Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Preview

2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Preview

2011 KLR 650

The 2011 Kawasaki KLR650 opens up a world of possibilities. Equally at home on Forest Service roads as it is on the U.S. Interstate, the KLR650 is the motorcycle you want when your travel plans take you through all sorts of terrain, on-road or off.

Its sturdy single-cylinder engine provides non-stop power and incredible fuel efficiency. Comfortable wind protection and a 5.8-gallon fuel tank ensure that motorcycle riders can go a long way between stops.

An aluminum rear cargo rack has plenty of space to accommodate saddlebags or a tail bag as well. Its a package that multitudes of motorcycle riders have flocked to: the Kawasaki KLR650 has been the best-selling dual-sport motorcycle six years in a row.

The Kawasaki single-cylinder, 651cc four-stroke engine provides the muscle for this world motorcycle traveler and is all-around performer provides quick throttle response and healthy low-end grunt.

A 41mm fork with 7.9-inches of suspension travel up front, and a Kawasaki Uni-Trak linkage system providing 7.3-inches of wheel travel in the rear combine to make the Kawasaki KLR 650 a fun, functional commuter during the week and an adept back road blaster on weekends.

Dual-piston caliper grip a 280mm petal-style disc at the front, and a 240mm petal-style disc squeezes by a single-piston caliper at the rear. This suspension and brake package boosts the KLR650 on-road streetbike performance without diminishing its versatile off-road motorcycle capabilities.

An expansive, saddlebag-friendly, rear luggage rack that can be fitted with a tail bag helps to make the KLR650 a worthy touring motorcycle. A large, 5.8-gallon fuel tank and exemplary fuel economy mean the KLR650 can cover an amazing amount of ground between fill-ups.

That Kawasaki KLR650 fuel range can translate into a long day in the saddle, so good wind protection is a must. This important job is handled by the frame-mounted bodywork, which includes a tall windscreen and large shrouds.

Rider comfort is enhanced further by the seat design and plush urethane foam. A high-capacity 36-watt alternator pumps out enough juice for a high-output headlight and has the extra capacity to power the add-on electronic gadgets that no touring rider can live without.

The 2011 KLR650 competent on-road performance continues once the pavement stops. A tough engine guard keeps loose rocks and gravel at bay, while its U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor grants the KLR650 access to any terrain open to licensed vehicles.

Add the optional Kawasaki tank, tail and saddlebags, and you have a recipe for long-distance exploration, beckoning KLR650 owners to enjoy on- and off-road adventures. (Other authentic Kawasaki Accessories are available through Kawasaki motorcycle dealers.)

2011 Kawasaki KLR650 | Motorcycle Specs

  • Engine: Four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve single
  • Displacement: 651cc
  • Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.8:1
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Carburetion: Keihin CVK40
  • Ignition: Electric CDI
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Final drive: Chain
  • Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
  • Rake / trail: 28 degrees / 4.4 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 41mm telescopic fork / 7.9 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-Trak single-shock system with 5-way preload and stepless rebound damping / 7.3 in.
  • Front tire: 90/90×21
  • Rear tire: 130/80×17
  • Front brake: Single 280mm petal-type disc, two-piston caliper
  • Rear brake: Single 240mm disc, single-piston caliper
  • Overall length: 90.4 in.
  • Overall width: 37.8 in.
  • Overall height: 53.1 in.
  • Ground clearance: 8.3 in.
  • Seat height: 35.0 in.
  • Curb weight: 432 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 5.8 gal.
  • Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
  • Color choices: Metallic Flat Raw Graystone / Ebony,
  • Candy Plasma Blue / Galaxy Silver,
  • Candy Burnt Orange / Galaxy Silver
  • Warranty: 12 months

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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