Dr650 or Drz400

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Dr650 or Drz400 for long distance road and gravel trips? Which is better? Pros and cons… I'd like to know which you'd prefer…

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  1. 650, because lower rpms on the highway and a little more weight so you wont get blown around as much.

  2. Had both, it would depend on your age, fitness and riding style. For me, 20 to 35 yrs old, probably the 400, it’s a busier bike and lighter 35 to 55, hmmmm the DR650. More room and a better hi way bike. Not as busy. 55 to my present 73, LOL A KLR 650. Nice and slow and comfortable and does all I want to do.

  3. In my younger 60’s, I loaded my DRZ 400 and KLR650 on a trailer and went to Big Bend for several days. Riding both on the same trails and roads. Where the DRZ was spinning the back hunting for traction, the KLR just tractored along making it much easier for this ole dude to ride. When I got back home, I sold the DRZ. 😉 Now, If I woulld of been in my 20’s 30’s and still doing MX , I’d of probably kept the DRZ and sold the KLR. LOL. Talking the DR650 on an Arkansas trip in my later 60’s riding from S Louisiana to S Missouri and coming home and then the next month, doing the same trip pretty much on my KLR caused the DR650 to get sold.

  4. Having owned a ridden all three all great bikes. But for me it’s the DR650 makes a decent Hwy bike feels so nimble compared to the KLR and not as busy as the DRZ. Yup depends on age and what type of riding your planing. My2 cents

  5. More dirt, 400, more street, 650.

  6. I have a DRZ 400, love the bike, great on the dirt, she is light for a street bike, but I don’t like to ride the bike for anymore than about 150 in a day, the bike can get a little buzzy at highway speed and the seat is terrible. I have friends that have the 650, I might have to say that may be the better bike for distance riding….btw in 49 years old…

  7. DR650. Set up well there isn’t much it can’t do. It’s relaxed and big enough for highway and simple to work on. It’s just not as fast on slab as the big guys or as light as a real dirt bike. But it’ll get you there and won’t break you back when you have to pick it tup. A 10-12 minute counter sprocket change will drop some RPMS for the long high speed slab sessions, but even the stock 15t isn’t bad. I rode Lippincott (and liked it), Goler, Mengel and Cottonwood(?) in DV with mine after some suspension upgrades and a dirt class for me. And those places are beyond just gravel roads. I’m a lazy 45 for reference. Visit Procycle.us for goodies, Cogent Dynamics for suspension, and the DR650 thread in ADVrider. I did some homework on the DRZ but have no actual experience. Biggest pro for me is the DR is a good one bike option. I don’t have the room for more.

  8. I’ve had a bmw f650 single, a Dr 650 & currently own a drz 400.
    For road work the bmw wins hands down, it is light & easy enough to ride all day. It will do gravel roads with no problem.
    The dr650 by comparison is a pig, It feels heavier, is a lot slower, handles poorly & is nowhere near as comfortable.
    Drz 400, great for gravel & single track work, it’s not really a good highway bike. It will do it, but there are better options.

  9. DL 650 is out of the question? Because I’d prefer the bigger bike for longer trips.

  10. I recently got back into riding. I picked up a DRZ 400 as a starter bike.

    A few thoughts:

    Stock tank range on it is about 100-120 miles on the low end. You can get a bigger tank for sure.

    Mine revs too high for long highway travel. Even with the bigger radiators, it would probably overheat on long trips. It can be geared to rev lower on the highway and reach higher speeds.

    It’s a lighter bike designed to do more on the dirt side. Very versatile and lots of parts and options.

    It can be customized for street with a bit of work (lots of supermoto builds).

    I don’t know that anyone can say one is better than the other. But based on your comments and anticipated riding style, you may want to consider the DR650.

  11. My other bike is a Yamaha FZ1. I’ve gone on several cross country trips on it. My desire is is to do the TAT and perhaps an Alaskan trip (Dalton Highway ). And if things go great, a trip into Mexico and/or Central America and maybe South America, too. With that in mind, seems a Wee Strom would do, but it’s too similar to the FZ. The Drz might do, and do well, but it sounds like the DR fits the bill best so far.
    By the way, here is how my trip to Alaska ended just two weeks ago…I made it from NC to Nebraska.

  12. DR650 hands down. if you truly mean long distance, you don’t want the 400. My favorite class of dualsport is the 600cc range for their flexibility on gravel and dirt roads, even ATV trails on occassion, and long distance travel. I have owned the XR600, XR650L, KLR650 (x2), and F650GS and 650 Dakar, as well as a number of 400cc bikes.

  13. If there are any long days that are pavement only, go for the 650. The 400 isn’t lacking in power but the close ratio 5 speed is limiting for high speed on road travel. (there is an aftermarket gearset but you have to open the tranny to get to it.)

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