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KAWASAKI KLV1000 (2004-2006) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Short-lived, rebadged version of Suzuki's worthy V-Strom 1000"

Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding

"Short-lived, rebadged version of Suzuki's worthy V-Strom 1000"

  • At a glance
  • 996cc  -  98 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Insurance group: 13 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (840mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 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.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2006
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 98 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
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

History & Versions

Model history

2004: Original model introduced.
2006: Model discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Owners' Reviews

5 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 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Kawasaki KLV1000 A2H

10 May 2018 by Pichulec

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.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Corrosion of the subframe is very common, corrosion of magneto cover as well.
Value & Running Costs
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

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)
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Seems to be holding up well with no issues or problems
Value & Running Costs
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

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.
Build Quality & Reliability
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 & Running Costs
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

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
Build Quality & Reliability
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 & Running Costs
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
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-

Photo Gallery

  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Kawasaki KLV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
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