The 650 Thumpers. Most of us have owned one, at one time or another, or we will.
So why are they still being made in this age of modern technology, fuel injection, heated seats, on-the-fly suspension adjustment and on and on? I guess riders are still buying them.
Zack Courts @ Motorcyclist Online recently posted an excellent article on these time-proven standbys. Hard to believe, but did you know the Kawasaki KLR 650 was first introduced when Ronald Reagan was President! Think about that time span ( Reagan, George H, Clinton, George W, Obama, Trump)
Here are a couple of snips I enjoyed from the article:
- it’s easy to forget that uncomplicated machines still exist, but they do.
- No liquid-crystal displays, no light-emitting diodes, no fuel injection. They are uniquely unsophisticated in this day and age
- 650cc of tugboat thrust means there’s enough power to get out of the way of traffic
- All of these bikes are as simple as a hammer and just as reliable
- We never intended to rank these bikes, frankly. Because 35 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque is the same