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ADV BikesKawasaki Announces the KLR650 New Edition for 2014

Kawasaki Announces the KLR650 New Edition for 2014

A few long awaited improvements for off-road riding enthusiasts.

Published on 12.19.2013

Kawasaki has just announced at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show of New York that it is releasing the KLR650 New Edition for 2014.  Just ten days ago we asked Kawasaki reps about any new plans for the KLR650 at the Progressive Motorcycle Show of Long Beach, but no one provided even a hint of this news.

One of the major complaints from many KLR650 owners has always been the soft suspension.  While the bike is a great off-road tool, the handling begins to unravel at speed.  Fast riding on a KLR650 can result in wobbles and frequent bottoming out on dips and whoops.  A common upgrade to improve the KLR650 is to add stiffer springs and denser fork oil to improve off-road handling.

The last time the KLR was updated was in 2008.  While everyone was expecting a major change to the KLR650, the primary changes to the bike were merely visual. Many complained that the new upper fairing plastic was not able to handle even light falls off-road.  The updates in 2008 were a disappointment to say the least and many KLR purchasers began seeking out the pre-2008 model for its higher durability off-road.


Kawasaki seems to finally be listening to its customers and has catered to the off-road enthusiasts by adding stiffer springs and firmer rebound damping.  The  2014 KLR650 New Edition also offers a seat that tapers in at the front for better body positioning during off-road riding.  While it is not the big makeover that many people have been expecting, the KLR650 New Edition is a welcomed improvement.  A stiffer suspension may be just the thing that will convince new Adventure Bike customers to purchase a KLR over other models.

Hopefully, this will be an effective stopgap for Kawasaki to hold onto market share for a few more years before a major revision occurs to the KLR650.  Read more about the details of the 2014 KLR650 New Edition on

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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December 22, 2013 10:03 pm

Put the Versys motor in the KLR and then you would have something.

Alexander Afeldt (aaj)
Alexander Afeldt (aaj)
May 8, 2015 12:30 pm
Reply to  A

I never understood why make such unfinished motorcycles. Indeed, to put the engine and the plug on the Versys and have to be more universal motorcycle. KTM stopped doing the average tourist enduro and climbed into liters. = (

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
December 22, 2013 10:24 pm

A KLRsys! Looks like there have been some people doing this custom engine swap on the KLR. Seems like it would be a great bike project if you could find a cheap donor engine.

Results From First Reviews of the KLR650 New Edition » ADV Pulse
April 29, 2014 4:54 pm

[…] the mid-year release 2014 KLR650 New Edition model was announced in December of last year, it generated a lot of buzz and excitement. The “New Edition” name implied […]

October 3, 2014 2:04 am

Yes….that’s it…Put a V Twin in a KLR Frame….
And it Runs Circles Around the Gutless KLRS…with BAD Build Issues……


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