KAWASAKI KLV1000 (2004 - 2006) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
Power: 98 bhp
Seat height: Medium (33.1 in / 840 mm)
Weight: Medium (459 lbs / 208 kg)


New N/A
Used £3,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


Engine size 996cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 840mm
Bike weight 208kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 260mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £180
New price -
Used price £3,700
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 98 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Tank range 200 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2004: Original model introduced.
2006: Model discontinued.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the KAWASAKI KLV1000 (2004 - 2006)

6 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI KLV1000 (2004 - 2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your KAWASAKI KLV1000 (2004 - 2006)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Equipment: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
4 out of 5
15 April 2020 by Marty

Year: 2005

Annual servicing cost: £150

Very useful and very underrated motorcycle

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

rides superb but sort those brakes out !

Engine 4 out of 5

Clutch basket issue and Stator can be a problem if the magnets unglue

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

This is the real let down of the bike (I have a 2005 bought in 2018 with 30+k, not brilliantly taken care of but with a massive service history and only paid peanuts for it and the guy delivered it from Cornwall ! so wasn't expecting much else as i was after a project for the winter) The bike suffers from typical "Suzuki" poor build quality and built to a price is very obvious. poor components/materials etc. and not built in mind for the home mechanic, as most service items are awkward to get to or involved undressing her ! But having said all that what a machine !! tons of power extremely comfortable and very capable both on and mild off road with correct tyres, just heavy as all are in this bracket of engine size. Having sorted all the common issues "clutch basket" stripped down sent to john in Yorkshire for fettling, what a guy. lumpy and low revs, get a "boosterplug" the guy is a genius who designed this. Completely replaced all brake and clutch lines "HEL", proper pads, "EBC proper discs, new "Renthal" chain and sprockets, "Heed" crash bars and aluminium engine guard, it came with full factory luggage, "Renthal" handlebars, "Roxshocks" antivibe risers, oxford heated grips, givi tankbag, voltmeter and 12v oulet, plus a trip to holiday to "Hagon" shocks for them to tailor it to me and fit bespoke shocks and springs etc. and a set of "Hawk" slip ons, total this bike owes me know is around £3k. and what a machine, I've put 25k on it since the rebuild and it has taken me through europe 3 times and into the sahara and around morocco with ease. for a budget bike and a winter project its awesome and am now taking it back to morocco with "Nick Sanders" in September 2020. It'll do everything that most of the £20k GS riders use there machines for and so much they cant as they dont want to get them scratched as they are on "rent" LOL, so buy cheap, ADDRESS THE ISSUES and enjoy yourselves. If you bin it fix it ! and you'll still be in credit.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

thats buying topnotch parts and doing the work myself

Equipment 3 out of 5

ok but do the personal upgrades to suit you

5 out of 5 Kawasaki KLV1000 A2H
10 May 2018 by Pichulec

Version: A2H

Year: 2005

Annual servicing cost: £200

Noisy clutch basket, alternator problems, wind buffeting. All those issues are possible to sort out and after that is a lovely bike. Recommended if you are willing to spend some money for improvements.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

I'm using it mainly in town but even though the bike is heavy with high weight position, it is very manoeuvrable, easy to filter. Brakes are ok.

Engine 5 out of 5

There is quite a bit of vibration, but this is a V-twin so don't expect smooth engine. A lot of power and torque, accelerates like a space rocket. Lovely sound with correct end cans. TRE is recommended as it unlocks full torque at low rpm in lower gears. Before installing TRE I couldn't go lower than 3000 rpm without stalling engine on 3rd-4th gear. Now i can go as low as 2000 rpm in 3rd gear and 2500 rpm in 4th. Massive improvement - this is must have. Overall engine is problem-free and long-lasting.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Corrosion of the subframe is very common, corrosion of magneto cover as well.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Recommended items: Michelin Pilot Road 4 Trail tyres - great in the wet and superb in the dry. Mirrors from Kawasaki Z1000 Adjustable windscreen mount (only aftermarket - there is no OE adjustable mount) with this mount you can almost eradicate wind buffeting Mirror extenders TRE Modified clutch basket Main stand

Buying experience: Was a private sale organised through the dealer. Paid £2.5k but bike had some hidden problems to sort out.

