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ADV Bikes5 Custom Adventure Bikes Built By “Real People”

5 Custom Adventure Bikes Built By “Real People”

 These impressive bike builds will inspire you to start your next project.

Published on 02.12.2014

4. Kawasaki KLR650 “KLRsys”

Everyone knows that the KLR is a capable Adventure Bike. The KLR650 was introduced in 1987 and has remained unchanged, except for some minor styling updates, for 27 years. The bike is so good, it recently won an award for best Adventure Bike from Cycle World Magazine. It’s clearly an excellent bike right off the showroom floor, but many owners still find areas they’d like to improve on. Two common complaints are the soft suspension and lack of power. The KLR motor puts out a mere 37 hp which makes achieving 100 mph only possible with a downhill and tailwind.

An Adventure Rider from Texas has a solution to the lack of power that he calls the “KLRsys.” At first glance you can’t tell there is anything different about this KLR, but if you look closely you will notice that it’s powered by a fuel-injected Kawasaki Versys motor and 6-speed transmission. The twin cylinder 650cc Versys motor nearly doubles the horsepower of the KLR, making 100 mph achievable without breaking a sweat.


Kawasaki KLR650 KLRsys

Besides the motor swap, the KLRsys also received a stiffer suspension, powder coated panniers, heavy duty skid plate, touring windscreen, top box, and Power Commander fuel injection tuner. (photo courtesy Smugmug/KLRsys I)

Red Kawasaki KLR650 KLRsys

Saying “Fast KLR” is no longer an Oxymoron when you have around 60 hp on tap. (photo courtesy Smugmug/KLRsys I)

You can find out more details about this bike build on the ADVRider Forum.


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Author: Rob Dabney
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7 thoughts on “5 Custom Adventure Bikes Built By “Real People”

  1. I did something similar with my Husky TE630–Safari Tank, hard bags, small windshield, rack, guards–some say I took a perfectly good dirt bike and turned it into a KLR…..Tom in Salem

  2. The SV650 is a nice custom but about as unsuited for adventure riding as a Goldwing. It would be a short race to see if the oil cooler or the radiator got destroyed first. Luckily the lack of luggage capability would not leave you far to push it home.

    • Or the exhaust…
      Suzuki made the V-strom for this purpose, so modding an SV650 into an adventure bike is a waste of time, effort, and money. Kudos to that guy for the fabrication skills though.

  3. Suzuki DR650 is the best platform to start with. You can build a really cool bike that is bullet-proof and nearly 100 lbs lighter then the FS800 or similar bikes. Capable of going anywhere a motorcycle can travel, narrower, very dirt capable with upgraded suspension, tons of after-market parts available. Much more maneuverable then an Africa Twin, GS or even KTM due to the lighter weight and smaller profile.