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Kawasaki Introduces New, Redesigned 2022 KLR650

In line with expectations, Kawasaki introduced a redesigned 2022 KLR650 earlier today. While it returns with a 652cc single cylinder engine, that engine is now fuel injected and the bike features a myriad of other features.

Digital instrumentation, LED headlight, larger front disc brake, and new fuel tank are just a few of the many changes described in the following press release. The new KLR starts at $6,699 with the ABS model going for $6,999. Two special editions will also be available, including the KLR650 Traveler ($7,399) and the KLR650 Adventure ($7,999).

Here is the press release from Kawasaki, followed by a video.

2022 KLR®650 Motorcycle  

ESCAPE. EXPLORE. ENVY.

 For 2022, Kawasaki welcomes the return of the widely popular and critically acclaimed all-new KLR®650 motorcycle to its lineup. The legendary dual-sport bike is back and better than ever, refined and ready to make new memories. Featuring new technology you’ve been waiting for, and the same reputable reliability, the KLR®650 is ready for your next expedition. Whether it’s traveling long distances or making the daily commute, this adventure-hungry, on-and off-road machine offers the versatility and toughness required to accommodate any adventure.

The all-new 2022 KLR650 receives the addition of fuel injection to the 652cc single-cylinder engine offering increased reliability and fuel efficiency. A new multi-functional digital instrumentation panel with a fuel gauge is paired with a new fuel tank design with greater useable volume. Numerous parts have been updated for increased riding confidence when carrying luggage, reduced vibrations, and increased generator capacity, contributing to the improved performance and ride comfort that is needed when searching for a tough adventure partner.

The all-new KLR650 features a new LED headlight, is available with optional ABS, provides a terrific riding position for all-day riding comfort and boasts plenty of carrying capacity. For 2022 the KLR650 motorcycle will also be available in two new special edtions featuring a number of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories including side cases, engine guards, LED auxililary light set, and more.

2022 KLR650 HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW Fuel Injected 652 cc Single-Cylinder Engine
  • NEW Multi-Functional Digital Instrumentation With Fuel Gauge
  • NEW LED Headlight
  • NEW Bodywork including fuel tank
  • NEW Larger Front Disc And Optional ABS
  • NEW Greater Wind Protection and Styling
  • NEW Increased Carrying Capacity

ENGINE

  • NEW Fuel Injection
  • NEW Revised Cam Profiles
  • NEW Exhaust Pipe Diameter
  • NEW Updated Clutch
  • NEW Increased ACG Output
  • NEW Low Maintainence Battery
  • NEW Lighter Starter, Ignition Coil, And Evaporator Canister
  • NEW Honeycomb Catalyzer

The KLR650 is powered by one of the most well-known, reliable, and trusted engines in the motorcycle industry. Its liquid cooled, four-stroke, 652 cc single-cylinder engine features a DOHC cylinder head and produces a flat power curve that lets you navigate challenging roads and cruise at freeway speeds . The 2022 model is now equipped with fuel injection, which, combined with the fuel tank’s greater useable volume, contributes to an increased range between fuel stops, while updates for increased durability ensure the reliability expected of an adventure tourer. 

Featuring fuel injection for the first time, starting the KLR650 has never been easier, especially at high altitude or in cold conditions, and its reliability and performance have been increased. A 10-hole fine-atomizing injector sprays 60 µm droplets, which contributes to efficient air-fuel mixing for efficient combustion. Revised intake and exhaust cam profiles improve mid-range power and torque characteristics. A stronger cam chain guide material and shape add to the increased reliability.

The exhaust pipe diameter has been reduced by 7.7 mm to improve mid-range torque characteristics to better suit everyday riding. An oxygen sensor provides feedback to the fuel injection system, contributing to cleaner exhaust emissions and increased fuel efficiency.

Several updates have been made to improve shifting feel and reduce weight. In the clutch and transmission, the clutch release bearings were changed from ball to thrust-needle bearings, the gear dogs and shift fork have been revised on third gear, and a new finishing treatment is now used for fourth and fifth gears.

