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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, just found this site and will be doing a ton of reading!

Have been riding on and off for about 20 years, mostly sports bikes when I was young and now an 07 Victory Kingpin.

Love the Vic, but looking for something more versatile.

Riding will be a lot of general use with some longer weekend type trips, won't be doing any hardcore offroading but want to be able to cross open country, old logging roads etc.

Two major contenders right now are a Wee and a KLR. Like the simplicity and bulletproof reputation of the KLR but also like the better road/highway manners of the Wee.

Looking forward to any ideas/suggestions.
 

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I went from a cruiser Vulcan Voyager to a 2014 650 V Strom. What a fun bike it is! Handles well and easy to maneuver at low speeds. I also considered the KLR but it isn’t too good on the highways out here in the west. Lots of 80 mph stuff here. You are correct that the V Strom is more oriented toward street riding but it will do those fire roads. There are tons of accessories available too. You can get a used 650 pretty reasonably and try it.


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1+

get a 2012+ DL650 with some luggage and other desirable upgrades (Givi Airflow windscreen, fork brace, seat maybe, heated grips, crash bars, aftermarket driving lights, peg lowering kit, … ) and ride it for a season. If you don't like it sell it for close to what you bought it or if you like it ride the wheels of it and eventually get a newer one with even more farkles.

And if you need more off-road capabilities get a used KLR as well.
 

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Great replies, thanks!

Highwayman2016- you nailed it with your "highways at 80mph" comment. Is cruising down the interstate at 80 a priority, or crawling over poorly maintained back roads? Still working on that.

blaustorm- you mention a 2012+, any reason? What changed then?
 

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Great replies, thanks!



Highwayman2016- you nailed it with your "highways at 80mph" comment. Is cruising down the interstate at 80 a priority, or crawling over poorly maintained back roads? Still working on that.



blaustorm- you mention a 2012+, any reason? What changed then?


Not sure where you live. My priority is mostly street riding but with the proper tires my 14 will do some iffy roads.


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Much like you I am a Victory owner. Mines a 2015 Victory Gunner;




I've done longer trips (7-14 days) on the Gunner and really enjoyed myself. Most of my riding buddies were on various Vstroms and they got me curious.

I have to be honest though, Just looking at them I didn't think that they would be too comfortable to ride and would be hard on my back. Boy was I wrong! After my first trip on the Vstrom I was sold. My Gunner is now used for day trips, maybe an overnight once in awhile. It simply can't compete with the VStrom for comfort and flexibility on longer rides. Hands down.

My first Vstrom was a 2008 DL100 which I just traded in for a 2018 DL1000 ABS;




It's a change in riding style, but one I bet you will enjoy as much as I have.

All that aside,they are two vastly different motorcycles and each has it's place and I like riding either of them under the right circumstances. Most days it's the Vstrom these days.
 

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I traded in my 04 Suzuki LC1500 in for an 07 Vee, one short test ride and I was sold. We had an 08 Wee for the wife, and when my 07 was totaled, I replaced with a 2012 Wee. I just now sold it after 40,000 miles, and purchased a used 14 Vee this weekend. These are terrific bikes for most any kind of riding you could be interested in, excepting single track dirt, rocks, and soft sand, unless your skill level and accessories are up to it. For local commuting, day trips, traveling cross country, and fire roads, or even somewhat maintained dirt roads, etc, they are terrific. Lot's of riders get into some pretty gnarly stuff on these, but I like to keep things upright, easy, and clean, dent, scrape, and damage free. I've never been a dirt bike rider, and these are tall, heavy, and have lots of plastic and painted metal parts I just don't want all hammered up.

As for the 2012+ for the DL650, that is the year Suzuki made major changes to the motor, the body work, the electronic dash with trip computer, ambient temp gauge, digital speedo, etc, and gave it ABS. All good improvements, it was one of the factors in my buying the 650 when my 1000 got put down.

For the DL1000, they made similar changes in 2014, gave it ABS, Traction Control, new body work, dash, etc, along with changes to that motor. Also worth waiting for, it is why I sold my 650 and bought a 14 1K.

I can tell you, after just the 300 mile ride home yesterday, the Vee is a noticeably better bike, the suspension, brakes, motor, etc, all worth looking at, if it's in your budget. Especially, if you have a passenger now and again. Not to say the 650 can't carry two, it did fine with my wife and I, but I did miss that bigger motor, and the ability to pass on single lane highway, and I used that plenty on the 150 miles or so of it between Reno and Oregon yesterday.
Good luck in your search, there are some nice examples of 650's and 1000's out there, all accessorized with low miles, and good prices.
 

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Great replies, thanks!

