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Big Boy wants a bike

Discussion in 'Adventure/Enduro' at netrider.net.au started by Philbios, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Hi All, I know this has sort of been covered in 'Choosing a Bike', but I wanted to be a bit more specific. It'll mostly be used for commuting around, with the odd bush trail here & there.

    I'm 6"4' & weight about 110kg (heffa... :oops: ). I'm on my 'L' plates, & want to get a road-trail/adventure bike. I've been looking at:

    Honda NX650 Dominator
    Kawasaki KLR650
    Suszuki DR600 (I think...)

    I've got $4k - $5k to spend...

    Again, given my size & weight & $$ to spend, can anyone shed some light on their experiences with these bikes? I'm curious as to why the KLR is so much cheaper than it's rivals in the same size class...

    I've reached a point where I feel like I've looked at too many bikes & done too much reading. Feels like I'm... ](*,)

    Thanks very much in advance.
  2. Everyone I've known who has bought the DR650 has thought it was bloody beaut. I'd be looking for one of those.
  3. Dominator and DR's are old air cooled engines - touch trail riding focused than the KLR

    KLR gets water cooling and comes standard with; rack, bigger petrol tank and comfier seat. Had the same decision couple of years ago and went the KLR and still wouldn't change.

    So how much dirt are you really going to be riding??
  4. I commute about 120km a day on my '05 KLR and she's taken for some pretty decent off road stuff on the weekends. I can't recommend them highly enough, particularly for the price. I prefer my bike to the '08 ( more poke and seems to be made of tougher stuff). Fuel economy is great (about 400km before reserve for all but extended periods of high rev riding). They are easy to maintain and very easy to ride.
  5. The DR650 has more power and acceleration than the KLR650 and better off road abilities as well as a larger range of available farkles.

    The KLR650 has a better seat, better fuel range, better wind protection and is (power for overtaking excepted) better on the tar.

    Either will do... buy the one that excites you more :)
  6.  Top
  7. Thanks for the advice everyone. It's much appreciated.... Yeah, I had come down to a choice between the DR650 or the KLR.... A mate of mine said that the suspension on the KLR was quite soft, & wouldn't suit a boofer like me.
    Does this resinate with anyone else??.......
    90% of my riding would be road commuting, with the remaining 10% being for bush trails & dirt roads. I'd probably be doing 50-60kms per day to & from work.
    Might try & take both the DR & the KLR for a test ride if I can.
  8. If not for that line I would be suggesting the DR.
    A water cooled engine will operate better and longer on the road.

    The suspension will handle you. Just crank up the pre load :wink:
  9. susp mods are cheap. just some stiffer oil and play with the clickity bits and you will be fine
  10. I'm guessing given you're price range you're looking second hand anyway, but I've been pretty strongly advised off the 08 KLR650. I was looking at upgrading my 01 KLR to the new KLR, but ended up putting a deposit on a V-strom last week.

    Appparently while the engine and important bits (suspection, drive line etc) are pretty good, a lot of the plastic stuff is falling off very quickly on these new ones. The workshop guys said it was really noticable the number of warranty repairs they'd been doing on plastic parts like indicator stalks etc that had shaken loose or cracked. Strangely the sales guy forgot to mention this problem. While problems are all relative (and it felt good to ride), it must be significant enough if the workshop guys at a Kawasaki dealer are pointing it out.

    That said, I've had a blast on my old KLR650, so a pre 08 model should definately be on your short-list.
  11. Thanks for the input.

    I've also been looking at the Yamaha XT660 bike.... has anyone had experience with this, or even the Kawasaki KLE500??
  12. Can't go wrong with the DR or KLR, just see what comes up in the classifieds. I bought a KLR because a good one came up at the right price but would've gone a DR if it had come up first. Also had an Aprilia Pegaso which I got cheap and that was a good machine. I'm not far off your size/weight.
  13. In order of off road ability... not sure about the yamaha, but I am sure you can stick it in here somewhere...

    DL650 (Vstrom)
    DL1000 (Vstrom)...

    The KLR650, being a big single, is pretty rough around the edges for commuting... also, all these bikes have wide, high bars, which reduce your ability to filter in traffic...

    All of them have long (front) suspension travel, so are going to seems soft under a 'huggable' sized bloke... I only weigh in at 70Kg and the 06KLR seems soft up front...

    Unless you can have two bikes... one for the 90% off road days, and one for the 90% Tarmac days... choose where you want to be least limited by the bikes ability... you may want to put up with a less capable on the boring commute so you can really stretch yourself on the weekends...

  14. A mate of mine is wanting to sell his Honda NX650 Dominator. It's a '97 model with 35,000km's. It looks to have spent some time by the sea (rusty spokes & bolts). Looks to be in fair condition. He's asking $3k. Seems a bit steep to me, but it's a comfy bike to ride.
  15. KLE500 or KLR650 ??

    A few blokes have said that I should try getting a twin-cylinder engine as opposed to a single.
    Has anyone got some comments / feedback on the KLE500 ?? The bike looks good & is a twin.

    Any feedback or comments appreciated.

    Thanks muchly. Phil.
  16. Not many KLE around, could also look at the Versys Kwaka.
    Depends on the tracks your expecting to do.
    A transalp, v-strom will suit gravel trails and be great for comfy touring.
    Will happily drag a heffa around and be easier on the engine for highway speads. Big singles are not great for highway cruising, vibrations are a concern and you always feel as though its revving too hard.

    KLR is good for hardcore stuff, Transalp is for the lighter duties.
    Klr not so good for touring on at higher speeds, transalp is.
    Both carry decent amount of luggage but the twin would handle it better.

    A mate is riding from melbourne to london on a transalp. I took him out in the dirt to show him how to manage the bike in trickier situations. He done well and couldnt beleive how capable the bike was. The KLR could also do it, but I been touring on the KLR and cruising at 100 annoys the hell outta me with the vibes.

    interesting read :)
  17. agreed.
    I've got a vstrom and my mate has a KLR and we regularly go out on trips. We've swapped bikes on many occasions and I too find the KLR too buzzy on the highway, but that could be just because i am used to the vstrom which is exceptionally smooth.
  18. Totally, I think the Kwaka can go more harder places, God knows Ive taken mine where no KLR has been before.......The V-strom Transalp.....wouldn't have got 1/4 of the way.
    but thats what you have to weigh up. I got mine as a commuter/dirt bike compromise. NOT for long distance touring on the roads.

    I like steep hills and deep rivers, another winter favourite is muddy bogholes.
    Wouldn't be taking a V-strom there or a transalp.....but i wouldn't ride to sydney on a KLR.....your eyeballs would take weeks to stop vibrating :shock: