I think it may be time for a completely new KLR.. I'd love to see it with a better more powerful engine AND injected... Maybe with an improved Verseys engine?? While a thumper has it's place in a trail bike, for a true dual purpose bike that does as much highway as it does in the trails I think a smoother engine would be a plus.. I'd also love to see one with a low range trans for use in the slow off road areas. I know, everyone will say " All you need to do is swap sprockets!" Who wants to swap sprockets when you could simply throw the lever to low range?? This isn't new stuff. WAy back when the manufacturers actually had this in their lower powered trail bikes so they would be both capable of hwy speeds and trail power.. I even had a Honda CB900 with a high/low transmission. How much more could it add to weight and cost?? We're already paying $7K after the addons by dealers for a new old tech bike with under 40HP, so what's another 1000-1500? I'd pay it for a better true dual purpose bike.
Good post. As far as the tranny goes, I suspect the complexity of a dual range tranny and related issues around weight and expense would make it undesireable; I think a 6 spd tranny and the appropriate final drive would be suffice. There is a limit to how useful a low range would be offroad as most trails/obstacles considered challenging require some speed and momentum to successfully navigate.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Kawi comes up with; I personally have no desire for a Versys based alternative or anything over 400 lbs for that matter. I'm hoping for an updated "dual purpose" bike just like the KLR/DR/XRL rather than a twin cyl ADV bike (already a ton of them on the market) or a "dirtbike with lights" .
I have my doubts that they'll make something I'd be interested in but in case anyone's listening, this is what I want;
- long travel suspension - decent quality adjustable......something from their older but recent MX parts bin. 9" minimum, 10" = better
- good brakes
- sub 400 lbs - hopefully around 350 wet with fuel.
- decent fuel capacity/range
- quality components; pegs, bars, levers, etc.
- good ground clearance, no low mounted mufflers or oil filters etc. in harms way.
......basically a KTM690R without the weird ergos or fuel tank under the seat and better longevity (which will cost a few lbs). Honda's new XR450L is interesting but it appears to be aimed at the 500EXC rather than the 690R. As it sits today, if I was going to buy a new 2019 bike, it'd likely be a DR650 which would then need a bunch of upgrades....
I could do without ABS, EFI, traction control and all the computer goodies but they'll be on any new bike whether I like it or not!