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Old 05-25-2013, 01:48 AM   #1
mark1150 OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Wisbechistan UK
Oddometer: 196
Any advise on the Kawasaki KLX 650?

My son is just about ready to buy a KLX 650 and I was wondering if there are any known weak spots, and also what are they like in general, plus parts suppliers for things like bash plates etc.
It's a 96 'C' type model with 6000 miles on it.
By the looks of the pictures it's only ever seen road riding so no off raod abuse.

Any help or guidance is appreciated.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #2
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Read that, buy the bike, enjoy!
'83 Honda XL600R 618cc 11:1 Wiseco, XR's Only Exhaust + over sized header
Originally Posted by Carter Pewterschmidt View Post
He's the XL600 Jesus, his bike dies for our sins.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Oddometer: 397
Kawasaki does not offer parts for this bike anymore, so used is your only hope. I would go for the KLR 650 just because of this reason, but I did look into buying one and this was my only reason for not doing it. The bike was probably a little ahead of its time, today it would probably be a good seller if updated to other bikes of equal values. The bike has two models, street legal, and the off road only model.

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Old 05-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Nor Ca.
Oddometer: 5,000
It is a very good bike. Performance similar to a KLR on steroids with no dohicky. Better suspension with less weight. There is a dedicated thread on ADV and a dedicated site here:

Weak spots are the auto cam chain tensioner which can be replaced with a manual for little money and the auto compression release mechanism. Same parts as on a KLR but for some reason they can be problematic and potentially catastrophic.

Only in the past 2 years has mechanical parts become a problem. I don't believe the head, cams, cam caps and CDI are available any longer.

Filters, valves, shims and carb are the same as the KLR. I "think" the starter, trans and clutch are probably the same. There is an aftermarket CDI for the C version. Brake pads and rotors are available through the aftermarket. The front sprocket is KLR, the rear is available but limited in size choices. They still make skid plates, mine looks like this one:
Some of the plastics can be used off later model bikes. They work but won't appear stock. The 96 is the last year and has some unique plastics. At least the tank shrouds are unique.

I think these bikes were a big deal at one time, especially in Germany. Couple that with some interchangeability with the R version may give you access to used parts, if needed.

I love mine. It has a big bore from Wossner that is still available. I grafted on a modded DRZ400 shock for the rear. Even with a 5 gal fuel tank (no longer available) it feels far lighter than it is, plus has the engine performance that will give some more modern bikes a run for its money.
BMW Motorrad USA customer service: "We make superior motorcycles and continue to improve them."

itsatdm screwed with this post 05-26-2013 at 11:02 AM
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Thunder Bay
Oddometer: 41
A rider in our group owned one.
Better suspended for dirt and a funner torque curve than a klr.
I think they are a bit of a unknown treasure.
Not many around, a little older and tend to be affordable.
Ones been in kijiji here for a while, I don't understand it.
I'd snatch it up if I where at a different stage of ownership.
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