Kawasaki KLR 650 Gen 2 – My weapon of choice

The big thumper brings me a lot of joy and hate. The bike is slow, but pulls like a tractor. It’s heavy, but light when riding swiftly. I’ve gone a many adventures on this bike and it continues to keep thumping. I don’t treat it like it’s precious, I feel that it likes to be treated rough. It’s cheap, so why be scared to drop it, oh but yes, it’s heavy! I’ve had to pick up this bike many times that it feels like a gym workout. There’s so much to love about this bike, that it’s clear why that it’s popular amongst adventure riders.

I won’t lie, this bike wasn’t my first choice. I was actually favouring a Kawasaki KLX 250 or KLX 300, I lean more towards the later. I was also eyeing on the notorious Suzuki DR 650. The primary reason why I did not go with those bikes and with the KLR is because of pillion comfort. My fiancé enjoys being a pillion, and cheap dual sports with pillion comfort is a niche on it’s own. People may argue that the KLR isn’t comfortable for a pillion, but my fiancé will disagree and that’s all that matters.

I have no plans yet to change this bike, and will keep on trying to push it’s limits.


The KLR 650 is a 651cc, 4 stroke, single piston engine. It puts out roughly 42 horsepower and has a 5 speed gear box. Max torque is 47nm at 5000rpm and weighs in a 194kg stock.

It uses tubes within its tires, and run with a 21inch front and a 17 rear. Ground clearance sit at 210mm.

The max speed I can push this thing stock on a flat road is roughly 140kmph

The stock bike provides you with a good base plate to add mods as desired. I wouldn’t get hung up on trying to get performance mods, as you won’t expect a big difference.

Stock 2015 KLR 650

Current Mods


Every bike that goes off-road should get a pair of these. They’re no brainer purchase. The amount of times these have saved my hands are countless and have provided me with a lot of confidence when going along on single track trails.

They’re super durable and have yet to see one that’s bent.

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SW-Motech Crash bars

These are some very strong crash bars that I highly recommend for you KLR owners. As you can tell from the picture that I’ve dropped it a number of times. I didn’t notice and movement in the protection or bends. They’ve kept my fairings from being cracked.

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Alternatively, you could avoid the crash bars and go for a weight reduction method and use a safari tank.

KLR 650 Safari tank

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SW-Motech Skid plate

Another strong product from SW-Motech. This has taken a beating and still holding up very strong. It also prevents the oil release bolt from getting taken off.

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Pro taper bars

The stock KLR bars will bend on your first drop, I can guarantee.

These pro taper bars are a fantastic edition and have held to be very strong.

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B&B Rear rack

This isn’t a must have and more of a nice to have for those travellers. Many mounting points and strong design. It was something that I got that came with the bike.

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SW-Motech Foot pegs

The stock pegs are very slippery so I highly suggest getting some aftermarket ones. My bike take with SW-Motech pegs and their great, just remove the useless rubber mound on top.

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Another good alternative is to buy the one by tusk

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