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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 2 Feb 2009
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KLR, DR or XR?

I wanna buy one of these bikes when i get to LA, for now i prefere the KLR because of its standard big tank and price/reviews. But i love Honda bikes...

What should i know to choose between these exept from price and situation?

Riding from La to Pananama.


Thx,
Stijn
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  #2  
Old 2 Feb 2009
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I think they are all good bikes in their own right, and I would expect the Honda to be well built ( i have an XR 400). I also believe the DR is only one air cooled.

I always think that aircooled means one less system (ie the waterjacket, radiator, pump and pipes) that could go wrong on the road. Perhaps less power as a result, but its not a race...

These bikes are built to go off-road so bound to be stury enough, but its still a something I think is worth considering.

Best thing, though, is test ride: repeatedly, if necessary.... Happy hunting.
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  #3  
Old 2 Feb 2009
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bike choice

I actually own the XR650R and did own the KLR, the best for long day in saddle and even some off road will the KLR, strong and very reliable ,easy to load and well known by traveller, The XR is a superb bike but not made for long day on HWY, very powerfull off road machine but not made to carry a lot of gear. The DR is a very good choice and have the similar advantage of the KLR but will certainly be better of road, all of them will be good for the trip but the XR will be the less confortable.
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  #4  
Old 3 Feb 2009
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A point worth considering, is that there a many more Honda dealers in Latin America than any other Japanese brand. That said, I have a KLR, and would use it again for a trip to "Pananama".
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  #5  
Old 3 Feb 2009
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All three are good bikes and any one of them will do the job. You could ride to Panama on a Mo-ped if need be. Keep in mind, the Honda you should be looking at is the XR650L, not the XR650R. One is a race bike, the other is a dual sport that will be a better travel bike and still be good off road. The XR650R is no longer produced. The XR-L is. The XR-R is a better off road bike, much faster, less comfortable but supremely reliable ... as is the XR650L.

All of these bikes need some mods to be ideal as travel bikes. I've owned all three and ridden all three in Mexico and all over California. So far my personal favorite is my current DR650. I am not a fan of the KLR but many HUBB riders (like Andy T) have done BIG rides on them without issue. They have a huge following and are very well supported but the aftermarket.

I'm short .... and so is the DR ... so it works better for me off road. It's just a bit lighter than the KLR and to me, feels smaller and lighter and is more comfortable off road when I'm riding it.

The Honda is great off road too but not quite as good ON road. The Honda is very tall. If you are over about 5'9", then no prob. I'm only 5'7" so it's a tall one. Once again, just my opinion. I bought a new XR650L in 1994 and sold it a year later. I rode a friends XR650L in Baja last year and liked it a lot. It was well set up, which makes ALL the difference.

I was given a new KLR in 1998 and put 5500 miles on it going through Baja and Copper Canyon and beyond. Never connected with that bike. Happy to give it back to Kawasaki and get back on my Triumph Tiger. Some bikes ruin you for other biking experiences. Know what I mean?

Set up is key. A properly set up bike .... including any of the ones you list ... can be very good as a travel bike and still handle off road and do good all packed up. The KLR in stock form is the most travel ready, no doubt. But is it the best bike? Not for me. Tough in sand.(for me)

The DR650 is cheap and cheerful. Simple as a hammer, easy to service and crashes really well. Reliable and smooth on the road. I like it. Very sporty too! One of my favorites all time bikes .... in 40 plus years of riding and 50 or 60 bikes.


Patrick

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  #6  
Old 3 Feb 2009
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Great guys,

I think the honda will fall off the list, since i'm not to tall either. I'll test drive the DR and KLR in the States. I'll go for what feels right and priced well.


Anyone has a good link to a page that discusses or shows what adjustments are vital both for the dr and the klr? Not the pricy high tech gadgets...



Thx,
Stijn
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Old 3 Feb 2009
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have you checked that link:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ighlight=dr650
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Old 3 Feb 2009
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is there one for the klr as well?

S.
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  #9  
Old 3 Feb 2009
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Below is a thread on ADV rider on the DR650. It is very very long, at 1358 pages with over 2 million posts. It would take a long time to read but you can search it for things of interest or join and ask questions. It's ALL THERE!! (and even more!! )

the DR650 thread - ADVrider


For the KLR, join KLR.net
This is the best KLR board I've seen.

Have fun in your research.
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