August 2, 2012

Motorcycle Preview: 2013 Kawasaki KLR650

For the last decade, the KLR™650 has been one of the top industry sales for the dual-sport motorcycle category. It is designed to be the adventurer’s tool of choice and it can deliver fuel efficiency, cargo-carrying capabilities, effective wind protection and unbelievable value, so that adventurous riders need only pick their course and hit the road, or dirt, as the case may be.

A single-cylinder, 651cc four-stroke engine propels this globe-trotting explorer. Its healthy low-end grunt and easy to modulate throttle provide the perfect power profile to maximize traction, carve through trails or deal with rush-hour traffic jams.

Matching the engine’s abilities every step of the way is the KLR650’s suspension. A 41mm fork with 7.9 inches of suspension travel up front, and a Uni-Trak® linkage system providing 7.3 inches of wheel travel in the rear combine to make the KLR650 a fun, functional commuter during the week and an adept backroad blaster on weekends.

Braking duties are handled by a dual-piston caliper gripping a 280mm petal-style disc in the front, and a 240mm petal-style disc squeezed by a single-piston caliper in the rear. This suspension and brake package boosts the KLR650’s on-road performance without diminishing its versatile off-road capabilities.

An expansive, saddlebag-friendly, rear luggage rack that can be fitted with a tail bag helps to make the KLR650 a worthy touring companion. A large, 5.8-gallon fuel tank and exemplary fuel economy mean the KLR650 can cover an amazing amount of ground between fill-ups.

That fuel range can translate into a long day in the saddle, so good wind protection is a must. This important job is handled by the frame-mounted bodywork, which includes a tall windscreen and large shrouds. Rider comfort is enhanced further by the seat design and plush urethane foam. A high-capacity 36-watt alternator pumps out enough juice for a high-output headlight and has the extra capacity to power the add-on electronic gadgets that no touring rider can live without.

The KLR650’s competent on-road performance continues once the pavement stops. A tough engine guard keeps loose rocks and gravel at bay, while its U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor grants the KLR650 access to any terrain open to licensed vehicles. Add the optional Kawasaki tank, tail and saddlebags, and you have a recipe for long-distance exploration, beckoning KLR650 owners to enjoy on- and off-road adventures.

2013 Kawasaki KLR650 Key Features

• Ultimate on and off-road motorcycle is the best-selling dual-sport seven years in a row
• Durable 651cc single-cylinder engine produces smooth, user-friendly power
• Comfortable wind protection and 6.1-gallon fuel tank allows for long-range adventure touring
• Aluminum rear cargo rack provides plenty of space for luggage
• 41mm telescopic fork supplies all-day rider comfort
• Adjustable Uni-Trak® rear suspension offers a smooth, controlled ride
• Twin-piston front disc brake and single-piston rear disc brake furnish excellent stopping power

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