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Kawasaki KLV1000 Adventure Motorbike Review

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Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

When you're looking for a big trailie-type the Kawasaki KLV1000 could be the answer you were looking for.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

It’s Suzuki’s legendary TL1000 V-twin in the Kawasaki KLV1000. Detuned from a genuine 120-odd rear wheel bhp in the sports bike, it’s still got plenty of shove. It’s a little lumpy at very low revs – as all big twins are but the Kawasaki KLV1000's midrange’s like a tidal wave and there’s decent snap if you rev it hard. It suits the KLV1000 well giving instant overtaking power at a moments notice.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki KLV1000 is extremely rapid on real roads. Yes on a track it’ll feel wobbly, diving into corners under hard breaking but it’s a rapid if slightly softly sprung road bike. It can’t match the far pricier BMW R1200GS and KTM 990 Adventure and off road ability is minimal. Brakes are modest but if in good condition, work well. The Kawasaki KLV1000 is fine on the road unless you’re a real speed demon.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Kawasaki KLV1000 is well tooled up for touring, less suited to off-road action. The seat and riding position are comfy. The Kawasaki KLV1000's adjustable screen works pretty well but there’s still a little buffeting. Suzuki’s latest version of the V-Strom comes with a centre stand and hard luggage too which the KLV1000 would benefit from.

Kawasaki KLV1000 (2004-2006)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£3,810 (2005) - £4,030 (2005)
Private used prices
£3,430 (2005) - £3,620 (2005)
  View full used price info
Engine size 996 cc
Power 98 bhp
Top speed 135 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 2 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki KLV1000 not without the odd problem. Clutches can have problems causing vibration, coolant hoses can leak and fasteners can vibrate lose. More worryingly it’s not a superbly built motorcycle. Corrosion is quick to appear on the Kawasaki KLV1000 – at least you can tell easily if a bike’s been neglected with a cursory examination.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Kawasaki KLV1000 was cheap when new, especially when discounted. KTM’s 990 Adventure and BMW’s R1200GS may be slightly better bikes but they’re in a different price league. Aprilia’s ETV1000 Caponord is just as cheap but dogged with problems, Yamaha’s TDM900 is comparable but less of a tourer. The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is similar priced not surprisingly. Find a Kawasaki KLV1000 for sale.


Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

2004: Original model introduced.
2006: Model discontinued.

Other Versions



Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Max power 98 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Weight 208 kg
Seat height 840 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 996 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 260mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(1 review)

  • klv1000


    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    cant see why the suzuki DL1000 gets all the credit when the kawasaki klv is exactly the same bike! WHY IS THIS?

    02 February 2010


Discuss this

Add your comment


pinch of salt

Hmm anyone from MCN explain why the review for the KLV is so much worse than for the DL1000 when they are supposed to be identical bikes?

Kawasaki not give you a a decent back hander for the write up on the KLV?






26 August 2012 09:43



Maybe Suzuki made it first?

or it may be the color...

Joking aside I never understood why Kawasaki decided to market the KLV when Suzuki DL-1000 was already there? What's the point?  

25 October 2011 20:57

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