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I see this term thrown around on the forum alot.
what are the model years for each Gen?
A search shows that these terms are very popular & result in lots of hits, so please excuse me as a new member.
 

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Gen 1 - up to the 2007 model year

Gen 2 - 2008 to the end in 2018

Simple as that.

Then you've got them broken down by A1, A2, A3, etc. Those are designations of the Gen !s by model year. A1 was the first year, A2 was 2nd year...
There's more to it. Someone will fill in those gaps shortly.

sre
 

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So your '05 KLR would be late in the Gen-1 series. Gen-1 KLRs are solid and reliable bike, all things considered.

Gen-2 begins with the 2008 model year, with new plastics, changes to suspension and some emissions stuff - but worst, changes to piston/rings, and the wiring harness lacked adequate protection. These cause issues with oil burning and high level of oil consumption, and with electrical failures when the harness rubbed through and shorted out. There was a recall for the wiring, but poor response from big K on their piston/rings changes. (Eagle Mike 685 big-bore kit is an excellent fix for this.) Not a show-stopper for the experienced mechanic, but definitely a buyer-beware kinda thing.

One of the way-cool features of the KLR650 is the very long production run and high level of parts interchangeability. Frame, plastic, suspension, wheels, harness and switch gear, and engine are virtually interchangeable between all Gen-1 bikes. Engines and wheels interchangeable between Gen-1 and Gen-2, with a few minor mods. This means that shopping for replacements on epay is still a pretty cheap solution to break/fix needs.
 

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One could say,
Gen 1.0 1987 - 1995 and in USA we had the -A series and the -B or Tengai model.
Canada, Australia & Europe got a -C series with skinny plastic & a 3 gallon fuel tank for several years over-lapping.
Gen 1.5 1996 - 2007 Solid balancer sprockets, brittle doo-hickey, steel cam chain bridge.

They made numerous changes that most are un-aware of on the Gen 2's & I even get confused with the time line.
Gen 2.0 2008 - 2009 Many bad piston & ring sets.
Gen 2.1 2010 - 2011 Steel rear brake pedal required different Frame! Really & Why?
Gen 2.2 2012 - 2018 Different Clutch pack! Really? Why?

Different radiators & fan mountings in here!
2008 - 2014, +(2018 second run KL650EJS), Radiator #39061-0098 Nuts!
2015 - 2017, +(2018 first run KL650EJF), Radiator #39061-0690

Gen 2.3 2014.5 - 2018 Stiffer front & rear suspension & wider seat.
 

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I wish they had kept sending us the KLR600 for as long as they sent it to Europe, ditto with the Tengai (but kept making it for another 5 years after that) and the C, and that they had simply kept making the '07 for another 10 years.
 
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