engine swap - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 5 Old 03-01-2017, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 55
engine swap

I received an email recently from a friend who says a lot of guys are swapping the KLR650 engine for a Versys engine. Have any of you tried this mod and if so, how is it working out and was a difficult job?
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-01-2017, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,135
I think you will find that the number of Verses motor to KLR frame swaps may almost be counted on your 2 hands!

Takes more skill, talent, drive, desire and expertise than I will ever have!

Major frame surgery. Convert from gravity feed carb to fuel injection hi-pressure pump.

I still like Simple!

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-01-2017, 08:42 PM
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-01-2017, 08:45 PM
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I'm with Paul, I don't want to trade ground clearance, weight, simplicity and a bunch of cash for a KLRsys......Cheaper just to buy a KTM690. OTOH, I'm sure it appeals to some.

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post #5 of 5 Old 03-02-2017, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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It's been done (probably at great effort and expense).

Guy rode one at the, "Roll the Bones" Rally in Texas a couple of years ago.

The newly-released Kawasaki Z650, with its neo-Versys/neo-Ninja twin engine, boasts nearly 60 rear-wheel horsepower (Motorcycle Consumer News test), 6-speed transmission, assist/slipper clutch . . .

Should be an excellent power plant for a KLR, IMHO; YMMV. Hardly a, "plug-'n'-play conversion, but one of promising potential performance, I'd think.


DPelletier has a point; a KTM690 has nearly 70 horsepower (I think, didn't look it up), six speeds, and . . . claimed dry weight of 305 pounds . . . plus ABS. Probably attainable at lower cost than implanting a Versys engine in a KLR . . .


EDIT: Just finally looked at the link DPelletier posted above; think that's possibly the guy at Roll the Bones; was from Corpus Christi, I believe. Very sanitary conversion, no ground clearance sacrifice (Z650 is 5.25"). I LOVE the 180-degree cranked Versys engine; oh, what a loping sound it makes!

Last edited by Damocles; 03-02-2017 at 07:33 AM.
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