KLR discontinued?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Bama67, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    Thanks for the research, but I'll hard pass on your conclusions.

    What are riders buying in the last three years that all of a sudden made them stop buying the KLR?
    Maybe the smaller displacement bikes?
    Maybe there are way too many used bikes on the market. The bike has been out since the mid/late 80s. And other DR650s and such.
    Maybe riders are buying more expensive bikes, like the AT, which does have some KLR qualities.
    ___
    Everywhere I go dealers say they sell their three KLR a year, and I do not see them on the show room floor.
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  2. Fallacy

    Fallacy Long timer Super Supporter

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    ^^^^^^^^
    You need to get out more..
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  3. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice The Virginian

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    I travel a lot.

    In fact I drove through Iowa twice this year.:D
    Early May and mid August.

    The damage the Missouri River did in the region is for real.

    I'll go by the local Kawi shop here in town and report back one data sampling point.:y0!
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Judging by all the issues you are dealing with your SD, I'd say many will pass at this point.

    I do hope they work thru their build issues and maintain as a viable US seller.
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I think that is more a natural tendency of buyers to hold and wait to see what the new model looks like. If it's better I'll wait. If they don't like the new model, they then want a good deal on the old model.

    The end of life message came fast and kinda thru unofficial Kawi lines. I suspect Kawi would have waited longer to announce it's end as they are very tight lipped.

    Kawi has not worked on sales discounts yet on the older model so potential buyers are holding for now.

    Up till the end of life notice the model actually sold very well. Dealers I spoke with said they always sold out theirs.
  6. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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  7. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    On a contrary the places I have taken it to are manifest of how reliable bike is. Many bikes fall into pieces on these tracks; be they made in Germany, Japan or Austria.
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  8. Wallachian Spikes

    Wallachian Spikes Long timer

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    It's not at all uncommon for dealers "in stock" inventory list on their website to be inaccurate. I'm not seeing KLR's on the floor of dealerships in my area. Perhaps your neck of the woods IS flooded with them but, unless you've seen them I wouldn't bet money on it.
    The_Precious_Juice likes this.
  9. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Believe what y'all want. But even if it comes back, a two year sales hiatus says a lot about real world sales numbers. If they were really selling like happy meals, Kawasaki would be gleefully filling those orders.

    I believe that Revzilla article is right. Almost everyone that wants a new KLR has one and the market is flooded with used bikes absolutely identical to new bikes. It's basic supply and demand I learned in college.

    To me, that is the problem with letting a design stagnate for decades. It's why there are are always so many $4000 Sportsters on CL. They sold well for a long time. Now there is little incentive to buy new over used with so many out there.

    There are six KLR's on my CL right now. All but one are less than $3000. That must make selling new ones tough.
  10. timeOday

    timeOday Long timer

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    What surprises me about that is the KLR might be the biggest-selling ADV ever, but still only sells 10-20 units per day, globally.

    It's possible (not likely, but humanly possible) that a single guy on the assembly line could have placed the motor into the frame of every KLR ever built.
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    People still buy new machines even DRs, because they want new

    Kawi was razor thin tight on their corporate emissions average on all machines sold for 2018. Tighter to the limit than other mfg because they focus heavy on bigger performance machines.

    This avg among all machines sold is how Suzuki can still have carb bikes in the lineup for 2020.

    Kawi dropped the carb KLX250S awhile back to free up the avg to allow newer machines.

    This is model info direct from 2 dealer managers mouths not something I read on the Internet.

    So I suspect this is the big factor vs keep selling it till a replacement is ready.

    Your right, sales were dropping as there are better options now even in the desired Japanese bike space that did not exist years ago when the KLR was the go to bike.

    Even all the mods now available for the DR caused buyers to change over...you can build a KLR like bike with a DR. This did exist 10yrs ago for the DR.

    Anyway KLR still did sell and as stated inventory search most often means the dealer selected "I can get you one" not they are littering the floor. I visit alot of dealers and I don't see them in any great numbers.

    As I showed above, it's carb engine had it's day because of EPA not Kawasaki pulling the plug. Yes it was time either way as it's time for Kawasaki to give us the next level...same with Suzuki!

    The KLR has been and will always be the backbone, the work horse of ADV/DS touring. Many a young person will no doubt travel their way far north or south used one.

    When I lived in Mexico, a few years ago along the main route south, the KLR was the #1 bike heading south by a large margin.

    The KLR is the reason alot of us here are ADV riding so it has earned my respect.
  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    They moved from Japan to Thailand production I think for gen 2.

