Kawasaki KLE500 (1991-2009): Reliable workhorseEngine: The parallel twin liquid cooled engine will deliver from 2500 rpm. If 6th gear is selected , 3000 rpm will be needed. Around 4000 rpm is the best power band for town use, there is adequate torque and the operation is smooth. From 6000 rpm upwards engine vibrations will be felt, as rpms get higher, vibrations are increased as well.
Above 8000 rpm there are vivid vibrations, power output is not increased as linear as rpms are increased. Therefore there is no point in charging more, rev limiter is at 11000 rpm, rider should really upshift a gear at 8000 rpm. Maximum nominal power output 47 bhp.
Riding position: The seat is relatively high and narrow, thus even average height riders will step confident enough on the ground. The width of the bike is narrow, the weight though will be felt. Rider is positioned rather in and on the bike, riding position is neutral, the thin seat will be tedious after some riding time.
On the road : Suspension is soft, the front provides adequate feedback, the rear sometimes will not satisfy absorbing potholes. However in the majority of cases the KLE absorbs imperfections well and the huge steering lock will help, when maneuvering the bike. Rider is sited high thus watching traffic really well and the KLE will be generally a comfortable bike to commute.
Out of urban areas agility is moderate for the category standards , generally its considered to be agile. Handling is neutral and user friendly.
On highways travelling speed should be kept between 120-140 Km/h, above that itĘs a laboring procedure for the bike.
Soil roads are not to be exempted although some caution will be asked for, its better to keep speed low.
On low friction tarmac roads brakes are user friendly, on high friction asphalt roads they are weak. Feedback when braking is average.
Comments: KLE is considered as a usual bike nowadays, the original design is really dated. Fuel consumption could be better although engine is considered to be unbreakable. From 2006 the offspring, Versys, was introduced. Due to the low price, KLE attracts attention from riders who need a reliable workhorse.
Price : 5290 §
+Town or around town use
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Tsetselis, tel. +302105737379, Thivwn 103, Peristeri, Greece for the test ride.