2018 Last Year of the Kawasaki KLR650 - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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2018 Last Year of the Kawasaki KLR650

Looks like Kawasaki is ending production of the KLR650. RIP to the old dog of ADV bikes. I owned 2, a '06 and '08. I put over 60,000 miles on the two and neither ever suffered any kind of failure. I would have to call them the most reliable and hassle free bikes I ever owned. Rumor is (mostly rumor) that the replacement will be a more adventure ready Versys. I would rather see a new single.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 07:06 PM
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That's really interesting. It's consistently been one of the top-selling Kawasaki bikes, so I'd be surprised if the KLR badge disappeared entirely.
My experience with my 2010 was unlike yours - I never really bonded with it or liked it on any level. It was reliable but felt very much like the 1980s bike that it was. Cheap components, fit and finish were acceptable but showed wear under use, and a suspension and brakes that were so basic they were unfit for the task.
I bet they could update it to modern fuel injection, modern suspension and rework the general look and sell them by the dozens at the current price.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by superfunkomatic View Post
That's really interesting. It's consistently been one of the top-selling Kawasaki bikes, so I'd be surprised if the KLR badge disappeared entirely.
My experience with my 2010 was unlike yours - I never really bonded with it or liked it on any level. It was reliable but felt very much like the 1980s bike that it was. Cheap components, fit and finish were acceptable but showed wear under use, and a suspension and brakes that were so basic they were unfit for the task.
I bet they could update it to modern fuel injection, modern suspension and rework the general look and sell them by the dozens at the current price.



For every one BMW that traveled around the world I bet a dozen KLRs did it also. The bike's ruggedness and reliability were its biggest assets, and that 6 gallon tank. It's common to see 20 yr old KLRs still in action. As far as I know the highest mileage unopened KLR motor was probably owned by a Tennessee motorcycle mechanic who went 144,000 miles before any major work was needed on his gen1 engine. The bike could be made to handle quite well but there wasn't much hope for the lack of power. Not even the 685 or 705 kits offered much more. There was an entire aftermarket dedicated to it so I guess now they'll have to cut their '80s mullet hairstyles and move into the 21st century.



The reason for its demise is with the bore of the engine, large cylinders warp and leak more than smaller cylinders. The old engine would need a near complete redesign to get it to pass new emission regs. The Honda XR650L and Suzuki DR650 are also headed to oblivion for the same reasons. An article I read last year claimed even the modern engine design of the KTM 690 and Husky 701 just barely pass emission tests.



I loved my KLR but when I rode the Africa Twin I knew I was going to love it a lot more. There wasn't room for two bikes so the KLR had to leave. I would like to see a faster and lighter rally style single take its place though.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 01:14 AM
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Same here. Had my KLR since 09, rode it everyday to/from work, tech days, etc... it has really been good to me. But once I was able to get my hands on the AT, sadly I haven't touched the KLR much. I still have it and will keep it for sentimental sake. Also have 2 Gen 1s tucked away in the garage just in case.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:15 PM
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Yea I gotta say it as a former KLR owner - it the bikes motto - It does everything, it just doesn’t do everything well.... On that bike you could be in some remote rainforest in some small country and need an engine part and someone close by would have an old KLR motor. That “old school” simple easy and CHEAP to work on motor has been around for a decade and I would also add a very reliable one to boot. It took nothing but fuel and oil changes for the four years I owned one, lol not even a air filter change cause it has on old school washable foam air filter... yea it’s dated but it does the job and does it VERY cheaply and reliably....

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