StromTrooper banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at replaceing my KLR with a wee. My question is how is the wee for hauling 2 up and for off road riding. Most of my riding is on road but I do enough off road riding that I would still want to be able to do both. I understand it wouldn't be a stump jumper.

Keeping both isn't an option as the KLR has suffered a major trans failure that pretty much killed the internals of the motor. I am also curious on the lifespan of the Vstrom motor.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,057 Posts
The wee does better 2 up than the KLR.
I've only offroaded my wee once, but both KLRs I was riding with (more experienced off-road riders than me) encountered unexpected horizontality. They were also a lot slower than the wee.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,419 Posts
You will have to give up some off road capability but gain some on road capability. The wee is versatile but not a dual sport IMHO. There are places I have taken my DR650 that I wouldn't consider taking the wee. It's fine if you stay on hard surfaces.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
301 Posts
You will have to give up some off road capability but gain some on road capability. The wee is versatile but not a dual sport IMHO. There are places I have taken my DR650 that I wouldn't consider taking the wee. It's fine if you stay on hard surfaces.
+1 on that.

I have taken my DL and DR on some local trails and while I could ride them both (fairly mild stuff) it was so much more fun on the DR. However, if I had to ride the same trails 2 up I would grab the DL.

That being said these are some pretty mild trails. Last weekend I finished up a Dual Sport ride in AL on my DR and I honestly don't think I would have made it on the DL.



The picture doesn't do this trail justice but this was a section of down hill with hidden holes that resulted in two bikes deciding to take a nap.

Gonna do that ride again soon! :thumbup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,313 Posts
2-up the Wee does fine, although if you do a lot of it you'll probably want a better rear shock.
Off-road it's really no better than any other 450+lb standard-style street bike. Decent dirt roads are no problem, much tougher than that and things get...interesting. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
The Wee will do dirt, with bash plate and crash bars as add ons [rider skills play a big part in the bikes off road ability, they are better than most people think].

Two up loaded on tar and highway is easy and can be done well above legal speed limits.


The Wee engines are known to do multiple hundreds of thousands of kilometres without any issues.

They are one of the most trouble free and versatile bikes available on the market today.
:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Ditto on above, should be a decent upgrade over a KLR for onroad two up, If you prep it, add knobbies and can accept the weight and don't care if you drop it (I do) then it can do some offroading. I tried an pretty steep uproad trail similar to Jarvis' above with my DL and some tourances, let just say I got about a third of way up, said screw it and turned around... it wasn't happenin :headbang: Not that it couldn't be done, it was just way more work than it needed to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
My last bike was a KLR so I feel I can speak to this was some actual knowledge. Two up the Wee is in another league compared to the KLR. I put 70k miles on two KLRs I'd say 90% of that riding was two up. On the open road it just plain sucked. In town it wasn't bad. The torquey engine and the light weight go a long way.

Now as for the Wee off road. Coming from a KLR I think you are going to think it sucks. Now I know the wee is better offroad than many street bikes. But it can't hold a candle to the KLR off road. even a klr with the stock trailwings will run circles around a Wee. But they are very different bikes. I figure the comfort and ability to tour on it at least for me makes up for the bikes lack off off road prowess.

Now I know a lot of people will disagree and tell me how many thousands of miles they've logged off road and their stroms..and yes it can be done. But you can also play basketball with a bowling ball. Just one mans opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
Some years back (2005) I sold my KLR 650 and upgraded to the Wee. On the road there is no comparison, period! This is especially true if you are riding two-up. My gal and I have spent many miles together on both bikes so we know. She loved the Wee after getting off that KLR. The Wee does great with two people. Sure, a liter bike will have more power but then you lose the gentle nature of the Wee. I know, I also have a liter bike.

As for off-road, well I am a critic. I rode, and raced, off road bikes for some years. For me the Wee is NOT an off-road bike. Sure, I ride it two up down a dirt road and it is fine. But when I think off-road I consider single track, water crossings, hills, sand, etc. My 250WR Husky was great at those things, the Wee is not. Sure, some do it just as some ride those big heavy BMW 1200's off road. But, if you have ever had to manhandle one of those monsters in sand or dropped it and had to pick it up again when tired you would trade your soul for a 250 pound true dirt sled.

Many a rider has asked the question, "Why can't I find just one bike that does it all?" The answer is simple.....it doesn't exist. You have to decide what type of riding you really want to do and buy the machine that most suits that. Sure, you can stick lights on your dirt bike or knobbies on your street bike, but that does not really solve the problem. A bike has to be optimized for the type of riding it is intended for. Dirt and street have two different criteria and they don't match. I found the 650 KLR to be neither a good street bike (especially for two), nor a good dirt bike (due to its excessive weight and the tires need to work on the street). It could sort of pass for both tasks, but it could not excel at either. I got tired of the compromise and let it go. Its a great bike that has survived the test of time, but it is limited.

