Got a short inseam? Kawasaki hears you, sees your need, and has your back, etc., etc. Team Green just launched the new KLR650S, a machine that’s pretty much the same as the current-gen model, but with one important difference: The suspension is shortened, and the seat is cut down.
That makes for a seat height now 2.3 inches lower than the standard model (down to 32.1 inches), which should make it much easier for riders to throw a leg over the bike. There’s still 7 inches of suspension travel front and rear, so the S variant is still a very viable machine off-pavement. The standard model was never a hardcore dirt bike, and neither is this one, but it should work nicely on gravel roads and sensible speeds on unpaved tracks.
Kawasaki made a couple of other tweaks to make everything work, including some relocation work in the shifting mechanism, to make sure it still worked with the lowered suspension. There’s also a new sidestand.
Otherwise, the bike is very much the same machine that hit the market in 2021, updated after a couple of years’ absence. That means EFI is standard, along with new rally-style bodywork, an updated electrical system and several other improvements. Judging from the lineup on Kawasaki’s lineup, the shortened S model is only available in a non-ABS configuration, which is unfortunate, but in our current era of severed supply chains, many riders count themselves lucky to find anything available at all.
MSRP for the KLR650S is $7,999 for 2023. For more photos and details, head over to Kawasaki.ca.