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Kawasaki KLR650

Kawasaki KLR650 (page 2 of 2)

4.1 from 36 reviews

Great bike

Picked up a new 2012 klr just done 1000 km on it
May not be the best dual sport bike but definetely the best
For the price.
Rides good seat a little uncomfortable on long rides.
Bike a little under powered when restricted as lams bike.
When derestricted it is much more responsive .
Large 22 lt tank ,build quality good for the price .
Overall very happy with the bike.
A lot of bike for a little price
Fuel guage would be nice with the large 22lt tank


poor quality parts all over this bike and bike is very time consuming to work on,fuel hose and vacuum hoses held on with very thin wire clips,cheap parts on this bike,not fully made in japan
just a pretty average motorbike,nothing really exciting to write about here this bike has more disadvantages than pros,bike does not balance very well,runs hot in traffic,not much good to say about it.
need to remove fuel tank,plus side covers front and back plus seat plus petrol tank just to change the spark plug.

Not quite true. Right front fairing only removed to replace spark plug.plug cannot be changed with out removing tank and other peices on 1987 klr

great bike fun and easy to ride

bought new 2011 model after 10yrs of no road riding .Took demo bike for a test ride and was immediately impressed by how easy it was to ride, handling was sure footed and suspension was up to par for my 120kg frame.On my own bike i have upgraded the front/rear springs to cope with the extra load [pillion/gear]and this has made a huge difference to the handling .I will be adding the taller front screen and rear luggage bag from kawasaki in a couple of weeks .Overall i am happy with my purchase.
great fuel economy,good value for my $.Great handling for this type of bike.

Second best bike I have ever owned.

Having owned dozens of motorcycles over 40 years I can honestly say this bike was and still is my second favourite bike I ever owned. It was not sold - but stolen and can honestly say would still have it now, even after having owned it for 8 years prior to being removed from my pocession.They have 2 x faults and dozens of good points. The exact opposite to most things I have owned. Particularly when it comes to dual sport Motorcycles. It does nothing particularly well - but it does most things better than most comparible motorcycles.It handled quite well on and off road. It braked quite well. It was ultra reliable and ran like a clock. It got 230 klm without reserve at 100kph unlike most that get mid 100's without putting bigger tanks on. It was stable at 120 unlike most and it also was still happy at this speed with standard on / off road gearing - unlike most which start to run out of revs without gearing them up for highway use over 100. The seat was comfortable as was the riding position.The seat height also was spot on for shorter legs like mine. Most are on steroids and reach with both feet is a problem for people under 185 cm tall. All in all it was hard to fault.It was no power house compared to my current KTM 640 but still then "KATO" does a lot of things wrong and very few right - but thats another story.I personally didnt like the KLR's looks but it grew on me after many years. After riding and owning many XL 500's AND XT 500's previously, at first ride on the KLR I was impressed - so I bought it. A great motorcycle.
Most everything - barring looks - weight and over baffling of the standard exhaust.
The exhaust needed a few extra holes to let it breath, weight is a problem in hard going - but not on dirt roads.

The Poor Man's BMW...

After owning a number of sports bikes and wanting comfort over speed on those long rides, the choice was clear... Dual Sports!

To cut a long story short: After some intense research on the Internet (surely that wouldn't lie to me!) and a few test rides on a number of different dual sport bikes I have to say the trusty KLR is undoubtably the best bang-for-buck machine on the market.

There is a whole sub-culture of passionate KLR owners around the world with a number of very helpful forums on the net where you can chat with like minded KLR owners from all corners of the globe about this simple, honest and reliable machine. There is a mirad of information and tips for various mods and upgrades available for this bike.

On The Road: Fantastic! It's capable, reasonably comfortable, surprisingly eager on tight & twisty pavement, happily cruises @ 110km/h and is absolutely class-leading on fuel economy. 420km before going to reserve means you'll be riding further and longer than your counterparts on long trips! Suspension handles all the potholes and bumpy back roads you can toss at it and even when it's loaded with a full tank of fuel and a stack of gear on the very handy luggage rack it still behaves nicely without that top-heavy factor. The only downside is that it's missing a sixth gear, an omission that is not devastating but would just add that extra "something" on the highway.

On The Dirt: Loves dusty trails, rocky roads and even some harder trails and the odd river crossing. It's no motocross bike, but it will gingerly get you places most motocross bikes can, just not as fast or aggressively. Remember these KLR's have done epic adventures around the world in some of the harshest climates known to man... And it conquered them all.

Overall: Engine is simple yet purposeful. It's not a powerhouse but it's no slouch either. De-restriction (LAMS) is a must to get what you need from this donk. It's been around for 20+ years and I dare say this bulletproof engine will be around for another 20. Yes it drinks oil: it's a big capacity single that revs hard for its size and does vibrate but it's been finely tuned over the years and will keep on ticking ride after ride. An important note is that the KLR has an Achilles heel: the "doohickey". This is the engine counterbalancer chain tensioner that is prone to fail if neglected. Sounds ominous but it really isn't. Get an aftermarket replacement fitted at its 24000km service when it's due for adjustment at you'll be fine. Other than that, this engine will handle whatever you throw at it. It's the best, easiest and most reliable single I've come across yet.
An aftermarket seat will help too as the stock saddle can be a bum cruncher on long rides...

But ya know what? For a bike thats less than $8000 ride away that'll be as faithful as an old dog and as fun as a puppy, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again. And again.
Cheap to run, fun to ride, very reliable and will go where others wouldn't dare in case they got dropped...
The "doohickey" ghost and that bum-aching saddle!

1 comment
Hi there. Have you trialled the Honda TransAlp? Do you have any opinion on the Transalp v the KLR?

A Reliable Big and Simple Beast

The KLR looks robust and strong at first sight. It's a big bike, definitely not for short riders, with its 890mm seat height. Despite of looking a bit clumsy, though, the one who rides it will find it very agile on corners and capable of doing really tight turns at any time.

The range is superb, with its 22 litres tank, the torque is good, both at low and at high revs, and the breaks won't let you down if you need them. But I missed a 6th gear when I was riding on highways. I tried to engage this non-existent gear many times...

If you're not a learner or a R-date, ask the dealer to de-restrict your bike. You'll experience a fantastic increase in power and throttle response. The new KLRs come power restricted from factory, so that it stays learner legal, and you cannot go beyond 5,500 rpm without having the restriction removed. I didn't know that until I found myself riding with the throttle fully opened and not going beyond those revs. My dealer did it for free but, even if they charge you the usual fee (around $ 120.00), it pays off.

Once de-restricted, the bike owes very little to any other of the same class, and becomes a good bike for any road, including highways. Of course, it becomes king when you enter gravel paths.

The saddle is comfortable and smooth, and the luggage carrier is enough for almost anything you might need, especially if you buy a fairly cheap top box for additional stuff. But, unless you're a very skinny person, you'll have to adjust preload and rebound: they come too soft from factory, but this is very easy to change. I usually ride with my wife as a pillion and, with 2 on the bike, these adjustments are mandatory. Anyway, the suspension is beefy and highly adjustable. So, you won't have a problem with that.

My wife complained about feeling a very and unpleasant hot blow on her feet, which I found was real: when the engine gets a bit hotter, it blows its heat off with a hot air torrent that goes straight to the pillion's feet. The rider will feel it, too, should the engine gets really hot, but this is relatively rare.

You must remember, too, that it's a mono. So, you should expect some vibration. However, those vibrations are surprisingly soft for a bike like this.

In summary, if you want a powerful dirt bike that can cope with paved roads, or if you want a learner legal bike that is bigger than a 250 cc, this one might be for you.
Reliable, good size, steering angle, fuel efficiency, stability, faces all kinds of roads, suspension is superb, comfortable
A bit underpowered if left with factory settings, not for short riders, hot engine blows its heat on rider and pillion.

made in thailand kawasaki

the back rack comes in handy,height of bike is nice,nice to ride where this klr 650 fails badly is hardly any aftermarket parts are available,the rear chain adjusters are the worst i have seen on any bike,the carby mixture screw is almost impossible to get at,i have never seen a plastic bash plate in all my years off riding only on the klr,the bike is not wholy made in japan as kawasaki would like you to beilieve but its got alot of cheap parts on it from thailand,kawasaki used to have top quality bikes and over the years i owned many but too much cheap stuff on this thailand klr 650,front master cylinder leaks,carby never idles smoothly,staples fall out of the seat,chain adjusters are ridiculous,just to name a few lots more faults on this bike and i have owned 2 klrs as new 2009 and 2010 models
its good on petrol has a rack on back thats about it,very ordinary bike really
quality of workmanship and parts is just not there which i was very dissapointed about,kawasaki have had a good reputation over the years but looks like they have dropped the ball here with the klr badly.


It's a dual sport "easy rider" version. I took it for a ride from Sydney to Alice Springs and it was a pleasure. I could go off-road anytime. At normal speed the fuel consumption is fantastic. It's quite relaxing to know that you can fix the bike almost anywhere.
Cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, great fuel consumption for a 650cc, good build quality, many accessories and parts, 20+ years heritage. Very large fuel tank and reserve. Quality materials. Hi voltage alternator (17 amp) so you can add all your gadgets on-board. Simple and fun!
not the most comfortable seat but not may dual sports that are (or any bike). No fuel indicator. Taking off the seat requires a ranch and 4 screws. Windscreen is not the best for tall guys (above 180cm/ 6').


