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I was considering selling my vee and buying the KLR650 for reasons I'll explain:

The original plan when I bought my vee was to retire and ride it to the Grand Canyon as a retirement present to myself. After the Grand Canyon ride, I'd use it for other shorter trips in my general area of SE Georgia such as Key West, the north GA mountains and countless other places of interest within a couple day's ride.

After retiring I started having family issues; an aging mother and other minor issues including my own health problems. I do love to ride, and as some of these issues persist, the idea of me being several days away from home is out of the question, so I was thinking of buying the KLR and riding locally within just a few hours of home on the many county paved and dirt roads in this area.

However, I am starting to have second thoughts about the lighter-weight KLR. I'm sort of sure that the KLR is a much better dirt road bike--these roads being sandy in some places, and slick red clay in other places--simply because of its weight, but is the vee that much more of a pig in the dirt? I live about a mile down a dirt road which has a clay hill that can get slippery when wet, and a sandy stretch that is prone to washboarding. I have ridden my vee in and out of this road a thousand times with the factory Bridgestone Trail Wing tires and now a set of Dunlop TrailMax tires. They are OK on the dirt road, but not very confidence inspiring above 25 MPH because in the sand or on the washboard the front wheel wants to wash out.

I do own an old KLR250 and it does great on the dirt roads with knobby tires, but it's not something you want to run around on paved roads with (especially in traffic), and definitely not something you want to spend all day on. I am not an inexperienced rider; I have owned motorcycles since I was 12 years old, I'm 57 now. I currently own the vee, the KLR250, a Honda XR200R dirt bike and a Yamaha Road Star. I have ridden in just about every kind of terrain within 200 miles of Canoochee, Georgia. What I haven't done is what I'm now thinking of doing, and that is instead of selling my vee and buying a KLR650 (a bike which I have never ridden), I would outfit my vee with some Shinko 804/805 tires and ride my vee as if it were just as good in the dirt as the KLR650.

The question I'd like input on from riders with some experience on a vee with aggressive dirt tread like the Shinko 804/805 tires, and the KLR650, is can the vee compare to the KLR? Ground clearance won't be a factor on the roads I intend to ride on, and pavement to dirt ratio will be about 50/50.

I look forward to input from vee riders using aggressive tires like the Shinkos, and if you also have KLR650 experience I'd consider that a bonus.
 

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Klr/Strom
Length 90.4, 89.6
Width 37.8, 35.8
Weight 432, 476
Seat 35, 32.7
Clearance 8.3, 6.7
Wheelbase 58 3, 61.4
Fuel 6.1, 5.3

I went from 15klr to 17 strom and am now making it much more offroad worthy and the last part of that is clearance trying to get close to 8. Unless you live in the dirt and only ride dirt imho stay with the strom. Remember most of adventure riding is 95% riding slab to the adventure and there is no comparison on slab...klr is better offoad as we both know but strom with mods can get to maybe 90% of klr capability. Put mites e-07 tires on the vee and call it a day. I'm reading an old thread now because I'm interested in riding the TAT and this guy did it on a v https://goo.gl/XvNspQ
 

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If you haven't already, check out the Versys X300 thread on this forum. It sounds pretty enticing.
 
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Having owned a DL 1000, a KLR 650, and the KLR 250 I think I can help.

The KLR 250 is actually about as good on the road as the 650! Yes, it is way down on power so speeds over 60 are a struggle. But the too weak brakes, the fork twist under harder braking, and the numb highway feel are exactly the same. The KLR 650 is still a pig off highway, making the 250 seem like it weighs half as much. Both are MUCH better off pavement than the Vee. The one variable that you have to consider is tires. Put real knobby tires on the Vee and you might just be surprised how well it handles the softer stuff where you mention traveling. It is simply not fair to compare knobbies to ANY other tire in soft terrain. You can do some things to a Vee to make it better off highway, like the Shinko 804/805 knobbies. But you really cannot do much to make the KLR's better on the highway. Their long travel suspension, weak brakes, even seating are designed to be used at lower speeds and not for extended pavement travel.

