Kawasaki KLV 1000 review

As big trailies go, the KLV is on a par with the Honda Varadero, not quite as good as Aprilia's Caponord and no where near as good as the BMW R1200GS
Fresh orange styling, coupled with proven performance
Is it really anything other than a cynical rehash?

Kawasaki has taken Suzuki's V-Strom, painted the frame and swingarm black, stuck on a slightly different front fairing with an adjustable screen, changed the mirrors and clocks and painted it orange. That's it, not a sausage more.

This makes it feel very similar to the V-Strom, but ironically for Suzuki, it actually improves the bike. The big V-twin engine is the same TL1000 derived motor as the V-Strom and is the bike's best feature. It thumps out a decent amount of stomp, which makes the KLV surprisingly fast. Low in the rev range it gets lumpy and can feel a bit rough, but get it up and spinning and it's got loads of power. And usefully enough the top gear is very tall, making it a good overdrive.

The riding position is typical big trailie. It's comfortable with high bars and a wide seat that actually feels more padded than the V-Strom's, although my arse may have become more padded since I last rode one. The new Kawasaki clocks are better than the V-Stroms, clearer and with a larger Kawasaki has taken Suzuki's V-Strom, painted the frame and swingarm black, stuck on a slightly different front fairing with an adjustable screen, changed the mirrors and clocks and painted it orange. That's it, not a sausage more.

This makes it feel very similar to the V-Strom, but ironically for Suzuki, it actually improves the bike. The big V-twin engine is the same TL1000 derived motor as the V-Strom and is the bike's best feature. It thumps out a decent amount of stomp, which makes the KLV surprisingly fast. Low in the rev range it gets lumpy and can feel a bit rough, but get it up and spinning and it's got loads of power. And usefully enough the top gear is very tall, making it a good overdrive.

The riding position is typical big trailie. It's comfortable with high bars and a wide seat that actually feels more padded than the V-Strom's, although my arse may have become more padded since I last rode one. The new Kawasaki clocks are better than the V-Stroms, clearer and with a larger

Length (mm)2295
Width (mm)910
Height (mm)1395
Dryweight (kg)208
Seats0
Seat Height (mm)840
Suspension Front43 mm cartridge fork, fully adjustable spring preload
Suspension RearBottom-Link, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring reload
Tyres Front110/80R19 M/C (59H)
Tyres Rear150/70R17 M/C (69H)
Brakes FrontDual floating 310 mm discs, dual twin-piston caliper
Brakes RearSingle 260 mm disc, single-piston caliper
Wheelbase (mm)1535
ChassisTwin-spar, aluminium
Cubic Capacity (cc)996
Bore (mm)98
Stroke (mm)66
Compression Ratio11.3
IgnitionElectronic
CoolingLiquid Cooled
Fuel DeliveryEFI
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Fresh orange styling, coupled with proven performance
Is it really anything other than a cynical rehash?