I love my 2008 KLR. I bought it at 23k from the first owner who rode it around Oz fully loaded. I've now put 12k on it in 12 months most of it on dirt and it won't break. It gets smashed on corrugated, washed out, unused bush tracks on long distance travel and just keeps going.
After installing a staintune muffler, blocking carby slide holes, shimming fuel needle 2 washers and adjusting mixture screw 2 turns out it's suddenly a different bike. Have some progressive front springs on order and getting rear shock overhauled should handle the dirty stuff even better. The Knobby tyres make a massive difference on sand or dirt roads and the bike's sub-frame is tough. You can load this bike safely with 40-50kg luggage and i've got no sign of fatigue on welds or mounts.
Summing up. i ride to work every day, go bush for a few hundred k's when i feel like it or load up and go for 3-5000km without worrying about it. Keep it lubed well, serviced well, tired well and you'll love it too!!! Great value motoring
It's unbreakable, believe me i've tried!!! Great fuel economy, great headlights, cruises nicely on highway or dirt at 100-120kmh, loads of bolt-on accessories and information available, very simple technology (don't fix it if it ain't broke,18km per litre fully loaded (total including rider and pillion passenger 140kg) with carby mods and aftermarket pipe, best of all it looks fantastic and goes hard.
Front suspension and front brakes need upgrading for serious riding, engine is suffocated in factory form, seat gives me saddle sores on my saddle sores, 17 inch rear wheel is a pain to get tyres for if you are anywhere but in a city

1 comment
Put a braided front brake line on it and you'll be amazed at the difference


I have owned the bike since new and have had no problems with it (6,500 kms), recommend it for riders returning to riding after a long break, learner riders and anyone who needs a bike that can be ridden at legal speed limits and still have fun!
versatility, fuel economy, range, reliability, wind protection (with optional taller windscreen), mechanical simplicity, ease of maintenance, pillion capability, comfortable riding ergonomics, excellent built-in rack, excellent on a tight winding road, initial low price
likely eventual need to replace doohickey (factory should have fixed this by now), cold starting takes a while (in Canberra winters) I let the carb heat up in the sun for a few minutes to help overcome this (works)


bike seems to be well built and rides well,bike seems to be better suited to the open roads.for the price its not a bad buy at all but i would not take this bike bush bashing off road its not really made for that.
nice bike to ride good on fuel,has a nice rack on the back excellent for tieing down a good crate or toolbox,is fast up top end for highway riding.
no centre stand,a centre stand is a must for a heavy bike or you cant change a flat easy out on the freeways. need to take petrol tank off to change plug,runs hot in city traffic,my radiator fan does not cut in until temp almost reaches red zone


ok once I fitted a staintune sound great and very noticable difference in power and from what I have heard once you get them derestricted they go like a cut snake so can't wait for that need a few more k's on her,didn't think ti would be so nibble in the bush you can throw it around very easy,as I said earlier great on dry track's but the std tyres are a little slippery on wet muddy track's but that's to be expected on those tyre's,haven't had it to long but compared to the other's in it's range I don't think you could go past the KLR650 and value for money you can't go wrong,can't wait yo get a few weekend's away on her I no it will do every I wan't it to very happy with bike.
were do I start ok,very comfortable,great on the black stuff,great on dry dirt roads and trails,good size rack,plenty of protection up front with screen and fairing also hands,good size tank so your not stopping for fuel every couple of hundred k's
ok not to many but a few,lack of sound and power staight out of the box,would of being good with bark busters std other than that I'm wrapped


I took a the KLR on a test drive today. Very nice road manners, you would not think you are riding a 650. Expected the front wheel to be lifting with the big single but non of that, cruises well, liquid cooling kept things under control. If you every drop this thing even once its gona get marked, thing is massivley wide on the front, has rear brake hose sticking out on rear. Kawasaki have now made this a tourer only machine, who would want a single cylinder tourer? - shame on you kawasaki.
Doesn't sound like a big thumper
Vulnerable off, dont you dare drop it