In my opinion, if you plan to ride further than 25 miles at a time on pavement, the Vee is the bike you will ride more. Especially if you have and can keep the KLR 250.
 

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I've had both. Many times. With knobby tires the V-Strom is STILL about a hundred lbs heavier than the KLR650. You can put Mickey Thompson Super Grappler tires on your Cadillac , but it still aint no Jeep. I sold my most recent KLR and am about to buy a Suzuki DR650 mostly because it's about 60 lbs. lighter than the KLR. Weight is weight and I'm getting older. (I'm keeping my DL1000 but have no desire to go off road with it) A 20 year old Norwegian hulkster would probably think differently.
 

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I had both a '14 DL1000 and a 2009 DR650. The DL is so much better on tar than the DR, but, the DR is still a very good commuter. The DR is so much better off road than the DL, but, the DL is fine with good knobblies.

I wouldn't have a hope of picking up the DL by myself, I can just about manage the DR. I am a small 5'8", 57 years old.

In the end I kept the DR and sold the DL, because the off road capabilities won, even though I only do one big trip a year. However, riding on tar for 200km to get to the dirt is a real pain.

I use the DR every day to work and back, it's great on tar for short distances.

I'm sure the KLR will be similar
 

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I wouldn't enjoy my (650) strom in deep gravel, sandy surfaces or mud. My DR 650 can make riding these surfaces fun (with reservations). DR 650 is fun on twisty stuff and back roads. DR 650 is easier to pick up.


never owned a KLR or vee.

 

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I sold my 2009 KLR 650 to buy my 2012 Vee, and have no regrets. The Vee is adequate for the light off roading I do, and is MUCH better on the highway. Where the KLR ran out of speed, the Vee still has plenty. Its also a bunch more comfortable for longer distance. I rode the KLR to Romney, WV from Fayetteville, NC in 2015. Rode over 1100 miles round trip, and my rear end suffered for several days. Same trip on the Vee was much more comfortable in 2015.
 

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I was considering selling my vee and buying the KLR650 for reasons I'll explain:

The original plan when I bought my vee was to retire and ride it to the Grand Canyon as a retirement present to myself. After the Grand Canyon ride, I'd use it for other shorter trips in my general area of SE Georgia such as Key West, the north GA mountains and countless other places of interest within a couple day's ride.

After retiring I started having family issues; an aging mother and other minor issues including my own health problems. I do love to ride, and as some of these issues persist, the idea of me being several days away from home is out of the question, so I was thinking of buying the KLR and riding locally within just a few hours of home on the many county paved and dirt roads in this area.

I look forward to input from vee riders using aggressive tires like the Shinkos, and if you also have KLR650 experience I'd consider that a bonus.
Both will handle this riding easily, especially with more aggressive tyres on the DL1000 .... but my consideration for WHEN I fall on that clay would be the extra 100 lbs or so to lift up.

I have a DR650 for more gnarly stuff and will go places I just decide not to go on the Vstrom 1000 (since I'll most often do it alone). You may not to want to do it right now, but a lighter bike gives you the opportunity to do so more confidently if you want to go exploring
 

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Or split the difference between a KLR250 and a KLR650 and buy a DR-Z400. Or maybe even something like the RX3 Cyclone 250 cc adventure bike. If one of my concerns was picking up a bike that fell over, I'd definitely opt for something lighter like the 400.
 

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That Versys X300 might just be the ticket then, sure is getting a lot of love for how capable and fun it is.
 

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Strom vs KLR

I own both a 2004 V-Strom 1000 and an '11 KLR 650, and, have put 3.5K on a '15 rental Wee during an Alaska trip. I have toured thousands of miles on pavement, dirt, muck and gravel, but not much single track. Part of making your decision about which bike to own should be to clearly define the mission for the bike, and a frank acknowledgement of your riding capacity and body strength.

The approximate weights for some of these bikes are Vee - 530, Wee - 485, KLR650 - 435, DR 650 - 390, KLR 250 - 315.

