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 The KLR 250 series itself has been replaced by the Kawasaki KLR 650 models - marked as M1030 B1 in the U.S. military inventory.
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