Take the DL1000 or keep the DL650?

If you’ve been reading the blog you’ll have seen that I recently found an amazing deal on the 2002 DL1000.  If you didn’t see it, you can read about it here.  So, in an effort to save you, kind viewer, the pain that I am now experiencing, I will share with you the decision I have to make.  However, before that, here’s the obligatory awesome Glacier NP photo:

First, let’s start with a brief discussion of the two bikes:

DL650, just shy of 70hp and 40lbft of torque; DL1000 90hp and 60lbft of torque

DL650, dry weight of 416lbs; DL1000 456lbs dry

DL650, an engine that is utterly bulletproof and buttery smooth; DL1000 strong engine that is mostly bulletproof but a bit lumpier (all issues can be resolved for well under $1000)

These are the key characteristics that are different between the two machines.  None of them dissuade me away from the DL1000, and one (POWER) pushes me towards the big bike.

Now, let’s finish the Pro’s and Con’s list of the two bikes.  First the DL650:


  • History.  I’ve taken a nice long trip on this bike and I’m sentimental that way.
  • Setup. I’ve got this bike dialed in exactly the way I want it.
    • Elka Rear Shock (might can move over)
    • Racetech Gold emulators (can move over)
    • Happy Trail panniers (can move over with new Happy Trail rack)
    • Pro Taper ATV high bars (can move over)
    • ADVMonster LED spotlight pods up front (can move over)
    • Sargent seat
    • SW Motech Crash bars
    • SW Motech skid plate
    • Touratech footpegs (can move over)
    • Tourtech front fender (just looks cool) (can move over)
  • I’ve fitted with a Rostra cruise control (very helpful for injured wrist)
  • Real bark busters in place of the lightweight plastic wind blockers


  • Less power

Now the DL1000 lists:


  • More Power


  • The ‘normal’ DL1000 issues for this era (rotor magnets, clutch basket, lean fuel injection)
  • Will not be able to move over some of this list above
  • A little heavier than my heavy bike
  • Not the cool Matte Black paint scheme (but I like the metallic Grey)
  • Worse fuel mileage

At the end of the day the 650 does a great job and the engine is butter smooth.  It’s fun to run through the gears since it has a great gearbox and with 6 of them highway cruising is no problem either.

Let’s see:


I think ultimately the decision is a combination of many factors, but the biggest factor is fun.  And here’s the thing, fun is a fleeting thing.  So I’m going to go with the 650 over the 1000.  Reason being, when I’m out there in the boondocks I want something that is bulletproof, uber reliable, something without a question of it’s ability to go on forever and ever.  Having that peace of mind is what will allow the fun to stick around longer once I find it.  So yes, the 650.  Mind is made up.  Done.



But man, the power of the 1000, right?  Oh dear…this is going to be harder than I realized…stay tuned.  I’ll know in June of this year which one I decide to go with long term.


Author: Navin

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