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2008 Kawasaki KLR650 Comparo Photo Gallery
You've got to love a bike that can go straight from the dirt to the street.
We take three big-bore Single thumpers, the Honda XR650L, Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW Xcountry, and put together the 2008 Dual-sport Comparo. See how the 2008 Kawsaki KLR650 did in our
2008 Dual-Sport Comparo
Up front, the KLR features a 41mm front fork with 7.9 inches of travel.
In our head-to-head test, the power output on the Kawi was a little tame in comparison to its competitors.
The KLR comes equipped with street-legal lighting with turn indicators and has a rear taillight parking light.
Providing the pulse of the KLR is a 651cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve single-cylinder engine featuring a 100mm x 83mm bore/stroke with a 9.8:1 compression ratio.
The UNI-TRAK Rear Suspension features a five-way preload shock absorber with four-way rebound damping.
Stopping on the rear is provided by 240mm petal-style disc brakes with dual piston calipers.
A double engine balancer helps the mill run smoothly from idle to redline providing the rider with more comfort and less fatigue on long rides.
Although the bulkiest of our test bikes, the 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 handles itself well out on the streets.
There's enough pop in the four-stroke single for some fun on one wheel.
The KLR proved its versatility off-road with nimbleness that belied its size.
Though it's not a pure MX bike doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a little air time on the KLR.
Where's the kick start on this thing? Oh yeh, it's got electric start.
At first look the Kawasaki isn't going to win any beauty pageants, but at least it finally looks the part of a 21st century bike with its rounded edges and twin projector head lamps.
The Kawasaki took the award for being the biggest of the bikes in our dual-sport comparo, longer, wider and higher than the Honda or BMW.
Climbing aboard the Kawasaki also confirms another striking visual sensation - it's big.
Representing the green faction is the substantially revised 2008 Kawasaki KLR650.
With its comfy ergos and large 6.1-gallon tank, the Kwakker makes long distance rides bearable.
From the cold, barren landscape of the Artic to the sweltering hot jungles of South America and everywhere in between, you might find a nomadic two-wheeled adventurer's KLR tracks.
Once underway, the KLR mill pulled cleanly from 3000 rpm all the way to its 7500-rpm redline.
Although falling to the powerful Beemer, the Kawasaki bettered the Honda in torque production.
Whether off road or on, the Kawasaki KLR650 is a nimble mount. Our only complaint was the front fork's tendency to wallow mid-corner at higher speeds.
The KLR650 has a detachable rear subframe that facilitates maintenance by providing better access to the rear shock, airbox and carb.
C'mon, there's got to be one more berm around here that I can hit before the sun goes down.
Up front, the KLR has lots of goodies like a mini fairing, windshield and handlebar guards.
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