Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycle Reviews on Cycle Insider (10)
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2012-09-17 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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The KLR 650 has earned its reputation for dependability and very reasonable total cost of ownership as compared to its rivals. What I would like to talk about is the hidden potential of this bike as opposed to the two bikes I owned prior (Suzuki DRZ 400S, DR650s). The KLR is superior in ride comfort for those all-day rides as opposed to a two-hour ride. I don't have to be looking for a gas station every couple hours with the KLR either. I seldom have to switch to reserve as I did with my DRZ. The KLR kowling is a little big at first, but if you are not in heavy woods it is fine. The luggage rack is much more practical than the DR and tool kit is better placed. If you are like me, you have to ride a few miles on the Interstate to get to fresh new trails. The KLR is at home on the Interstate and unlike the DRs, it has more top end speed without winding out the engine to its maximum. Water cooled and temperature gauge go together well and you need both in order to monitor your engine conditions properly. On the fire trails the DRs were great, especially at 5K rpm range. The KLR takes some getting used to as it seems to be better suited for cornering at low RPM and using the sheer torque to accelerate out of turns. Engine braking is just as effective at lower RPMs. If you like to ride your thumper at high RPMs, you will not like gearing down in turns with the KLR. But if you can trust the thrust, you will find that the KLR low end still brings you out of tight switchbacks with the tire throwing mud like you like it!! I must insist that you ditch the stock pipe and re-port your carb and open the airbox or else you will never discover the hidden potential in your KLR!!
- Buck Oil Billy, Abingdon, Virginia

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2011-08-01 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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It's been a year since I've gotten this beast! Being a short guy made me a bit reluctant to adapt, but am past that stage now. I cut loose anytime I can on my KLR! This bike will stop at nothing! It's mechanically sound, and handles itself very well under any circumstances. I have only done city and highway riding thus far! On the highway I have had it up to 80 mph. Beware, on a windy day, you feel it more than the bikes with a lower center of gravity. Mileage consumption is now around 50 if I ride it hard, 55+mpg. if I baby it. The KLR is truly a do-it-all bike. I am getting a cruiser to add to the family, but no way I am getting of my big THUMPER!!
- Lucio Oliveira, Spring

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2009-10-17 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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Almost daily use from the back roads in Elk City Idaho to the flat lands of Ritzville, Washington, this bike still delivers all the fun and excitement it did when I first rode it. Regular maintenance has kept the machine running like new. Absolutely no problems. I ride at 70 MPH between farms and fields, a 100 mile round trip. This bike can be a bit top heavy on USFS roads that are wet and muddy so be careful in the turns. This is a big, somewhat top heavy bike so some narrow, side hill trails should be treated with extreme caution. A good ride for a dual purpose if you keep the ride under 250 miles between rest stops. Kawasaki did a good job smoothing out the 1-cylinder engine.
- Jud Prescott, Cheney, Washington

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2009-07-02 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the second installment/review of this bike. In 1 year of owning this bike I am still satisifed and agree with my past review on 12/8/2008. Now breaking past to 10k mile barrier the bike is still handling like a champ. I've smoothed out the ride with a set of Avon Distanzia tires and added Elf Synthetic oil to the mix which has improved the sound and performance during shifting up or down the scale. No oil burning issues. On the long ride this bike is comfortable even with the stock seat. When climbing hills the lower torque of this bike give the umph needed, this KLR loves to climb, lots of power when needed. Brakes still responding very well (I'm a pretty conservative rider). The current stator/powerplant has supported a variety of items, extra turnsignals/lighting, GPS, HID aux lights, etc., Although I do connect to a battery tender every night just to make sure. If you are looking for an excellent commuter, adventure tourer bike while on a tight budget the KLR650 is an excellent choice. Too many pluses to pass up.
- HawkeSHR, Perkasie, Pennsylvania

