The 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 has EFI, ABS and other serious upgrades

The Kawasaki KLR650 is back, with Kawi announcing the bike’s return as a 2022 model (but available in Canada this spring!). And, it’s got several important updates.

The KLR650 debuted in 1987, a direct descendent of the 1984-1986 KLR600 model. Upon its debut, the KLR quickly made a name for itself in the North American market as an economical and tough adventure bike. It came with a travel-ready fairing and oversized fuel tank, and the aftermarket provided affordable solutions for the rest of the bike’s deficiencies. After a re-design in 2008, the KLR650 was canceled in 2018, much to the disappointment of thrifty ADV riders everywhere.

The Adventure model comes kitted out for proper touring fun.

Now, Kawasaki’s brought the machine back. It’s still recognizable as a KLR, but the updated bike has new rally-style bodywork that’s reminiscent of the old KLR650-B Tengai model.

Kawasaki still uses a liquid-cooled 652 cc DOHC four-valve single cylinder engine, but it’s fuel-injected now, a long-demanded upgrade. The new engine is rated for 40 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and 39 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. It’s still got a five-speed gearbox. The press release says some engine parts were “strengthened,” and we understand the infamous Doohickey (aka the Balancer Chain Adjuster Lever) has been updated for the 2022 machine. 

Kawasaki updated the windshield to an adjustable two-position design. There’s a new 23-litre fuel tank hiding behind all that bodywork, which should increase range. Kawasaki went with LED lighting, and a new digital dash.

Kawasaki still uses a steel double-cradle frame, with updated subframe (another failure point on older KLR models, also presumably “strengthened” for 2022). The swingarm was extended for more stability. And there’s also a new 300 mm front brake disc, with two-piston caliper. That’s another major update, but Kawasaki makes it even sweeter by making ABS available.

New digital dash replaces the old analogue gauges.

There’s a 240mm rear brake, with two-piston caliper there as well.

Up front, Kawasaki went with a conventional 41 mm telescopic fork, with 200 mm of travel. The press release doesn’t mention any adjustability in the front fork, but says the Uni Trak rear shock has adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload. 

Kawasaki lists a 207-kg curb weight for the non-ABS KLR650, and 209 kg curb weight for the ABS-equipped model. The Adventure model, with auxiliary power outlets, touring accessories and other additions, weighs 221 kg at the curb. Pricing starts at $7,499 for the base model, only $300 more than the previous 2018 machine. The ABS model costs $7,799 and the Adventure is $9,999. Kawasaki is planning on availability in May. More details in the press release and spec sheet below.

Photos: Kawasaki

The Adventure version comes in a camo paint style.

Spec sheet

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 /KLR650 Adventure
KLR650 Non‐ABS: $7,499 (Pearl Sand Khaki)
KLR650: $7,799 (Pearl Sand Khaki, Pearl Lava Orange)
KLR650 Adventure: $9,999 (Cypher Camo Gray)
Key Specs:
Engine: 652 cc, DOHC, four‐valve single
Power: 40 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 53 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: Five‐speed
Drive: Chain
Chassis: Semi‐double cradle, high‐tensile steel
Suspension, front: 41 mm telescopic fork / 200 mm of travel.
Suspension, rear: Uni Trak single shock with adjustable rebound damping and adjustable spring preload / 185 mm travel
Wheels: 90/90‐21M/C (54S) Front / 130/80‐17M/C (65S) Rear
Brakes: Single ø300 mm disc with dual‐piston front, 240 mm disc with dual‐piston caliper rear
Curb weight: ABS: 209 kg, Non‐ABS: 207 kg, Adventure: 221 kg
Wheelbase: 1,450 mm
Length: 2,280 mm
Width: 970 mm
Ground clearance: 210 mm
Seat height: 870 mm (34 in)

Press release

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 and KLR650 Adventure
Return of the rugged dual sport

What’s new:

  • Fuel injection
  • LED lighting
  • Larger (300 mm) front brake with available ABS
  • Longer‐range, 23L fuel tank
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Taller, two‐position adjustable wind shield
  • Larger, stronger aluminium carrier mounts
  • Increased generator output
  • DC and USB outlets (on Adventure model)

For model‐year 2022 the KLR650 returns with a fresh look and a host of updates, including a fuel‐injected engine, new fuel tank design with greater usable volume, strengthened engine and chassis parts, available ABS, and LED lighting.

The 2022 KLR650 comes in two variations: the standard KLR650 which is available with or without ABS, and the new KLR650 Adventure that is equipped with panniers, fog lamps, frame sliders, DC/USB sockets, and Cypher Camo Gray colour.

A longer swingarm and integrated rear subframe help contribute to the KLR’s increased resilience, while revised aluminium carrier mounts provide better security when carrying luggage on all models. Revisions to the clutch and gear box further improve the KLR’s famed indestructability.

For reference, the 2018 KLR650 retailed for a base MSRP of $7,199. The new and improved KLR650 starts at just $7,499, and adds fuel injection, larger brakes, stronger rear frame and carrier mounts, LED headlight, plus a raft of other updates and upgrades.

The 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 is expected in dealerships May of


  1. The base KLR without ABS is a smokin’ deal. Haters gonna hate, and won’t buy it anyway. I hope they sell a bazillion of them.

    • The only things they didn’t do, and should have: Better suspension, and stroked the engine to maybe 700cc. But the average KLR buyer won’t care about the suspension, and probably couldn’t make much better use of the power increase either.

      • Per the Kawisaki Canada website, the fancy KLR is only $500 less than the fancy Versys. Questionable purchase, no matter what , LT, Shakin’, and Bondo said.

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