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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about getting some sort of dual-sport for a while and what I'm stuck on is the on/off road capability of various models and how much it matters to me.

Current (street) bike is a Triumph Speed Triple and I've been mostly thinking about KLRs. Guess I'll test ride a KLR this Summer but I keep seeing stuff about the two v-stroms, most interestingly in the Touratech catalog and that keeps me wondering about them...so I may test ride them too.

What I know I want is a bike that will handle asphalt and gravel easily because I want to ride around a lot in the West, starting from the Seattle area and riding all over the US West, Western Canada all over and around Alaska. It'd be cool to also have the option to take fire roads around here. Even if the guys on KLRs would eat my lunch on fire roads, the v-stroms look like much better rides on road. How well do the vee and wee do there, once the rider has some chops?

And the 08 KLR sounds like it has an oil burning problem if you keep pushing it at high speeds...Kawasaki says 80. The KLR sounds like it's a pretty thoroughly debugged machine but there are definite weaknesses - what are the vee and wee weaknesses?

Thanks in advance, Don
 

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I've never ridden the dl650. I ride my 1k on gravel roads everyday with no complaints, on road it is light years better than my klr. If you are accustomed to the power of the speed triple the klr may not fit the bill, after I've ridden the strom a lot and have let the klr sit when I get on it and grab a handful of throttle it seems really slow
 

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I had a 2006 KLR I sold with around 8,000 miles on it. I didn't have any problems other than those inherent in the design. The quality of components was so poor that I'll never even look at another Kawasaki.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Roadside repairs

I'm also wondering about the relative difficulty in performing roadside repairs on a wee vs. a KLR, e.g., dealing with a flat tire.
 

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The KLR is too small of an engine with too little weight to tour significant distances. You are talking about a single cylinder 650 that is not condusive to freeway speed.

The best bike is the V1000 that does it all....

2nd best if you need to save 2k is the Wee 650... It can with gearing changes comfortably run @ freeway speed and carry you and your stuff down the road with enough
power and weight..

I have the DL1000 and love it. I have no problems with hardpack or gravel on my Vee
 

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I had a DL650 which I sold due to medical reasons and then was torn about getting another DL650 or a new KLR. The KLR has a frame made of pressed oatmeal, uses inferior hardware, vibrates, has a ton of inherent problems, rides on tubed tires, and just lacks the smoothness needed for serious touring (IMHO). I bought a Dakar instead, owned it for a month and then bought another DL650. YMMV.
 

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The DL 650 has plenty of power and speed for the highway. I do 60 highway miles and 10 city miles on mine every day, commuting to and from work. The 650 also does gravel roads without any problems. The 1000 is overkill in most situations. My decision to get a 650 over the 1000 had nothing to do with money, I could afford either. The 650 is simply a better ride for me and my riding preferences.

The '08 KLR has serious oil consumption issues if you're going to ride it on the highway for any extended amount of time. That's something to consider.
 

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I'm also wondering about the relative difficulty in performing roadside repairs on a wee vs. a KLR, e.g., dealing with a flat tire.
No better or worse than any other bike, really. Buying the [optional] center stand helps.
800-424-2255 ext 111
 

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.

2nd best if you need to save 2k is the Wee 650... It can with gearing changes comfortably run @ freeway speed and carry you and your stuff down the road with enough power and weight..

I have no problem 2 up, top box and side cases loaded running freeway speed. Don't think the gearing has been changed, I'll check it out though. (picked it up used) 06 wee 650.

Also bout the same mpg as the 06 KLR I owned....round 55 mpg!

KLR was a fun bike but it was like buying a new 80's model machine. The brakes were carved out of oak. As a commuter and gravel road runner is where it is seemed best.

The Wee does all that and more. And the 2 grand you save over the Vee will buy tons of farkels.

I think if you look at quality, the Wee or the Vee win hands down.

Good luck
 

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Get a DR 650!!!!!!!!
 

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The quality of components was so poor that I'll never even look at another Kawasaki.
I was disappointed with my '08 KLR for the same reasons; it was my first Kawasaki and I felt it was just not the quality I was after. That, and I couldn't live with that motor...first time I fired it up I thought there was something badly wrong. Turns out, they all vibrate and shake like that! :bom_laugh4:

I bought my Wee, put TKCs on it, and am much happier now. Gotta love that motor!

I still kinda want a plated dirt bike, though...
 

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Klr

Other than the longstanding engine niggle, a KLR would be a better choice if you spend half your time or more off-road. If you need to ride the highway some to get to your off-road site, a KLR would perhaps make you happy. It is a far-better off-road bike than a Vee or Wee, although it is heavy, large, and underpowered in comparison to a real dirt bike. The huge plus is the thousands of folks who have them, and the several dedicated forums for them. For road riding, there is no comparison to a Wee or Vee. Thought about getting a new KLR when I was looking at my Vee, but decided I would be spending nearly all my time on the road, and KLR's are not especially good road bikes, although they will get you where you are going. Bought a used Vee for about the same money, and haven't regretted the decision. If you do buy a KLR, you'll probably do far more farkling of a practical nature (engine mod, forks, brakes, etc.) to get the bike up to usable standards. If you haven't already, check out some of the KLR forums for details.
 

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I own both and 08 KLR and and 08 Wee Strom. The KLR is a great bike and I am very happy with it. I have had no issues and think the reports of oil burning might be a bit overstated. The Wee is however a much better bike on the road. I haven't taken it off road yet so I can't comment on its capabilities in that environment. Both are adequate to good at many things but compared to a dirt or touring specific bike they will fall a little short. You really can't go wrong with either as long as you recognize their limitations.
 

