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kbrew

KLR650 or Dr650 or RE Himalayan?

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In need of some advice.... I am looking to getting back into dual-sport riding. The last bike I had was 20 years ago and that was an XT350. I plan on riding fire roads, dirt roads, trails and advancing from there. I am thinking 85/15 for my riding goals. I am 5'9" with a 30" inseam and 178lbs. My concern is seat height and weight of the bike. I have gone down the forum and internet rabbit hole and I think I am more confused about which one to choose. Any suggestions, observations or experiences would be very helpful. 

Thank you

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I don't know about advice but here are my opinions:

The KLR is the most streetable of the three. It's bigger and heavier (especially more top-heavy with that big tank) but those are generally what you want to minimize for off-road. It's an extremely capable bike for your proposed mix with the caveat that off-road will be less pleasant.

The DR650 is the simplest of the bunch, mechanically. It's an older design so not so lightweight but can be very capable off-road once you understand its tradeoffs. It will be more capable than the other two off-road but probably less pleasant on the highway.

The Himalayan has the newest technology of the three but with the smallest displacement comes the lowest power. That's not necessarily a drawback in itself but does mean that some situations will challenge it: climbing hills while fully loaded, deep sand and California freeway speeds.

If you tend to ignore a bike's maintenance, get the DR. If you want to ride longer distances or consistent freeway speeds, get the KLX. If you want a versatile do-it-all-but-nothing-extremely-well that you may soon outgrow, get the RE.

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AFM kind of nailed it. The KLR is out of production but the most current model goes back to 2008, so plenty of bikes and support around.

I've been around DR650's for 9 years now and built two. It's been the same bike since '96 and is highly supported in the aftermarket. You can make one to suit your mission. At your weight, it's sprung about right, maybe a little soft. Capable for what you stated. To gain confidence on it, the bike can be lowered 1.5 inches by switching a few parts around. Put it back to stock later. This is what we did with my son's.

Can't comment much on the others, but if you like tall bikes, check the Honda XR650L, too. More dirt oriented and the same bike since '93, so plenty around.

If you ever want to "go over" a DR, happy to talk ya through mine.  Just PM me.

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