Something to point out. Look at the torque figures. just about ALL ~40 cubic inch engines produce in the ball park of 40 ft.lbs of torque. whether it be a KLR or a 600 ninja or a ural. All hover in the range of 40 ft.lbs. Horsepower is nothing more than a calculated number. I'll take good bottom end over high horsepower any day of the week and twice on Sunday for a bike with the character of a KLR. How much fun is it to have to rev the engine to 10 grand before any meaningful torque is made?? I realize that this is a bit of an exaggeration but it highlights the point.
My buddy had an old ktm 620 and it was hardly the knight in shining armor that some claim. It certainly wasn't overwhelmingly more powerful than my DR and the thing vibrated like a paint shaker. Sure the suspension was better but the bike was still a lard-ass and too big to be a "real" dirt bike.
The best part of motorcycles is the fact there are more than one kind. And they can fill vastly different niches with more grace and character than any cage. To this end I see no reason for the KLR to make any concessions for what it is or is not. In the end its a cheap, durable bike with unlimited aftermarket and enough ability to get the rider to most places. If its speed or monster horsepower you seek, fortunately, there are other options.