A new sealed battery adds to the convenience and is significantly lighter than the previous battery. The starter, ignition coil, and evaporator canister have all been revised and are now lighter than on previous models.

CHASSIS

  • NEW Rear Frame
  • NEW Swingarm
  • NEW Larger Swingarm Pivot Shaft

The KLR650 motorcycle’s proven and high tensile, semi-double-cradle frame receives several updates on the 2022 model. The updates now include a rear frame that is integrated with the main frame to increase torsional rigidity for a more composed ride and a 30mm longer swingarm with a 2mm larger diameter swingarm pivot shaft that also contributes to better handling.

SUSPENSION & WHEELS

  • NEW Front and Rear Suspension Settings
  • NEW Larger Front Brake Disc
  • NEW Thicker Rear Brake Disc
  • NEW Optional ABS Models
  • NEW Stronger Rear Wheel Rim Material
  • NEW Larger-Diameter Axle Shafts

Both front and rear suspension settings complement the new frame to help provide a more planted feel. In order to meet the demands of both on and off-road riding, 41 mm front forks with 200 mm of suspension travel handle the suspension duties up front and add the rigidity needed for superb performance. Firm fork springs provide excellent bump compliance and bottoming resistance while also reducing front-end dive under heavy braking.

An adjustable Uni-Trak® system with 185 mm of suspension travel can be found on the rear and complements the front fork settings, offering progressive rear suspension action while contributing to a low center of gravity. Firm rear shock settings help resist bottoming in rough terrain and accommodate heavy loads. Rear spring preload and rebound damping adjustments allow riders to fine-tune suspension settings to suit the riding conditions and rider’s preference. The front fork and rear shock settings complement each other for light, sharp handling on smooth roads while providing the capability needed off-road.  

Complementing the KLR650 motorcycle’s more powerful engine is a larger 300mm front brake disc that delivers more substantial braking power. The disc shape has been changed from a petal-type disc to a round disc, adding to its tough appearance. On the rear brakes, the disc has been thickened to provide better heat dissipation when under heavy braking. Similar to the front, the back disc shape is now round. Models with and without ABS are now available and the ABS offers additional rider reassurance when riding on low-friction surfaces.

The KLR650 comes equipped with a 21” front wheel and 17” rear wheel that allows riding to be continued even when the paved road ends. A stronger material can now be found on the rear wheel rim, delivering improved torsional rigidity and increased durability. The front and rear tires are tube types, making it possible for the rider to carry out any necessary roadside repairs. A larger-diameter front and rear wheel axle contribute to both durability and handling.

ERGONOMICS

  • NEW Fine-Tuned Handlebar And Footpeg Positions
  • NEW Rubber Mounts On Handlebars And Footpegs
  • NEW Fuel Tank Design With More Useable Volume
  • NEW Taller Windshield For Increased Wind Protection
  • NEW Seat Design And Materials For Improved Comfort 
  • NEW Pillion Grab Bars For Passenger Comfort
  • NEW 30 mm Shorter Side Stand

The KLR650 has long been known for its comfortable, upright riding position, and for 2022 it has been fine-tuned to deliver a stress-free position for a longer adventure.  One significant improvement has been the reduction of vibration from parts that come in contact with the rider, further contributing to comfort when on long rides.

Fine-tuned handlebar and footpeg positions have each been moved 10 mm outwards to provide adjustability and put the rider in a slightly more relaxed position, to support longer hours in the saddle. The handlebars and footpegs are now rubber-mounted, reducing vibration for improved comfort. A new fuel tank design has been fitted to the KLR650 chassis, offering a natural fit with the rider’s knees for comfort and increased controllability. While the volume of the new fuel tank remains the same, the useable volume has been increased through redesign and a new fuel pump that draws from the very bottom of the tank, contributing to a longer cruising range.

