The KLR is still early '80s technology & it was designed with a "utilitarian" purpose, not as a race bike. When I got my first KLR an '00 in Marine Corps green I was shocked by it's lack of power & very dissapointed...... At first. The bike slowly grew on me & out of twenty different bikes the KLR is the only one I bought a second time.
As a KLR owner I'm painfully aware of it's short commings & lack of H.P. is way up there on my list. When I heard Kawasaki was finally going to upgrade the KLR in '08, I was thrilled to death. However the end result was a heavier bike that looked (IMO) bulbus & silly. It still had the Doohicky & Thermobob problems, it is still only a five speed & cranks out basically the same underwhelming power. I wish they had left it alone, as I prefer the old look & it was already too heavy from the start.
The appeal of the KLR is that it is the ultimate "Bargan bike" & I never fail to enjoy a ride on it. Sure other bikes are more fun at single purpose uses or at a much (KTM 690) higher price. Perhaps the Husqvarna 650 Terra will change that & hopefully Kick Kawasaki in the butt & be the inspiration to build the KLR I'd hopped for in '08.
As it stands now, you either "get" the KLR or you don't but, it's the guys that "don't" get it that keep so many low milage KLRs on the used market at bargan prices that make guys like me love them so much. Still after 25 years, a modernized KLR with improvements on the flaws that actually matter to me would be nice.