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ADV NewsKawasaki Announces All-New KLX230 Dual-Sport Model for 2020

Kawasaki Announces All-New KLX230 Dual-Sport Model for 2020

The budget-friendly trail bike gets FI, ABS, a 6-speed trans and more!

Published on 06.18.2019

Kawasaki has announced the release of an all-new dual sport model – the KLX230. It’s not a replacement for the KLX250, but sits next to it in the line up as more of a budget-friendly trail bike. It features a SOHC two-vale 233cc air-cooled and fuel-injected engine, built with reliability and smooth power in mind. The all-new dual sport includes disc brakes front and rear, along with an ABS option jointly developed with Bosch and tuned for both on-road and off-road use. The KLX230 also gets a 6-speed, making it more capable of handling travel over longer distances or your daily commute.

A shorter 54.3″ wheelbase gives it greater maneuverability on the trail, while its full-size 21″/18″ wheels, 8.8″ suspension travel, 37mm fork, and 10.4″ ground clearance makes it easier to handle trail obstacles. With its electric starter, any trail spills will be easier to recover from as well.


Kawasaki’s latest KLX model has Suzuki’s DR200S and Yamaha’s XT250 clearly in its sites. As a budget-oriented dual sport, it looks like an appealing option for new riders and should be fun for more seasoned riders too. Read on for more details about the KLX230 from Kawasaki:

Kawasaki KLX 230 Dual Sport Motorcycle

Kawasaki’s all-new, affordable KLX230 dual-purpose motorcycle has been purpose-built with trail riding in mind. Taking cues from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this 2020 street legal motorcycle features a torquey engine, nimble chassis and long-travel suspension. And in the case of the KLX230 ABS, Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose anti-lock braking system is also available to help instill extra confidence in riders.

· ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine
· ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame
· ALL-NEW long travel suspension
· ALL-NEW large diameter wheels (21”/18”)
· ALL-NEW large headlamp
· ALL-NEW dual purpose ABS

The KLX230 was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for a wide range of riders. Utilizing the simple air-cooled engine design along with the easy handling perimeter frame helped keep the KLX230 compact, while the balance between the engine and frame results in optimal trail fun performance.

Kawasaki KLX230 Dual Sport Motorcycle

Kawasaki KLX230 Dual Sport Motorcycle

A smooth and reliable, powerful, 233cc air-cooled engine and compact steel perimeter frame were designed with trail riding in mind. Full-size wheels, long-travel suspension, ample ground clearance, and KX inspired styling and ergonomics all contribute to the off-road capability of the KLX230 motorcycle. Front and rear disc brakes supported by Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS provide sure stopping power when riding on trails as well as on-road.

Engine & Transmission

· ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine
· ALL-NEW electric start
· ALL-NEW six speed transmission

The four-stroke air-cooled single cylinder engine offers smooth, reliable and durable performance in a compact package. The engine has a bore and stroke of 67.0 x 66.0 mm, with a displacement of 233 cc. The long-stroke offers robust low-mid range torque for smooth and easy handling. A simple SOHC two-valve design was chosen for its easy-to-use power character and reliability.

Kawasaki KLX230 Dual Sport Motorcycle

Fuel injection ensures consistent fuel delivery regardless of outside air temperature or elevation. It also enables the use of an electric starter, for easy starting at the push of a button, whether the engine is hot or cold, and contributes to clean emissions. The fuel injection system utilizes a 32 mm throttle body, which delivers precise response. Exhaust pipe length was selected to contribute to the engine’s low-mid range performance. To match the strong off-road image of the KX-inspired bodywork, the exhaust features a tapered silencer with an oval cross-section.

A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission covers a wide range of street-riding conditions and allows for more comfortable cruising on the highway, while also effective when trail riding. A 45/14 final gear ratio was selected for an ideal balance for both road and trail riding.

Kawasaki KLX230 Dual Sport Motorcycle


· ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame
· ALL-NEW 37 mm telescopic long travel fork
· ALL-NEW Uni-Trak long travel suspension

Designed from the start for off road and street riding, the all-new high-tensile steel perimeter frame offers the optimal handling needed for enjoyable riding in a wide range of environments. The engine and frame were designed together, which helped engineers achieve a low engine height, ideal chassis rigidity balance, and a low center of gravity, all in a compact chassis. The short 54.3” wheelbase combined with the high 10.4” ground clearance contributes to the bike’s maneuverability, allowing riders to more easily navigate the trail.

Kawasaki KLX230 Wheels

A large, 37 mm diameter telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front; equipped with 8.8” long of travel suspension offers controllability on a variety of terrain. At the rear, the new Uni-Trak rear suspension with 8.8” of wheel travel provides great road holding ability and bump absorption. The single rear shock absorber with pressurized nitrogen gas is adjustable for preload, allowing riders to set the bike up for their weight or a passenger.

Wheels & Brakes

· ALL-NEW large diameter wheels
· ALL-NEW large diameter disc brakes
· ALL-NEW Bosch dual-purpose ABS

Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, make it easier to overcome obstacles encountered on trails. The KLX230 motorcycle comes equipped with petal disc brakes, front and rear, which provide sure stopping power. On non-ABS models, a 240 mm front disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper offers strong, easy-to-control braking. Slowing the rear, a single-piston caliper grips a 220 mm disc. ABS equipped models utilize a 265 mm front disc, gripped by a twin-piston caliper, which offers strong, easy-to-control braking. A 220 mm disc operated by a single-piston caliper slows the rear.

Kawasaki KLX230 Wheels

The new dual purpose ABS system was carefully tuned for both on-road and off-road use. Designed to assist riders to stop effectively in a short distance in most conditions, dual-purpose ABS offers additional reassurance to riders when braking on a low-traction surface.


