Armor: Marine Motorbikes


March 1, 2008: Over the last eight years, the U.S. Marine Corps has converted to the diesel powered M1030M1 (Kawasaki 650cc, KLR650) motorcycles [PHOTO]. The KLR650 itself came out in 1991. The marine versions are used for reconnaissance and messenger duty. These diesel powered bikes replaced the less powerful, gasoline powered, Kawasaki 250s. The diesel engines are not as lively as the gasoline ones, but they do supply better mileage (150 kilometers per gallon, and max range of 650 kilometers on a tank of fuel.) The 370 pound bike has held up well in the combat zone, and is easy to transport by aircraft or landing craft. Three years ago, a civilian version became available, costing $19,000, and became quite popular.


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