We have written about the history of Kawasaki and talked about different versions of the KLR650, but one special KLR hasn’t been mentioned.
This is the HDT M1030M1.
Hayes Diversified Technologies raced and sold Penton motorcycles in the early 70s’ and manufactured high performance engine parts and suspensions. In 2000, as a response to the USMC M1030M1 program, HDT delivered the first prototype based on the KLR650 to the marines for extensive testing. The first production version was shipped in September 2006.
What is so special in the military KLR650?
HDT did not just painted a stock KLR green and re-sold it, but put a diesel engine into it, which was designed in house. The advantage for the military isn’t just a more versatile motorcycle, compared to the earlier 250cc version, but a vehicle which fits much better into the arsenal and easier to manage.
The HDT M1030M1 can burn virtually all the available military fuel. The engine can run on JP4 (a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend), JP5 (standard aviation turbine fuel), JP8 (a kerosene-based jet propellant fuel), standard kerosene, and diesel fuel. This is really a high variety and makes the M1030M1 an easy to manage, real multi-fuel engine.
The stock KLR650 is not one of the most modern high performance dual sport motorcycles but all the sacrifice is for reliability in my opinion. The HDT M1030M1 took it one step further to the reliability and easy management/maintenance at the cost of performance. The military specification version produces 24 HP at 5400 rpm which compared to the claimed performance of the stock KLR650 (37 HP at 6200 rpm) seems pathetic from a 611cc engine.
Altogether the military KLR650 is doing exactly the same good job as our petrol fuelled “consumer” version. It goes everywhere without giving any trouble to you, and completing any task thrown front of it.
Is the HDT M1030M1 an object of desire for me? Yes and no. Military equipment and vehicles are very cool.
Would be awesome to drive around town in a KMW AMPV, but just like the military KLR650 the fuel consumption and compliance with military standards puts it far away from the practicality of everyday use. The M1030M1 and future versions of the military KLR650 will remain the subject of conversations of meetups, but very likely we will never own one. Enjoy the gallery of HDT M1030M1 in action below. Click on the thumbnail images for the full size version.