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ADV Bikes2020 Kawasaki KLX230: Enough To Be Your Lightweight ADV Bike?

2020 Kawasaki KLX230: Enough To Be Your Lightweight ADV Bike?

We test Kawasaki's new budget-friendly dual sport both on and off-road.

Published on 10.01.2019

Is the KLX230 enough? Enough to be a lightweight Adventure Bike? The short answer, hell yeah it can be! There are a few parameters to that enthusiasm, but we’ll get into that as we go through the new 2020 Kawasaki KLX230. Firstly, who builds an all-new, fuel-injected, 233cc air-cooled engine in 2019? Kawasaki did and the obvious answer to “why” is for the Asian Markets. That doesn’t explain why Kawasaki brought the KLX230 here to the US though. This brings us right back to the parameters of whether this small dual sport is enough motorcycle for ‘your’ style of adventure.

I’m a massive fan of wrestling my Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE through the woods or up a rocky trail, but what people are surprised to find out is that I also own small-displacement “cheater bikes.” Mine happen to be an air-cooled 200cc Suzuki DR and a KTM 250 EXC-F. Both are perfect reference points to conduct this test. 

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 test

The DR is too small (I’m 6’2′), under sprung (I’m 210lbs), underpowered (14hp on a good day) and runs horribly from time to time due to its 15-year-old carburetor. But, it makes you feel like Graham Jarvis as you yell “Jarvis” while blasting by your friends struggling to hold up a full-size dirt bike.The KTM is my “full size” dirt bike that everyone told me would be too small. Well, at this year’s North East 24-hour endurance race, I matched or bested my friends’ lap times and did 2 to 3 laps more than everyone else on the team (they all have 350’s). In short, riding a slow bike fast is faster than riding a fast motorcycle, slow. You can also learn the fundamentals properly on a smaller motorcycle.

Answering The Big Question


The biggest problem facing the KLX is the smallest thing about it. Its 233cc power plant is just “too small” for us power-hungry Americans. By my seat of the pants-dynometer, the KLX makes just north of 20hp from its single overhead-twin valve heart. Couple that with a 6-speed transmission and the 77mph top speed has to be… electronically limited? Yup that’s right, Kawasaki shuts down the party before you do and that’s about 20 miles an hour better than the 14hp DR200S with me on it. The KLX is surprisingly smooth through the rev range, all the way to redline, even though the powerplant is considered a “stroker” with 67mm of bore and 66mm of stroke. For comparison, my KTM 250 EXC-F has a bore of 78mm by 52.3mm of stroke yet it feels less refined north of 50 mph than the Kawi.

Stand up ergos on the Kawasaki KLX230

Impressions of the KLX230 motor are “it’s better than expected… by a lot.” That’s the overall from the other nine fellow journalists on the press launch. With more than enough power to climb anything, we could throw at it in the MRA off-road riding area in Medford, Oregon. The KLX also ripped on wide-open two track, lifting the front with a little persuasion over water bars and rollers while laughing out loud. Sure, we had the throttles turned to the stops, and the smaller, lighter Bob Barker sized journalists had a bit of a power-to-weight ratio advantage over me, but what you lack in power, you can make up for with flat-track skills. Trying to make up for a lack of skill with power is never a good idea.

Kawasaki KLX230 air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc powerplant.
Kawasaki designed an all-new air-cooled, fuel-injected, 233cc engine and mated it to a 6-speed transmission.

Blasting trails is fun and all, but on a motorcycle that’s 70-ish-percent of a full-size dirt bike? Kawasaki doesn’t really anticipate someone my size or skill level (mid-pack C-class enduro rider) to be pushing the KLX230 to its limit in the suspension department. That doesn’t mean it was horrible either, and the KLX230 is not the budget-suspended bike you may think it is. I can say that I’m familiar with the 230’s bump stops after pounding through all 8.7 inches of travel in front and 8.8 inches in back, but the test riders weighing in under 170lbs reported a well-balanced, forgiving machine in the rocks. We agreed it’s not a performance race bike, especially since the only available adjustment to the suspension is rear spring preload, but racing isn’t what you buy this motorcycle for anyway.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Chassis
The short 54.3″ wheelbase combined with its 10.4″ ground clearance contributes to the bike’s maneuverability.

