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Hey gang,
since this board has the most varied, well informed members on the web, I need some help. I am considering a dual sport to act as a stable-mate for my IB wing. Does anyone have an opinion on either the KLR 650 Kawasaki or the 625 SXC KTM?? I have a verbal price of 5000 for either one of them. Yes, I know the KTM is more expensive than $5000, but they had one left over and they want to get rid of it.

TIA,
Bill
 

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No personal experience, but I have read a lot about the Kawasaki, it is very popular with lots of goodies available for it, many of which aren't universal, so couldn't be used on the other bike. Since it is a mainline brand, parts will be much more available for the Kawasaki.

KTM is a good bike, but if I was making the choice, I would go with the Kawasaki for the reasons stated above.
 

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What Wingman 26 says makes a lot of sense. The local KTM dealership has passed between a couple of different dealers in our area. But the KTM just looks so darn cool. Either way, I'd really like to have a dual sport myself. They are kinda the Jeep of motorcycles.
 

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I got to the point where I was taking the Wing "off-road" more than I should have. Although most of my riding was on nice "sometimes smooth" gravel roads, I kept hankering for more and kept wishing I could climb some of the mountain trails I would see as I traveled.

So... to satisfy my "off roading" urge, I bought a new 2004 KLR650 a week ago. This bike is awesome! It'll do about 110 mph on the highway, and will still hang with the "true dirt bikes" on the trails. I really liked the Honda XR650L also, but found out from trusted sources, that it's a dog on the highway, plus it only has a 2.8 gallon gas tank. The KLR has a 6.1 gallon tank and gets about 50mpg. The Honda is more suitable for pure dirt riding.

Living in Arizona, there are hundreds of miles of old mining and forest trails to explore. Since I've ridden just about every highway AZ has to offer, it's now time start riding all the trails AZ has to offer. Go for the KLR650, you won't regret it. It's the Jeep of the dual purpose bikes and has quite a following.

NOW... if I were going to race "Super Moto", I would definitely go for the KTM, as it is the most popular bike for motarding.
 

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You could also consider the Honda XR650L. As you might infer from my avitar, I've been riding dirt bikes for years (over 30). From a quality/reliability perspective, KTMs are way better than they used to be. But frankly I wouldn't want to live with the quirks of one for your purposes. That being said, I don't think any of them would be a mistake.
 

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Bill

I've been researchin & mullin over this same subject for ah long time. I started ridin years ago on dual purpose bikes & still like em. I really like Honda but everything points to th KLR as th better all around choice. :mrgreen:
 

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Dual Sport Bikes

I have an old(er) 1989 Honda Transalp XL600V. It's very similar in style and performance to a BMW F650, which is to say somewhat more refined. The Transalps are getting kinda rare due to attrition but are extremely reliable, comfortable (for me) and the 600cc v-twin is very smooth with a broad powerband. Like the KLR, it isn't in the same league as a KTM, XR-650-L, or Kawasuki 400s as far as dirtbike capability is concerned, but then that's not really what you are looking for if you want to ride 100 miles or more in a day.

There aren't alot of aftermarket accessories for the Transalp, but there are some key items available such as aluminum saddlebags, crash bars, and skid plates. I have never had a problem getting Honda OEM parts although most need to be ordered.

 

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What about a BMW F650GS?

I bought one used in Dec and have so far been pleased with my purchase. I plan to use it for a daily driver, which will get me back and forth to work.
It sure doesn't compare to a Goldwing.
I have learned though that it doesn't matter Goldwing or what it is with two wheels. They all have their little quirks and oddities that can frustrate the owner. My biggest frustration is that I don't have a BMW dealer that is close to me. So getting general maintenance items is challenging.
Oh BMW does offer and extended warranty for the bike! $1200 for an additional 3 years of coverage! Did I mention that it doesn't compare to a Goldwing!
Some other points about this bike over a KLR650 is that F650 is fuel injected and has abs available. I got lucky with the abs as my bike has it on there. Also check the seat height of the KLR as I have heard people complain that it is very tall, taller than the BMW, but I am lucky since I can put a leg over both without any trouble. I have heard that the fuel mileage is average about 70mpg, but so far I have gotten only about 56mpg.

Hope you that this info helps, and everything here is JMHO for what it is worth.

Enjoy what every you decide to purchase!


 

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Too bad that Honda does not import and sell their Honda Varadero XL1000V here in the U.S. It sure looks like it would be a great bike for the sport and task.

DaleC

 

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I just ordered an 04 DL1000 V-Strom. It is a sort of dual sport in that you can take it on trails but has good power, comfortable riding position and the price was right.
 

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I have been following the new KTM 950 Adventure since I first caught wind of it. I am saving my pennies because it will be my next bike. There are a couple of reviews already out and the Motorcycle Consumer News review is particularly flattering. The up side is that it works on the street or in the gravel (check the latest Dakar results). The down side is that it cost $12,500. Good luck!
 

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Hello Bill.
I bought a 03 KLR650 4 months ago and am thoroughly pleased with it. I wanted to extend my riding of the Tn and NC mountains, and this is the perfect bike for it. Kawasaki has burdened it down with pollution and safety crap, but for about $250, the bike can be made much better. There is a great website/discussion group http://www.klr650.net/forum/index.php?s=
that you can learn anything you want to know about the KiLleR. Also go to this website for any technical info you need, http://www.angelfire.com/mo/motormark/KiLleR_Links.html
The 650 is smoother on the road than a Harley, although, due to the height it does catch the wind occasionally. In case you didn't know the Marine Corp uses this motorcycle, with only minor mods, and even have a diesel conversion for it. If it's good enough for the Marines, it's good enough for me.
Chuckwagon
 

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From what I understand the KLR has been around for years and hasn't changed much at all why mess with success. Personally I'm waiting to see the Suzuki 650 V Storme it's a twin and uses the same engine as the SV model. The local dealer says the price will be a little over six grand. Dave
 
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I would like a dual bike and went over and sat on several including the Klrs. Unfortunately the city built the sidewalks to close to my seat and when sittind on the KLR my feet are about 3 inches from the floor. Any suggestions to get a dual bike to fit a short person.?
 

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Each bike has its pros and cons. The best depends on your riding priorities.
The KLR is best choice for easy dirt roads and pavement but is a real handfull on trails or loose sand.
The KTM is better suited for rougher conditions such as narrow, loose fire roads. Still not very good in the trails and loose sand but better than KLR.
Wrenching is easier with the KLR even though it has shim valve adjusters. KTM has screw and locknut adjusters but not very easy to set.
Most riders will be happy with the KLR. AS previously mentioned, the aftermarket has really got this bike covered.
 
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