Review Kawasaki KLX 650 R

Review Kawasaki KLX 650 R

To a new one

After a two-year absence, the Kawasaki KLX 650 R is back on the German floor. Although reduced in performance, but still plenty of green.

It was not easy for her to bring the KLX 650 R. onto the market in 1993 as a sporty offshoot of the civilian KLX 650, should it become a serious opponent for the established competition enduros such as KTM, Husqvarna, Husaberg or Honda’s XR series.

The high-torque engine was inspiring, but in order to be able to hold its own against the competitors, the Greens lacked maneuverability and suitable chassis setup in the field. The KLX in the aggressive cross design failed because of its basically soft nature and disappeared from the Kawasaki model range after only three years.
Two years later, Kawasaki Germany is now ending this slumber and starting another attempt to place the sporty KLX-R on the local market. The German importer has left it to the committed Kawasaki dealer Zimmerer (phone 08824/1334) to hoist the KLX-R over the approval hurdle. A much longer secondary ratio, a modified throttle slide, modified carburetor set-up and a corresponding exhaust silencer insert keep the KLX-R on track for approval, but change the potent off-road single-cylinder permanently: Of the open 45 hp, only remain after adapting to the legal noise and exhaust gas regulations their 25 left.
The KLX-R has retained its good-natured take-off behavior. Regardless of whether it is cold or warm, the kickstarter rarely has to be kicked more than once. But already in the first few meters the Kawasaki reveals in which performance class it is now playing. Pretty far down. Despite the fully open throttle, the 650 only accelerates very slowly. Every attempt by the mighty single cylinder to develop something like liveliness is immediately nipped in the bud by the endlessly long secondary transmission. What remains is an agonized shaking of the strangled single cylinder.
The throttled KLR 650 R is also not very spirited in the upper gears. Unfortunately, there is no longer any trace of the much-praised pulling power of the 45 HP engine. So that the driving pleasure does not fall by the wayside, the shift foot is limited to the first three gears of the easily and precisely shifted five-speed transmission after a very short time.
E.As expected, the chassis, which has only been slightly modified compared to the previous model, has no problems mastering the offered performance. Despite the slightly shortened caster and steeper steering head angle, the straight-line stability of the throttled version is impeccable. When open, however, the enduro, which then has a top speed of almost 160 km / h, lurches hard. The brakes do a good job. The front shows a good bite for sharp asphalt kicks, and the rear of the stopper convinces with its tame response and good controllability, so that you do not overbrake on loose ground. The coordination of the spring elements is a bit too tight for road use, but creates reserves for forced off-road use. And that’s where the KLX 650 R actually belongs. Freed from the burden of any throttle for around 500 marks, the new vintage of the green Enduro is a good basis for off-road use.

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *