kle500 pleasant cheap suprise

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by jimmy101, May 12, 2009.

  1. jimmy101

    jimmy101 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    Scarborough/brisbane AUS
    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)

    Summary:
    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.:evil:rofl

    [​IMG]

    Now with my klx USD forks!!
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. chadams

    chadams Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Blue Mountains
    Buy a f800gs.....
    #2
  3. ctfz1

    ctfz1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,339
    Works great, fun ride (wish I had one).
    Lacks snob appeal. Enjoy!
    #3
  4. ShaunJ

    ShaunJ Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    UK
    Hi

    Had a kle a year now good first bike
    As for suspension put 20psi in the forks it'll improve it alot

    Also who makes the 600cc kit?
    #4
  5. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,697
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    Shame we don't get those over here.
    #5
  6. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N.E. Pa.

    this thread is useless without pics!!!
    #6
  7. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    Location:
    Kansas City
    :dog Don't be a troll.
    #7
  8. ShaunJ

    ShaunJ Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
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    54
    Location:
    UK
    #8
  9. alohagirl

    alohagirl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Fortuna, CA
    Oh..., Just another bike not available to us here in the states.:baldy Looks good though!
    #9
  10. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,483
    Location:
    Bow, WA USA

    Noob/Troll, f800gs in Oz is $17K , send cash to Jimmy, I'm sure he'll take you up on your advice. dont forget extra $$ to fix the lame suspension & more $$$ for farkles to drop its weight to that of a KLE500. ( yes the KLE IS lighter then a f800gs :evil )

    Jimmy, cool bike. post on your updates, make us poor north americans jealous .:1drink
    #10
  11. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

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    N.E. Pa.
    #11
  12. Strada

    Strada Tally Ho!

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Have seen these new in the UK for £2995!
    That's alot of bike for the money!
    #12
  13. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Jul 9, 2005
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    Location:
    Central Coast, Cal
    No kidding. :cry:becca:baldy
    #13
  14. rrittner

    rrittner Expand your sphere of awarness

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
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    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    I'd ride that.
    #14
  15. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Dec 27, 2006
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    12,971
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    I hadnt seen one of those before,I liked the motor in my 88 EX500,they did all kinds of big bore/hop up on those motors for club road racing,brick reliable and can be fast.Nice torquey smooth street/dirt motor as is though.
    Looks like fun!
    #15
  16. NaMi

    NaMi Mirko

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Celje, SLO
    Fully loaded KLE500 in Itallian Dolomiti. Real "LBB" lo budget bike.

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. NaMi

    NaMi Mirko

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Celje, SLO
    And another pic from secon perspective.

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. t-rider

    t-rider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
    Hi there, a quick introduction, I'm T-Rider, a KLE driver from the Netherlands. I Actually own an KLE from '93 for a year now, bought it with 15 k on the counter. Nice bike, owned a Honda 599 (hornet) before this one, this is a lot more fun :-). Had some things ajusted, as the brakes (not really great on the tarmac), now replaced it for some brakings with hell braking hoses, big improvement.

    Now on the list is are different shocks and fork spring.

    Great bike, light, smooth handling, big fun :-)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    KLE in Belgium

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Just a weekend trip to family

    [​IMG]
    Alternate Braking disc & shoes
    #18
  19. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
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    2,973
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    nice looking bike...isnt this the basis for the weber rally twin??
    #19
  20. t-rider

    t-rider Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
    Correct. The weber twin uses the EX500 engine, same as the KLE and the GPZ500 (Well that's a multifunctional engine...). Also nice fact, the Italian Walter Surini entered the dakar rally with a KLE500 and ended of at the 20th position! The bike wasn't change much during the years, only minor adjustments made to fairings (top fairing is now a Kawasaki Z style) and some restrictions (engine power decreased from 50 to (I Tought) 45 bhp.
    #20