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V-Strom vrs. KLR 650

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by davidkeough, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. davidkeough


    Oct 13, 2004
    greenville, tx.
    Hey this is new to me, I know about the V-Strom, now how would some of
    you compare it to the KLR 650. I mentioned the V-Strom in recent post
    the Suzuki to me is a great bike, ok so maybe I don't know everything.

    Now tell me how it would compare to the KLR in everyway. This bike is
    new to me, so please fill me in. I want to learn something here.
  2. If you are going to spend 75-80% of your time on dirt I would get the KTM. It is much better in the dirt.

    Both are great bikes, just have different applications. I love the V-Strom and was going to get one before I got the Multistrada. You won't go wrong with either one I don't think.

  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    The V-Strom is more street oriented while the KLR is more dirt oriented.
  4. +1, I've got one of the original (2002 K2) V-Stroms. Definitely more street, but there are folks who put on knobbies and treat it like a mudder, but in stock trim and gearing, 90% hard road, 10% other (gravel, hardpack, etc).
  5. Anvil

    Anvil Yo Mama!

    Apr 24, 1999
    Oh man do I have something to say about THIS one!

    I've never ridden a bike before I bought my KLR last november. The way I came to my decision to buy a KLR over any other bike was that the US Army and Marine corps use a KLR based bike so I figured thats one Hell of an endorsement considering that they could have really ANY motorcycle they wanted of ANY brand or ANY price range.

    So I got the KLR and of COURSE I couldn't be satisified with it in its stock trim. As pretty as it was I wanted to look at what improvements could be made. I found vendors for everything from brake brackets to aviation clocks that could be fitted to it. I read everything out there on how the KLR was the Jeep or swiss army knife of motorcycles and I figured it made more sense to start off with a dual sport any way since I had no experience in the dirt or the street and didn't know which I would prefer or even have a natural talent for, plus if I crashed it the bike didn't cost much so it wouldn't be much to repair.

    So I started looking ALL OVER the internet for upgrades and I found an aftermarket solution for EVERY weakness the bike has BUT ONE. There ain't alot you can do to make up for the weak engine performance and the engine is alot of why you want to ride a bike for. The KLR will never keep up with a liter bike despite what some writers claim. The KLR will never keep up with a dirt bike so all you can do is "orient" the KLR set up more toward street or dirt. Bear in mind however that the KLR is born 75% street 25% farm road whereas the Vstrom is %95 street. By the time you change what needs changing on a KLR (foot pegs, brake bracket, hand guards, tail light, fork springs, shock, tires, brakes... you're really spending enough money to buy a bigger nicer bike... but by the time you make those improvements the KLR FEELS like a more expensive machine... The real beauty of the KLR is the aftermarket support lets you pretty much design your own motorcycle from add ons and replacement parts. There is no Vstrom support in comparison.

    I should add by the way that I've been comparing the KLR 650 and the Vstrom 1000. The Vstrom 650 does not compete for the same market as a KLR 650. The KLR is the solid segment leader in middle weight dual sports and it's closest competitors are BMW 1200 GS / KTM LC8 , LC4 / Triumph Tiger / Vstrom 1000.

    I imagine the person who intends to buy a Vstrom 650 over a KLR is probably a man who has a Vstrom 1000 and buys a similar bike for his wife but smaller to fit her frame (thus the 650). I think the same applies to the BMW F650 as well, though the F650 is a much more capable match to the KLR than a Vstrom 650.

    The KLR is best understood in terms of other dual sports costing $4,000 more.
  6. davidkeough


    Oct 13, 2004
    greenville, tx.
    Anvil, thanks for the abundence of information. Now, for myself I have two
    dirt bikes, but believe me when I say, they're the cleanest bikes.

    While learning to ride, I'm in my forties and thought dirt bikes were the bet-
    ter answers, now I can see paying for something that's at least dual purpose
    and I still want to ride in the dirt. Right know I still paying on a MXC 450.

    Now can I ride two up, only short distances on the KLR. And, as for aftermarket
    support I can deal with that. And I understand the european model is a little
    different with 41mm forks and stickier tires not to mention slicker bodywork.

    Now what about speed, can it handle 80 mph without any trouble, so far the
    KLR might be just the ticket, although that V-twin sounds awful nice for on
    the road, but it sounds to me like the KLR it can take it.