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2014.5 KLR650 New Edition Review

Calling this KLR 650 a "New Edition" is a slight exaggeration. The bike is nearly identical to the standard model except for the seat and suspension upgrades. I wish Kawasaki had addressed the doohickey issue and replaced those "pogo stick" front forks with those found on modern dual sport motorcycles. This bike is more of a KLR650 "S" than a "New Edition." Regardless, the upgrades are well worth the extra $100 over the standard 2014 model. Read on and decide for yourself, all of the tech specs and more pics are in the story below from www.ridermagazine.com

2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition First Look Review

 by Greg Drevenstedt
2014.5 KLR650 New Edition in Candy Lime Green/Ebony

After chugging along with few changes and a distinctive tweet from its exhaust pipe for 21 years, Kawasaki’s legendary KLR650 dual-sport got a major update for 2008. Engine tweaks, suspension improvements, stronger brakes, new styling with better aerodynamics and a comfier seat are the major items on an even longer list of changes that improved the KLR’s on-road manners at the expense of some off-road worthiness. Though updated, the KLR650, which still uses a Keihin CVK-40 constant-velocity carburetor, has remained fairly old-school, with a low price to match.
KLR650 New Edition_Front_Fork_R

41mm fork has 40% firmer springs and 28% firmer rebound damping.
Rumors have been circulating for a while about a larger displacement, fully modernized KLR, perhaps a fuel injected 800cc twin to compete with BMW's F 800 GS and Triumph's Tiger 800. When Kawasaki unveiled its 2014 lineup last fall, the KLR650 returned with the same specs and the same price ($6,499) as in 2013, but with color selection limited to Candy Lime Green/Ebony, the Ebony and Pearl Solar Yellow having been dropped.

Quietly, with little fanfare, Kawasaki slipped a mid-year addition into its lineup. The 2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition has more robust suspension and a better seat, and it comes in two new colors: Metallic Flat Raw Graystone/Ebony and Pearl Starduct White/Ebony. Comparing specs side-by-side for the KLR650 and KLR650 New Edition, they’re virtually identical. Same liquid-cooled 651cc single-cylinder DOHC 4-valve engine, same claimed curb weight (432 pounds), same fuel capacity (6.1 gallons), same seat height (35 inches) and so on.

One of the KLR650′s weakest links has been its too-soft suspension, which reflects the bike’s old design and low price. The New Edition attempts to remedy the situation with a 41mm fork—in the same size and with the same 7.9 inches of travel as the base model—that’s filled with 40-percent firmer springs and has 28-percent firmer rebound damping rates. The Uni-Trak linkage-equipped rear shock still has 7.3 inches of travel, but the New Edition has a 63-percent higher spring rate and 83-percent firmer rebound damping. All that extra firmness should reduce brake dive, sag (especially when loaded) and overall mushiness, offering better control in most riding conditions. As with the base model, the fork offers no adjustment but the shock has five-level spring preload and four-level rebound adjustment. 
KLR650 New Edition
The KLR650 New Edition’s seat is still 35 inches high, but it is narrower in front for an easier reach to the ground.
Even after its 2008 update, the KLR’s seat remained a sore point, literally. The foam is too soft and crushes down easily, leaving the rider’s bum on the seat pan. The New Edition’s seat features a narrower front section with a more rounded profile that Kawasaki says will make it easier to reach the ground and enhance off-road maneuverability. It is more than an inch wider and features a flatter, less tapered profile, offering a more stable and comfortable platform. Whether it offers more support is an open question.
MSRP for the 2014 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition is $6,599—just a Ben Franklin more than the base model gets you better suspension, a better seat and more color options with revised graphics. The KLR has long been one of the best deals on two wheels, and the New Edition is even better. We’ll get a chance to ride the new KLR soon, and they should be arriving at dealerships any day now.
The New Edition's seat is an inch wider and has a dimpled cover.

Uni-Trak linkage-equipped rear shock has a 63% percent higher spring rate and 83% percent firmer rebound dampening.

The KLR650 New Edition features stiffer suspension, a new seat, and more color options with new graphics.

MSRP for the 2014.5 KLR650 New Edition is $6,599, just $100 more than the base model.

2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition in Metallic Flat Raw Graystone/Ebony

2014.5 Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition in Pearl Stardust White/Ebony