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2009-04-29 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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Had my 09 Thumper now since Oct 08. Took the correct precautions with break-in which is a make or breaker(went by on-line forums, not the manual)and this thing is SWEET! Adjusted the rear shock pre-load and return pressure for my weight, as it comes pre-set for smaller folks, and I've been very pleased with it. Anyway, the KLR is a great machine as long as you keep it in it's realm. Too heavy for a real dirt bike...and the OE tires pretty much suck. It's more of a logging road, dirt/gravel road type of bike, but if you're looking for something that you can ride on the street to get there(5 plus gals of gas), and then ride off the street once you arrive, it's right up your alley, and seems to be dependable with some of the problems of earlier models (dohickey) worked out. I commute on it and I love it. Good price too! All in all a fun piece, durable of equipment.
- Scott Durham, Shaver Lake, California

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2009-04-12 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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I initially bought this bike as an inexpensive commuter, and the KLR650 has filled that role very well. What made me choose the KLR over other models was the large fuel tank, liquid cooling, rear rack, fairing and upgraded gauges/styling that other bikes didn't offer, not to mention the KLR was less expensive. That was the icing on the cake. I've had 14 or 15 other bikes, most of which were high horsepower sportbikes. What surprised me most about the KLR was that even though it isn't a speed demon, and even though it's not the most powerful bike in the world, the bike is extremely satisfying in many, many ways. I consider it to be one of the best motorcycles I've ever owned to the point where I consider it a keeper. Bikes come and bikes go, but if I get rid of them all one day, there will always be a place for a KLR. The bike is that good. The handling in the twisties is on par (or better) than all the high end sportbikes I've ever owned. If you are mechanically inclined, the single cylinder is a breeze to maintain and adds to the satisfaction of doing the job yourself. I gave it a 4 for reliability due to an improperly routed wire harness that left me stranded going to work one day. Other than that, the bike has been flawless. When I wear this KLR out, I will buy another. One more plus is that the bike looks great dirty!
- Kirk Salmons, Front Royal, Virginia

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2009-01-24 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is a big boy's toy. This bike even has the dirt bike boys wondering. My bike has about 700 miles on the asphalt and the rest off road. I have ridden across the Mojave Desert and even through the BLM. It takes everything you can throw at it and keeps smiling. On Thanksgiving '08 I rode some rocky terrain and broke a crank case cover and rode 25 miles back to camp while leaving an oil trail. I had the cover welded at work and filled the bike with oil and we are back in action. I love this bike!
- Adrian Garcia, Fillmore, California

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2008-05-19 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the first bike I've owned since 1978. The KLR 650 is a great ride on pavement or dirt. It is very comfortable, has plenty of power and gets good gas mileage @ 53 mpg. I am very satisfied with the total package.
- Tom Plank, Edison, Washington

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2008-02-29 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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I just got this 3 weeks ago after doing lots of research and debating between this, the Honda XR650L and Suzuki DR650. It was a hard decision because they're all great bikes. I mainly picked the KLR because of its 6.1 gallon tank, bigger seat and the fact that it offers more accessories than the others. It goes in for its first service next week, but so far, I've been really happy with it and no problems. It has lots of power throughout the gears and has no problems doing the 75 mph speed limits with my wife and I on it. I averaged 51 MPG on the first tank of fuel. I recommend this for anyone that's looking for a good all around bike.
- Dennis Pennington, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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2008-02-19 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Motorcycles View Listings

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This bike is a great all around performer. I purchased it in mid-October. It gets 52-55 mpg, has good power, great handling, a comfortable seat and a great riding position. It has a useful fairing and excellent headlights. It is not an elegant, refined machine or an aggressive street fighter, but just a great all-around motorbike that can go just about anywhere, including from the interstate to the off-road park and back without all the trailering, etc. Just ride it TO the trails, ride it ON the trails, ride it BACK, hose off the dirt. Great enduro tradition, but with the obvious limitations of enduros. Comfortable for many hours at a time.
- JEB, Stockton, California

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