Aiding the rider up front, a new stylish windshield can be found, which is now 50 mm taller for better wind protection and features two-position bolt-on adjustability that allows windshield height to be conveniently increased a further 30 mm. The seat shape and cover have been revised and the optimized urethane thickness and firmness all contribute to increased ride comfort. Under the seat, rubber dampers have been added to further aid in rider comfort. Passenger grab bars have been reshaped, improving passenger comfort. The side stand has been shortened 30 mm, making it easier to deploy when on the bike. 

BODYWORK & STYLING

  • NEW Shroud, Side Cover, And Tail Cowl
  • NEW Bright LED Headlight
  • NEW Taillight And Turn Signal
  • NEW All-Digital Instrument Panel
  • NEW Longer Mirror Arms

The KLR650’s robust design reflects the bike’s capabilities for an unforgettable adventure. New colors and textured graphics were specially chosen to emphasize its ruggedness. Its modern styling includes a protector-equipped shroud design that contributes to a functional and rugged image, while a new side cover design and tail cowl tie the robust styling package together. In addition to the windshield offering increased wind protection, it also adds to the tough adventure tourer appearance that Kawasaki engineers set out to achieve on the KLR650.

A new bright LED headlight illuminates the way when the ride continues past sunset and also contributes to the intended adventure styling. In the back, a revised taillight and turn signal design add to the tough styling. Rearward field of vision has been improved thanks to longer mirror arms.

An all-digital instrument panel offers information at-a-glance through a large display and easy-to-read LCD screen with white backlighting. The instrument panel features a speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, clock, and indicator lamps. The narrowed-down display list prioritizes visibility of the speedometer and fuel gauge.

ACCESSORIES

A number of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories (KGA) will allow riders to personalize the looks of their KLR650 and offer added comfort and convenience. Kawasaki accessory side cases and top case were developed to provide a clean look with their well-matched design.

The side cases feature a top-opening design that makes it easy to add and remove items when they are mounted on the bike. The side cases easily clip onto their mounting brackets for a secure fit. The top case is large enough to accommodate an off-road style helmet. Improving convenience, side cases and the top case can be fitted with a one-key system. Complementing the accessory luggage, a larger aluminum rear carrier offers improved carrying capacity. In addition to its exclusive luggage, accessories include grip heater set, LED auxiliary light set, engine guards, DC power outlet, and USB socket.

SPECIAL EDITIONS

Also new for the 2022 KLR650 are two model variations that feature factory-equipped accessories and both come standard with ABS. The KLR® 650 ADVENTURE model comes equipped with factory-installed side cases, LED auxiliary light set, engine guards, tank pad, and both DC power outlet and USB socket and is available in the Cypher Camo Gray colorway. This model is designed for the adventurer who is looking for increased carry capacity and convenience.  The KLR® 650 TRAVELER model features a factory-installed top case and both DC power outlet and USB socket and comes in Pearl Lava Orange colorway.

COLORS

The 2022 KLR650 is available in Pearl Sand Khaki and Pearl Lava Orange. The KLR650 ABS is available in Pearl Sand Khaki. The KLR650 ADVENTURE model is available in Cypher Camo Gray and the KLR650 TRAVELER model is available in Pearl Lava Orange.

MSRP

KLR650 – $6,699

KLR650 ABS – $6,999

KLR650 TRAVELER – $7,399

KLR650 ADVENTURE – $7,999

72 Comments

  1. EZMark says:

    460 pounds for a single cylinder?
    Granted it’s a lot more money, but the 700 Tenere weighs 8 pounds less and it’s a twin.

  2. Kermit T Frog says:

    2022? 2022?! What happened to the 2021 model? This thing must have a Flush Crapacitator to allow travel to the future and back…Oh and tubes still SUCK!

    Instead of a four bagger Kawasucki decided to bunt.

  3. Rennie says:

    Had and loved on foe 7 years. But Iinstalled a 320mm disc, steel lines, did the doohickey,REPLaCED the horrible seat, etc.

    They haven’t fixed any of these issues and made it heavier. Weird.

    The DR650 I added was alot more fun.