On the road, the KLX230 will leave my thinly framed DR200s wobbling wide into the first ditch if I tried to hold the same line as the Kawi. Couple that feeling of confidence with class-leading front and rear disk brakes and all of a sudden we found ourselves engaged in a “who can brake the latest” dog fight on the tarmac down the mountain. Did I mention this bike is fun? Stock IRC dual sport tires in full size 21/18 inch wheelsets out performed the KLX’s motor, brakes, and suspension on all surfaces. 

The KLX230 also comes in an “ABS” model. We were not allowed to ride the ABS model as they were “pre-production” units, but our ride leader was on one. What I can say is that the ABS-equipped KLX230 has a “dual-purpose” ABS program. That means it works on both the street and off-road. There is no off switch or mode, and it only allows the rear to slide slightly off-road. Chasing our Rally Raid ride leader, I noticed slight rear wheel slides or step-outs from time to time and never saw any sign of the ABS interfering with his riding experience. The ABS model rings in at $4,899 and the non-ABS KLX230 lists for $4,599.

Kawasaki KLX230 dash
The all-new LCD dash doesn’t have a tachometer but is still a nice modern touch with a fuel gauge, low fuel warning light, speedometer, odometer, clock, and indicator lamps.

Who’s It For?

Who is the KLX “enough” for? Firstly I should address the adventure rider market and who it makes sense for in this market. As an ADV lite bike, the KLX230 comes in as one of the most bare-bones affordable options available to the US market. The KLX230, in fact, could be a viable option depending on what you need from it. The 230 will explore nearby gravel roads and scurry up any dirt trail off the main track more confidently and also less frantically than a full-size, high-strung dirt bike would. Doing a longer adventure ride like a Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) is possible, but you’ll have to be realistic about expectations for carrying capacity and camping. 

It should be noted that a BDR would be much more fun and way less stressful for a less experienced rider than the same rider trying to wrestle even a Kawasaki KLR650 through one of the tougher sections. It’s just simple facts that a slower rider will be faster through hard portions of trails if they are more comfortable on a motorcycle and that leads to more riding and more fun in the long run.

Kawasaki KLX230 street test

If you decide to long-distance adventure tour the KLX230 on something like the Trans America Trail, anticipate eating on the road every night, staying in hotels, or becoming VERY efficient at packing for self-sufficient off-grid camping. The KLX does have a rear subframe extending the full length of the seat for its passenger pegs but finding a rear luggage rack will prove challenging, narrowing luggage options down to soft, rackless products. 

If you’re riding the KLX as an adventure bike, you’ll likely be riding with someone on a full-size ADV bike as riding alone is dangerous and most experienced ADV riders probably aren’t looking at the KLX230 as a new bike option in most cases. Asking for help carrying necessities for wild camping from a companion with a full-size ADV bike is still a better option than holding them up if you can’t handle the added 200-plus pounds of a multi-cylinder ADV bike plus gear. 

Kawasaki KLX230 Headlight
“Largest headlight in its class” whatever that means.

For the budding adventure rider with a partner who’s already experienced this can be the perfect bike for getting into the sport. Having a low cost of entry, a light curb weight of 291 pounds, an extremely low center of gravity, and rock-solid reliability (not carbureted) you’ll be riding more and death gripping your bars less.

Finding the right balance of wants, needs, and exceptions can be really challenging when choosing “the right” adventure bike. The KLX makes sense in a lot of ways for some riders but not all. If you’re 6’2″ and up like myself, you’ll look slightly silly perched on top of the KLX before you’ll feel uncomfortably cramped, but that feeling will eventually set in as well. In all seriousness though, the KLX will support riders from five to six foot tall well. 

Off-road testing the KLX230
Suspension travel is 8.7 inches in front and 8.8 inches in the rear with shock preload the only adjustment.

