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Introducing Isaac the ADV riding legal eagle

Long Term Test Bike | Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure

My name is Isaac Mann and I am the lucky bastard that gets to hang off ADB’s new 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure tester for the next 6 to 12 months. I am a loyal reader of the mag and have had my outstanding riding skills featured in the “Without Fear of Failure” segment at least a couple times, so read into that what you will. I also had the opportunity to write a Readers Ride for Issue 498 and used it to burn my twin brother in front of an international audience, which remains a cherished memory.

Like most riders, bikes have been a matter of inheritance just as much as choice in my life. My grandad was a real nutcase who raced sidecars and travelled overseas to race flat track with an engine in his carry-on luggage. My dad is part of that weird breed of riders who enjoys knocking over 1000+ miles (yes, miles) in a day. I sit somewhere in the middle.

I don’t mind putting some distance in my rides but most of all I enjoy getting out into the bush with mates, sending it through some corners and popping over erosion mounds on the way to places that nobody else can ever reach.

I am currently working as an employment lawyer in Sydney, which pays the bills and funds my two wheeled dreams. I think I got the call to test out the new KLR as, unlike the rest of ADB’s enduro, rally and motocross nutters, I spend most of my time in the saddle aboard 650cc thumpers. It’s either that or Mitch (the Mag’s Captain) has gotten himself into some trouble with management and thinks he can buy my legal expertise with bikes, which of course he can.

I learnt to ride on a 90s BMW F650 Funduro before graduating to newer F650s and then eventually to my current steed, and the KLR’s historical top competitor, the mighty Suzuki DR650. I have taken the trusty DR on long solo trips, adventure rides with big KTMs and even some singletrack with WRs and the odd two stroke. I have put it through the ringer and am a huge fan of it. That makes me the perfect person to run a critical eye over Kawasaki’s new beast, which will persist into the future with EFI and ABS whilst the DR remains stranded in history.

I have had the Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure for a couple months now and have put on roughly 1000ks in that time. Overall, I must say that I am impressed with the overall package of this bike. Priced around the mark of $11,450 ride away I expected to be making a long list of essential mods for long-term hard adventure use.

However, its stock tank is 23L, the seat is relatively comfortable, the screen and handlebars are comfortable for my 6’3’ frame on the freeway and in the bush, and the Adventure version comes with auxiliary lights and very solid crash bars at the front and rear. On the other hand, the engine is acceptable but underwhelming, the suspension (currently unadjusted) bottoms out at medium to full send and the rubber footpegs are a death trap in the wet. However, it is nothing that a bit of work can’t fix and I’m very keen to see just how off road capable we can make Kawasaki’s staple round the world adventure bike.


RRP: $11,316 (on road NSW)
WARRANTY: 24 months all parts and labour
DISTRIBUTOR: Kawasaki Australia


TOTAL HOURS: Brand spanking new
MODS THIS MONTH: Fill the tank and head bush
MODS NEXT MONTH: Time will tell

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