Dual-purpose motorcycles are awesome. Thanks to their on-/off-highway design, they offer the option of pounding pavement or tackling trails in one package. In addition, their street-legal status allows you to travel easily between trail systems that are separated by roadways. With a dual-purpose bike, you don't have too mess around with loading and unloading your bike just to legally travel to a trail a few miles away
A proven dual-purpose motorcycle is Kawasaki's KLR 650. It's powered by a rugged 651cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke, four-valve engine that offers quick throttle response and healthy low-end grunt. Naturally, the engine has all the amenities like electric start and liquid cooling (with fan and temp gauge). Engine power is fed to a five-speed transmission. Why only a five-speed? Well, Kawasaki says this is because of the engine's broad torque curve, which makes it more than capable of off-highway sprinting or relaxed highway cruising.
The KLR 650's suspension is comprised of a 41mm fork that produces 7.9 inches of suspension travel and a rear 7.3-inch-travel UNI-TRAK linkage system with five-way preload and four-way rebound damping shock. This system makes the bike proficient whether you're traveling on pavement or dirt. And when it comes time to rein in the 650's forward momentum, there's a front dual-piston caliper gripping a 280mm petal-style disc and a rear single-piston caliper gripping a 240mm petal-style disc
The KLR 650 has a number of features designed specifically for off-highway travel, including a high-mounted front fender, tough engine rock guard, and a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrestor. Another cool feature of the bike is its large 6.1-gallon fuel tank. This generous fuel capacity combines with outstanding fuel economy to create a bike that can go a long way between fill-ups.
When it comes to rider comfort, the KLR 650 has great wind protection via frame-mounted bodywork, which includes a tall windscreen and large shrouds. Rider comfort is also addressed with a seat design that features plush urethane foam. A frame-mounted instrument panel, dual-bulb headlamp and a large rear cargo rack are also standard.
Here's the really shocking news; The KLR 650 is surprisingly affordable with a base MSRP of only $5,599. That's right, you can get a brand-new, big-bore, street-legal, on-/off-highway motorcycle for under six grand. That's a KLR deal-nice!
Vehicle model: 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650
Base price: $5,599
Color: Ebony, Sunbeam Red, Oriental Blue
Type: Four-stroke, DOHC, four-valve, liquid-cooled
Displacement (cc): 651
Bore x stroke (mm): 100.0 x 83.0
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Carburetion: Keihin CVK40
Ignition: Fully transistorized
Final drive: Chain
Front: 41mm telescopic fork, 7.9 inches of travel
Rear: UNI-TRAK single shock system with five-way preload and stepless rebound damping, 7.3 inches of travel
Front: Single 280mm petal-type disc, dual-piston caliper
Rear: Single 240mm petal-type disc, single-piston caliper
Wheels: 4mm spokes
Weight (lb): 432
Ground clearance (in.): 8.3
Fuel capacity (gal.): 6.1
Seat height (in.): 35.0
Wheelbase (in.): 58.3
Overall length (in.): 90.4
Overall width (in.): 37.8
Overall height (in.): 53.1