BMW G 650 GS vs. Kawasaki KLR650 | Salsa and Sensibility
Affordable dual-sports are a matter of taste
By Jamie Elvidge, Photography by Kevin Wing, Jamie Elvidge
|Price: $7670||Front brake: Brembo two-piston caliper, 300mm discs||Top-gear roll-on:5.25 sec.|
|Engine type: l-c single||Rear brake: Brembo single-piston caliper, 240mm disc||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 51/59/53 mpg|
|Valve train: DOHC, 4v||Front tire: 100/90H-19 Michelin Anakee||Colors: Black, red|
|Displacement: 652cc||Rear tire: 130/80R-17 Michelin Anakee||Availability: Now|
|Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm||Rake/trail: 60.5 deg./4.5 in.||Warranty: 3 years, unlimited mi.|
|Compression: 11.5: 1||Seat height: 29.5-32.2 in.||Contact: |
BMW of North America
P.O. Box 1227
Westwood, NJ 07575
|Fuel system: EFI||Wheelbase: 58.2 in.|
|Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Fuel capacity: 4.0 gal.|
|Transmission: 5-speed||Weight (tank full/empty): 451/427 lbs.|
|Frame: Steel twin-spar||Measured horsepower: 42.5 bhp @ 7250 rpm|
|Front suspension: 41mm Showa telescopic fork||Measured torque: 36.9 lb.-ft. @ 4750 rpm|
|Rear suspension: Single Showa shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping.||Corrected 1/4-mile: 13.77 sec. @ 94.41 mph|
Fuel injection is the obvious advantage here. Despite identical bore and stroke figures, the G650 stomps the KLR, pumping out 9 more horsepower in a smoother, friendlier manner. Torque is up substantially as well.
Despite its dual-sport intentions, the GS's ergonomics are street-biased, with a short peg-to-seat distance and long seat-to-bars reach. If you're vertically challenged, the GS is for you: Its seat is 5 inches lower than the KLR's.
|Price: $5599||Front brake: Nissin two-piston caliper, 280mm disc||Top-gear roll-on: 7.06 sec.|
|Engine type: l-c single||Rear brake: Nissin single-piston caliper, 240mm disc||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 49/39/44 mpg|
|Valve train: DOHC, 4v||Front tire: 90/90-21 Dunlop K750||Colors: Black, red, blue|
|Displacement: 651cc||Rear tire: 130/80-17 Dunlop K750||Availability: Now|
|Bore x stroke: 100.0 x 83.0mm||Rake/trail: 28.0 deg. /4.4 in.||Warranty: 1 year, unlimited mi.|
|Compression: 9.8:1||Seat height: 35.0 in.||Contact: |
Kawasaki Motor Corp.
9950 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618
|Fuel system: 40mm Keihin||Wheelbase: 58.3 in.|
|Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Fuel capacity: 6.1 gal.|
|Transmission: 5-speed||Weight (tank full/empty): 435/399 lbs.|
|Frame: Steel semi-double cradle||Measured horsepower: 33.7 bhp @ 6250 rpm|
|Front suspension: 41mm Kayaba telescopic fork||Measured torque: 31.7 lb.-ft. @ 3000 rpm|
|Rear suspension: Single Kayaba shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping||Corrected 1/4-mile: 14.48 sec. @ 83.21 mph|
Power isn't the KLR's forte, but it is sufficient to get the job done. Kawasaki's tried-and-true single has been in production for more than 20 years, and what it lacks in brute force it makes up for in reliability.
An upright seating position with a commanding view of the trail ahead-that's what you want from a dual-sport. The KLR delivers with a lofty 35-inch-high seat and high, wide handlebar. If you're shorter than 5-foot-10, you'll need a stepladder.
By Jamie Elvidge
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