Kawasaki’s venerable KLR650 is one of motorcycling’s true workhorses. Introduced in 1987, it has been around the block and around the world countless times. The KLR isn’t the prettiest, the highest-tech, or “the best” at one particular thing. Instead it’s a bike about compromises made in logical ways. Covering miles on the street or in the dirt, on the commute to the office or on the Alaskan Haul Road to the Arctic Ocean, the KLR’s versatility means it can damn well do anything. Cheap, reliable, made for the abuse of roads less traveled: These are qualities that make the KLR a permanent fixture in a rider’s stable. Equip it to be as comfortable as possible with the following modifications.
Sargent World Sport Adventure Touring Seat:
Sargent’s foam seats are available in two heights: one approximating the OEM height, the other a lower, 32.75-inch saddle for shorter riders. The wider, concave saddle shape provides a more comfortable perch for long stints behind the bars, which, thanks to the KLR’s 6.1-gallon tank, are definitely in the cards. Heated seats are available for an additional $195 and use a bar-mounted control module. ($369, sargentcycle.com)
Off-road comfort is all about feeling secure and in charge of the motorcycle. Classic hinged footpegs provide the sure-footedness loose terrain demands. Optional plastic guards are available for road use. ($170, pivotpegz.net)
Touratech Handlebar Risers:
Handlebar risers put the rider in a more upright position that can be more comfortable for long distances and more “attack-ready” when off-road. ($80, touratech-usa.com)
Progressive 465 Series Shock And Fork Spring Kit:
In general, suspension components are considered more performance mods than comfort mods, but if you’re relying on the KLR on a daily basis or for long-distance travel, up-spec’d components will be a better intermediary between you and the road, adding longevity to your ride as well as improving handling. Progressive Suspension offers a fork kit and rear shock to improve the KLR’s soft stock setup. Suspension is a typical place OEMs save money, so on a motorcycle as affordable as the KLR, a suspension upgrade can really transform the handling for the better, especially off-road. (Shock $495, fork spring kit $93, progressivesuspension.com)