For 2023, Kawasaki combines two of its success stories from last year—the return of the KLR650 and the introduction of the lower-seat S models for dirt and dual-sport. The 2023 Kawasaki KLR650 S gets the lower-seat treatment to make the thumping dual-sport/ADV hybrid more accessible to shorter-inseamed riders. Let’s look into how Kawasaki engineers lowered the seat height by 2.2 inches.
- The standard KLR650 seat height is 34.3 inches, and the S drops it to 32.1 inches. That’s a significant lowering.
- The 2023 Kawasaki KLR650 S has shorter suspension travel. The fork travel on the S is 6.7 inches, a 1.2-inch cut from the standard KLR. Rear wheel travel is reduced by 0.3 inches via a change in the shock linkage. The suspension settings at both ends have been fine-tuned for the new travel to ensure bottoming doesn’t increase—that means the S suspension has firmer action.
- Seat thickness has been reduced by 1.4 inches. The foam is also softened, allowing the rider to settle in a bit more for easier access to the ground.
- The shorter seat has ergonomic implications—relatively higher grips, footpegs, and windshield. Kawasaki compensates for that by giving the KLR650 S adjustable-position handlebars, footpegs, and windshield. Also, the gap between the footpeg and the gear shifter is increased by just over a half-inch.
- Otherwise, the KLR650 is the same friendly thumper we tested last year.
- The 2023 Kawasaki KLR650 S and the ABS variant should be available in dealers immediately. The standard version of the KLR650 S runs $6899, and you’ll pay an additional $300 if you want ABS. Both versions are available in Pearl Storm Gray, with Candy Lime Green available only for the non-ABS model.
2023 Kawasaki KLR650 S Specs
- Type: Single cylinder
- Displacement: 652cc
- Bore x stroke: 100 x 83mm
- Compression ratio: 9.8:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 valves
- Fueling: Keihin EFI w/ 40mm throttle body
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 6.7 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted rebound-damping and spring-preload adjustable shock; 7.0 inches
- Tires: Dunlop K750
- Front tire: 90/90 x 21
- Rear tire: 130/80 x 17
- Front brake: 300mm disc
- Rear brake: 240mm disc
- ABS: Optional (+$300)
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 59.6 inches
- Rake: 30 degrees
- Trail: 4.8 inches
- Seat height: 32.1 inches
- Fuel capacity: 6.1 gallons
- Curb weight: 456 pounds (ABS: 461 pounds)
- Colors: Pearl Storm Gray; Candy Lime Green (non-ABS only)
2023 Kawasaki KLR650 S Price: $6899 MSRP