There are some bikes out there that can do fairly well at dirt and be ridden on the road, think names like KTM and Huskie, but they have a price tag to go along with that and their seats are clearly not made for two people. They are dirt bikes with lights so they are more "enduro" than true street machines.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
114 Posts
I just very recently joined the ranks of V-Strom riders, and my other bike still is a KLR. I do VERY little 2-up riding, as neither my wife nor my girlfriend (who are actually the same person... :yesnod: ) are interested.

I got the V-Strom for street work, pure and simple, with no plans for anything serious off-road.

As has been said, a Wee can be taken into some serious off-road stuff, but I share the opinion it is not really a dirt-bike. Nor is the KLR really, but it is closer than the Wee by a good margin... lighter, more ground clearance, less stuff to break when you go down... usual stuff.

So if you do mostly road work, with the occasional "Subaru Outback" level of off-road, I'd say a Wee would be an excellent choice. At least, I'm counting on that... :)

PS - I've been following your KLR travails at another location... very sorry to hear about all that... quite a mess.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,214 Posts
... I am also curious on the lifespan of the Vstrom motor.
I think the engine lifespan is pretty good.

My DL650 has over 196,000 km, or over 121,000 miles. RCACS's signature say he has well over 234,500 km or roughly 145,000 miles. I know there is one in Australia with mileage similar to RCACS.

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
.
Fatherof4, I daresay you've looked around, and found that there aren't many choices for the type of riding you want to do. The Suzuki-650 is outstanding, as a low-priced & reliable bike, with good on-road performance & reasonable engine smoothness ~ and having a reasonable ABS system for safety [something four times as important, if you regularly have the responsibility for a passenger].

It is limited by its heaviness and low clearance, of course ~ something that you just have to allow for. But it does take a 19-inch front wheel, so you have the availability of some reasonable semi-knobbly rubber there. And there is the safety benefit of tubeless tyres ~ again, especially important for two-up riding.

If you want [almost] searing performance on-road, then take a closer look at the competitors : 800 and 1200 GS BMW's, and the Triumph-Tiger-800's. But at a much higher capital & maintenance cost (plus the two BMW's having reliability "issues" ~ the Triumphs will probably be better, but it's rather early to say). And on the dirt, these are all *heavy*, even compared to the KLR.

For me, the Suzi-650 has all the power I want for on-bitumen, and more power than I want for dirt. And is cheap enough, to walk away from, should I happen to inflict major damage to it while traversing some lonely & remote "two-track" dirt road. (Or at least, walk away with far fewer qualms than for a bike costing twice as much ~ having made the appropriate calculation of recovery costs/delays, repairs & resale aspects.)
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wish I could buy the perfect bike for everything I do but I know that isn't going to happen. The KLR was a good bike, it would do everything it just wouldn't do it well and I accepted it faults. But after the trans failure and it might have been caused by me trying to ride 2 up with my kids and gear I just am having a hard time going back to another one. My kids want to ride and spend time with dad and that is important to me.

I realize the wee isn't a single track stump jumper and I am not going to be able to take it to some of the places I took the KLR. Once again you accept its limitation and just deal with it. I was just wondering what other people are able to do with the bike. The life span on the engine question is because the ones I am finding used have 25000 + on the odometer and I have put 20000 on the klr in 3 years since I bought it.

I am learing a lot guys so keep the comments coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
I just thought of one more thing. Based in owing a Wee and a Klr, I'd probably never buy a klr again. The klr isn't really a dirt bike and isn't really a street bike. The same could be said about the wee. The difference is while the wee really isn't a dirt bike it is a fantastic street bike. So the wee at least does one thing really well. I don't think the klr shines in either area. Jeeze it sounds like I really don't like the klr...i guess I just like the wee so much more.
 

·
Premium Member
Former 2x DL650 owner; moved onto Super Tenere ES
Joined
·
522 Posts
Having owned a KLR650 and an XR650L and a Wee, I agree with the general concensus that where the Wee is most FUN is on road whether two up or not. It has the mid-range power that you can't get from a single. With proper suspension tuning it runs almost like a sport bike in terms of handling and eagerness to rev. Durability wise the DL and KLR are both super reliable - no advantage for either. Arguably, though the KLR is also too big a bike for the tightest single track for most riders on most dual sport tires.

Sure you can do dirt roads very easily on the Wee by going in slow and applying power late. Even dual track if you have skill and go at a slower pace. But on dual track you may feel tense on the Wee. We're talking white knuckle tense. I've jumped my Wee, wheelied off road, taken beyond it's limits (all with bash plates and re-worked suspension), but discovered it really does not belong anywhere tougher than dirt roads. I now keep an XR400R (with trailer) for my dirtier riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Dirt: The 650 V-Strom does fine, at modest pace, on two-track and ordinary dirt roads, when it's dry. Wet out - better have knobbies. It's absolutely not a "real" dirt bike. Too big. Too heavy. Weight too high. Not enough ground clearance. Not enough suspension travel. Still, I have a LOT of fun on mine, exploring dirt roads:







Two up: My wife started riding with me over 30 years ago. She tells me that the V-Strom is very comfortable for her, and she feels fine on it - since I installed a simple passenger backrest. The seat is broad and decently padded. We find it comfortable two-up.

