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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 16 Sep 2010
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DL650 vs SV650

Since this is my first post, I would like to say firstly "hello"

I am lurking for a long time but finally I've managed to activate my account (thank you Grant ) and here I am, posting my first question on HUBB.

My situation is like this :

I have now a SV650, naked from 2008.
In 2009 I've added some panniers a top case and I've toured in Romania.
In 2010 I've added also a windshield, softer seat and some crashbars and went touring in Europe.
Now the bike has 26000 km and some of them were offroad ( but not more than 100-200 ). The rest is tarmac.

Now, for 2011 I am thinking even "bigger" dreaming of reaching Cape Town, TDF or even RTW... ( I know these thoughts might be quite a stretch for a noob like me but hey, it all starts with a dream, right?)

I am quite happy with the SV on tarmac and I would consider another bike only for "off-roadish" parts of my future rides. And by off-road I do not thinking crazy forest single tracks but just gravel, dual tracks and other surfaces without tarmac but that you could still call a road.

After lots of reading I came to the conclusion that my best alternative (if I decide to buy another bike ) would be a DL650.

But is it worth it? The engine is virtually the same. DL650 is heavier than my SV but has better wheals for off-tarmac.

What would you do in my place? Would you go with current bike, or buy another ? And if yes why?

Other things that should be taken into consideration :
- I will be traveling 2up (so far we were ok on the SV)
- I cannot buy a new DR650 or KLR650, DRZ 400 S or similar due to European legislation which forbids selling.
- I don't want to buy a SH DR650 or KLR650because it is very hard to find one which is younger than 9 years that are in good condition and with real millage.
- I don't want to sell my current bike since is still new, I like her and it is my first bike... So the eventual cost of a new bike cannot be "eased" by selling the current one.


Ok, wow, loong post. This being my first post, I guess I am overly enthusiastic I should buy a just for having the patiance to read it all.
Thank you in advance for your opinions.
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  #2  
Old 16 Sep 2010
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Follow your heart. There are so many stories about choosing the ideal bike.Some want this some want that. In 2008 I wanted to buy DL650 but at that time there is no stock available in my country and have to wait few months. Being impatient I ended up with a KLR 650. Have no complaint. The contemporary bike most models are equally doable and reliable. Between KLR and Wee, I think the Wee is better of 2-up. My 2 cents frank opinion. BTW, welcome to the site.
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  #3  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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there is no big differences between sv and dl. and dl is not to much off road oriented as you think. i am sure sv can handle what dl can. i am an ex-dl owner and i was more than happy with the bike and its bulletproof engine. however it was not good and easy on offroad like dr

you have also geared up your sv for long journey and also you are keen with the bike. keep sv and go with it! save money!

just my 2 cents worth
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  #4  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozhanu View Post
there is no big differences between sv and dl. and dl is not to much off road oriented as you think. i am sure sv can handle what dl can. i am an ex-dl owner and i was more than happy with the bike and its bulletproof engine. however it was not good and easy on offroad like dr

you have also geared up your sv for long journey and also you are keen with the bike. keep sv and go with it! save money!

just my 2 cents worth
Yes, I am also inclining on SV650. If it were possible here I would buy a DR650 but unfortunately this option is not available.

But is the DL really so not so much better off-road? Hmm I would have hoped for a big improvement from a SV.

My biggest concerns with the SV are :
- tire availability and price: I have 17" 160/60 on the back and 17" 120/60 in the front. Those are on a small size when it comes to street bikes but are very fat for DP... I am not sure about availability of good long lasting and "durable" tires in general and any kind of tire with those sizes in more remote areas in particular. Also the price tends to be on the Sport side ( read higher because races have money, no? bleah... ) => I wonder, could I fit an 150/60 tire on the the back wheel ?
- sub frame durability : With 2 up and luggage and camping equipment, I am pretty sure that I am getting close to the max weight. => I should look into re-enforcing the rear sub frame

- ability to go on muddy roads: for my tire sizes ... I don't know so many type of tires in my size that are for off-tarmac. Normally they are for street and race.
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  #5  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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I had an SV650S, and now own a DL650.

The latter is more of a travel-bike, whereas the SV is very nice for smaller, curvy roads. It never was so much fun with lots of luggage & 2-up, although I even did a couple trips abroad that way, and it could do it. But it´s just that the DL does the same much better, has more room and doesnt mind adding weight on board.

With the SV, if you go off-road you may run into problems with the wheels (I dented mine)... plus you´ll have to figure out, how to protect the engine bottom.

For 2-up travel, DL650 wins hands down IMO.
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  #6  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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Why is the only other option you talk about the DL? If your gonne buy a other bike you might as well look a bit further. If you gonne tour Africa i would suggest you look at proven bikes like XT's, AT's, NX, KLR, DR, GS etc. Then again if you really like your SV. There are people that rode the world on all sort of bikes raging from the R1 to 90cc mopeds so you eventually gonne get to your destination what ever bike you chose.
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  #7  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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If it were up to me I would go for a DR 650 SE in a second. But you cannot buy these things new in European Union for more than 5 years now. And because of this, also the SH ones are very very old ( 10 years at least ) and also with a lots of miles on board.

For that reason I think I cannot go that road.

When I look at the prices of new DR in US I would like to be there. Here for almost the same money I can only buy a 10 years old second one.

I did find out that in Maroco you could find new DR650 but I have no idea if I will be able to register such a bike in UE after I buy it.

@pecha72 the wheels on DL are also cast. Are they less prone to denting? Also I think the buttom of the bike needs similar protection ( oil filter, evac, engine ) Then again, I am only talking from pictures...

