Kawasaki revealed an updated version of its popular KLR650 dual-sport at the New York International Motorcycle Show. The new KLR650 isn’t exactly a full model-year replacement as Kawasaki had already announced the 2014 model; instead Kawasaki is calling it the KLR650 New Edition, offering it for a retail price of $6,599, a $100 premium over the “old edition” KLR650.
The extra Benjamin Franklin gets you new springs for both front and rear suspension, multi-contour dimpled seat and revised graphics. According to MO’s reliable sources at Kawasaki, these seemingly minor updates really do make a BIG difference in the KLR’s handling and feel. The bike handles better everywhere, dives less when braking on pavement and feels more like a dirtbike when ridden off-road.
According to Kawasaki, the upgraded 41mm fork are 40% firmer springs and 27% firmer rebound damping. At the rear, the Uni-Trak linkage suspension offers a 63% higher spring rate while the rebound damping settings are 83% firmer.The rear suspension continues to offer five positions of preload adjustment and rebound damping with four levels of tuning.
The new seat is narrower and more tapered at the front, which should make for a shorter reach to the ground while maintaining its 35-inch seat height. The back of the seat however is wider and less tapered to improve rider comfort.
Otherwise, the New Edition is the same as the old KLR650, with its proven carbureted 651cc Single, five-speed transmission, broad fairing and 6.1-gallon fuel tank. Braking duties are again handled by a two-piston caliper with a single 280mm petal-type disc up front and a single-piston caliper with 240mm disc at the back. Kawasaki claims a curb weight of 432 pounds, the same as the old KLR650.
The 2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition will be offered in three color options: Candy Lime Green and Ebony, Metallic Flat Raw Graystone and Ebony or Pearl Stardust White and Ebony.
[Source: Kawasaki; photos by Sean Alexander]