    It will be interesting to see where gen 3 is made?
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    From a motorcycle mfg business perspective selling a "widget" the KLR has to be one of the better deals ever going. Right up there with the Honda Cub.

    We can all naw about how the gen 2 update was just cosmetic only, but from Kawi's bottom line (and that's what corporations look at above all...and they are a HUGE Corp) the KLR has a great ROI on that widget.

    Maybe all those who think the mfgs should be building exactly what we want, don't like it but the capitalist would look at the KLR and say that was a good corporate move.
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  14. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    If you look at that sales chart, that 2008 cosmetic makeover gave the KLR650 a hell of a sales boost.That was pretty much a slam dunk for Kawasaki on such an ancient model.

    It will be interesting to see what "Gen 3" will be. Kawasaki must be eyeing the $10,000 plus KTM 790, Yamaha Baby T and Honda Africa Twin. Especially since they have the Versys 650 half way there already.
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    ...this story line is far from being over
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  16. montesa_vr

    montesa_vr Legend in his own mind

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    Yes! Most riders don't realize what a tiny niche market dual-sports are in world motorcycle sales. And for most of its production, the KLR was the best selling dual sport. I think it was helped in that regard by former Motorcyclist editor Art Friedman, who in spite of riding the latest and greatest of everything, chose to own a KLR.

    Yamaha was first to the thumper party with the XT500 in 1976 followed by Honda with the XL500 in 1978 and Suzuki with the SP500 in 1982. Kawasaki joined the party in 1984 with the KLR600. Yamaha went through various iterations of the 550 and 600 before dropping out altogether. The remaining three eventually morphed their entries into their current 650 forms which have remained stagnant for three decades. Only the Kawasaki has had a major refresh, and that was more than ten years ago.

    I believe that a lot of what has killed the big Japanese thumper market is the aging, and increasing affluence of motorcyclists. Those who wanted less weight and better handling started buying KTMs, and those who wanted longer legs and two-up capability started buying big adventure bikes. Suzuki's DRZ400 is essentially unchanged since 2000 and Yamaha has done nothing with its WR250R, now more than a decade old.

    Honda has decided to take on KTM with a heavily altered version of the CRF450R motocrosser. Unfortunately, the resulting dual sport is markedly heavier than the comparable KTM while still carrying a similar high price. It currently offers no advantage in service intervals and it is plagued with a snatchy throttle that has motivated many owners to seek relief with a $900 Vortex fuel tuner. Over the last 50 years I have learned not to bet against Honda, but I'm glad I didn't buy the first year CRF450L.

    To me, the KLR650 is a niche within a niche. Especially with the 2008 upgrade you have a fairing, seat, luggage rack, hand guards, and large fuel tank suitable for adventure touring right off the showroom floor. With fuel injection and a six speed transmission, I think it would endure, but it's too late. None of these three decade old thumpers can justify either update. A six-speed would require new engine cases, which would require frame modifications, and fuel injection would require a whole new round of EPA certifications which they can duck now due to grandfathered status.

    The KLR650 might not be dead. It is not unprecedented for a manufacturer to simply skip a year until inventory is sold out before introducing another set of bold new graphics. But if it is, I agree that some sort of Frankenstein Versys is a likely replacement.
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'm in the camp they will build a modern KLE500 type of bike and call it a KLR.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_KLE500

    It will not be the Versys motor but something smaller and lighter and closer to the weight of the old KLR motor, but a twin.

    I'm guessing something close to the old weight, it was heavier anyway.

    No doubt Kawi now has the luxury to sit back and watch the tech and pricing on these new machines work to slot in below them.

    It won't be $6700 like the out going machine but will not also be as much as the T7. It will be enough below to choose it over the T7.

    Kawi will no doubt wait out Yamaha's price on the US T7 before they commit or knowing how the Japanese have moles and spy's they know it already.
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Booster Plugs do work!
    I'm using them on 2 bikes.

    https://www.boosterplug.com/shop/boosterplug-honda-crf450l-770p.html
  19. Ridin'nFishin

    Ridin'nFishin Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sold my KLR650 and DR650 to build.
    [​IMG]
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  20. Bhart89

    Bhart89 Long timer Supporter

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    I’m the odd ball who wants a Japanese (I don’t care where it’s manufactured) single cylinder competitor to the 690/701. I don’t need 74hp. 60 would be fine. I want reliability and to weigh less than or equal to a DR650 (366lbs). Come on Kawasaki!
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