The 2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 Is Ready For Your Next Outdoor Escape

Illustration for article titled The 2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 Is Ready For Your Next Outdoor Escape
Image: Kawasaki

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.

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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.

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Image: Kawasaki

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.

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Image: Kawasaki
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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.

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Image: Kawasaki
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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.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

greengianthohoho
GreenGiant

I don’t know why I continue to comment, I never make it out off the greys, but it’s motorcycle content, so damnit, I’m going to do my part to contribute to the community anyway! First, this will be a run-away hit for Kawi. Even the old KLR was still a successful bike, they just had to pull it because with carbs it wouldn’t meet euro emissions standards. Second, the price is right. I have a KTM 690, which is a better bike in almost all ways, but it’s also twice as expensive - it’s not twice as good. There are lots of young budget conscious wannabe motorcycle tourers out there that will snap this up. Third, market demand for the middle weight ADV bike class is huge - you literally can’t get a Yamaha T700, and the comparable BMW, Triumph, options are selling at list price. My only questions - can I get a color matched milk crate as an option, and did they fix the dohicky, or are they making every buyer add a 14cent piece of metal to keep their bike running just for nostalgia? And if one of you editors actually whitelists this post, go look at my post history - there’s some good shit in there - perma-whitelist me.