I have just purchased the bike new and found it to be acceptable around town. It has enough power to get you out of any sticky situation, anymore would be for kicks. Not to say the KLR isn`t fun, far from it. The 650 has enough power to lug a big load on or off road but I`ve found it`s performance lacks slightly in both departments. Offroad it seems to live up to its reputation as a rugged, reliable bike. It`s gearing could be lower though but this would effect its onroad qualities. Onroad the bike cruises well in and out of tight cornering however you don`t have the confidence to take coners as quickly as you normally would given the higher centre of gravity (which you can certainly feel with a full tank of fuel!) All that said i reckon this breed of bike is never going to be the best at both on road and off but the compromise in both areas has been kept to a fine minimum with great results. I use the KLR as a regular commuter and have fallen in love with its simplisity and old school ruggedness. It needs no encouragement, the KLR650 in my opinion has a reputation that not many bikes can boast. It is what it is and it does it the way it should...its a good value for money purchase.
Simplistic instrumentation and controls. Very well balanced for a bike of its size. Long range tank, comfortable seat and excellent weather shielding make it a great tourer...oh and the price!! how do they do that?
Headlight aim too high, mirrors easily loosened when bumped, geared for touring makes it a little sluggish around town but still acceptable if you don`t mind a compromise in return for good offroading ability.


Overall a good product for the money and a lot better than is what on offer from other manufacturers and after a few personal inprovements to make a good bike great.
Good looking bike light to handle great on fuel lots of fairings and a tacho,comfortable riding position well priced 8 grand on the road pack rack and bash plate standard bark busters also standard overall a good duel sport bike.can purchase 3 inch lowering links from ebay. Much better product than whats on offer from other manufacturers for similar money.
Suspension on rear way to soft for pillion passengers on dirt roads, adjusted all the way up it bottoms out, lots of 3m on the plastics to protect them, shaved the seat height,to restricted needs after market exhaust. Tyres are very so so. Dash mounting screws need gromets to cover deep mounting holes.Tool compatment faces the wrong way collecting dirt dust and water. With a fuel tank so large a gauge would have been great.


I have covered nearly 20k on this bike with at least 50% of that in almost unused bush tracks. Yes I have fallen off usually just before coming to rest when my feet are dangling over a hole or whilst laughing at some more unfortunate BM rider, This bike has climbed tracks that have stymied larger more powerful and heavier GS bikes and all this fully loaded, Made some pannier racks out of 8mm solid round just to keep them off the exhaust (not carry full weight). Put slider pull out plate on carrier for cooking saves bending down (make sure bike is almost vertical). Rammed 50mm of rolled lead in bar ends what a difference adds a bit under a kilo but smooth on bitumen. Doohicky fixed with torsion spring. But even with spring breakage chain remains as is for at least another 5k providing adjusting bolt firmly tightened. New bridgestone Trail wing tyres are now the go and the 130 looks almost like a 140. A good bike more/ no, often better than other more expensive dual purpose machines and I'm not constantly worrying about damaging the bodywork.
A good go anywhere trail bike that has proven itself better than most in comparable company. Also easy to hop on for that shopping trip. Get headlamp off switch from KLR 650.com better for starting on cold mornings or when battery has been used for accessories.
Needs better fron brake 06 model but squeeze harder and it works. Side standpushes the bike more upright when loaded so select low road side for side stand. Get a sealed battery usually available from Kawasaki dealer for around $10 more.

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Questions & Answers

Is this a bike you can ride on the highway for a trip?
2 answers
Yes, absolutely. It is a dual purpose bike ... good both on and off road. You can use it as a daily commuter on the highway then go adventuring on the weekends! :)Thank you, I just bought a 2011 KLR 650 a month ago and I’m still getting used to it.

hi..i`m from Nicaragua and my english i`ts not so good. I have a kawasaki kl650, 1992 when i`ts running it has oil drop by the muffler rigth on the cylinder head. the smoke is white and the oil engine level drop quikly. i changed the valves oil seals and the gasket but it doesn't work. Any idea about what to do?
2 answers
I'm sorry but I'm not a mechanic and can't really offer a solution. Is there oil in your coolant or coolant in your oil? ... if so and you've changed the head gasket then perhaps it's a cracked head. I would suggest you try joining one or more of the many KLR owners Facebook groups around the World as members will probably be able to offer better advice than I can. I hope you get it fixed. Good luck.With any oil leak you need to degrease the entire area and run the engine until you find where the oil is coming from. Might take 10-15 minutes or sooner.

Hello !! Does any one know how I can find out what motor will bolt right up on my klr 650 1995? Do to the fact my other motor threw a rod and cracked the center case . I found several motors on ebay but want to make sure before I buy !! Thank you .and yes I called local dealer. And received no help !!! Thank you John c
1 answer
Slack dealer not giving you advice. Try contacting Kawasaki Australia. Surely the can provide an answer. As the KLR motor has been virtually untouched since it was introduced in the late 80's there shouldn't be any problems with any KLR 650 motor. But better to check with K A.


Engine Capacity651cc
Release dateMay 2007

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