How was the transition from 170 kg to 200+ of the DL?
Did you do any long trip with your DL? What tires are you using? 150 or 140?

Sorry for lots of questions but you are the first guy I "know" who owned both bikes
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  #8  
Old 17 Sep 2010
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hi again

i did from Turkey to Morocco using a k7 dl650. petcha did much more longer trip than i.

I have done the following mods:
- bash plate (must)
- hand guard
- engine guard
- hi screen (not a good idea especially when it is raining)
- 12V socket
- pannier racks

bought a couple of new tyres in France.
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  #9  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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There are more bikes then the DR650 :P

Have a look at the yamaha XT660R and XT660Z, KTM adventure. BMW F650GS/Dakar.
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  #10  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJS1987 View Post
There are more bikes then the DR650 :P

Have a look at the yamaha XT660R and XT660Z, KTM adventure. BMW F650GS/Dakar.
Yes JJS1987, you are right, there are other bikes and I have looked at some of them. The main problem is still that we will go 2 up. And none of the bikes mentioned are good to go 2up. Also they are expensive. KTM, XT660Z I think they are out of my league.

For personal reasons I would not buy BMW. I think they are great machines but they should cost half the price they do. Or I should make 2 times more money

My question was in fact : should I try to spend some of my money and find a good 2005+ DL650 and then add more for kiting up or should I try to make it with the current SV650 because the differences between the bikes do not justify the money.

In any case I should try to schedule a ride with a DL... just to see how it feels.
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  #11  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post

@pecha72 the wheels on DL are also cast. Are they less prone to denting? Also I think the buttom of the bike needs similar protection ( oil filter, evac, engine ) Then again, I am only talking from pictures...

How was the transition from 170 kg to 200+ of the DL?
Did you do any long trip with your DL? What tires are you using? 150 or 140?
DL´s wheels seem to get pretty good report. I dont have any scientific evidence, but I managed to smash my SV´s front so bad I had it replaced.. it was still holding air, though. But with the DL I have run at much higher speeds, with much more weight on board, into much worse potholes, etc., and they still look okay. Not sure, but my feeling is that they are in fact stronger than on an SV, because SV is a full streetbike.

Finding protection for your engine will be easier on a DL, because they are widely available. For SV you´ll maybe find some crashpads for track use, and you´ll probably have to figure out how to fit what you´ll need for overlanding. A good bashplate most certainly. It may be the same thing, if you´ll want to fit aluminium panniers, for example.

The two bikes do feel very different, and especially if the DL has its OEM tyres, it may feel clumsy to you after an SV, but you can improve its handling by changing better rubber, as well as other modifications.

We rode 2-up from Finland to Australia on a DL650 with my girlfriend almost 3 years ago, and were pretty happy with our choice of bike. About a year before that we did one trip to Europe with my SV, which had 3 hard Givi-bags and everyhing... we could manage, but needed to have breaks quite often. There just wasnt much space for 2 people.

I also think that for 2-up and very long distance, all 1-cylinder machines mentioned will have a hard time with the weight of the 2 people & all the gear on board. Especially compared to how well this v-twin still keeps pulling (and the same goes for Transalp, F650GS twin, etc).
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  #12  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post
Yes JJS1987, you are right, there are other bikes and I have looked at some of them. The main problem is still that we will go 2 up. And none of the bikes mentioned are good to go 2up. Also they are expensive. KTM, XT660Z I think they are out of my league.

For personal reasons I would not buy BMW. I think they are great machines but they should cost half the price they do. Or I should make 2 times more money

My question was in fact : should I try to spend some of my money and find a good 2005+ DL650 and then add more for kiting up or should I try to make it with the current SV650 because the differences between the bikes do not justify the money.

In any case I should try to schedule a ride with a DL... just to see how it feels.
If you sell your 2008 SV650 you would easily be able to buy a good 2nd hand xt660z or ktm 950-640 adventure over here? But sounds like you love your SV. If i were you i would just look into shock upgrades and try modifing some engine guard on there and go with your SV.
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  #13  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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Guys, quality advice ! Thank you.

Indeed I love my SV and I wouldn't sell it. Maybe I will be looking this winter to find some good deal on a DL. In the end... I feel that I cannot go wrong with any of them.

pecha72 if this will be the case, I might bother you with other questions

Until then, I do hope that we will gather on this topic more differences and opinions on DL vs SV although the later is not such a popular bike for touring.
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  #14  
Old 18 Sep 2010
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This dude did a rtw trip on a R1 so i guess it can be done on a SV

Also found this thread on ADV about modded SV for offroad mind you its kinda extreme but fun :P


SV650 ADV info thread - ADVrider
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  #15  
Old 19 Sep 2010
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Seems to me the question is not, if an SV650 or a DL650 _COULD_ do it - they´ll probably both be able to do it, as well as R1´s, Vespas, Harleys and Goldwings have done it - but which one of these will be a better choice.

And since the original poster is planning to go 2-up, it is much more about comfort for both rider and passenger, so to me the answer is quite simple really.

Then again, it is important to be on a bike, that YOU like, that´s an area no-one else maybe able to give you advice, you´ll have to decide for yourself (but the passenger´s opinion will also be important - on a trip like this, I´d say it is decisive!)

Like I said, I think both of these could do it, and 1-up it would not matter so much.. but 2-up changes the game considerably, and shifts almost all reasonable arguments strongly towards the DL650. The SV is tiny for 2 and their luggage for an overland-trip.
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