The standout feature of the Kawasaki KLE500’s handling is the seat. The Kawasaki KLE500 is so thin and so uncomfortable that it’s as if man had suddenly reverted to stone as his principle furniture. Thankfully an unhealthy appetite for petrol means you don’t have to suffer it long. Higher speed braking on the Kawasaki KLE500 provides unwelcome excitement by a combination of a weak single disc brake, the soft suspension and woeful tyres. Kawasaki KLE500 is good at U-turns and light trails, though.
The Kawasaki KLE500 DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin struggles to pump out 37bhp, even though it’s almost identical to the older model. That’s because the Kawasaki KLE500 has a battery of three catalysers that suck the life, as well as the emissions, from the motor. Consequently the Kawasaki KLE500 feels flat, lifeless and quite uninspiring. The KLE500 copes with town bound trips reasonably well, though, and the gearbox is unremarkable.
Kawasaki’s older KLE500 is poorly finished, though the new one looks somewhat better. The Kawasaki KLE500 brakes quickly go off if not kept clean and free of grit.
Suzuki’s DL650 V-Strom aces the Kawasaki KLE500 in terms on crucial criteria like refinement, performance and handling, as does BMW’s F650 and Honda’s XL650 Transalp. The Kawasaki KLE500 is much cheaper, but that doesn’t make it better value necessarily though as a city commuter it’s as good as any of the others. Find a Kawasaki KLE500 for sale.
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Handguards, a bash plate and a luggage rack come as standard on the Kawasaki KLE500, though a taller, aftermarket screen is most welcome should you press the KLE500 (unwillingly) into a touring or longer distance commuting role.