A Different Shade of Green – Kawasaki KLR650

In Dual-Sport, Japan by AbhiLeave a Comment

Kawasaki’s trademark green has been around for decades – they even identify their MX racing effort as Team Green. But today, we have a Kawi that works for a different green…the US Marine Corps.

Kawasaki KLR650 M1030B1 - Front Fairing

The KLR650 is known the world over as a basic and durable dual-sport with a wide following and lots of aftermarket support, thanks to the fact that it basically went unchanged from 1987 to 2007. The 650 cc water-cooled engine was good for 37 horsepower. The USMC contracted with Hayes Diversified Technologies to create a military-spec bike based on the KLR650. Most of these bikes had their gasoline engines replaced with diesel engines, as the military uses JP-8 diesel for nearly everything. Read more about the conversion here on the New York Times – apparently at 55 mph the diesel bike could achieve 96 miles per gallon! Known internally as the M1030B1, the military bike received other upgrades over the civilian bike, like a AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery that won’t spill upon tipover.

Kawasaki KLR650 M1030B1 - Identification Tag

This specific Kawasaki KLR650 (VIN: 057066) has just 2,400 miles and has spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can’t figure out why, but this bike still runs on regular gasoline – but that’s probably more convenient for civilian riders, anyway. You’ll get a tank that stores at least 7 gallons, and a bike that looks the part.

Kawasaki KLR650 M1030B1 - Right Side

Find this Kawasaki KLR650 for sale here on Craigslist for $4,500 in Chamblee, Georgia.

Kawasaki KLR650 M1030B1 - Left Side

This bike-uriousity brought to you by reader Steven B!