Kawasaki didn’t reinvent the wheel when it reintroduced the KLR650 in 2021. Despite a three-year hiatus and the dual-sport/adventure market modernizing with every model year, the big thumper returned with a five-speed transmission and the same low-tech electronic suite. On the other hand, Team Green replaced the KLR’s carburetor with electronic fuel injection (EFI), added LED lighting, and offered new ABS options.
That prudent approach may have kept the KLR650 on the simple side, but it kept the dual-sport affordable as well. Customers can easily use those savings to kit out the KLR before or after purchase. In the U.S., Kawi presented the slightly revised platform in three different flavors. The Traveler trim increases the carrying capacity with a top case, improves convenience with a DC socket, and enhances safety with ABS.
The Adventure variant only builds on those foundations with side cases, fog lamps, frame sliders, and a tank pad. However, for those that prefer to build their own adventure-worthy machine, the standard KLR presents the best blank canvas. Of course, owners can always turn to Kawasaki’s accessories catalog, but Utah-based Rocky Mountain ATV/MC has even more options in store.
Stocking brands like Enduro Engineering, Tusk, Doubletake Mirror, and Thumper Jockey, RMATVMC knows what it takes to turn the KLR650 into a bonafide adventurer. From creature comforts like the Seats Concepts foam and seat cover to ergo upgrades such as handlebar to crash protection, the shop spared no expense when it came to its KLR650 build.
While most owners won't go to those extents, the shop makes a good case for updating critical components. One major complaint about the new KLR lies in the rubber-mounted footpegs. If your travel plans take you off the beaten path, rigid-mounted platforms will only add control and confidence to your off-road riding. Similarly, the low-profile magnetic drain bolt also minimizes the possibility of cracking your cases when encountering challenging obstacles.
Of course, the rider’s destination and skill level will determine their luggage, performance, and convenience needs, but RMATVMC’s KLR650’s adventure build showcases the new dual-sports full potential.
Sources: Kawasaki, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC