I'm narrowing down my choices for a bike that I'd like to ride for the full (Tennessee to Oregon) Trans America Trail ride. I'll very likely be buying a new bike and spending a few months getting it prepped for the adventure and I've narrowed the field down to a KLR, a DR650, and the 650GS. The new '14 650GS that I'm looking at has the wire spoke wheels but it's still a 19" front. Whatever bike I end up on will need all the engine/radiator protection parts, a fuel range of at least 250 miles, and handle thousands of miles of dirt road as well as the ATV goat paths we'll find in Colorado, Nevada, and Utah.
The BMW is intriguing because of the 3 year warranty, 50+ hp vs. much less for the other choices, heated grips and ABS standard, and general quality of construction. For the next year, this bike will be predominately a dirt bike for me, hence the DR650 in the mix.
Is there anyone here that's done the TAT on a 650GS? Is the 19" front rim much of a problem (vs. the 21" of the other choices)? Can I get the range I need out of the GS?
This is about as heavy a bike as I'd want to use for this ride because of the more technical difficult sections we'll ride out west. Any weight loss advice for it aside from ditching the exhaust cans?
Thanks in advance for any guidance!