Posted October 05, 2004 - 03:11 AM
Posted October 05, 2004 - 03:21 AM
Posted October 05, 2004 - 04:47 AM
The KLR has a latent defect with the balancer chain tensioner that could cause major damage to the engine. It can be upgraded. Brakes also are a weak point
The DR, at least used ones, have potential problems with base gaskets leaking and Idler sprockets lunching. The are halfway between the street oriented KLR and the more dirt oriented XR.
The XR is the most dirt oriented but I like the simplicity of air cooling. Did not want to mess with radiators etc. and their potential problems. The KLR has shim adjusters, not easy to do on your own. The KLR sits tall as well, as tall as the XR in my opinion.
I ended up going XR for the reliability and simplicity. A different tank and seat would make it as good as the KLR in every way I think.
Posted October 05, 2004 - 07:12 AM
This is my opinion of course.
Posted October 05, 2004 - 09:55 AM
I am going to purchase a Dual Sport bike and plan to ride almost all road/backroad. That being the case, if I go for the Honda how far off will I be ? Suggestions ?
This is a subject that has been discussed many times and is always hotly debated. The best advice is to buy a bike for where you will be riding it the most, not for what mods you are planning to do to it.
The KLR is better suited for mostly paved roads and hard packed two track.
The DR is a dirt worthy machine with a good reliability rating. As mentioned the seat is a bit harsh.
The XRL is arguably the best dual purpose bike available in the US right out of the box. This is the one to get if you are planning to ride more dirt than pavement. However, there are some important modifications needed to make it run better and make it more suitable for dirt use.
As long as you maintain it (or any bike) well, "bullet-proof" is the best way to describe the XRL. I've beat the crap out of mine off-road, showed it some TLC and I've never had any problems riding tight singletrack, prerunning some of the Baja 500, cruising the streets, or blasting down the highway. It is fairly heavy by dirt bike standards, but the XRL is a true factory dual sport machine.
Again, it all depends on you and where you want to ride. Test ride 'em all and see for yourself. My $.02
Posted October 05, 2004 - 06:12 PM
The XR is better on and off the road in my opinion. The KLR handles like a toad, the forks are too soft, the front brake sucks, the pegs drag when you lay it over in turns, it feels way heavier and wider. The only thing better about the KLR is that the engine is slightly more powerful but it should be because it is water cooled and has higher compression. Even so, the XRL is suspended so much better and handles better to the point that you can go much faster on it anywhere even though the KLR has more power.
I hope to never see another KLR.
Posted October 07, 2004 - 02:24 PM
Posted October 07, 2004 - 05:45 PM
The most fun is racing around on curvy rural paved roads and even dirt roads at high speed. This is where the KLR is at an obvious disadvantage.
If you liked the KLR ride on the road, I think you'll like the 650l's ride too. I will admit that the KLR seat is a touch better but I have put 100+ mile days on both and I was ready to get off of whichever one I was riding at the time.
Definitely try it before you buy it.
Posted October 07, 2004 - 06:28 PM
Posted October 07, 2004 - 09:27 PM
Posted October 08, 2004 - 07:49 AM
OK an update. I test rode a KLR and some DR's and an older XL600R. The question is, since I like the simplicity of the Honda, would I be better served by getting an XR650L and making it more road friendly than fixing up the Kaw ?
Keep test riding. A stock XRL is o.k. for short trips but is severely limited by the stock thimble Honda calls a gas tank. 2.8 gals is gone quickly, especially if you're on the throttle, riding off-road or dual sport riding.
In my opinion, right out of the box the KLR would be a better choice. I haven't ridden one, but they are definitely more street oriented.
Now if you start modifying an XRL, then you'll be gaining ground on the KLR. Mods to consider (which I've done) are rejetting the CV carb, drilling the slide, shimming the needle, installing a larger tank, bigger footpegs, getting a "real" skid plate, alloy bars, aftermarket exhaust system, a foam air filter, different (better) tires, etc.
As you can see, the XRL needs some changes (meaning $$$) to make it more purposeful for either dirt or street. I chose dirt since I want more performance off-road.
Very happy with the Honda now and I learned a lot about the bike by doing the work myself.
Good luck and have fun with whichever you choose.
Posted October 08, 2004 - 09:30 AM
Posted October 08, 2004 - 02:52 PM
I would say yes, that was my decision.
The question is, since I like the simplicity of the Honda, would I be better served by getting an XR650L and making it more road friendly than fixing up the Kaw ?
XRL road fixes: Bigger gas tank if you need it, pull the snorkle and rejet it, 14 tooth sprocket for more acceleration or leave it stock for mileage, and run the stock tires til they wear out, they aren't that bad (and no worse than the Kawi's). You will spend far less on a gas tank, jets, and a sprocket than you will trying to get the KLR suspension and front brake to even compare with the XRL on the road. Off road, don't even bother.
If you are going to be doing a vast majority of highway/interstate riding, don't get either one, you will want a real street bike.
Posted October 08, 2004 - 03:08 PM
Dual dog hasn't ridden a KLR and I think I missed where JMC has ridden or owned an XRL. I am always amused by those who haven't ridden a bike, but yet have an opinion on it.
Not too hard to tell a bigger fat pig from another big fat pig...
Posted October 10, 2004 - 07:26 AM
Double R brake pads front , fabbed spacers for spring preload front and heavier fork oil helps much .
Now I need 30 more HP
Posted October 10, 2004 - 06:36 PM
As far as the tiny gas tank, I just keep 2 5 gallon gas cans in my garage and fill up whenever I want.
Posted October 11, 2004 - 02:31 AM
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