2013 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Preview

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2013 Kawasaki Dual Sport

When the Kawasaki KLR 650 hit the market back in 1987, it quickly became a favorite of many riders seeking adventure both on and off the road.

The reasons are based on the KLR’s utilitarian design, the machine offering up to 60 mpg from its single-cylinder engine with no-hassle carburetor, and comfort with cargo-carrying capabilities, all offered at a value-driven price of under $6,500.

And for 2013, Kawasaki returns with the KRL as a carryover model with three new color schemes – Ebony, Pearl Solar Yellow, and Candy Lime Green/Ebony.

The KLR arrives with a 651cc, liquid-cooled four-stroke engine featuring a four-valve head, the engine tuned for a broad powerband that helps propel the 432-lbs (wet) machine respectably both on and off road. The engine is hooked to a five-speed

Handling suspension is a 41mm fork with 7.9 inches of suspension travel up front, and a Uni-Trak linkage system providing 7.3 inches of wheel travel in the rear. Combined, the suspension offers comfort both during the daily commute or while in the back country.

Braking duties are handled by 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.

The KLR is further highlighted by a saddlebag-friendly, rear luggage rack that can be fitted with a tail bag, a large, 6.1-gallon fuel tank, a plush seat, and optimal wind protection, which is handled by the frame-mounted bodywork that includes a tall windscreen and large shrouds.

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. And while off road, the KRL features engine guards and a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor that grants the KLR650 access to any terrain open to licensed vehicles.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2013 Kawasaki KLR 650.


2013 Kawasaki KLR 650 Highlights:

Long-distance-minded 651cc Four-stroke Single

  • 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

Four-valve Cylinder Head

  • 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

Fully Transistorized Ignition

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

Electric Starter

  • Easy and convenient starting

Handlebar-mounted Choke

  • Convenient location makes starting and warm-up easier

Five-speed 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

Capable 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

Strong Wheels

  • 4mm spokes provide wheel stiffness, further enhancing handling performance and improving steering response


  • 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

Front and Rear Disc Brakes

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


  • 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

Large 6.1-gallon Fuel Tank

  • Generous capacity permits serious adventure touring

Additional Comfort and Touring Features

  • 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

2013 Kawasaki KLR 650 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
  • Carburetor: 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: 6.1 gal.
  • Wheelbase: 58.3 in.


2013 Kawasaki KLR 650 Color Options/MSRP:

  • Ebony / $6,499
  • Pearl Solar Yellow / $6,499
  • Candy Lime Green/Ebony / $6,499