Highwayman2016- you nailed it with your "highways at 80mph" comment. Is cruising down the interstate at 80 a priority, or crawling over poorly maintained back roads? Still working on that.

blaustorm- you mention a 2012+, any reason? What changed then?
The fist generation 650 had a major refresh in 2012 and all comments you read indicate it was an improvement over the first generation (a little more grunt, lower fuel consumption and a little slimmer design … ). They also all have ABS whereas before it was an option I think since 2007. You will not go wrong if you get a first generation model as well, especially if you want to try it out with little investment. A good one will not cost more than 3-4k form a private party. Look here in the for sale section. I had a 2004, upgraded it (suspension, brakes, … ) and it was a quite good ride.
 

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if you only have those two choices then its definitely dl650.its just common sense.there a couple of great bikes in this segment that can rival to vstrom but klr is not one of them.
 

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I've done a bit of off-roading on the V, and it's surprisingly competent. And it's great on the highway. I've only had mine a couple months, but I love being able to keep going when I pass a "Pavement Ends" sign!
 

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I rode Victory's for 10 years and had three of them, a Vegas, Kingpin and Vision.
I liked them, all worked well and were very reliable. Very comfortable on long trips.

I currently have a 2018 DL650, I like that its lighter and there are more options available. I've been able to do a few longer rides on the DL and I'm hoping to take it to the arctic.
 

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I bought a used older DL1000 because it was comfortable and handled my camping gear. The ADV style bikes are great for camping and hauling lots of gear. I picked up mine for less than 4K, they can be cheaply obtained with low miles with luggage and nice accessories. I kept the OEM gel seat for a couple years, even the stock seats do okay. Eventually I customized everything to fit my tall self, but it stayed mostly stock for a few months. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the great replies.

Definitely have the bug for something lighter that I can take into some remote places. Still not 100% sold on whether it will be a Wee or a KLR, they're both such good choices.
 

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Thanks for all the great replies.

Definitely have the bug for something lighter that I can take into some remote places. Still not 100% sold on whether it will be a Wee or a KLR, they're both such good choices.

The only thing a KLR has over a Wee is rougher off-road ability. It's not good off-road in the sense of dirt bike good though. If you really want more dirt ability get an actual dual sport, i.e. Yamaha WR250R, KTM 350/500, Suzuki DR400, etc. they will be much better than a KLR.

I grew up riding dirt bikes in the desert. I had a Suzuki DR400 and it was pretty good on actual trails about 75% dirt bike(ish). Next bike was a 2008 KLR 650, it was a pig in comparison. Heavy, soft suspension, low power slow revving motor. I bought it because I wanted to do longer road trips. Put 60K miles on it. I was disappointed with it in the dirt trying to ride it like the DR.

Sold the KLR and got a 2012 Wee Strom. Rocket ship in comparison to the KLR. Worse in the dirt of course but on the road it would leave the KLR for dead. I ride it off-road about how I rode the KLR, dirt roads. It's even heavier than the KLR and has less ground clearance. Much more comfortable on the road. I would want to get off the KLR (and shoot it!) after about 1/2 on the road. I can ride the Strom all day long (and then shoot it!).
 

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Had the same two in my final list. The KLR was just a little taller than I liked (5'10" 32" inseam), and I don't need the more off-road capability anyway. Both solid choices, but the Wee is a great bike and I agree you wouldn't go wrong with it.
 

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Thanks for all the great replies.

Definitely have the bug for something lighter that I can take into some remote places. Still not 100% sold on whether it will be a Wee or a KLR, they're both such good choices.
The question to ask yourself is: "Will the bike I choose let me ride comfortably to, and from, the remote places I'd like to explore?"

The KLR is a proven platform for riding remotely with gear. Every single owner I have met claims the KLR is comfortable for some highway use, but in every single encounter I can recall, they rode in using back country routes. Their actions prove the point that the KLR is really not known for it's street manners.

The Wee is a proven platform for touring with gear and it has excellent manners for dirt roads. As you get more remote, the weight becomes a liability. Gets tough to pick up a 500 pound bike once it has decided to take a nap.
With decent off-road oriented tires, crash bars, skid plate, suspension upgrade(s), the Wee can take one to some pretty remote places and in a great deal more comfort than the KLR

There, that settles it. Now all you need to do is decide. >:)
 

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Off Road? Off Planet!

@Trail Trash is a member of this forum and has started a YouTube channel. He has unbelievable skill at handling a DL650 in laughably impossible terrain. I, too came from a road bike on to a 650 V-Strom, and I have taken it on some township and forest roads, but this guy...:surprise:
4min:29 sec
 
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