There’s a new version of the indestructible dual sport from Kawasaki – but at the minute there’s no plans for it to come to Europe.

First launched way back in 1987, the KLR650 had a good run before it was discontinued in 2018. It’d been phased out in Europe long before as result of ever stricter emissions regulations. But now there’s a new model on the cards.

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It’s powered by a 652cc liquid-cooled single cylinder motor much like the outgoing unit – and although it gets an electronic injection, sadly it’s not been developed to meet Euro 5 regulations. But just because it won’t be going on sale over here, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to know more about the latest iteration of the iconic machine.

Although the engine is essentially the same, there has been some changes to the cam profiles, exhaust pipe diameter, clutch, battery, starting system and catalyst too. It gets a five speed gearbox too – with a revised third gear for off-road riding, while fourth and fifth have been tweaked for improved high speed riding.

The chassis is the same steel semi double cradle number as before – but with the addition of a new subframe and swingarm – while the 41mm front forks (with 200mm of travel) have been improved, as has the Uni-track damper (with 185mm of travel).  The front disc is now a larger and thicker 300mm petal number – available with or without ABS. As you’d expect, it also gets a 21inch front a 17inch rear wheel – perfect for tackling tricky terrain off-road.

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That’s not all – the handlebars and footrests have been repositioned, the fuel tank has more capacity and the windshield is higher for more protection. And of course, there’s new bodywork too – set off by LED headlights, an LCD dash, new turn signals and a new brake light too.

Prices start from $6,699 for the basic model, while the more equipped Adventure (with LED auxiliary lights, engine protection, tank pads and power sockets) will set punters back $7,999.

Ross Mowbray

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