  4. Fred N says:

    Looks like a gear indicator for the borrowed CB500 speedo head was a price to far to stretch the R & D Budget. Suzuki’s ancient carby’ed DR650 will get a loss in sales.
    How that bike passes tough Euro 5 emissions is a true credit to the Cat designers.

  5. Marc says:

    No Tach!I put on 80k on a gen 1 and I don’t recall every noticing the tach. It let you know when to shift. Kawasaki took care of the KLR fans with this new version.

  6. Grumpy farmer says:

    As a long time KLR rider, I’m glad to see the old soldier return. This bike is by no means intended to compete with the Yamaha, KTMs or BMWs. I still think Kawasaki will do something based on the 650 twin to address that. The KLR is in a category of one.

  7. advrider says:

    I was not sure what to expect if Kawasaki decided to bring back the KLR and I must say great job! Hopefully they fixed all the issues prior generations were plagued with, the issues are certainly fixable but should not come on a new bike. I will certainly pick one up and keep it till I cant ride anymore.

  8. Gpokluda says:

    Love it! Bravo Kawasaki!

  9. Bob says:

    No tachometer, really?

    • Tom R says:

      I guess your ears are supposed to be the tach. Hearing a KLR engine getting close to redline is rather gnarly and annoying, so one is conveniently reminded to upshift before you get there.

      KLR riders don’t need no stinking tachometers.

    • Gpokluda says:

      Tachs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

  10. Tom R says:

    One advantage of the facts that it weighs too much, has no sixth gear, and has tubed tires is that these issues distracted everyone from saying “What? No cruise control??”

  11. mickey says:

    a guy on the CB 1100 forum said the KLR is like Santa Clause.. because even though it looks slow and fat, it can get to every place on the planet

    • Tom K. says:

      Credit where credit is due, that’s clever. But that green is more akin to the Grinch – Santa is much easier on the eyes, he still makes me want to jump right up into his lap.

  12. david novick says:

    There’s always been something magical about the KLR. Maybe cuz we used to flog them from LA to Laguna Seca to get to the MotoGP races. Ah, those were the days. Nicky Hayden…
    Anyway, were was I?? Oh yea, unless you’ve spent a 10 hour day on a KLR, you probably will not understand. Nice job Kawaski!

  13. When you read the article with all the changes … it is embarrassing. I’m surprised they did not include the key was lighter. I get they are catering to the KLR fan base, but there is sooooo much they could have done! I owned a 1995 KLX650C and it was far superior to the KLR. The only thing it was missing was a 6 gallon tank, which you could get aftermarket. I rode the KLX back to back with a KLR and the KLX felt like a 250! Suspension was great, frame was tight. The KLR just felt like it had a very flexy frame and wimpy suspension. Had they used the 2022 motor in a 1995 KLX650 frame and suspension, they would have a huge hit. Instead, the Yamaha Tenere will eat Kawasaki’s lunch. Twice the horse power, better frame and suspension, spin on oil filter and recommended 22K valve intervals — a truly low maintenance bike. Sure the Tenere has a small tank but Safari Tanks is finishing up their 6+ gallon tank to take care of the one weak point on the bike.

    Big credit to Kawasaki to make the KLR look modern good. It has been so butt ugly since it’s introduction in 1987.

  14. Tom K. says:

    Kaw must want to sell more of the “Adventure” versions, based solely on color availability. They should have named the non-orange, non-gray camo color “Exorcist Green”.

  15. Cagefree says:

    Yamaha just announced mandatory overtime on the T7 production line now that the much anticipated KLR700 twin rumors have been put to rest.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yamaha is laughing right about now. They will have to work overtime now that all the potential KLR700 rumors are put to rest.

  17. Jim says:

    Lol, next?

