The KLE 500 is the sort of bike that sort of appeals to a particular sort of person…
Ok, it’s not fast, this is a fact. It’s not particularly good on the dirt, and it has arguably the worlds’ hardest seat. But having said that, it is pretty versatile. I’ve surprised much better riders on much faster bikes, when we’ve hit twisting corners up long, winding roads. Plus it’s fairly easy to ride, is fairly forgiving on most surfaces, and can take a few knocks if and when you hit the deck.
I’ve only met a couple of other riders in my travels, and they all seem a bit, well, like me. Which is pretty scary actually. They’re not into speed, or motorcross dirt riding, prefer to ride alone, or in a very small group, and have a bit of a limited budget. The KLE is designed with us in mind!
It’s easy to work on, needs little in the way of TLC, and simple mods’ make a world of difference. For example here is a photo of a nice couple I met a few years ago at a rally. They travel two up fairly regularly, something which I thought would not be too comfortable, but the addition of a woolly cover helps a fair bit… apparently. The other mod that the rider had made was a piece of gal pipe with bicycle hand grips on each end, attached just in front of the radiator. Very simple highway footrests.
He swore by them, and I’ve been tempted to make one of my own, and attach them onto the top bolt of the bash plate, but this looks much easier, and may in fact be a better stretch for my legs… will have to have a play this year when I repaint the old girl.