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Provided you are sticking to things that look like roads and aren't trying to go as fast as possible :) - the DL650 is the best choice.

On bad roads the KLR can go faster than the Wee, but peel off 10kph and the Wee will do it all day, where the KLR will beat you to death after a couple of hours no matter what speed you do.

On road, no contest, the Wee or Vee. The Vee is more of a handful off road.

Crash bars are recommended, at speed isn't a problem, but they are both heavy pigs and at low speed it's easy for the weight to catch you off guard - and "Thud".

The stock Wee/Vee Trailwing tires suck off road, particularly on dry sand, TKC-80's or even Tourances/Anakees and things are a lot more pleasant.

Pete
 

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New guy here, I'll go ahead and throw my opinion in regarding the 08 KLR since it's what i currently ride. Not everyone is having oil burning issues, it's true that some do and of course you are going to hear about them on the forums more so than people are going to post about their lack of oil use. Regardless it's hit and miss as to whether you drive away from the dealer with one, certainly it shouldn't be something that the consumer should have to worry about, it's not like Kawasaki hasn't had enough time to sort out the issues with the KLR. Rumor has it that it's caused by a bad run of out of round cylinders. I purchased my KLR in May of 07 with commuting in mind and i've found myself wanting to do some longer rides lately and to be honest some of the rides i'd like to do don't sound very appealing on the KLR, i ride to work on the freeway every day and it will cruise the 12 miles to work at 80 (gps) without any problems, but it prefers around 70ish and the fact that it's working at it's near peak capabilities on the freeway just to keep up with the flow of traffic is a turn off for me, so here i am looking for info on my upcoming purchase of a DL1000, The KLR is a great around town commuter and at this point i'm unsure if i'll keep it after i get my V
 

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I have a KLR. I have a Weestrom. The Wee is a much better road bike, but the KLR can be made much more durable once you leave pavement. My KLR has been knocked over by a bear, dropped at a gas station pump (eep!), slammed into by a UPS truck backing into it, washed out my front tire coming down a scree-covered slope where the rear brake was useless and thus I *had* to use front brake, etc., and all that happens is that it gains a few more scratches. If I could have only one bike and intended to *ever* leave pavement, it would be a KLR -- it's simple, durable, and effective.

It's also slow, and vibrates a lot, but you don't *have* to go fast. It'll run all day on I-5 without a problem, just don't expect to go very fast once you leave the flatlands -- you'll need to row the shifter just to maintain 55mph on uphills. One problem with the KLR is that if you put knobbies on it for exploring offroad, those knobbies definitely limit its performance onroad. Either they are very short-lived (Dunlop D606), or slippery as snot in the wet (Kenda 270). Compounding this is the fact that while a tall skinny 21" front tire is ideal for offroad, onroad it lacks the traction of a fatter 19" tire. That said, put a Corbin seat, highway pegs and gel grips on the KLR (Dual-Star) and it'll comfortably cruise forever at 75mph. Add a handlebar-mounted windshield and you'll even sometimes think you're on a Goldwing (heh!).

Regarding wheels: KLR wheels, like most spun-steel wire-spoked wheels, are bullet-proof. I've watched video of a KLR hitting a large rock ledge at speed. The wire wheel flexed several inches to the left rebounding off that ledge, then the bike bounced over the ledge. On the Wee, you would have ended up on the ground with a front rim busted to the point where it couldn't hold air, because solid cast wheels simply cannot flex like spun steel and wire, not to mention that a 19" wheel won't roll over obstacles that a 21" wheel can roll over.

I view my new Wee as a great commuter and long distance tourer. With ABS brakes it is much safer than the KLR on-road too, even with the bigger front brakes of the '08 or the EBC Supermoto disc for the older KLR the 21" front tire of a KLR limits its braking performance to merely mediocre. But if the road gets rougher than groomed gravel, that's when it's time to turn around and make plans to visit it on the KLR at some point in the future. The Wee simply has too many expensive bits and pieces hanging out there to risk in rough terrain, while the KLR is indestructible and repairable if it somehow *does* break using nothing more sophisticated than duct tape and a big hammer (well, almost ;)). If I want to go into the Death Valley back-country, it's on the KLR -- *NOT* the Wee. If I want to commute safely on the freeway 5 days a week, on the other hand, the KLR will do it, but only if I swap street tires in for the knobbies (which either don't last long or are too slippery when wet), and it gets to be a PITA flipping between knobbies and street tires. And even with street tires, it still won't be as good at it as the Wee...
 

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Don, I don't know if you've bought into a new bike yet, but now we can add the Versys to the confusion. I'm also trying to choose between Wee Vee KLR and now the Versys is thrown into the mix. Went to a dealers today who had all but the KLR. I was pleased to find that I "leg fit" all 3 bikes. I'll be taking some test rides soon which will help.
I currently have a great 01 HD Roadglide which none of the afor mentioned bikes can equal on the highway. But, I'm very reluctant to put in onto gravel or dirt. Both the Wee and Vee really reminded me of the Roadglide, as there instruments and fairing are "Way Out There".

 

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You'll not go wrong with the Wee, in my opinion. In addition to everything else good about it, I get over 50 mpg and I understand the Vee normally gets 40 or less. I've gotten this first hand from a guy who's ridden the 1k alot and polled other riders about it. If you put the TKC tires on the wee, a skid plat and crash bars, you'll have a bike quite capable of doing dirt/forest service roads. The Wee is not a trail bike, though. The way I see it is like this; The Wee is not ideal on interstates and not really for serious trail riding, but from two tracks to two lane highways, it is AWESOME! Good luck and enjoy your new ride.
 
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