2004 Kawasaki KLR650


Best all-rounder on the market!


The balance shaft chain tensioner spring broke. I realised from the noise that this was the issue, so I purchased an Eagle "Doohickey" kit, and had that installed. The kit includes a better quality spring, and billet tensioner.

General Comments:

The bike is a great all-rounder. I use it mainly for freeway and city commuting, and get great fuel mileage out of it.

Once I had replaced the factory Bridgestone tyres with Michelins, the handling was great. In many situations it will out corner my ZRX1200.

I have fitted a number of accessories to the bike, including a radiator and water pump guard, which should be mandatory. These parts are dangerously exposed, and even dropping the bike in the driveway may prove costly.

I have fitted an Australian built "Staintune" exhaust, and removed the rubber snout inside the airbox. This made the bike much more responsive, and did not require a re-jet.

Overall, the bike has a great riding position, though it is more suited to the taller rider. People under 5'10" may find the seat height too high, however, there are a number of lowering kits on the market.

The large fuel tank (19 litres) makes for excellent touring range.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2008

2005 Kawasaki KLR650


Great all rounder; comfortable to ride


The spring for the tensioner on the balance shaft drive train broke at 18,000km. The vibration and the noise from the engine was horrific.

I took it to 2 dealers, who said there was nothing wrong with it. At one of the dealers the service manager told me Kawasaki engines are rubbish anyway, and I should have bought another brand.

The third dealership I took it to did the service, and said there was nothing wrong with it as well. I had to get them to ring Kawasaki Australia, as I had registered the problem with them; finally they agreed that they would strip it down to find out if there was a problem, but they said if they couldn't find anything wrong, I was to pay for the labour and parts.

After nearly two weeks (as they didn't have the tool to pull off the flywheel), they found that the tensioner spring had broken, which was then replaced, and they phoned me 2 days later to say it was ready.

Following a 20 minute bus trip, and an hour train trip, I got to the dealer and there was a major oil leak as they had not replaced the side cover gaskets.

So the following day I went back to pick the bike up. I got half way home and the clutch was slipping and carrying on like a pork chop. (Paid $400 for the service, tensioner was repaired under warranty). They told me they hadn't touched the clutch, which adjustment and lubrication should have been done on the service. I found that the bolt through the clutch leaver had been over tightened.

My next problem was that I had a minor accident on the bike and damaged the radiator. This took nearly three months to get the bike back on the road, as the stupid dealership had ordered the wrong parts twice.

General Comments:

Other than the poor service from the three dealerships I have been to, and the lack of parts in stock in Australia, I love the bike.

I have fitted Michelin Anakee tyres, and it handles, corners and brakes so much better.

Kawasaki Australia needs to look at the poor service from their dealer network.

I have recently moved to New Zealand, and I'm waiting for my bike to arrive, so let's see how the dealerships here perform.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd July, 2007