I recently bought a kle500. Now ordinarily I always thought this bike was OK but nothing special, if anything a bit of a dog even - but a really needed a dirty that I could do big k's on while commuting. But over here in Aus you can pick 2006 models up for about $5-6k with <15,000 km, where say a new versy/vstrom is about $12k ride away. Well sorry, for half that price difference you can turn a kle into a seriously dirt capable tourer.
I have owned over 5 dirt bikes from 125 strokers to 600 thumpers, 1200 bandits, wr360 husky strokers and this bike is the best $5k i have ever spent (the husky 360 was the next best fun factor)
yes the suspension isn't great, but neither is a klr650's, but it actually kinda works reasonably well. With stiffer springs and a gold valve emulator that setup wouldn't be too bad at all - but I plan to whack on my klx USD's anyway for some extra height/clearance and travel.
The engine is great - yes its down on power (its still restricted with all the cats), but again the plus is that it puts its power down in the dirt really well. being a twin once its moving it accelerates real quick, but they need a few more teeth on the rear sprocket. There is alot you can do with this engine from de-restrict to a 600cc kit with dual FCR's (but that's a bit to risky for my use). Little bit lumpy under 3k rpm, but smooth as > 4k rpm.
You cannot feel the weight on this bike at all. The engine is positioned well, and the weight is low. Standing up you feel like you are on a dirt bike again. This feels lighter than some 600 singles I have ridden.
brakes are, well not great, but again do the job reasonably well. disc is well sized, and braided lines and HH rated pads would work OK.
reasonably fuel efficient - 20-25 km/L, even on dirt.
Summary - if you want a cheap bike that does everything well, but nothing in particular special, this is a great option. Also has heaps of potential. My main 3 cons are the pegs (shit but easily replaced), i dont find the seat comfy (but have an airhawk anyway) and the small tank capacity. Everything else has actually exceeded my expectations.
Now with my klx USD forks!!