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ADV NewsKawasaki Unveils New KLR650 S Model For Shorter Riders

Kawasaki Unveils New KLR650 S Model For Shorter Riders

A new version of the KLR makes it more comfortable to reach the ground.

Published on 10.04.2022

After the return of the faithful KLR650 last year, Kawasaki has just unveiled a new variant for 2023 called the KLR650 S. The new model was unveiled today at the INTERMOT motorcycle show and receives several different configurations targeted to help enhance the rider’s reach to the ground.

One of the main changes the KLR650 S receives is a lowered suspension with dedicated settings. Up front, the 41mm forks offer 6.7” of suspension travel – down from 7.9”. To accommodate the change, the fork spring rate and damping force have been tuned for optimized bump compliance and bottoming resistance while also reducing front-end dive under heavy braking. On the rear, an adjustable Uni-Trak system brings suspension travel down from 7.3” to 7.0”, complementing the new front fork settings. 

In addition, the Uni-Trak rear suspension tie-rod length has been increased by 4mm, optimizing the swingarm’s initial down angle. Similar to the forks, the rear shock spring rate and damping force have been tuned specifically for the lower suspension of the KLR650 S, which helps resist bottoming in rough terrain and accommodates heavy loads. Rear spring preload and rebound damping adjustments allow riders to fine-tune suspension settings to suit the riding conditions and rider’s preference. 


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Accompanying the lower suspension settings is a new lower overall seat height. Specifically, the seat thickness has been reduced by 35mm and the urethane inside of the seat has been optimized for comfort and reduced fatigue when out on long adventures. The new low seat, paired with the lower suspension, produces an overall seat height that is 2.3” lower than that of the standard KLR650. 

Also updated on the KLR650 S was the shortening of the side stand length by 30mm to accommodate the new height and ensure ease of use when sitting. Additionally, the gap between the shifter and the footpeg has been increased by 15mm to improve the ease of toe entry and the toe’s degree of freedom around the shifter. This results in enhanced shifter usability for various foot sizes.

lower KLR650 S Model For Shorter Riders
Ground clearance of the new S model variant is 7.3 inches, down from the 8.3 inches of the standard model.

KLR650 S HIGHLIGHTS:

  • NEW Lower front and rear suspension
  • NEW 4mm longer tie-rod
  • NEW Spring rates and suspension valving
  • NEW Low seat
  • NEW Shifter and footpeg positioning

Besides the changes mentioned above, the new S variant carries over all of the same features of the Gen-3 KLR650 platform, including its fuel-injected 652cc single-cylinder engine, multi-functional digital instrumentation panel, high-tensile double-cradle frame, and LED headlight. Kawasaki does mention that the fuel tank design has been fitted to the KLR650 S chassis, “offering a natural fit with the rider’s knees for comfort and controllability.”. And like the standard model, the fuel pump draws from the very bottom of the tank increasing usable volume and contributing to a long cruising range.

lower KLR650 S Model For Shorter Riders

Availability and Pricing

The new 2023 KLR650 S is available now with an MSRP of $6,899 USD for the non-ABS model and $7,199 for the ABS equipped one, which is the same as the standard KLR650’s pricing. The Pearl Storm Gray colorway will be available for both models, whereas Candy Lime Green will only be available for the non-ABS KLR650 S.

2023 KLR650 S Specs

Engine4-Stroke, single cylinder, DOHC
Displacement652cc
Bore x Stroke100.0 x 83.0mm
Compression Ratio9.8:1
Fuel SystemDFI w/40mm Throttle Body
IgnitionCDI
Transmission5-speed, return shift with wet multi-disc manual clutch
Final DriveSealed Chain
Maximum Torque39.1 lb.-ft. @ 4,500rpm
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel41mm telescopic fork/ 6.7 in
Rear Suspension / Wheel TravelUni-Trak® single shock with adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload/ 7.0 in
Front Tire90/90-21
Rear Tire130/80-17
Front BrakesSingle 300mm disc with 2-piston calipers (and ABS)
Rear BrakesSingle 240mm disc with single-piston caliper (and ABS)
Frame TypeTubular, Semi-Double Cradle
Rake/Trail29.5°/4.6 in
Overall Length88.8 in
Overall Width38.2 in
Overall Height56.3/54.9 in (screen hi/lo)
Ground Clearance7.3 in
Seat Height32.1 in
Curb WeightNon ABS: 456.2 lb / ABS: 460.6 lb*
Fuel Capacity6.1 gal
Wheelbase59.6 in
Color ChoicesPearl Storm Gray, Candy Lime Green
Warranty12 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional)12, 24, or 36 months

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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10 thoughts on “Kawasaki Unveils New KLR650 S Model For Shorter Riders

  1. It’s about time, I have a 2015 v strom 650 adventure and 2014 v strom 1000 , I will sale the 650 and for sure get a low klr
    Thanks
    Ben

  2. I have been looking at a KLR650 for about 15 years. I was excited when Kawi decided to bring it back. Unfortunately I had an accident on I-90 in 2012 when we hit a patch of black ice on a small overpass. We rolled the pickup between 8 and 10 times. We were doing the speed limit. My wife and I were ejected and due to the drop off of the embankment we had a 35’ drop to the ground. My wife of 26 years was killed by her head hitting the A post before she was ejected. I pretty much broke everything on my right side and all my ribs except for two. I also fractured 15 vertebrae including 1,3 & 4 in my neck. My skull was fractured from my left eye socket to the base of my skull in the rear. I also had 3 shearing injuries in my brain. It took me 4.5 years to recover. I’m 1.5 inches shorter now and due to the way my pelvis and hip healed my right leg has issues trying to plant my feet solidly down when I’m riding. I have set on the new version of the KLR650 and I couldn’t get it stable enough for me to be safe. This version will let me get around that issue and I will be buying one next spring. This has just made my day!

  3. Amazing, this is definitely a bike I’ll consider, I currently have a 2016 digital camo now. Being a short rider my options have always been limited and expensive modifications to accommodate my height. 5”4’. Thanks Kawasaki

  4. I think you have it backwards. You should have made one for taller riders. I’ve owned my 2004 KLR650 since 2010 for fact that it’s honestly the most reliable motorcycle on planet, but for someone like me who is 6ft4 its a tad small. That’s the problem with motorcycles,being made mainly for small riders.

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