  18. Zedak says:

    As a current KLR owner, I was initially a bit disappointed with what seemed like a fairly minimal update….but, as I have looked at it more I think they nailed it. No it isn’t as offroad worthy as an XR650L or even a DR650, but it will go the same places. You might not be quite as fast as the guys on the lighter bikes, but you can still ride with them. It also isn’t as long haul tour worthy as the bigger ADV bikes, but it will go the same places. Again, you might not be the fastest, but you can hang just fine. I also own and ride a Super Tenere. I definitely would not want to try to take it the same places as the guys on XRs want to go, but I’m game on my KLR. By the same token, I would not hesitate to do the same kind of mileage on my KLR as I do my Super Tenere. It will take longer, but the long-haul comfort is there. I wouldn’t say the same about the XR, 500 KTM, or even 690 KTM. The KLR isn’t the best at anything, but it really is an all-bike. Could you modify the crap out of a DR650 and get a functionally similar but lighter bike? Maybe, but it won’t look as good. Could you do the same with a 701 or 690 Enduro? Maybe, but you will spend more and not have anywhere near the dealer or aftermarket network. Would I like a few more ponies? Yes. Does it put a grin on my face without them? Yes. The fact is, I feel like more of a hooligan on the KLR than my Super Tenere or my FZ1. I don’t understand the weight gain with this update, but this new KLR is going to sell like hotcakes. The suspension update in 2014 pretty well addressed suspension issues, so adding better lights, fuel injection, and beefing up the brakes was about all she needed. The rest of the updates are just gravy.

  19. Swell-Rider says:

    Wow I’m totally underwhelmed, hoping for another mid size dual-sport twin with a curb weight and performance to rival the T7, featuring a price to embarrass the KTM 790/890.
    Oh well, guess you have to be looking at life through thick green glasses to love this “update”.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Ride the T7 (and any KTM) back to back with even the old KLR for a dozen or so back to back 14 hr days of meandering, medium speed, south of the border roads with a bit of “trail” thrown in, and unless you are one weird dude, you’ll be a lot more comfortable on the KLR. Both wrt seating position and general engine and chassis demeanor, and wrt range anxiety. KTMs 390 is enough lighter than I can understand some preferring that one, but the twin advs, even the T7, is much more high strung.

      Not that being higher strung than a KLR, or a sloth, is necessarily a bad thing, depending on what one is looking for. But a lot of long distance travelers specifically want a bike primarily optimized for “long.” Not quick. As well as easy to work on, well understood and a priori reliable. For them, there is now an up to date, seemingly nicely kitted from the factory, KLR for a really nice price. People more concerned about quick, already have perfectly good offerings from Yamaha and KTM.

      Being completely useless riding anywhere but on dry pavement, I’m one of those who appreciate how much smaller and lighter the 390 adv is. But if I were to suck it up and get something a bit larger, the new KLR; with abs, EFI and brake discs larger than those on my mountain bike, is definitely about top of the list among full sized adv bikes.

      • todd says:

        Well said. The proud side of me wants to own a Husqvarna 701 Rally (7.4 gallons of fuel!?!?) but I would probably be more comfortable – and arrive at my destination – with a KLR.

      • Jeremy says:

        If you prioritize comfort, I bet you are probably right… The KLR would likely rise to the top of the list.

        I prioritize fun, however, so it would probably be the last off-road oriented ADV I’d spend money on.

        But if I ever need to get from Fairbanks to Ushuaia on a motorcycle, I’m getting their by KLR.

      • Mick says:

        Weird dude here. I never figured out why but the KLR is the only bike that I ever had that my legs catch the wind on and want to blow outward. It made long ride a bit of a chore always holding my legs in against the wind.

  20. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    What a disappointment compared to the current typical dual sport. The term ‘lazy update’ is dead nuts on. I wonder if they at least engineered out the thig-a-ma-jig problem ? Nice that a very few things are improved since the 70s, but heavily DEAD on arrival.
    The 1/4 frontal image actually gives me a headache.

    • Dino says:

      The thing-a-ma-jig was mentioned that the material and shape was updated for the cam chain.
      FI is nice on any bike..
      And a 6 gallon tank.. Nice!

    • richard says:

      the klr got the right updates in its class…you want all the updates of a tenere youll pay 12k if thats what you want..the KLR is a classic ..not good as most of its competition but for the price point its a winner..what were you expecting !