If you’re above the six-foot range, the handlebars will feel too close to the seat and too low for anyone who wants to stand on the pegs all day. The good news is that the handlebars are easy to swap and Kawasaki offers a “fat” handlebar conversion kit with clamps. The stock bars are ⅞-inch and also painfully cheap to look at. 

The Bogey List of People for the KLX230

  • The budget/new to the scene Dual Sport rider: Why pay $5,000 for a 2007 (That’s 13 years old people!) KTM 450 EXC with some 200 hours on it when you’re new to dirt bikes. Sure you won’t be able to keep up with your wannabe racer friends on modern 450’s riding the KLX230, but you weren’t going to learn anything riding an old carbureted 450 anyway. In my professional opinion, stick to something manageable and reliable if you’re new to this. 
  • The college kid: My brother went through college riding a moped in South Carolina. If you can’t imagine how much fun having a reliable, small, quiet, four-stroke motorcycle would be in college, then the KLX might not be for you; as you might not know how to have fun.
  • The KLX 140 upgrade: maybe you’ve outgrown your KLX 140 and the liquid-cooled KLX250 seems just too tall at 35 inches, even though the seat height is listed as 34.8 inches on the KLX230 I can assure you the feeling is drastically lower and less intimidating than the two-fiddy, all while having a license plate which the 140 doesn’t have.
  • The farm bike: Yup, I said it, and Kawasaki said it too. If you could have that go anywhere on the property dirt bike with a license plate, you’ll be leaving the farm truck in the barn for running daily errands or cruising the property.
  • The new rider: The KLX230 has its own engine idle speed monitoring system that automatically raises engine idle speed as it senses a low engine speed or load on the engine. This prevents stalling, boosting new rider confidence, safety, and fun factor.
  • Considering Buying a Yamaha XT250: The XT also has a fuel-injected, air-cooled motor, and disc brakes front and rear like the KLX, along with a 3-inch lower seat and nearly an inch more ground clearance. But the KLX230 gets an extra gear (6 speed vs 5 speed), 1.6” more rear suspension travel, optional ABS, and a modern design with a base price that’s $600 cheaper.
Small bike, light adventure bike

That Bottom Line

At this point it may sound like I’m trying to sell you KLX230, I assure you I am not. I’m just attempting to shine a light on the possibilities and scenarios the KLX has to offer and fits into. Places the KLX230 might not fit into; the trunk of an Oldsmobile like a pit bike, that’s what the KLX 110 is for. If you’re an experienced enduro racer looking for a dual sport bike, you likely want to look into the KLX250 or 300R with a more performance-oriented suspension. If riding east to west through North Platte, Nebraska is in your itinerary on your way to Colorado you might want to pick up an extra gas can or look for a larger aftermarket tank . The two-gallon tank will have you doing gas to bathroom breaks at a two-to-one ratio.

Simple and budget-friendly dual sport - Kawasaki KLX230

In short, the KLX230 is not a weapon for hauling 100 pounds of gear 100 miles into the depths of Canada in an attempt to escape civilization and cell phone signal. It’s just not enough for that. The KLX needs to fit you, and you need to fit it. It can be enough. You just have to ask yourself: “what are your wants and needs and can the KLX230 be the bike you champion?”. 

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Specs

Engine:4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled
Bore x Stroke:67.0 x 66.0mm
Compression Ratio:9.4:1
Fuel System:DFI w/32mm Throttle Body
Ignition:TCBI Electronic Advance
Transmission:Six-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch
Final Drive:Chain
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel:37mm telescopic fork/8.7 in
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel:Uni-Trak® linkage system and single shock with preload adjustability/8.8 in
Front Tire:2.75 x 21
Rear Tire:4.10 x 18
Front Brakes:Single 265mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper
Rear Brakes:Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Frame Type:High-tensile steel perimeter
Rake/Trail:27.5°/4.6 in
Overall Length:82.9 in.
Overall Width:32.9 in.
Overall Height:45.9 in.
Ground Clearance:10.4 in.
Seat Height:34.8 in.
Curb Weight:293.3 lb. / 297.7 lb. CA model**
Fuel Capacity:2.0 gal.
Wheelbase:54.3 in.
Color Choices:Lime Green
Warranty:6 Months
Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional):12, 24, or 36 months
Availability:Currently available on US dealer showrooms

