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Kawasaki KLR250

Japan (1984)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Kawasaki KLR250 Military Motorcycle.

 Entry last updated on 4/16/2015; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Kawasaki KLR250  
Picture of Kawasaki KLR250 Military Motorcycle

The Kawasaki KLR250 series motorcycle formed a quick-reaction force for elements of U.S. Special Forces and Marine Corps.

The motorcycle has provided land forces with a special means of traversing varied terrain in short order. Such vehicles have been used in the fast reconnaissance, message delivery, fast attack, and light cargo hauling roles since the motorcycle proved itself a viable instrument in the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918). Various special forces services worldwide make use of motorcycles today and these products are often based on civilian marks though modified to meet the rigors of military service. The Kawasaki KLR 250-D8 series is a motorcycle of note - having been used by American special forces as well as the USAF and USMC - and has proven itself a robust battlefield performer.

The motorcycle weighed in at nearly 260 lb but maintains a lightweight classification. It sported a conventional two-wheeled motorcycle arrangement, sprung wheel units, and headlamp at front. The rear sides could hold hard cases for transporting sensitive cargo. Overall length is seven feet and range is out to 210 miles on paved roads. Power was served through a Kawasaki 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine developing up to 28 horsepower. Militarized civilian motorcycles generally saw various modifications enacted including noise and heat signature reductions, improved suspension systems, low light service headlamps, and reinforced structures.

The initial KLR 250 model debuted in 1984 and was succeeded by the KLR 250-D8 in 1991. The KLR 250 series itself has been replaced by the Kawasaki KLR 650 models - marked as M1030 B1 in the U.S. military inventory.
Any available statistics for the Kawasaki KLR250 Military Motorcycle are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin, manufacturer and total production numbers. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed armament and ammunition carried, global users (from A-to-Z) and model variants in the series.
Kawasaki KLR250 Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 1984
Type: Military Motorcycle
Manufacturer(s): Kawasaki Heavy Industries - Japan
Production: 4,200
Supported Mission Types
Troop Transport
Infantry Support
High Mobility
Tank Destroyer
Special Forces
Towed Artillery
Self-Propelled Artillery
Rocket Artillery
Airspace Denial
Special Purpose
Crew, Dimensions and Operating Weight
Operating Crew: 1
Length: 7.02 ft (2.14 m)
Width: 2.95 ft (0.90 m)
Height: 4.27 ft (1.30 m)
Operating Weight: 0 ft (165 kg; 364 lb)

Installed Power
1 x Kawasaki 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine developing 23 to 28 horsepower.

Base Performance
Maximum Road Speed: 81 mph (130 km/h)
Maximum Road Range: 62 mi (100 km)

Armament and Ammunition
None save for any personal weapons carried by the operator.


Optional Systems
Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Protection: None
Nightvision (NV) Equipment: None

Operators List
Australia; Canada; Chile; United States

Model Variants
• KLR250 - Base Series Designation; model of 1984
• KLR 250-D8 - Improved military model of 1991