The Kawasaki KLR650 is back – but sadly, not for us!

The thumping Kawasaki KLR650 dual-sport motorcycle is back and ready to pound the trails

Kawasaki KLR650

KAWASAKI has just welcomed a bit of a legend back into the Team Green fold, as the KLR650 makes a welcome return to sale.

The updated version of the bike picks up where the original 1987 machine left off and provides users with a cost-effective and dependable machine for mud-plugging and general off-road tomfoolery.

Fans of the original machine’s rugged simplicity will be reassuringly pleased with the makeover, as the 2021 (or 2022 as Americans seem to call it) has lost none of its straightforward charms. At its heart is still a 652cc engine that produces a handy but not hefty 39.1lb-ft of torque – power is not disclosed but think somewhere around the 35 – 45bhp mark.

The bike now comes equipped with an LCD dash, upgraded from the analogue item of the previous bike, and aside from that, the only other creature comfort on offer is the ABS system that is standard on the two upper trim levels.

The rest of the bike is a case study in dependability; five-speed transmission, steel frame and swingarm, telescopic forks, and a single two-piston sliding caliper. It’s sounding very much like the old bike, just with a few 2021 tweaks to the recipe…

The styling is a bit change from before, with the KLR seeming to take a leaf out of the Z900’s book of getting dressed. The fairing is more complex and angular, while the headlight could indeed be lifted from any number of Kawasaki’s naked roadsters – the family DNA is really very evident.

The new KLR comes in three flavours: Base KLR650 $6,699, Kawasaki KLR650 ABS: $6,999, Kawasaki KLR650 Traveler: $7,399, 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure: $7,999. That means in today’s cash, the thumper from Kawasaki would be around the £6k mark for us Brits’.

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If it came to these shores, would you consider this as your do-it-all off-roader?

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 specs



 Single cylinder



Bore x stroke

 100 x 83mm

Compression ratio



 DOHC; 4 valves


 Keihin EFI w/ 40mm throttle body



Final drive



Front suspension; travel

 Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 7.9 inches

Rear suspension; travel

 Linkage-assisted spring-preload and rebound damping adjustable shock; 7.3 inches


 Dunlop K750

Front tire

 90/90 x 21

Rear tire

 130/80 x 17

Front brake

 300mm disc

Rear brake

 240mm disc


 Optional ($300)



 60.6 inches


 30 degrees


 4.8 inches

Seat height

 34.3 inches

Fuel capacity

 6.1 gallons

Curb weight

 456 pounds (ABS - 461 pounds; Traveler; 472 pounds; Adventure; 487 pounds)



 Pearl Sand Khaki; Pearl Lava Orange


 Pearl Sand Khaki

KLR650 Traveler

 Pearl Lava Orange

KLR650 Adventure

 Cypher Camo Gray