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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.