Gear We Used

• Helmet: Shoei VFX-EVO Zinger
• Jacket: REV’IT! Tornado 2
• Pants: REV’IT! Tornado 2
• Boots: REV’IT! Expedition H20

Photos by Kevin Wing Photography

Author: Steve Kamrad

Steve has been labeled as a “Hired Gun” by one of the largest special interest publishing groups in America. His main focus now is video content creation as a “Shreditor” (thats shooter, producer, editor all in one nice, neat, run and gun package). If he’s not out competing in a NASA Rally Race you can find him on the East Coast leading around a rowdy group of ADV riders. Some say Steve_Kamrad has the best job in the world but he’s not in it for the money. He’s a gun for hire that can’t be bought and that’s the way we like him.

Author: Steve Kamrad

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30 thoughts on “2020 Kawasaki KLX230: Enough To Be Your Lightweight ADV Bike?

  1. Yeah it’s a crap ,just tried one at the dealer ,I thought klx250 was a crap ,sorry this one is ,if you 6 foot and more or over 180 pounds …just forget it

  2. Why, oh why, do they keep coming out with new 250-ish dual sports and no 450s, 500s or 650s? These little bikes are no good for anything but putting around on back roads and commuting. Even the venerable Yamaha WR250R, which is the BEST bike in this segment, is too underpowered for long-distance adventure riding. Please, somebody, give us a new mid-displacement dual sport! And no, the Honda CRF450L doesn’t count. That is just a dirt-bike with lights. Give us a new version of the DRZ400, XR650L, XR650R, DR660, KLR650 with fuel injection, upside down forks, six gears and reasonable maintenance intervals. The only player in the game right now is the KTM 690/Husky 701. How about a little competition? Harumph!

    • Why, oh why, do some guys think with their penis instead of their heads ? Sure the 230 isn’t going to frighten anyone or anything.. It’s not made for you guys.. It’s not made for long term Adventure bike touring. Doesn’t the 230 cc kinda tell you that ? Why did you even look at this bike with such unrealistic expectations ? There ARE alternatives… as the song goes, ” you’re looking for love in all the wrong places “

  3. Im an American living in Thailand. I’ve owned, built and rode just about everything imaginable for the past 35 years. (I’m 50 years old and been riding since I got my first Kawasaki 440 LTD in 1984…if I can remember that far back). I just bought a 2020 KLX 230 SE, the ABS model. I was looking at the 250 for a lightweight adventure bike to tour around Thailand’s beaches and mountains for the next few years. Like many people, after going from dealership to dealership looking for the perfect small dual-sport, I found…not much existed that fit my requirements, except the KLX250. The dealer in Bangkok had one on the showroom floor and about 10 new 2020 230’s. I do a fair amount of urban riding. I live in a northern suburb of Bangkok, it’s pretty rural for a suburb. Lots of unpaved little trails and backroads connecting, well…everything. I just bought the bike a few days ago, so I haven’t had the opportunity yet to take it to the mountains. Maybe next week I’ll run it up to Chang Mai. What I can say is that as an urban explorer the bike is fabulous. I’m not a big guy. I’m 5’10 with boots on, and 185 lbs. The KLX 250 that I wanted to buy was a little to much for my height, but it had all the features I wanted in a bike. Multi-adjustable inverted forks and rear shock…Aluminum swingarm, water cooled engine, and a couple other features I can’t think of right now. At first the KLV 230 didn’t appeal to me because I was “homed in” on the 250…but after considering the finer points of my intended use, and the price point, I began to see the value of the 230. Kawasaki is also trying to phase out the KLX250. It’s time is up. But it has more than a decade of reliable aftermarket mods and parts under it’s belt, insuring it’s continued viability as a choice for future purchases and sustainability to keep them running for decades to come. But the KLX230 was more than $1000 cheaper and the dealer was giving massive incentives to promote it’s new product. First they gave me $350.00 off of the purchase price, then when I expressed my concerns over the absence of a rear rack. They threw one in! Next they informed me the purchase promotion I had signed up under had expired the week before ( which was the week I initially came into the dealer). So they gave me another $150.00 off the price. Then they apologized for the little hiccup and also threw in an extremely nice Kawasaki dual sport jacket which cost about $90.00. All totaled I walked out paying a down payment price of about $700.00 with payments of $100.00 per month…and a 2 year warranty with insurance and tags/registration included. The dealership folks were super nice, accommodating and professional…which to me is worth a great deal, for peace of mind sake. I’m sure I’ll get years of service from the bike. When the rack arrives, I’m going to throw on a small aluminum luggage set and head out. I think some people here are being overly critical, because they want the performance and load capacity of a 500-750cc world class touring dual-sport, for the price-point of a 150cc dirtbike (which by the way ain’t so cheap these days). I like the 230 for a number of reasons. Since this is it’s first year out with the all new design. We’ll just have to see how they weather. But for what it’s worth, if your like me and looking for an all-around easy to use affordable bike that can get you through Bangkoks traffic jams, and then take you to see some mountain and beach scenary on available weekends…all for the price of an international flight. I don’t see how you can go wrong.