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        Updates are not good design, just more stuff. I was expecting less weight, more power while retaining 650cc size, efficient aerodynamics, and a 6 speed. Less plastic in view would also be just dandy, as would a nice thumper sound instead of the KLR rattle can symphony.

  21. Pity about the weight gain..what makes this thing so bloody heavy? An XR 650 weighs 346 lbs…

  22. TimC says:

    I like how a few comments are like “meh, they only really added FI” – uh, that’s huge. I didn’t know any street-legal bike still existed with carbs. It probably took pretty serious development to get right, as well, unless they already have this same engine in some other bike/market.

    • Kermit T Frog says:

      Suzuki’s DR650 and the DRZ400 twiins all still have carbs. And of course, tubes in the wheels. I have owned the former and it’s a great bike but one in need of an update. Fuel injection, tubeless wheels and a much bigger fuel tank would be in line after all these decades. The tooling is long since paid for on those models but they treat their customers like tools by refusing to update those bikes.

      Royal Enfield’s Himalayan 400 has fuel injection as does their new 350 series and the 650s as well as the 500 series of classic thumpers. The 350s are said to have tubeless wheels standard.

      Tubeless spoked wheels can be done (as can fuel injection) and easily so but apparently the eunuchs that be at Kawasaki and Suzuki lack the testicular fortitude to do more than barf out ad copy. Kinda like Suzuki not even giving their top “cruiser” the M109 Boss antilock brakes.

      Cheap or stupid cheap? I’ll say it is the latter of the two.

      • Jeremy says:

        I know a LOT of people who ride the Japanese dinosaurs (DRs, XRs, KLRs.) A surprising number of people buy those bikes because they use carburetors and the DRs and XRs because they are also air-cooled. I am most definitely not a fan of carburetors, but perhaps they are listening to their customers in this regard.

        I’m not so sure about the tubeless thing on this kind of bike, though. DRs and XRs in particular get used for hardcore off-road riding where I think tube tires offer some easy-to-fix solutions for flats in the field. I’ve seen a few irreparable flats off-road, and they’ve all been on tubeless wheels. That said, if the mountain biking world is any indication, I think the vast majority of off-road riders would risk such seldom irreparable instances to go tubeless if there is no performance penalty off-road.

  23. Kermit T Frog says:

    “The front and rear tires are tube types, making it possible for the rider to carry out any necessary roadside repairs.”

    That is just plain stupid. If this is the case, Kawasaki can just start putting tubes on all ther motorcycles, ATVs, Side By Sides, etc. I see where there is now “…greater useable volume” in the fuel tank. So then, just what is the capacity of said fuel tank?

    They gave it fuel injection. That’s good.

    They pretend that tubes are an advantage, LOL! Again, that is just plain stupid. Hey Kawasaki, you forgot to put the bias ply tires on this one. Surely that must also be deemed a benefit to riders trying to make roadside repairs. Breaking the bead on tires can be difficult. Tubes are not needed on a machine meant PRIMARILY for the roads and highways. I hope all of Kawasaki’s staff from top to bottom use tubed wheels in ALL their vehicles because according to them, doing so makes it possible for the rider to carry out any NECESSARY roadside repairs… 🙂 😉

    I’m buying a Guzzi V85. Does it cost more than the KLR? Yup. My safety and peace of mind are worth that to ME and the Guzzi V85 for 2021 runs tubeless. Is the Goose heavier than the KLR? Yup. Like I give an intercourse. I don’t carry the bike, it carries me. 🙂

    How freakin’ stupid can Kawasaki be? Apparently, very stoooooooooooopid. 😉

  24. Marcus says:

    Sign-me-up 👍.
    Wait… tube type wheels for an easy road side repair??? Never mind.

  25. Mr.Mike says:

    Not a whole new bike but necessary improvements. There are plenty of adventure bike options for more money. It is nice that Kawasaki continues to offer a low-cost option for those with other, more pressing financial obligations. That said, avoiding significant weight gain would have been preferable.

