- By George
- February 24, 2017
- Comments Off on Top 12 Things I Like About The Kawasaki KLR 650
I’ve been riding a Kawasaki KLR 650 for the past 8 years and 22.8k miles. I ride year round including the cold winter months. I have several cruisers, dirt bikes and a few vintage motorcycles to choose from, but I almost always ride the KLR when the weather is bad or cold outside. The KLR is lighter than a cruiser motorcycle, its street legal and its easier to ride in slippery condition, and if it goes down, its cheap and easy to repair. My KLR 650 engine has never been modified and that includes not doing the Doohickey or Thermo Bob mods. If your thinking of buying a KLR 650, I would not let the Doohickey or Thermo Bob mods deter you from buying one. Here are my top 12 reasons for liking the Kawasaki KLR 650:
- Long Travel Suspension. The Kawasaki KLR 650 provides 7.9 inches of suspension travel up front and 7.3 inches at the rear. This is enough suspension travel to comfortably handle any bumps you encounter on the street and most bumps found off road. Only the harshest off road conditions will require a suspension upgrade, which most of us will never need.
- High Seat Height. This might be a draw back for shorter people, but for taller riders its a welcome addition. I think a high seat height adds to the comfort of a standard riding position for taller riders.
- Standard Riding Position. The KLR 650 has a standard riding position, and in my opinion is the most comfortable position for motorcycle riding.
- The Kawasaki KLR 650 is a Dual Sport Motorcycle. Dual sport motorcycles have features that make them compatible for on and off road riding. Things like long travel suspension, dual sport tires and lighter weight set dual sport motorcycles apart from other street bikes, and gives them better performance in off road conditions.
- KLR Offers Wind Protection. The KLR 650 comes with a small but effective front fairing and hand guards that help keep wind off the riders chest and hands. This is almost essential for freeway and cold weather riding. There are several manufactures, including Kawasaki, that offer larger windshields that make the fairing even more effective for wind protection.
- Warmth. In addition to wind protection provided by the fairing and brush guards, the KLR 650 allows the rider to wrap or hug their legs against the motorcycle while riding. This helps keep the rider warm in cold weather by keeping cold wind off the riders inner thighs/legs. This isn’t possible on all motorcycles. When riding the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 my knees stick up high exposing my inner thighs to cold wind when riding in cold weather. This is the main reason I don’t ride the Vulcan 900 during the cold winter months.
- Large Rear Rack. The KLR 650 comes with a large rear rack for carrying things on the motorcycle. I have the accessory Kawasaki rear trunk bag that sits on and is strapped to the rear rack. I have used it to haul things like mail, groceries, case of bottled water, 2 cases of Coke, 5 quart containers of used motor oil and frozen pizza’s.
- Durable And Reliable. I crashed the KLR 650 more than once, but one time I crashed pretty hard on the asphalt going about 30 mph. Don’t ask me how it happened, but after falling down I was able to walk back to the bike and ride it home with only a broken clutch lever, so the bike is pretty durable. The only problem I encountered with the bike through normal riding is a faulty voltage regulator/rectifier about 1 year ago, so I replaced it with a cheap Chinese knockoff I found on ebay.
- Boat Loads of Accessories. The KLR 650 has been around since 1987 with only one major change in 2008, and a suspension/seat change in mid 2014. A motorcycle model thats been manufactured, with little changes for 30 years means there are tons of accessories available. With all these available accessories you can mod the motorcycle into anything you like. You want the bike to be more dirt oriented? No problem! You want the bike to have better freeway performance? No problem! You want more power? No problem!
- Low Price. The KLR is still under $6.7k new, so the bike is low priced or at least affordable. Also, since the bike has been around since 1987 there is no short supply of used KLR’s on the market.
- 6.1 Gallon Gas Tank. I like the KLR 650 fuel range. Last time i measured fuel consumption I was getting 52 mpg, so this means the KLR 650 has a fuel range of 317.2 miles. My Harley Davidson Road Glide and Vulcan 900 won’t go that far between fill ups.
- It Does Everything. The KLR 650 can be used for any type of motorcycle riding either straight out of the box, or for very little money in mods.
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