The Kawasaki KLR 650 is back! On the surface, it appears not much has changed. However, team green’s benchmark for dual-sport motorcycles has finally gained some modern technology that riders have been begging for.
Kawasaki announced the return of its celebrated KLR 650 today. The motorcycle took a break in 2018 and left some riders wondering when it would be back. Thankfully, the new 2022 bike brings a lot of improvements to the table.
The biggest improvement — to me, anyway — is that the KLR 650 now has fuel injection for the first time ever. It’s impressive that a motorcycle of its size and displacement made it all the way to 2018 with carburetors in the first place. Kawasaki believes the change should make the motorcycle even more reliable, fuel-efficient and easier to start in the cold. That fuel management system is fed through a new fuel tank that Kawasaki says has greater usable capacity. It’s the same volume, however, the fuel pump now draws from the bottom of the tank.
The engine saw some evolutionary improvements as well. The intake and exhaust cam profiles — the working surface contour of the camshaft lobes — were adjusted to improve torque and power in the middle of the power band.
Those wanting their adventures to last a little longer also have some good news. The rear frame is now integrated into the mainframe to increase torsional rigidity. The swingarm is 30 mm longer, the handlebars 10 mm wider and the footpegs 10 mm lower. The end result should be a much more comfortable ride on longer journeys.
The new 2022 KLR 650 looks like a motorcycle for those who want to get out there and go far. Further advancements include a larger windscreen, a new digital instrument cluster and a LED headlight. It’s a KLR for the 21st Century. And the best part? The base model keeps the 2018's starting price of $6,699.
I’ve always been fond of these motorcycles and want to own one someday. It’s awesome to see the nameplate soldiering on with such huge improvements.