  26. Jeremy says:

    Well, that should keep the purist happy. It is a bit disappointing for me, though. If nothing else, I would have at least liked to have seen them make try to make it lighter. The last thing a KLR needs is an extra 24 lbs. But I guess the best way not to mess up an icon is to not mess with it.

    • Mick says:

      It gained 16 pounds on the 2009 redesign. So it’s really up 40 pounds.

      People treat me as though I am being unreasonable when I complain about how heavy street bikes are. They even make fun of me sometimes.

      So this is what you get. Congratulations.

      Maybe someone should tell Kawasaki that if they are going to fit some new parts to a bike, they should think about taking the old ones off fist.

      • mickey says:

        Only because your demands are unrealistic.

        People would have been thrilled if it had lost 50 pounds and gained 10 hp, but you wouldn’t have been happy unless it lost 100 pounds and gained 30 hp…which is totally unrealistic.

        • todd says:

          Mickey, what you just described is totally realistic. The Husqvarna 701 Enduro is 160 pounds lighter and 35 more hp from 42cc larger engine. Basically it has TWO AND A HALF TIMES the performance of the KLR. I would be perfectly happy with either one though!

          • mickey says:

            Not saying it couldn’t be done todd, I was saying it was unrealistic to expect that Kawasaki would do it to the KLR

            The Japanese just dont work like that.

            The Euros do.

            The Japanese always have (with few exception) built motorcycles for the everyman, whereas the Euros build motorcycles for specific men. Those willing to pay a premium. Those willing to accept more maintenance. Those willing to accept that it will take more personal involvement with their machine. Those willing to accept a sparse dealer network.

            The Japanese COULD build those kinds of motorcycles. It just doesnt fit their corporate policy.

            Kawasaki will sell 10 times as many KLRs as Husky will sell 701 Enduros.

        • Mick says:

          Thanks for illustrating my point.

          I made no comment about power. You did.

          I reserve the right to expect a motorcycle to improve when redesigned over decades. You don’t need to expect more power. That usually comes without asking. The KLR was always a ridiculously heavy bike from day one. Three decades and change later it has done what? Gained weight.

          And right on que. I am treated as unreasonable for expecting improvement over time.

          This is why we don’t get nice things.

          • Jeremy says:

            I think the KLR’s customer base typically wants little to no change. And if one is a KLR fan, clearly weight isn’t a factor in the purchase decision.

            It is as preposterous to me as as it is to you that many people consider a stagnant design as desirable, but there you have it. It should have been pretty easy to knock off a considerable amount of weight while keeping the KLR’s most famous attributes (fuel capacity, simplicity, and comfort) intact. I can’t imagine even KLR purists would have a problem with that. But then I guess Kawasaki probably understood that they didn’t need to bother with that to sell KLRs.

          • Mick says:

            Stagnant is one thing.

            Gaining weight with each redesign is quite another.

            Who in the mid eighties would have ever guessed that a KLR would actually weight more 35 years into the future?

            I bought a 2004 YZ 250 besause I like the feel of the steel frame on rugged trail or ice racing. They weigh 7 pounds more. But at some venues it’s worth it.

            I also have a current generation KTM 300 XC. It’s basically my front line dirt bike. I keep it in Minnesota where I do the bulk of my riding. It’s only about a decade and a half newer. But it has electric start, a steel frame, and is lighter than my 2004.

            This is the sort of progress that dirt bikers expect and receive. Why is it that so many street bikes think that the expectation of progress is unreasonable?

            The KLR is basically a big dirt bike that weighed over 400 pounds when it hit the ground, really hard, in the mid eighties. That it has gained weight by nearly 10% in thirty five years of so called development is just plain contempt for the customer base.

  27. Lui says:

    I think it makes total sense to bring back the KLR. I just wished it would have about 10 more horses, a better suspension and a sixth gear…

  28. mickey says:

    It’s undoubtedly better than the old KLR with the updates but how much better? Refinement rather than much advancement. I really thought they would do something bold.

    Will be interesting to see what the true KLR aficionados think about it.

    Another useless video btw

  29. Mike says:

    I was expecting a lot more, they pushed back the unveiling and kept it a big secret. They could have shaved off some weight and gave us a 6th gear. I was disappointed when I saw it this morning.

  30. Freddie says:

    You did good Kawasaki. I was thinking you would put the versy engine in it and screw it up

  31. Matt W says:

    I like the EFI and LED headlight and also the higher windshield but I was hoping to see a six speed transmission in the updated model.

  32. todd says:

    I traded an older KLR for my Ducati Monster 900 for a week a number of years ago. I’d have to say the KLR was a more comfortable, better handling, more enjoyable motorcycle. Too bad, it was also one of the ugliest and the Monster was one of the best looking bikes. This KLR looks good and is an amazing value. Fans everywhere are rejoicing.

  33. Provologna says:

    Chite! There’s nothing NEW on this thing! /sarc off

  34. MFitz says:

    I guess the market will speak and decide if this is really what it wants, but I agree, it seems like a lazy update and questionable value. Were the KLR screaming masses really calling for such modest updates to a thoroughly outdated motorcycle? Maybe, but as somebody in the market for a bike in this category, I have a hard time paying new bike money for old bike technology. I don’t need or want ride modes and electronic doodads, but a toned down 650 version of a T7 for $2k less would be worth it to me. For $7500 out the door, I might as well buy a …….? Well I guess I don’t have that many options, do I?

  35. Tim says:

    I’m not gonna lie. I was hoping against hope for a clean sheet redesign with a 650 – 700 twin. But then my focus is more on a light weight sports tourer with a bit of off pavement ability as opposed to a more serious dual sport. Back to hoping for a NA release of the Tracer 700, I guess.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I think that this updated KLR 650 is good for all of the KLR fans. The bike has a long history of reliability and is still thousands of dollars cheaper than any of the competition. Not everybody who wants to do a little touring wants or needs a “Rally Ready World Touring machine”.

  37. Warren Bolin says:

    It looks like Kawasaki’s strategy was to update the engine with EFI, make a few small changes and call it a day. Kawasaki engineers and design team must have taken a page from Harley Davidson’s play book, “Lets change it, without changing it”…..Disappointing to say the least.

    • bo says:

      I’m glad they didn’t change too much. Give it EFI and still charge the same? That’ll do. A few other small improvements? Bonus.

    • Tim says:

      I’ll be interested to see the horsepower numbers on it now that it’s fuel injected. I could well increase HP significantly. I have a KLR and love riding it, but it needs more ponies. A six speed transmission for the highway would have been nice too.

      I’m fine that they didn’t try to make a competitor to the 700 Tenere. I think there’s a place for a bike with decent (if not extreme) off road capabilities that you don’t have to trailer if you want to take a day long ride somewhere. That narrow Yamaha saddle just doesn’t fit the bill unless your rear is a lot tougher than mine. The KTM 890 Adventure, and some others, fill the “ride it there” niche as well, but at double the price.

      • Dave says:

        Unless they changed a lot about the engine the change to F.I. won’t do much to increase power, just improve emissions and maybe mileage.

        Everyone wants a 6th gear. Will this thing pull another gear? At the published weight, I’m skeptical.

        • Tim says:

          You are right, Dave. Kawasaki is apparently saying horsepower will be essentially the same, around 40. I thought for sure they could pump out a few more horses, given it was so low to begin with.

  38. Gary in NJ says:

    How about that? Kawasaki gave its customers what they asked for. Not my cup-of-tea, but there is a large group of owners that just wanted Kawasaki to update the KLR…and they actually did. Mind boggling marketing right there.

  39. Lynchenstein says:

    I wonder if Kawasaki still makes a diesel variant for the US Military…

    • Elam Blacktree says:

      Kawasaki never did. Hayes Diversified Technologies bought KLRs and then converted the engines to diesel.