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I'm looking to buy either an XR 650 or KLR 650. I'm leaning towards the XR because it has more pop and is better on trails and off road. But, I like the KLR because it's better for the highway and cruising. I live in a somewhat rural area but the only "off-roading" I can do around here is gravel roads. I feel like the majority of my riding will be highway or city cruising. Will I be happier with a KLR if I'm not doing any true off-road riding? Or am I going to wish i got the XR (like I've been told I will).

I've never owned a motorcycle but have a fair amount of experience on them.
 

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What about the Suzuki as a comparison. And it may depend on hour height, and which bikes could be lowered if required. Also check the maximum torque. But all three should be close. I would also consider the weight of each bike.

UK
 

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IMHO the Honda is the better of the two mechanically speaking.
But that is just my opinion. The Kawasaki will serve you well if you like it better.
That's the key, the bike you like best is the right bike for you to buy...

S F
 

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Honda has a very small tank and is really just a dirt bike with lights.

The KLR650's are very capable in the dirt, have a 6 gallon tank that makes it nice on the road or trail. Drop a tooth on the front countershaft sprocket and put more dirt worthy tires on it and it will do anything the XR will. I have had a new 1987, 1994 and 1998 and they all were fantastic.

I liked my new 1996 Suzuki DR650 even more as it handled better, was a bit lighter and much faster. It's tank was also smaller than the KLR's but I can't remember the capacity.

Sam:)
 

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Honda has a very small tank and is really just a dirt bike with lights.
You reminded me of something I like about the XR.
There are a fair amount of high performance parts specifically for the XR on the aftermarket and companies that specialize in everything XR, like large capacity fuel tanks and most anything else you can think of.
My pappy used to say that I can never leave well enough alone. He was right! That's probably one reason I might go for the Honda but that's just me, so there is that.
I see the OP may not be interested in mostly off road use so the Kawasaki might fit his needs better, especially if well enough is...

S F
 

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Wot Porky said.
The Honda would probably be at the bottom of my list, the Suzuki at the top. The Kawasaki is the most popular.
The Suzuki for me because of better top speed, and the ability to change the height. If I only had one bike, it would be the Suzuki 650 single. Until I change my mind.
But it would get me around my Island, around town, down the freeway, but not too far. It would also be good for the back roads of Vancouver island.

UK
 

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Honda XR650L curb weight: 346 pounds. Kawasaki KLR650 curb weight: 432 pounds. That extra 86 pounds is something to consider when you're working with maybe 30-35 HP.
 

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Both are good choices, see which one "fits" you the best. You'll know when you compare them back to back.

I was without a bike for a while when I found what I thought would be the perfect bike for me. I went to the dealership all ready to fall in love with it. It didn't happen, it just didn't "fit" me. So go see what feels best to you. You'll like it that way.
 

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Honda XR650L curb weight: 346 pounds. Kawasaki KLR650 curb weight: 432 pounds. That extra 86 pounds is something to consider when you're working with maybe 30-35 HP.
Is that wet or dry. The Kawasaki has a much bigger tank according to a post up the page. Anyway it is too heavy.
My Suzuki has 125hp pushing 412 pounds. Probably quicker than the Kawasaki.

UK
 
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