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Discussion Starter #1
Is it true that the KLR650 was exactly the same from 1987 till very recently? Sorta like the VW bug through the fifties and sixties. Did they make it better in the newer model or was the older one better? I mean if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I am kinda glad I got the 2006 bike. I think it's from before the changes. Am I way off here? Any clarity would be great. BTW I love this forum. It is very helpful.
 

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Yeah, you have a Gen1. You have also opened a BIG old can of worms. ;)

(yeah, minor changes...some for the worse, many for the better)

:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oooppps... Sorry... Me noob dummie. I shall duck for cover.

Sent from my groovy Samsung Galaxy S 1 smarty pants Fone ringy thingy dingy.
 

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The new one is just different. They each have their own advantages, either of them could be "better" depending on point of view.

The new one has much better lighting, more wind protection, more alternator, more brake, bigger fork tubes...
The old one is lighter, more crash worthy, less prone to gross oil consumption, will run with no battery...

To my point of view, the new one is more street friendly, and the old one is more dirt friendly, but there isn't THAT much difference between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is very interesting! Thanks guys.

Sent from my groovy Samsung Galaxy S 1 smarty pants Fone ringy thingy dingy.
 

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I'm with table on this one.

Generation 1 bikes (1987-2007) are very very similar regardless of year.

Generation 2 bikes (2008-present) are also very very similar.

I think the difference between gen 1 and gen 2 can basically be summed up by the table's post.

For generation 1 bikes, the KLR FAQ reads as follows:
[url=http://www.bigcee.com/klr650faq.html]klr faq[/url] said:
How has the KLR650 changed over the years?
No one will ever accuse Kawasaki of applying kaizen to the KLR production line. Aside from the paint job, not much has changed since it was introduced in 1987. The key mechanical differences are (per Eldon Carl):

1987: Crankshaft is unique to this year.
1988: Beefed up the engine cases with extra bolts between the crank and countershaft; crank has a different part number, and may be lighter.
1990: Countershaft improved with longer splines for increased engagement with sprocket.
1992: Changes to front brake master cylinder.
Mid-1996: Changed valve cover, added bracket to hold cam chain bumper; changed crank to heavier unit; improved clutch basket with more clutch plates; changed countershaft sprocket retainer from slotted plate to large nut; changed 2nd and 3rd gear ratios. Kickstarter no longer fits with new clutch basket. New left balancer weight/sprocket begins with engine #KLE650AE032206.
(?) Service manual indicates higher charging system output; only part number change is the rotor. The new power rating is 17A/14V (238 W) @ 7000 rpm; the earlier one was 14A/14V (196 W) @ 8000 rpm (yes, above redline).
2001(?) Assembly shifts from Japan to Thailand. Hard to say if there are any quality issues, as the parts still seem to be manufactured in Japan.
2007: New shift lever

There must have been more changes. If I e-mail you, you'll give me the secret list of other changes, right?
Dream on. Although, in 2006 they offered it in two color schemes for the first time...
 

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I concur, the table for the win. The chair put in a good showing, but...
 

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Wikipedia's KLR650 entry has a good effort at outlining the bike's evolution (as does thetable's post above). Somewhat vague and cryptic about alternator changes, the citation appears rather comprehensive and accurate, to me.

Yet, Kawasaki itself has never accommodated the reality of dual-piston rear brake calipers in its factory Generation 2 specifications.
 
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