Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Preview

2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Preview

2012 Kawasaki Motorcycle

Since its introduction in 1987, the Kawasaki KLR has been the leading player in the dual-sport market. The KLR, the top-selling dual sport for the past seven years, is simplicity at its best, and this concept continues in 2012.

Powering this dual-sport icon is a 651cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine with liquid cooling and the a basic carburetor with great throttle response. The bike is tuned for low-end grunt for those rugged trails, and designed with long suspension travel up front (7.9 inches) and out back (7.3 inches).

Stopping the 2012 KLR are a dual-piston caliper gripping a 280mm petal-style disc in the front, and a 240mm petal-style disc squeezed by a single-piston caliper in the rear.

Dual-sport amenities are address with effective wind protection, an expansive, saddlebag-friendly, rear luggage rack that can be fitted with a tail bag and a 5.8-gallon gas tank.

Kawasaki says: "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."

From sand and rocky trails to the morning commute, the 2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 was designed to take it on. And with up to 60 mpg and a price tag under $6,300, the KLR 650 is perfect to combat tough economical times.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Kawaskai KLR 650 Dual Sport.

2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 Dual Sport Highlights:

Engine

  • Cam timing and tuning combination aid in producing a broad, user-friendly powerband
  • Smooth bends on the one-piece exhaust pipe permit exhaust efficiency at all rpm
  • Light, silent cam chain contributes to a quieter engine
  • Double engine balancer helps engine run smoothly from idle to redline for less fatigue on long rides
  • Advanced piston ring design helps minimize oil consumption
  • Oil-level window permits easy and accurate inspection
  • Compact combustion chamber allows increased compression ratio with less detonation yet provides maximum valve area for optimum flow
  • Boosts low-end torque with sufficient power at all rpm
  • Secondary air (ASV) system helps reduce harmful exhaust emissions

Liquid Cooling

  • Thin and lightweight Denso radiator fitted with a lightweight and thin cooling fan for maximum cooling efficiency, even at low speeds
  • Maintains consistent engine temperatures for long engine life and sustained power during hard use
  • Allows tighter engine clearances for quieter running
  • Includes a temperature gauge

Ignition

  • Fully transistorized ignition unit more precisely controls timing no matter how fast the rpm changes
  • Long, trouble-free lifespan

Transmission

  • The engine’s broad torque curve means only five speeds are needed for off-road sprinting and relaxed highway cruising
  • O-ring drive chain for reduced maintenance and long chain service life

Suspension

  • Beefy, 41mm front fork with 7.9 inches of travel is rigid and plush enough to tackle on and off-road terrain and provide all-day comfort to the rider
  • High-mounted front fender for any adventure-touring situation
  • Rear Uni-Trak suspension features a five-way preload shock absorber with four-way rebound damping and 7.3 inches of rear wheel travel
  • Progressive rate provides a smooth, controlled ride
  • D-section swingarm contributes to the bike’s excellent traction
  • 4mm spokes provide wheel stiffness, further enhancing handling performance and improving steering response

Chassis

  • Semi-double cradle frame made of high-tech, round-section, high-tensile steel
  • Detachable rear subframe provides access to the rear shock, airbox and carburetor for easy maintenance
  • Large rear cargo rack included

Engine Guard

  • Protects engine from rocks and trail debris when the going gets tough

Brakes

  • Lightweight 280mm front and 240mm rear petal-style discs offer excellent braking

Lighting

  • Dual-bulb headlamp offers great night illumination
  • Tail light, parking light and the high-mounted turn signals improve the KLR650’s visibility at night or in poor visibility conditions

5.8-gallon fuel tank

  • Generous capacity permits serious adventure touring

Additional Highlights

  • Bodywork includes a large fairing for great wind protection
  • Alternator output is 17 amps, with a total capacity of 36 watts to provide ample power for the headlight as well as add-on grip heaters and other accessories
  • Easy-to-read instrument panel is mounted to the frame and includes a large-face speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter and water temperature gauge
  • Urethane seat foam offers all-day comfort for long-distance riding
  • Optional extended warranty

2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 Dual Sport Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve single
  • Displacement: 651cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.8:1
  • Cooling System : Liquid
  • Carburetion: Keihin CVK40
  • Ignition: Electric CDI
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Final drive: Chain
  • Frame Type: 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 Size: 90/90×21
  • Rear Tire Size: 130/80×17
  • Front brakes / rear brakes: Single 280mm petal-type disc, two-piston caliper / 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: 6.1 gal.
  • Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
  • Good Times Protection Plan: 12, 24, 36 or 48 months
  • Warranty: 12 Months

2012 Kawasaki KLR 650 Dual Sport Color Options/MSRP:

  • Candy Persimmon Red/Galaxy Silver / $6,299
  • Metallic Flat Raw Graystone/Ebony / $6,299
  • Metallic Imperial Blue/Pearl Stardust White / $6,299

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.

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