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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My '04 SV has been my re-entry scooter after being off bikes for several decades. To say I'm having fun is an extreme understatement. I decided to get another bike that would be better suited to all the dirt roads in my neck of the woods. A Suzi DR 650 or DRZ 400 were on my list but as things turned out a Kawasaki KLR 650 is what followed me home.

The SV and KLR present quite a contrast and so far each one makes me appreciate the other in some surprising ways. The big single is a very cool engine, decent power and surprising torque that lets me lug it down to 2000 rpm in third and it pulls with no complaint. The SV feels like a jet fighter compared to KLR.

I've always been skeptical of so-called dual purpose bikes but the KLR is not bad at all in the 55 to 70 mph range on pavement and when the pavement ends it's pretty good on graded dirt and moderate fire roads. Narrow single tracks or rutted two tracks present problems that my limited dirt riding skills can't cope with though. The bike is HEAVY and in particular it's top-heavy. Combine the weight with the very high seating position and low speed stuff can be tricky. I'm 6.0 with a 34" inseam and I can just barely flat foot this thing.
I'll likely get lowering links to drop it an inch or maybe more.

In some ways I think the KLR could make a really cool street tracker style custom for a guy that likes big singles. In fact if I get a third bike better suited to trail riding I just might do a make-over on the KLR,
 

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Almost picked up a drz400 myself this week. Thank goodness someone else scooped it up, I dont need more than one bike :confused: but I want to hit those same trails you're talking about...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I probably would have been better off with the DRZ as it's much lighter than the KLR and has way better off road chops. I suppose I could maybe get one but Jeeeze Louieeeze, three bikes would wear me out physically and mentally.o_O
 

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I probably would have been better off with the DRZ as it's much lighter than the KLR and has way better off road chops. I suppose I could maybe get one but Jeeeze Louieeeze, three bikes would wear me out physically and mentally.o_O
That was the decision I made (DR-Z400 instead of KLR650), largely because of my limited dirt skills. In theory, the KLR is a better match for the D/S riding I do, but I ride with guys on various 650s who are much better than me off-road. I needed an equalizer. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess I'll stick with the KLR for a while. After a couple of months I'll have a better idea of how much, and what kind of dirt riding I'll be doing. I'd sure like a lighter weight bike though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bikes are funny. I bought the KLR to complement my SV and to use on gravel back roads. After about a thousand miles I'm liking it on pavement more than my '04 SV N. This has come as a really big surprise but the long travel suspension and plush ride of the KLR, not to mention a very relaxed riding position are spoiling me. I took the SV out on a good ride today and after about 20 miles I wished I was on that single cyl. farm implement. The SV engine is really sweet but the stiff, short travel suspension and weird riding position are getting to me.

I may swap it for a V Strom.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's not my bike in the photo but I'm taking mine in that direction. I just got an 18" front wheel, the knobbies are coming off, and I've puled off most of the ridiculous fairing and windshield.

You're right, it's good to be a geezer.
54275
 
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