      • No problem. It’s my pleasure. I’m happy to share my experience so far with my new KLX230. It’s nothing but a pleasure to ride. And whenever I pull up on it. People are always staring at it. It’s a bit of an odd duck here in my neighborhood. I just got the first service completed last week…1000 kilometers. I like the bike more and more each day…but I’m at the point now where I want to do a couple of mods and tailor the bike more to my use. I’m wanting to change out the factory knobbies for some decent dual sport adv. tires. I received the rear rack that was on backorder. Now I just need to pull the trigger on some lightweight luggage. But first I need to find some suitable pannier frames. Man, that stuffs expensive! There is one thing I don’t much like about the bike. Sometimes, it skips neutral. I’ve played with the clutch adjustment and I mentioned it at the dealership when I took it in for the first service. The mechanic adjusted it as well. Then after riding it for a day. I readjusted it back where I had it. It seems to be more prevalent when it’s hot. Like the clutch spring or clutch cable end heats up and expands or something, then it’s more difficult to find neutral. You get used to it, but it is a little annoying.

    • hi, will, tyvm for sharing. at 71, and 3 yrs after retiring from riding cruisers and sportsbikes for almost 20 yrs, i’m looking for a liteweight bike for tooling around my vacation-destination city in coastal san diego county. no dirt, likely not even the freeway (under 150cc is illegal). nothing more than relaxed moseying around town. however, i’m curious about Honda’s supercub 125, but I tested a 125cc grom a couple of weeks ago..ugh, way too light and too small. anyhoo, stay safe out there, man!!

    • So the 230 is not meant to compete with the 250 or the new klx300r. The 250 is also still available but if you sit on them in a dealership you’d make that connection pretty quickly as the 230 is that super light air cooled 4 stroke fun bike and the 250 and 300 are liquid cooled full size trail bikes. The 300 is right up against the ktm 250 excf in stock form. Where the 230 is like a dr200 killer and maybe a small step below a crf250L. Different weapons for different jobs. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for dropping a comment.

      • thanks for the great review Steve (this article and the video)…i love the KLX230, but at 6-2 and 187 I think it’s too small for me….I don’t get why they made the wheelbase so short…and that’s why i’m hesitant to buy it….which is a shame because I want an air cooled FI bike and no one else is doing it in this price range

        • Yeah man. At 187 you’re going to be a lot closer to the intended weight of the bike. I’m around 215. I would highly suggest sitting on one. Of it’s too short and small the 300r is a legitimate option

        • Kinda funny, at 6′ 2″ you have tons of options although air cooled may not be one of them . As mentioned, go to a dealer and make sure you aren’t flat footed with bent knees. If you are, as the jaws line goes, you need a bigger boat ( or in your case bike ).

