mark. Unfortunately, its 3.6-gallon tank means you still
have to plan your trip around gas stops—or have a
Kawasaki nearby. As a side note, the Husky’s fuel tank
isn’t where it appears to be. The fuel filler on top leads
down a long tunnel to a cell under the seat, so you can’t
see the level by peering under the cap. You’re at the mercy
of a fuel light.
Aside from the lack of wind protection, the Husky is a
wonderful bike at speed. The motor makes all the difference. When all four bikes reach 65 mph, the Husky is the
only one with power left over. When you open the throttle,
it moves out. The three Japanese 650s just gurgle and
struggle to squeeze out something you might call acceleration. It also has the most powerful brakes. The Honda’s
might be the weakest, but since the bike is so light, it can
actually stop faster than any of them.
All three have acceptable vibration levels for single-cylinder bikes. The Husky is the smoothest and the Honda is a
little shaky, but you don’t really think about that on long
Right now there’s a shortage of Terra accessories, but
almost everyone is working on it. Touratech, Twisted
Throttle and Husqvarna’s own accessory department are
working on everything from panniers to windscreens.
Touratech already has an excellent aluminum skid plate
that we installed before riding in the dirt. Consider it
mandatory. As products become available, we’ll try them
on our Terra. We’re especially interested in suspension
products. Stay tuned.
Virtually everything is available in bulk for the Kawasaki,
with Honda and Suzuki items only slightly more scarce.
Here are some recommendations.
Kawasaki: Get new footpegs the day you get the bike.
We’re using a set from Twisted Throttle, along with their
crash bars. The stock luggage rack is great and accepts a
wide range of aftermarket items, so don’t get rid of it. We
use Kawasaki’s own soft saddlebags. We also like the tall
windscreen from Kawasaki. Seat Concepts makes a much
better saddle; the stocker is good when it’s new, but the
foam breaks down quickly.
Honda: A fuel tank is at the top of the list here. Acerbis,
IMS and Clarke all make good ones. The bike is old,
though, so most of the fuel tanks that will fit look slightly
dated. For the Honda, it seemed best to go with Wolfman
Expedition soft bags, which can be removed quickly and
easily from the side racks—that way the bike can be converted into more of a pure dirt bike when a trail calls.
Suzuki: We built up our DR650 for a test in the March
2013 issue. It got an IMS fuel tank and a set of Moose
racks with hard luggage. We also installed a DG pipe, a
Seat Concepts saddle and a set of A’ME hot grips. High on
the list of things we plan to do is install some kind of windscreen. We know that the fork-mounted variety can perform as well as the Kawasaki’s stocker, but we’ve seen
some brands we would like to try (TCI, for one, which is
the dirt brand of Turbo City).
All of these bikes are priced well. The Suzuki is priced
the lowest at $6300. Next in line are the Kawasaki ($6499),
the Honda ($6690) and the Husky ($6999). The next bikes
up the food chain are twins, like the Honda NC700X
($7499) and the Suzuki V-Strom 650 ($8499). There are
also two other singles that are players: the BMW G650GS
($8650) and the KTM 690 ($10,300).
When you look at the overall value, the Kawasaki
The Kawasaki KLR650 isn’t especially powerful or dirt-oriented, but it offers the best value in the adventure bike world.
In 2008, the Kawasaki got a remake that included its greatest
asset: a frame-mount fairing.