2012 Kawasaki KLR650

This is the Kawasaki KLR 650 we rode across the US and thru Mexico in 2014-2015.  The bike was purchased used with approximately 6000 miles on it.  It included the rear lock box, heated grips, and the plastic had been coated with a spray on bed liner.

I added the 20L locking aluminium Panniers, upgraded the rear shock with a stiffer spring, added progressive springs and new fork oil in the front shocks, added an aluminium skid plate, highway pegs, up-gauged the rear wheel spokes, replace cam chain balancer adjuster (Do-Hicky), replaced the stock seat with  Sargent custom seat, added a front fork brace, a USB charger, moose racing hand grip protectors, steel braided front brake lines, tank bag, and made a steel mesh protector for the head lamp and radiator.

The bike is a little under powered on the expressways however you can still cruise around 75mph but your getting close to the top end.  The whole idea on this trip was to avoid the expressways so this has not been to much of a problem.  If we were going to ride more expressways, I think I would have gone with a different bike.

We did take the bike on a 500 mile shake down ride through the mountains of Oregon and Northern California taking a lot of dirt back country roads and fire roads.  The bike handles well enough through the more technical stuff, but it is no dirt bike, nor did I expect it to be.

What I like about the bike:
It was cheap, it is light weight, it has a decent amount of torque at the low end, it has a reliable engine as long as you keep up with the maintenance,  It is carberated and therefore easy to work on. All in all it is a pretty easy bike to work on.  Parts are readily available and there are a lot of after market options. 

What I dislike about the bike:
The frame and front forks are not very stiff when you add all the extra load, and it is under powered at the top end.  The transmission really could use another gear to go with a little more power.  If Kawasaki fixed these two big issues i think this bike could seriously compete with the high end adventure bikes like the BMW and the KTM.

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