Why did I select a Kawasaki KLR 650 for my trips?

I've done all my transcontinental trips on my Kawasaki KLR. Unfortunately this year, 2012, will probably my last long tour on the KLR. Not because I found a better, more suitable bike, but due to my huge disappointment in KMSA (Kawasaki South Africa). I cannot buy and ride a product of a company that don't appreciate and respect the dreams of adventurers.

So why did I select a KLR initially?

The road through Africa to Germany is a long one.  Petrol is not always easily obtainable as in South Africa. Spare parts are pretty scarce as for well-trained technicians.  So which motorbike would be appropriate for this daunting experience ?

If my heart had the choice it probably would have been a BMW but my mind overruled it and the chosen bike was the Kawasaki KLR 650.


1. The KLR 650 model has been in existence for more than 25 years.

2. Should you have a breakdown it is simple to fix it with wire and pliers (except of course should a switch, or an electrical part decide to blow).  One doesnít need a computer to fix it.  In very remote areas in Africa that could be crucial.

3. Its weight was an important factor.  Itís easier to keep a bike of 153 kg upright in sand and mud than one that weighs 240 kg

4. Petrol tank.  The tank of the KLR holds 23 liter.  That would mean with a consumption of 17km per liter one can get about 391 km per tank. Thatís important considering the petrol pumps in Africa are often few and far in between.

5. The price of the motorbike was favorable (more than R 80 000 less than the GS Adventure).

6. Finally can so many people be wrong ?  The KLR 650 is the  most sought after Enduro in the USA (Ref. Mototraveller from Germany, Ausgabe 1-2007 page 103)

7. Check out this report on a ride test www.motoring.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=913&fArticleId=3593393

8. Another reason was added to my choice. Egypt demands a bank guarantee of 200% of the value of the vehicle (bike)! That is a lot of money excluding the the huge cost of travelling across the African continent!

The KLR has proved itself on my trips. During January 2012 the bike reached the 85 000 km mark and is still going strongly.