Kawasaki KLR600 Review from Australia

1982 Kawasaki KLR600

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1988
Acceleration marks 5 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 5 / 10
Braking marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 kilometres
Most recent distance35000 kilometres
Previous motorcycleYamaha XT250TN

Summary:

A money-pit

Faults:

Bought it from a mate as a "Needs some repairs" - Ignition computer needed replacing and the front disc brake needed work - even though the bike was only 22000km old.

Never got the front brake to work until I fitted a master cylinder from a KX250.

Balance shaft drive chain tensioner spring broke at 25000km, so that when I adjusted the chain tension, it actually loosened it, not tightened it, resulting in all sorts of damage internally.

Side stand mount broke off (in all fairness this was probably the fault of the previous owner who had the habit of kick starting it while it was on the side-stand).

Very difficult to start when the engine was cold, either lean or flooded, until I worked out a starting method.

Diaphragm in the carburettor split.

Engine completely rebuilt by the dealer (at great expense to myself) and no improvement in performance/starting. As the dealer stripped the motor, there were more and more problems, and parts to be replaced, including corrosion on the water-pump driveshaft, and a variety of seals and bearings that were in need of replacement.

Diaphragm in the carburettor was replaced, instant performance and starting improvements!

General Comments:

This was the first model of the water-cooled KLR-600 (actually 564 cc), and obviously there were a number of problems, hopefully sorted in later models.

I was intending to build a side-car for this and use it in the Kapunda 24 Hour Road-Trial, but sold it and bought a Tenere already with a side-car.

I never really got to like the handling of this bike on the dirt, although it was capable of 165kph (red-lining in top), it just felt too heavy to really throw around much, and the handling on the blacktop was compromised by the long travel suspension and the dirt tyres.

It certainly had more poke than the XT600Z Tenere (with the side car off), but really didn't inspire much confidence when off-road.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 14th March, 2006

Average review marks: 4.0 / 10, based on 1 review