Upgrade to 650 from 300 for sidecar? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-12-2017, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Upgrade to 650 from 300 for sidecar?

I have a versus-x 300 on order, waiting on tail light recall and other options. In meantime became interested in in possibility of a side car such as the DMC Sputnik to carry my dog on mixed roads, gravel, dirt, etc. I think that would require going up to a 650 although previously I was after a smaller bike such as the 300. DMC lists the KLR and DR 650 as acceptable bikes for the process, and some BMWs but not interested in BMWs.

Looking for an opinion as to the KLR vs the DR. My dealer in KC carries both and also the African Twin. Which of these bikes do you think would be most applicable to this change if I decide to go with a sidecar? I am a moderately experienced senior rider with several bikes over many years but not a lot of miles. Bike and side car could be used also for parts of the TAT that would accommodate the width. Have never ridden with a side car and presume the bike could be detached and ridden separately. Thanks for any opinions.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-12-2017, 05:17 PM
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Location: Harrisburg NC
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DR is air cooled KLR is liquid cooled for that reason I think a KLR would be a better choice between the two. No opinion on the Africa Twin. There is no such thing as a sidecar that is easily detached/reattached. Talk to DMC and they will tell you the same thing. You don't "ride" a sidecar you "drive" a sidecar. Throw everything out the window you know about "riding" a bike when you "drive" a sidecar. If you do go down that path (and it can be a fun one) at least get a copy of Driving a Sidecar Outfit from the Sidecar Safety Program, read, reread and practice or find a sidecar school.

Just a little advice from a Ural owner ...
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-12-2017, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Van Nuys Cali
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I can attest to driving a sidecar is a whole different beast! They need to be set up (aligned) right or it will be even more a fight to drive. I personally didn't like driving the 1200 Goldwing hack I rebuilt top end on. Plenty of power normally but the extra weight does make even a 1200 work hard on the highway going up a grade. A can't see a 300 being able to run more than streets or roads with much more than a slight incline but I could be wrong. I've never riden the Versys 300.
Not trying to turn you off to the idea but I am suggesting to try driving one, and talk to others with experience hanging a car off a small cc bike.
Most hack owners love to talk and help. Going into this informed, could save you a lot of time, money, and headache.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1

Last edited by dan filipi; 08-12-2017 at 09:11 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-12-2017, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Thanks for the comments. Probably stick with the 300 as I don't need a new learning curve at the moment.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-2017, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,260
Most of the 650 single cylinder bikes today are like Chevys, Fords, Chryslers ...... they are all decent machines. Some are a little faster, some can carry a little more weight, some ride a little better, some cost more, some require more maintenance and hi-test fuel, some cost a little less.

I picked my first KLR based on specs and cost. I liked the water cooled engine compared to air cooled, the 6 gallon fuel tank compared to 4 gallons on many and the ability to run on low octane fuel compared to hi-test which is not available everywhere especially in remote areas and also the low price.

You can't go wrong with a KLR or a DR. Each has its pluses and minuses like chevys and Fords, but both are good economical bikes.

Last edited by GoMotor; 08-12-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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