Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Province of Ontario, Canada
I was recently talking to a sales person at the Kawasaki dealership. He said they have not sold many new KLRs in recent years but they are still hot on the used market at a much lower price point. He speculated that is was due to great deals on the used market for KLRs and the fact that the bike is now outdated, as a new bike, in the dual sport category from competitors like KTM, Husqvarna, BMW, Triumph and now Honda. If you're buying new there are a lot of better bikes out there for slightly more. But as a cheap dual sport (used) with plenty of aftermarket support and available parts it is hard to beat. In a recent review of the Africa Twin the reviewer stated it was both better off road and on road than the KLR and perhaps what Kawasaki should aim for if ever redesigning the now very long in tooth KLR, only in a cheaper and lower powered platform. There is now also the offroad targeted Versys 300. Kinda surprised none of the Japanese manufactures have never attempted a new mid size, off road capable, dual sport design in well over twenty years, especially in a climate of white hot sales in the adventure market. The new Honda Africa Twin is sort of in this category but at the high end with 1000cc and a higher price tag.
Perhaps it is because of the fact to get great off road performance you need very light weight, great suspension, dump ability (durability), and don't need horsepower. On a road bike HP is much more important, weight is not that important and suspension good for the road is lousy off road and vs versa. Many of the things that contribute to performance in either category are often mutually exclusive which means it is perhaps better to have two bikes, one for each purpose, rather than to compromise on one that will do neither well. I road a new BMW 800 GS, while a high quality machine, the much cheaper Versys was noticeably more planted and secure feeling on the highway while the BMW felt nervous (even with street oriented tires) - the front end felt extremely vague and numb, off road I'm sure it would be the exact opposite.
Last edited by twowheels; 02-06-2017 at 06:11 PM.