A world away from the high-tech, heavyweight BMW flagship, the Kawasaki KL650 gets all the essentials right and cuts out the extras. It was updated in 2022 after 14 years unchanged, but the new generation should feel very familiar to owners of the older bike. The biggest changes are the switch to fuel injection, optional ABS, and improved efficiency. The chassis has also been redesigned for better rigidity, helping to make the 2022 KLR650 more stable than its predecessor.
Unlike its high-end competition, the Kawasaki doesn’t feature a TFT display with connectivity options, or multiple customizable rider modes. It simply offers a sturdy construction, a tried-and-tested 652cc engine, and minimal distractions. Its price reflects its simpler spec sheet, with the regular KLR650 starting at $6,899 without ABS and the kitted-out KLR650 Adventure clocking in at $8,199 with ABS. The Adventure spec adds options like side cases, fog lamps, and a tank pad, so depending on your intended usage, it’s worth considering the upgrade.