When Armageddon comes, you’ll wish you had a KLR650 gassed up and ready in the garage. That’s because this budget big single rolls out of the crate ready for world traveling, whether that’s streets and freeways, alleyways and trails, or water crossings and wildlands. Its big 651cc DOHC four-stroke is liquid-cooled for durability, its cushy suspension provides more than 7 inches of travel at both ends (with a multi-adjustable shock), the fuel tank holds a generous 6.1 gallons, and the roomy ergonomics mean there’s ample space for you and whatever luggage you’ll need on a long tour or just mucking about in the hills.
Downsides? There are a few. At 432 pounds and wide abeam, the KLR650 is rather chunky for serious off-road work. Likewise, its tires are street-oriented, though since rubber only lasts so long, you can swap them for a better dirt pattern later. And importantly, with electric start only, when the Big One happens, you better hope the battery is fully charged. Otherwise, it’s bump-start only, baby! For hunters, moonshiners, and other sneaky types, a Camo version is optional.
Likes: Huge bandwidth, value pricing, standard mini-fairing and rack
Dislikes: Budget-driven low-spec fork, no backup kickstarter
Verdict: Ready for the world when you are