1989 Kawasaki Tengai KLR650

MODELTengai KLR650
LOCATIONDunstable, Beds LU5

1989 Kawasaki Tengai KLR650


1 in stock

  • Completely stripped and rebuilt 
  • Photo restoration 
  • 651 cc water-cooled single engine
  • Five speed 
  • Electric start 
  • New tyres 
  • Dual purpose classic bike 
  • BUY IT NOW FOR £3,000
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to read a full description for this Kawasaki Tengai

1 in stock


  • Completely stripped and rebuilt 
  • Photo restoration 
  • 651 cc water-cooled single engine
  • Five speed 
  • Electric start 
  • New tyres 
  • Dual purpose classic bike 
  • BUY IT NOW FOR £3,000


Tengai (Horizon) in Japanese, is based on the massively successful KLR650. Kawasaki made two important changes. First a small and effective, frame-mounted fairing and second, the bike’s suspension was softened and shortened. Those changes turn the Tengai in a supremely confident dual purpose bike that looks like its come straight off the Paris-Dakar Rally 

This Kawasaki Tengai 

The Tengai is built around the KLR s tubular, semidouble-cradle frame and this bike was completely stripped back to bare bones during lockdown.  

Like the KLR650, it uses Kayaba forks, and aluminium swingarm attached to a single Kayaba shock. Spring preload and rebound damping are adjustable, with the adjustments oriented towards tuning the bike’s street manners. The forks have been completely stripped and rebuilt.

The Tengai’s engine was also stripped and rebuilt while it was out of the frame. The Kawasaki motor is transferred straight from the KLR and it is superb. A whopping 651cc water-cooled single engine, fed by a 40mm Keihin carb. Take a look at the images and note the attention to detail in items such as the carb. Very good indeed 

Way back when, these big single engines were known as ‘thumpers’. This one is anything but. It is tamed by a pair of counterbalance shafts and has double overhead cams. Taming doesn’t make it docile. It redlines at 7500 rpm and has acres of torque. The carefully jetted Keihin provides instant throttle response in all situations, idling easily and cleanly, cold or hot. And is still good for 45mpg. 

Starting is by electric motor only, thank goodness. The KLR’s transmission and sprockets were lifted directly to the Tengai. It changes up smoothly through all five gears. 

The Kawasaki Tengai is a hoot to ride in sporting style, flicking easily into corners and able to achieve surprising lean angles with confidence 

If you do over-cook, it the Kawasaki has discs front and rear, the front being enlarged from 9.1 to 9.9 for the Tengai’s road bias. The wheels did not escape attention, they have been rebuilt too. They are shod with new tyres just to complete the ensemble. 

The Kawasaki Tengai’s large expensively refurbished seat foam is comfortable enough to make the most of near 6 gallon tank range too, with the added bonus of that fairing which does a good job of keeping wind blast off the rider on longer journeys.  

All the external panels have been very carefully refurbished and rather expensively professionally repainted. As anyone who has repaired classic motorcycles, the external plastics are impossible to find now. You’ll agree the overall finish is fantastic. Colin, our vendor has also advised that he has the handguards and some other spares for the bike that are included in the sale.


The Kawasaki Tengai is a revealing motorcycle. It isn’t sports-bike fast. But it’s every bit as much fun to ride, reminding us that it’s the quality of the riding experience that matters, not the top speed. 

As a town and street-bike, it’s light enough, narrow enough and supremely nimble. 

If you want to venture a little further afield it is comfortable enough for longer rides, with lots of places from which to hang over-night bags. And when you get where you’re going, the Tengai is great for a bit of off-road adventuring. There’s a reason that in a huge amount of countries these are popular with the police and military. 

This one was a lock-down labour of love and it shows. So much time, money and attention has been lavished on it. That means the winning bidder is getting a hugely practical everyday classic that someone else has spent far too much on.  

Good luck! Please remember, our site uses anti-sniping software which ensures fairness to all bidders. So, if a bid for a lot is received in the last minute, the auction will go into a 2-minute overtime period for each subsequent bid.

Bike Location: Dunstable, Beds LU5 – it’s the responsibility of the buyer to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor.

Have a question about this Kawasaki Tengai KLR650? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

Guide Prices?

We’re different. But you know that. And we’re always honest. In a sector where no two classics are same, how does anyone put a ‘guide’.

Well, everyone knows the broad value of classic, let’s all be honest. So we don’t need to tell you what you already know, do we.

The ‘market’ decides and the old cliché that ‘it’s worth what someone wants to pay’ is no less true. So why kid everyone!

But, because we are different, if it really does matter to you, that’s fine, we want you to be happy. Just drop us a line at auction@evoke-classics.com and one of us will be delighted to ring you back and discuss, it’s what we do.

Tedious but it’s vital you read this, please.

We will always strive to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available. However, we can’t claim to be perfect. Your own analysis is very important and we are here to help and also answer any and all queries you may have prior to purchase.

We offer and positively encourage buyers to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding.

If we do take a physical, as opposed to a remote, look at any of the vehicles on our platform, they are not those of a qualified vehicle inspector or other professional. Nor do they include a test drive unless expressly stated.

As with all vehicles of a certain age, localised paint repairs are common. This specifically applies with classics.

So, please, unless we state explicitly to the contrary, please assume that classic vehicles on our platform could have had remedial bodywork of any kind at some point in its life.

Two final comments on images and photos.

The vast majority are supplied by vendors. Camera technology has and continues to improve significantly, but please note and understand that image and sound quality does vary. If you would like vendors to provide more images please ask us and we will contact the vendor for you.

If you are at all unsure, just ask us. It is what we are here for.

Finally, finally, finally. Please note that vehicles are sold as seen and a returns policy is not applicable. This is the norm for used items acquired at auction.

Our Terms and Conditions are here and our FAQS can be found here or contact us: auction@evoke-classics.com

Got one you’d like to sell? Please feel free to get in touch to have a no obligation chat with us:

Contact The Evoke Team

You may also like…


Go to Top