There aren’t too many dual-sport motorcycles that have earned the reputation that the Kawasaki KLR650 has over the years.
What’s most incredible is that they still make these. Generally when manufacturers are on to a cult-classic, they end the production based on ‘less than adequate sales’ when they simply can’t make this claim with the KLR. It’s simply a beast.
Kawasaki KLR 650 – The Unkillable of Dual Sports
Ask anyone as to what is the most reliable adventure motorcycle, and many would point you in the direction of the KLR650. Not just this, but it’s also a weapon offroad due to several reasons.
Here’s why we’d recommend this Japanese ADV weapon:
1. Serious Reliability
This dual-sporter goes and goes. It’s not uncommon to see a motorcycle like this with more than 30,000 miles on the clock still commanding good prices. It has one of those engines whereby you look after it, and it will look after you. Reliability is what you want if you’re exploring the world on 2 wheels.
2. Adventure Fairings as Standard
Kawasaki didn’t build this for the dirt bike rider to be modified into the dual-sport road. Nope. They built this as a dual-sporter from day 1, and thus, it has adventure fairings as standard. Some complaints are that it’s on the small side and doesn’t provide full protection, yet others say the full fairings don’t provide any degree of cooling for the rider. Two-way street that one.
3. Solid Fuel Range
The KLR 650 will give you several hundred miles before you fill up, provided you’re out there on the highway and aren’t hitting that throttle hard. Most riders doing cross-country trips aren’t likely to swap their tank out for a safari tank but some do. Some riders simply use the flexible fuel bags and leave them on the rear.
4. Lightweight Handling
Despite what the dealers at BMW claim, you actually need a smaller motorcycle when you’re starting out. One that you can throw around on the trails. Fortunately, the lightweight nature of this dual-sport motorcycle (even when loaded up with rider, supplies and full gas) are quite reasonable.
5. Doesn’t Get Noticed
Right – a slight negative here, otherwise this was starting to sound like a promotional piece for Kawasaki. We’re unbiased here at Frontaer and aren’t paid for our reviews. The KLR650 doesn’t get noticed because it isn’t a speed demon or able to win any drag races. Thus, it isn’t a prize for a thief and as adventure seekers, this suits us just fine.
6. Highway Cruising
Dual-sport motorcycles are meant to be exactly that: Dual. Sport. Very rarely do you find a motorcycle that can do both well, but Kawasaki has mastered this recipe. You’ll find the KLR650 ideal for long days out on the highway as well as the trails, though it certainly isn’t as comfortable as say the BMW, but that leads us on to the next point.
You’re into adventure riding as you want an accessible means in which to explore the world. Who really has money for business class flights and fancy hotels anyway? Only a special few people. Thus, the KLR650 is an affordable motorcycle for the person who’s keen to get out there. It’s even cheaper than some mopeds that you’ll find parked in front of the local coffee shop. Go figure!
Get yourself out there and explore the world! Today, the price of adventure motorcycles has become down with popularity. Thank you Ewan and Charlie!
Now this has become a double-edged sword. Too many people are obsessed with seeing others ride and aren’t working towards making the dream happen for themself. The KLR650 represents an affordable bit of kit. As an alternative, consider Honda’s 250L Adventure which in our opinion, is even better. Its only let down is the top speed and lack of highway gearing.