Power is more than adequate, even two up and with a bit of a load on the rear rack as well. It's no liter bike, but it is entirely adequate for street riding, even at highway speeds and even in mountainous country.

The longest day I've put in so far on my Wee was 813 miles, early in September. The first 700 were comfortable, after that I was looking for somewhere else to put my feet so I could stretch out my legs!

Regards, Guy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,191 Posts
I grew up on dirtbikes, raced MX back in the day, and I mountain bike , so I still get my REAL dirt fix. Have no illusions about the Strom's very limited dirt abilities - it's a street bike. That said, I very much enjoy pointing my Wee's mishapen beak down random dirt roads, fire roads, etc., and remind myself to take it easy - very easy. Even with more dirt oriented tires, the Wee's size and weight can easily get away from you, and it is a big tomato to pick up if it topples over!!!!

As for power, the 650's motor is way more motor than anyone would ever need for dirt road exploring - it rips on dirt.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
I have an 09 KLR and a k4 ADV farkled Wee, and I will back up what most here said. The Wee is far and away superior to the KLR on the road, and the KLR can handle rougher terrain. Also, my wife and I 2 up for 2 hour trips, and I don't have any power issues. The only thing I can advise is getting a seat when you get the Wee because it is the single worst thing in the history of motorcycles. I put over 12k miles on the KLR, in a year, on the stock. I couldn't do 50 on the stock wee.

Sadly, I have not ridden my KLR enough since I got the Wee to keep the battery charged, and I live in the deep south where cold isn't and issue, and I have a maintenance free.

Also, this site deserves much props for very level headed debate on this subject. When I came here and asked for advice because I came across a great Wee deal, all told me not to sell my KLR when making the purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
I came to this site BEFORE I bought a Wee and read what people said about it. I also was lucky one day at an open house at the local BMW dealer that a guy showed up on a Wee and I got to talk personally to someone who rode one. He sang its praise also, just as had folks here. On the way home from the BMW dealer (I owned a K1200GT and a KLR at the time) I stopped by the local Suzuki dealer and darn if he didn't have a new Blue 650 Wee sitting on the floor. He saw me pull in on the Beemer in full gear and told me to go ahead and take the Wee for a ride. (Not any other UJM dealers in town would have done that). He knew what he was doing! One ride on the Wee and I saw that the Wee turned out to be everything I was told it would be.

I bought it that day on the spot. Got home on the BMW and my wife asked me if I had found anything that day while shopping....."Yes, a new motorcycle". She about flipped out! But, after getting off the back of the KLR and getting on the Wee she was in love. She still is, six years later, and still comments on what a bargain the Wee was. That that is a recommendation if I ever heard one!

When the new Wee was announced she asked me if we were going to "upgrade" to the 2012 model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
My last bike was a KLR so I feel I can speak to this was some actual knowledge. Two up the Wee is in another league compared to the KLR. I put 70k miles on two KLRs I'd say 90% of that riding was two up. On the open road it just plain sucked. In town it wasn't bad. The torquey engine and the light weight go a long way.

Now as for the Wee off road. Coming from a KLR I think you are going to think it sucks. Now I know the wee is better offroad than many street bikes. But it can't hold a candle to the KLR off road. even a klr with the stock trailwings will run circles around a Wee. But they are very different bikes. I figure the comfort and ability to tour on it at least for me makes up for the bikes lack off off road prowess.

Now I know a lot of people will disagree and tell me how many thousands of miles they've logged off road and their stroms..and yes it can be done. But you can also play basketball with a bowling ball. Just one mans opinion.
I didn't note it in my original post [but it is in my Sig. line], I also own a KLR650.

It seems that many Strom owners are also KLR owners.

The option of having both enables you to commute on either bike, do dirt on either- although each leans either more to tar comfort or dirt comfort, and both can be used for longer trips.

There have been posts by people who say owning both is a waste of time because the KLR doesn't do dirt as good as lighter, smaller dirt bikes.

For me the Wee does long distance/interstate trips with the ability to take off up a dirt road/track along the way without battling with poor dirt handling [unlike a dedicated touring bike].
The KLR does the more serious dirt [though not motocross type riding in the bush], with the ability to carry a load of camping gear without being broken in half from the load.

For a "one bike" garage the Wee ticks all the boxes- good road/dirt ability, capable of two up and loaded, performance above its engine capacity, easy to commute on as a daily rider, super reliable and excellent value for money.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top