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Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018)

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Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018) Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018)

Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018)






With its original livery reflecting the style of the late ’80s, the 1987 Kawasaki KLR650 looked like a big dirt bike but was also good on the street and on long-distance tours. (Photo courtesy Kawasaki)
Here we are, at the beginning of a new year and the end of an era. After a 32-year run (1987-2018), Kawasaki has ceased production of the KLR650. After tens of thousands of units sold and millions of miles ridden around the globe, the legendary dual-sport has been retired. A victim of ever-tightening emissions regulations, the KLR and its lone carburetor are being put out to pasture.
In its early days Kawasaki billed the KLR not as a dual-sport but as a “triple-sport,” a motorcycle good for street, dirt and touring. That aligned perfectly with Rider?s focus on touring, travel and adventure, and since the KLR has always been reasonably priced, even more so when purchased used, it also fit within the limited budgets of staffers and contributors. Editor-in-Chief Mark Tuttle, Managing Editor Jenny Smith and Senior Editor Yours Truly have owned, and loved, KLRs. And long-time dual-sport contributor Arden Kysely owned not one but two KLRs, racking up more than 65,000 miles.
Brochure for the 1987 Kawasaki KLR650.
In the October 2013 issue of Rider, Clement Salvadori wrote his Retrospective column about the 1993-1996 Kawasaki KLX650, a more powerful, more off-road-oriented spin-off of the KLR, and he summed up the icon?s early history:
“On the conservative end was the venerable KLR650, which began life as a 600 in 1984 and showed a very modern approach to dual-sporting as it had the first liquid-cooled engine, with a kickstarter and a smallish gas tank holding just three gallons. For 1985, the engine-starting procedure got an electric leg, and sales showed that customers liked this innovation, the first in the single-cylinder dual-sport world. This 600 grew into a 650 in ?87, and the gas tank grew to 6.1 gallons. This was followed by the brief one-year appearance of the Tengai version in 1990, essentially a restyling of the standard KLR with a Paris-Dakar look and a bigger fairing. These bikes were directed at riders of modest accomplishments who liked to ride 50 miles to a national forest and then potter along dirt roads for half a day.” Read about the first-gen KLR in “Re-Cycling: 1987-2007 Kawasaki KLR650”
Rider’s first test of the Kawasaki KLR650 was a three-bike tour test comparison published in the April 1989 issue.
Salvadori was on hand for the KLR650?s first test in Rider, a three-bike tour test comparison with the Honda Transalp and BMW R100GS published in the April 1989 issue, two years after the KLR650 was introduced. (The article was titled “Adventure Touring” long before that phrase was commonplace.) With Editor Mark Tuttle and Technical Editor Bob Price in tow, Clem led the gang through Death Valley–up Goler Wash, out to Aguereberry Point and through Emigrant Canyon–ba...
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Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018) Requiem for the Kawasaki KLR650 (1987-2018)

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Fuente de la noticia: ridermagazine
Fecha de publicación: 23-01-2019 21:21
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