4 out of 5 Comfy and suprisingly rapid road bike
01 August 2017 by Graeme shaw

Year: 2004

Good solid bike that does everything I want it to do. Comfy for me (6'3" and 18 stone) and now I've put mirror extenders on, the buffeting has reduced greatly

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Little bit soggy compared to my previous cbr600 but it's longer travel suspension so what can you expect. Braided lines and sintered pads help no end with the braking as well. Weaves a little at 100mph+ speeds but fork brace does help

Engine 4 out of 5

Lumpy and 'chuggy' around the 2500 to 3500 rev range but PCIII helped cure most of that. Plenty of pull and torque when needed for overtakes and will still crack 130mph (on the autobahn)

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Seems to be holding up well with no issues or problems

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I get around 200miles of mixed commuting and pleasure riding before needing to fill it. On a run I think that'll rise to 240 and the 6th gear overdrive helps massively

Equipment 4 out of 5

Fuel gauge, temp, 2 trips and that's about it but what else do you need really? Fuel gauge is pretty accurate and will start flashing when you have 5ltr remaining which I think is a bit soon seeing as the tank is 22ltr

Buying experience: Brought from CMC Nottingham. Great experience from Darren and quick turn around as well

4 out of 5 I love this bike!
16 August 2015 by Matt

Year: 2004

I think this is an amazing bike! It handles well, it has plenty of poke, and with after market cans it is honestly one of the best sounding bikes I have ever heard. My other bike is a Fireblade, so it has a lot to live up to, and still keeps me amused. However it is a big, tall bike, with a high centre of gravity, and I don't think it would suit a smaller, less physically strong person.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The ride quality is excellent, the brakes are not, but with some upgraded race pads, they are better. These bikes seem to have a flat spot, but a quick hook up to a Yoshi box fixes that, and they run lovely. I've ridden for 6hrs only stopping for fuel, and it was not that bad, the seating position for me is great.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine is lovely, both in grunt and sound, it runs out of power at 135mph, but still has another gear to play with. Some more power would always be nice, but it is adequate.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I disagree with the other review regarding the finish, mine has covered 28k and looks like new, the orange paint is perfect, to the point a friend of mine assumed I had put a private plate on it, as he could not believe it was an 11yr old bike.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

I've a Givi top box, which works well when needed, the crash bars make the bike look much better IMO, as well as providing some insurance against a drop. I'd definitely get the brakes upgraded, and an after market exhaust to allow that glorious V twin to growl, (mine is the MTC one).

4 out of 5 big twin thumper trialler, not to be overlooked
28 June 2015 by blackdog

Year: 2004

a lot of bike for the budget i had at the time. a vstorm in bright orange with a kawasaki badge. its maybe not a thing of beauty, but is eaten up the miles on our tours. bought as a mature riders option making it into old age. it came with a full set of givi luggage which the bike handles quite well and doesn't unsettle it. suffers from the suzuki's normal poor paint job and untidy finishing . overall i have been surprised how much i have come to like the bike. bought as a stop gap but has been here a couple of years now. looking to upgrade though no longer available, will certainly look at its suzuki twin

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

good elevated position, my first big sit up bike.i have rode 6hrs straight and was still able to walk afterwards compared to some of the sport bikes in the past. used to race mx in my younger days took this quicker than i expected

Engine 4 out of 5

pulls well even when loaded up, suffers from the heavy suzuki clutch and noisy gearbox, and can feel lumpy when cold. have thought of sourcing a tl engine for a bit more go, but don't think it would be easy handled or ridden with the extra power. have borrowed a pals fitted with a power commander which seems to sort out some of the engine flat spots

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

standard poor paint finish frame and tank which suzuki is known for. confuses most part departments when looking for spares (its sometimes easier to say its a vstrom, for levers etc)

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

serviced in house, surprising good, value, has scotoiler fitting so chain life pretty good although messy sometimes, tyres also seem to last well (maybe am just getting old) a lot to be said for only having a twin. parts are easy available though sometimes call it a suzuki it will help you get them

Equipment 3 out of 5

basic but functional. mine's has the lights running full time although at night in the dark there is room for improvement, would look to have engine bars fitted to the next one, when fully loaded and fuel, is very heavy when stopped (new clutch lever). bike 200kg + luggage and rider.

Buying experience: bought privately though not what i set out to buy originally, haven't been let down with the bike i got for the budget set

5 out of 5 klv1000
02 February 2010 by jay77

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

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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