortable and can easily mange dirt roads.
FWIW this is exactly why I am buying another wee. I have a DR650 (which as far as I'm concerned is a better machine than a KLR) and its just a bit rougher than I want when a lot of miles are involved. I usually end up doing something like 75% paved and 25% dirt and like to hit around 300 miles on a riding day. If it were more 50/50 and under 200 I'd be keeping the DR.
 

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It depends. I havn't personally ridden a KLR for long distances off road, but I've ridden KLR riders into the ground on long days of dirt roads.

Yes, the KLR is 5-10kph faster than the Wee on dirt, but it's also a lot harder on the rider for all that.

If you are sticking to dirt roads (rather than single track etc) the Wee can do it all day, and the rider can face getting on the bike again next day.

The Wee is an all-road distance eater, it can do 1000km days on mostly dirt roads, the KLR is a better dirt bike but just isn't as pleasant as the distance goes up.

Pete
 

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I've owned both. For your needs, hands down, get the wee.
The wee has more power, less vibs, much more planted on highway travel and very capable on dirt/fire roads.

The KLR is less expensive and better on dirt, that's it. Also, I felt like a sail boat when riding on the highway or crossing some bridges with my KLR, not fun.

For an all-around bike, both the Vee and Wee are hard to beat and still inexpensive as motorcyles go.

Bruce
 

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I currently own both.

The Wee will be the best for what you are planning.

More comfort, more speed, less issues then the KLR.

If you are doing a lot of dirt/gravel type roads then go with a more dirt oriented tyre, fit crash bars and a bash plate and you are ready for most of the riding you want to do.

If it involves less highway and a lot of single trail/fourwheel drive type riding then the KLR would be a little better.

And I'm not so sure that the KLR is ACTUALLY faster on dirt roads, recently I was riding on a not so good dirt/gravel road and was being held up by two GS Beemers [I was doing 80-100kph at the time and I only have Tourance tyres on the Wee, not knobbies] and I'm not a very good dirt rider.

I've ridden the KLR up the same road and only did 70-90kph on the same stretches.

My next set of tyres is going to be much more dirt oriented, but the Tourance tyres are a great all round tyre and really good on the tar- wet or dry.
 

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Cruising at higher speeds, 70+, is not the best use of a KLR or a DR.....the DL is very relaxed at those speeds.

The rides I like to do, involve heading out of my urban sprawl metro area, to the countryside, and turning down random dirt roads to see where I pop out. The DL is perfect for that kind of exploratory riding. I'm not huckin' off of cliffs on my DL - not even close, but for casual dirt road exploring, it's wonderful. I've even taken it on some light singletrack, where it's quite out of it's element, but the handling and sweetheart motor make it easier than you'd imagine. Just gotta take it slow. At almost 500lbs with 6" of travel make for some tame off road speeds. Keep that in mind, and you'll have a blast.

The Wee will get you out there......

 

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More simple

KLR sucks over 60, I have put 20k on one in less than 2 years and it does everything and nothing well. My KLR is set up for touring and the most comfortable bike under 60. I did highly modify it. It has little power but cost little too. I want a Wee now that I live on the flat. The KLR is my favorite bike. Doing more than short burst on the HWY it's not fun. I can spend all day in the mountains on twisties, dirt etc...and you can hit a curb at speed. :confused:
 

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Is either the Wee or KLR the right call here?

You sharply criticised the KLR and the Wee is a long way down from an RT. I wonder if either is the bike you really want. Do you know? Do you secretly have eyes for a girl that you aren't mentioning?

Is there another bike in the mix here? Both of your finalists sound like second placer's to my ear. Most riders who buy a Wee just love it.
 

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I was in a similar situation. I had to ask myself where I rode the most frequently, and the routes that I intended to take to the places that I wanted to go. Sadly, there is always miles of pavement inbetween destinations. The reality of it steered me towards the Strom, and I'm lovin' every minute on the bike. I made the right choice.
 

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And I'm not so sure that the KLR is ACTUALLY faster on dirt roads, recently I was riding on a not so good dirt/gravel road and was being held up by two GS Beemers [I was doing 80-100kph at the time and I only have Tourance tyres on the Wee, not knobbies] and I'm not a very good dirt rider.

I've ridden the KLR up the same road and only did 70-90kph on the same stretches.
The Wee is really nice on the flat open stuff - stopping and turning quickly are a bit more of a challenge ;)

So if it's flat and open yeah, the KLR/DR/DRZ's are just annoying, but when it tightens up and gets bumpy or slippery they'll disappear on you.

Pete
 

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I own BOTH and love 'em.

I, too, sold my 1150 RT and haven't missed its expense (BMW = Bring My Wallet, Buy More Wrenches, etc.), and that was after riding Beemers for decades. I've 45+ years of saddle time, lots of miles, former commuter, now get to ride whenever I like (weather-permitting), and I'm usually smiling.

The question of "what'll you do more?" is critical, but I'd like to defend the KLR for a moment.

I'll agree with TwistyDave that KLR prefers "60-and-under", but I have found its stock seat comfortable (mine's a 2008). It's MUCH lower-tech than the Wee: gravity-feed single carburetor, single cylinder, single plug, tubes (still) in the tires. It's my "mule," but for a great deal of riding, for me, it's perfect. Back roads, rather than Interstates, gravel, dirt, not a major problem, but too heavy to really haul around in the woods. If it falls over, I don't cry (mine has crash bars and a sturdy skid-plate). It's the one I keep ready 12 months-a-year. I've had numerous three-hundred-mile days on it, but at the speeds I'm travelling, that takes all day and some of the evening.

The Wee, I find, is a fine replacement for the big RT. It goes as fast as I care to (I found I was moving along "faster than I'd planned" on the RT), it weighs so much less I can push it uphill into my garage when I want to. I use it for my longer-range / higher-speed days. The stock seat... needs something, a pad or a replacement, depending on wallet. I always thought that hopping on the RT for a quick errand-run into town wasn't sensible / not justifiable. The Wee is, of course, "windier" than the big touring bike.

Some have said the Wee is fine on dirt roads, but it does have a lower clearance than the KLR. The Wee's brakes are more substantial by far (although I do not have ABS on mine).

There are KLR lovers and bashers, there seem to be -- here anyway -- Wee lovers, not bashers. Both of mine get mileage consistently in the low-50s. You may want to make a list of farkles / accessories for each and see where the expenses lead. My insurance for both is similar, the Wee's being a tad more.

Assuming that neither of these is your "last" motorcycle (we can hope!), take the plunge, then change your mind / motorcycle next year or sooner if not happy.

Enjoy the ride!
 
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