      • Great review. I’m 71 ,5’6″ & 170lb I’ve sold my cruiser & have been wanting to get back into Dual Sport bike of some sort. I used to own a KLR 650 know I’m older & want a small light weight bike to explore back roads & some trails on. Your great review has given me a lot to think about.
        The KLX 230 will be re considered. Thanks

        • Hey Bill, thanks for reaching out with that. If you can try to get a ride in one. Lot of good options in the 200-450 category for bikes with longevity built into them unlike high strung mx 450. Let us know what you end up going with in the future. Cheers

  4. I loved your review of the KLX 230.& I believe you answered all the questions I may have had . Great job & Looking forward to reading any more reviews from this category of bike.

  5. I’m 57 years old, been riding dirt bikes since 1975. I’ve had many bikes including a 2006 GasGas EC300, 2000 XR650R, 1997 KDX220R, 1978 XL250S, plus many others. My “go fast” days are behind me. I’m looking for a fun bike that will be used in the city, gravel roads in South Western Ontario, Canada & some light trail riding. My height is 6 feet, weight is 180. I’m torn between the Yamaha XT250 & this bike – the KLX230. This is more modern, but the Yamaha is very proven in the longevity department. Reliability is #1 for me. I am only interested in air-cooled & fuel injected. Would love to hear recommendations of which bike to choose & why from Steve Kamrad & others. Thanks in advance.

    • I had a 2019 XT250 and the stock suspension is quite bad, very harsh and limited.
      Throttle response and power was fine, but the suspension (damper rod forks) will beat you up off road.
      Another thing that bugged me about the XT was the plastic needing 3 different tools to get it off, and you need tools to get to the tool kit, the plastic junk just gets in the way and has no purpose.
      Nice motor.
      Black on black button markings is no help.
      No fuel gauge.

      The 230 looks a lot better in those respects.

      • The KLX230 certainly shows up the XT250’s age. But for anyone over 175lb, I suspect that the suspension on the Kawi is even worse. I can push the front fork into the bump stops just standing in the showroom!

  6. I purchased 2 KLX 230 bikes in October 2019 for my son and myself. He was 15 1/2 with no riding experience. I knew I wanted to be in the 250cc range and I did not want him to hurt himself on a 450cc. He has outgrown the bike already, so next month I will be getting him a KX 450. I will give his KLX 230 to my wife and she can learn on that. I started riding 40 years ago, but I have not ridden in about 30 years. I have really come to love this bike over the last 6 months. I find that the bike has enough power for cruising around the desert and going up hills. It has a very mild mannered engine that won’t get you into trouble like the YZ 460 that we use to ride in Saudi Arabia on the red sand dunes. I like the disc brakes and the electric start. It has proven to be very reliable. No it is not going to keep up with the YZ 250/450 in our group. My son is already way better of a rider than I will ever be. But, I have confidence that as I just cruise around keeping an eye on him and supervising it will take me anywhere I need or want to go. If he gets lost, I can go find him anywhere. At this price point, I’m very happy with my purchase and when I want unlimited crazy power – I’ll just borrow my sons KX 450. Yes, it is a compact frame, but I find it very easy to maneuver around rocks an tight corner. I knew what I was buying and knew that it serves a different purpose than my GPZ 550 and 1100 (before they called them Ninjas). And they both fit in my old Ford Ranger truck. It is a great bike for a certain segment of the market. The real question is – which segment of the market are you in? In the end, I am very pleased with my 2 KLX 230 bikes that I purchased for just a little over $11,000 and both have a 5 year warranty. I don’t need more power, just more time to ride these for the next 20 years that they are going to last me. I’ll be great to get my wife riding with us!

  7. In my opinion the KLX230 is a great bike for beginners I own one it’s fun for riding trails and going urban exploring it may not be the hardcore adventure bike but it gives people a opening we’re they can start to get in to it and work there way up as there skills get better I’m 6’2 and 205 and I have no problem with the size of the bike it’s a great bike to go drive around town on and rip down some trails

  8. Regional pricing differences are weird. Here in Canada, the KLX250 is only $400 more than the ABS KLX230. Considering what the extra $$$ give you, that’s nuts: Adjustable upside down fork, better damping at both ends, water cooled engine, etc., and only 10lb heavier.