· ALL-NEW low seat height
· ALL-NEW KX inspired ergonomics

The frame, seat, and tank of the KLX230 motorcycle were designed with a combination of form and function in mind, making the frame easy to grip with the legs, offering superior chassis control. Thanks to the compact design of the KLX230, a low seat height of 34.8” was achieved.

Kawasaki KLX 230 Dual Sport Motorcycle

Similar to the KX lineup of motorcycles, the flat design of the tank and seat gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding positions, and facilitates sitting farther forward. In addition to trail riding, cruising comfort was also a consideration when deciding the seat shape and thickness. The seams between the shrouds, seat and side covers all fit flush, making it much easier for the rider to move around on the bike.

Styling & Instrumentation

Kawasaki KLX230 Instrumentation

· ALL-NEW KX-inspired styling
· ALL-NEW LCD display instrumentation
· ALL-NEW large, bright headlamp

The KLX230 takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s line of KX motocross motorcycles, giving the bike an agile, aggressive look to match its trail-riding prowess. A two-gallon fuel tank allows the good times to keep rolling over the course of a long day.

Brightness was a priority when designing the headlamp of the KLX230 ; the large-size 60/55 watt lamp offers excellent illumination for riding at night or on covered trails. A pair of passenger footpegs enables easy two-up riding. The KLX230 motorcycle is also equipped with a lockable toolbox compartment, located in the left side cover, which features everything necessary for quick, on-the-spot maintenance jobs The toolbox utilizes the Kawasaki One-key system, which means that the side cover panel is conveniently unlocked with the ignition key. An all-digital instrument panel offers at-a-glance information care of a large, easy-to-read LCD display screen. Features include: speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, clock, and indicator lamps.

Kawasaki KLX230 Headlight


Riders can personalize their KLX230 to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as: skid plate, frame covers, hand covers, oversized handlebar, handlebar pad, helmet lock, and a rear carrier.

Kawasaki KLX230 (ABS Edition)

Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $4,899
Availability: Late Summer 2019

Kawasaki KLX230 (NON-ABS Edition)

Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $4,599
Availability: Late Summer 2019

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Specs

Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled
Displacement: 233cc
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

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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Ryan Vallieu
Ryan Vallieu
June 18, 2019 10:03 am

Hmm. Still 35 inch seat height. Wife’s XT225 is 32… Looks like a possible upgrade. Really she wants something with more zip and better suspension, but everything is too damn tall.

June 18, 2019 3:58 pm
Reply to  Ryan Vallieu

Yeah it’d be nice if someone would manufacture a 32″ height dual sport that’s powerful enough to drive real highway speeds. Like you mentioned every dual sport with that kind of power is too damn tall.

June 18, 2019 10:43 am

Seat is too high. I’ll go for an XT250 instead.

Victoria Zandonella
Victoria Zandonella
June 19, 2019 2:07 am
Reply to  RobG

Amen – XT has better fuel capacity at 2.6 gallons as well.

June 18, 2019 12:27 pm

Make it a 650 and give it a 6 gallon fuel tank and I’ll buy one!

June 18, 2019 6:04 pm

Kawasaki needs to step it up with the perfomance on their enduro models. They’re lacking everything that riders look for. They need to bring in some of the performance from their KX 250/450F line. Inverted forks, liquid cooling, fuel injection, more aggressive cam, adjustable rear shock. Bringing these base model machines to their line will do nothing to gain the interest of longtime Kawasaki owners to bring them to the street, that still love to hit trails.

June 18, 2019 10:36 pm

Really, why??
20cc less than a model they already produce.
Kawasaki would have been better off putting some of the features on the 250 model.

Philip Ouellette
Philip Ouellette
June 18, 2019 11:19 pm
Reply to  Thommo

$1000 cheaper than the KLX250. The 250 brings a lot more to the table than the 230. That is the point, they are trying to make it more attractive to more price sensitive customers. Part of the reason the KLR650 was a sales champ is it was the least expensive of the dual sport 650 bikes.

Dustin Anderson
Dustin Anderson
June 24, 2019 1:20 pm

The 230 looks like it’s perfectly positioned to take command of the entry level Dual sport market. The price point is excellent and it will probably even pull some sales from the Honda 250l. Hopefully the power numbers are still decent and MPG numbers are impressive. But It’s inevitably going to be competing with its 250 older brother. While the 250 does bring a lot more to the table I feel it should probably just be replaced. Since the 250 came back it hasn’t gotten a whole lotta love. I feel with the 230 poised to dominate the beginner market the 250 should be replaced with a 350-400. A DRZ killer.

July 7, 2019 5:19 pm

How about horsepower and fuel economy?

July 17, 2019 11:57 am

Just what we really need (apart from the seat height) in the UK. I hope it meets Euro standards and becomes available here.

Leon Jurgill Jr
Leon Jurgill Jr
July 17, 2019 7:41 pm

Weighs too much at 293 pounds!! I agree they should have spent the money on further improving the 250 and reducing manufacturing costs.

Billy Cushion
Billy Cushion
October 19, 2019 12:08 am

I have a 2018 KLX250 but it lacks a fuel gauge, when it goes into reserve a flashing orange fuel pump appears and cancels out any other readings such ad trip meter so you don’t know how far to go before filling up. It I’d a stupid feature.
I have ridden the new KLX230 yes it is tall which I like, the suspension is good and the engine is very torquie, I will be buying one

Adrian rouse
Adrian rouse
October 10, 2020 2:39 am

Nice to see a good basic trail bike.air cooled good seat.well done kawasaki


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