For my situation, I use the KLR for a local bike, day rides, and gravel. The 21" front wheel does a better job off the pavement, but it is a more nervous ride on the pavement. I use the Vee as my long distance touring bike, but am not afraid to tackle gravel and some dirt with it. Both are equipped with enough protection and luggage to serve the purpose. If I could only own one bike, it would be a Wee ADV, equipped with Mitas 07 or Heidenou K60 tires, crash bars, skid plate, and sufficient luggage to meet the needs. None of these bikes are ideal, but can be made very workable if set up right. Tires are a big part of this, with the 07 and K60 being favs. Very few people NEED the extra capacity of some of the more expensive adventure bikes. I used to own a BMW F800GS, and loved the bike, but other than a few miles on one trip, have not needed the extra capacity, or expense!

Best wishes!
Dave
 

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The question I'd like input on from riders with some experience on a vee with aggressive dirt tread like the Shinko 804/805 tires, and the KLR650, is can the vee compare to the KLR? Ground clearance won't be a factor on the roads I intend to ride on, and pavement to dirt ratio will be about 50/50.
I have a Wee & KLR. The KLR does do off road a easier & smoother; however, I don't really believe too many people are going to push the limits of their strom. I'm sure you would be fine with either motorcycle. Test ride a KLR and see what you think.

Best regards,
 

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Don't rule out a DR650. They have remained the same for 22 years, 40+ lbs lighter than the KLR, no water/antifreeze liquid cooling, just as reliable and handle paved/unpaved roads better. They also use screw tappets for valve adjustments so no shims to fool with like on the KLR.

Prior to my DL650 my DR650 was my touring rig set up with street tires, Happy trials pannier racks and Pelican 1550 cases. Now it has been repurposed as a tug for my pups sidecar rig.
 

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I sold my 2009 KLR 650 to buy my 2012 Vee, and have no regrets. The Vee is adequate for the light off roading I do, and is MUCH better on the highway. Where the KLR ran out of speed, the Vee still has plenty. Its also a bunch more comfortable for longer distance. I rode the KLR to Romney, WV from Fayetteville, NC in 2015. Rode over 1100 miles round trip, and my rear end suffered for several days. Same trip on the Vee was much more comfortable in 2015.
I went through this whole thing back in 2005. I got a 650 KLR and thought it was...well...OK. But it was big and heavy for a "real" dirtbike. Mind you the last real dirt bike I had was a 250WR Husky...great bike!!. I raced off-road for some years and anything over 250 pounds feels like a P-I-G to me. SO, I sold the KLR and got a 2005 650 Wee. LOVED IT!! Truth was I was riding the KLR mostly on the road and by any measure the 650 Wee is vastly superior to the KLR on pavement.

For off-road use (to me) you need a real off-road motorcycle, one that is light enough to be easy to pick up by yourself even if it is on top of you. (Think about that a bit.....some will understand).

Keep your KLR 250 (or sell it to me) and get a 650 Wee for the street and a dirt road once in awhile.

And to the OP........BTW...I am older than you but still ride all I can, I just don't ride pigs anymore.
 

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Don't rule out a DR650. They have remained the same for 22 years, 40+ lbs lighter than the KLR, no water/antifreeze liquid cooling, just as reliable and handle paved/unpaved roads better. They also use screw tappets for valve adjustments so no shims to fool with like on the KLR.

Prior to my DL650 my DR650 was my touring rig set up with street tires, Happy trials pannier racks and Pelican 1550 cases. Now it has been repurposed as a tug for my pups sidecar rig.
Don't mean to hijack the thread, but could you point me to more info about the sidecar for your DR?
 

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Don't rule out a DR650. They have remained the same for 22 years, 40+ lbs lighter than the KLR, no water/antifreeze liquid cooling, just as reliable and handle paved/unpaved roads better. They also use screw tappets for valve adjustments so no shims to fool with like on the KLR.

Prior to my DL650 my DR650 was my touring rig set up with street tires, Happy trials pannier racks and Pelican 1550 cases. Now it has been repurposed as a tug for my pups sidecar rig.
I too made my DR 650 into a 'backroad touring machine'. givis, sargent seat, 5 gallon tank, rack etc. went camping. gave ladies rides. a great allrounder.
 
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