    • Yes, Absolutely agree. But when I went in to buy my bike. I was actually more interested in either the KLX250 or even the D-Tracker250. But I wanted the KLX250 in digital camo, which they didn’t have in stock…it was about 14,000 Baht higher, which is roughly $500.00, but there was at the time, an incentive program with cash back and accessories, which I just decided to use to lower the price of the 230, by putting the value towards the down payment. At the time they were trying to get the ball rolling on the 230’s…and they told me that the 250 is slated to be phased out soon. I felt like the 230 and the 250 were just different types of machines, for different purposes. The feel of the 230 is one of a less bulky stance. It’s just a slimmer, narrower bike. Looking back on it now. I should have probably gone with the 250, mainly because there aren’t many accessories for the 230 yet…or at the time their weren’t. But honestly, at the price point I couldn’t argue. $4000-4100, out the door was $1000 less than what I had planned on spending. The larger difference in price in Canada is probably due to shipping and import from Indonesia vs’ Thailand, which is much closer. The only thing I’m missing on the 230 at this point is a kick-start. I really wish it had one.

  9. Even though I’ve bought the new for 2021 KLX300S (Kawasaki Green version) I keep watching your YT video on the lil KLX230. It just looks like so much fun.
    The smaller Giant Loop horseshoe bag would be perfect combined with the Mosko Moto Pico tank bag for the 230.
    Your photos and video in Southern Oregon ROCK! Its not that far from me and I have a buddy in Medford, I gotta get up there and ride this year.
    John “pinkiewerewolf” Guengerich

      • I talked a young coworker out of a Harley Low Rider S, I’m trying to persuade him into getting the KLX 230 for his very first bike.

    • Hey John, How are ya? I just saw your post. I was one of the first posters in this thread nearly 2 years ago. I bought one of the first KLX 230 ABS’s here in my area in Bangkok. Well, it’s been a while now and I’ve had a chance to ride my KLX a bit. I hear a lot of negative stuff from non-owners mostly. But I like the little 230. I’ve ridden it on some pretty long rides now. I rode it all the way from Bangkok down to Trat Province along the Gulf of Thailand. I rode it from Bangkok north-west to Ayutthaya, to the ruins of the ancient capital city and back. And then of course around my area as well. Thailand’s not a very big country and it does rain a lot. So I also drive my Toyota Hilux a bit. My bike still only has about 5000K on it. Just gave it its second oil change snd service a couple weeks ago. It’s a great little bike, but it is a bit underpowered. Not underpowered for it’s size, but underpowered for my personal tastes. I’m a big fan of the 350-400 engine size. Actually, I am wondering how the KLX300 is doing? We can’t get the new KLX300 here yet. Kawasaki doesn’t want to kill their 230 market here. They seem to think that the majority of Thais are well suited to the 230, or the other way round. But I’ve been chomping at the bit over the new KLX300? I’m also looking into the Royal Enfield Himalayan 400? They’re comparable in price and they look really great too. But I love Kawasaki, been riding them since I was a teenager. Fill us in on the 300, would you?

      Thanks John.
      Sincerely, Will H.
      BKK, Thailand

  10. Great review! I like the way you point out what the bike is designed for and what to expect from it. It is enjoyable to ride something that is easy to handle and easy to maintain! (oil changes plus it looks like it would easy to adjust the valves.) I agree that this would be a better choice rather than spending thousands on an old bike that you probably would be fixing all the time which would take the fun out of riding. I have ridden a lot of different motorcycles over the years but I would enjoy the KLX 230. Thank you.

  11. At 76 I’m back into riding.. At 5’6″ you may want to sit on a Yamaha XT250.. At a seat height of 31.9 inch it’s the lowest in it’s class.. Plenty of torque, comfortable, EFI and start of course. That is exactly what the XT250 is made for. At 5′ 7″ it’s a perfect fit for me and the reason I bought is threefold.. Seat height, EFI, and great for back roads and light trail riding..


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