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ADV NewsKawasaki Unveils All-New KLX300 for 2021

Kawasaki Unveils All-New KLX300 for 2021

The Green Team replaces its KLX250 in the lineup with a new 300cc dual sport.

Published on 11.23.2020

Kawasaki has dropped the cover on an all-new KLX300 during the premiere of their Global New Product Launch video event. The new bike will replace the lower displacement KLX250 to create a more clearly defined dual sport lineup. It features a more powerful engine that, according to Kawasaki, delivers more ponies and torque “while maintaining the lightweight and nimble feel of the 250.”

2021 KLX300 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kawasaki’s digital Fuel Injection System
  • Fuel-Injected 292cc Liquid Cooled four stroke engine
  • Convenient electric start
  • Full digital instrumentation
  • Updated Radiator for improved cooling efficiency
  • Dual-sport tuned long travel suspension
  • On-road dual sport versatility

Engine

The new KLX300 dual-sport is powered by an enduro-inspired 292cc liquid-cooled DOHC single. The engine features cam profiles sourced from the  KLX300R off-road model, an electrofusion cylinder and ultra-hard coating in the aluminum cylinder. “The result is a crisp throttle response that complements the motorcycle’s rider-friendly low to mid-range and offers improved engine reliability,” states Kawasaki. A lightweight piston, piston pin and connecting rod also contribute to power-producing revs. No horsepower and torque numbers have been announced by Kawasaki.


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The engine has low reciprocating weight, thanks to the use of a cam lobe for each valve, with shim-under tappet arrangement, which also contributes to better efficiency at high RPMs. Rider comfort on longer trips is also increased in part to the engine’s low mounting point, which effectively lowers its center of gravity. A flat piston and pent-roof combustion chamber deliver a 11.1:1 compression ratio.

The fuel injection system contributes to reliable starting in a wide range of conditions and electric start makes firing up the KLX300 a breeze. Optimized ignition timing and a gear-driven engine balancer also contribute to a smooth engine with an easy-to-use power delivery, increasing  rider comfort during long trips.

Several updates to the radiator deliver enhanced cooling efficiency, including the use of dual radiators and slimmer radiator sizing. The radiator fan cover is designed to direct hot air down and away from the rider, significantly increasing comfort when stuck in heavy traffic or operating in warm riding conditions.

Kawasaki KLX300 dual sport

Gear ratios on the new KLX300 facilitate shifting for optimal performance off-road and on. The KLX300 features a honeycomb catalyzer and a secondary air system for clean emissions, along with a spark arrester.

Chassis & Suspension

The KLX300 features a box-and-tubular-section high-tensile steel perimeter frame that creates a slim, lightweight package. A 26.7-degree caster angle and short wheelbase provide quick handling characteristics, while the lightweight, highly rigid aluminum D-section swingarm also contributes to low unsprung weight.

The 43mm inverted cartridge-style fork handles the suspension up front and comes with compression damping adjustability. A Uni-Trak® suspension can be found on the rear, which is designed to offer good  road holding ability and bump absorption. A gas-charged shock with preload and rebound damping adjustments allows riders to tailor suspension settings to better suit different riding conditions. Suspension travel is 10 inches in front and 9.1 inches in the rear.

Brakes & Wheels

Stopping performance is delivered through front and rear petal disc brakes with a twin-piston caliper gripping a 250mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper gripping the 240mm disc in the rear.

The KLX300 comes fitted with dirt-friendly 21-inch and 18-inch spoked wheels. Kawasaki also highlights the new bike’s optimal wheel rigidity  which “contributes to light, smooth handling and offers outstanding durability.”

Ergonomics & Instruments

The KLX300 receives a comfortable handlebar position that puts the rider in a relaxed and upright position to deliver an easy to control ride. Footpegs are also positioned closer to the bike’s centerline for an optimal riding position.

Complementing the new KLX300 adventure capabilities is a well-padded seat design for added comfort on longer rides and a 35.2-inch seat height for increased stability when stopped. A narrow fuel tank contributes to the comfortable riding position and it has a lockable, hinged one-touch cap.

An all-digital instrument panel offers the rider valuable information at a glance. The instrument panel features a digital speedometer, bar-type tachometer, clock, dual trip meters, and a range of warning/indicator lamps. 

Accessories

A handful of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories (KGA) allow riders to personalize the KLX300 and offer added convenience. Options include, rear luggage rack designed to conveniently secure gear on the back of the motorcycle, hand guards and handlebar pads.

Colors & MSRP

The 2021 KLX300 dual-sport is available in the Lime Green for $5,599 and $5,799 for the Fragment Camo Gray colorway, up from $5,399 and $5,599 respectively from the 2020 250cc model.

Kawasaki KLX300 Specs

Engine:4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valves, liquid-cooled
Displacement:292cc
Bore x Stroke:78.0 x 61.2mm
Compression ratio:11.1:1
Fuel System:DFI® with 34mm throttle body
Ignition:Digital DC-CDI
Transmission:6 speed
Final drive:sealed chain
Rake/Trail:26.7°/4.2 in
Front Wheel Travel:10.0 in
Rear Wheel Travel:9.1 in
Front Tire:3.00-21
Rear Tire:4.60-18
Front Suspension:43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with 16-way Compression Damping Adjustment
Rear Suspension:Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, 16-way Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustment
Wheelbase:56.7 in
Front Brake:250mm single disc
Rear Brake:240mm single disc
Fuel Capacity:2.0 gal
Ground Clearance:10.8 in
Seat Height:35.2 in
Curb Weight:304.3 lb
Warranty:12 months

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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49 thoughts on “Kawasaki Unveils All-New KLX300 for 2021

  1. What a bunch of lazy corporate execs, CRF300L also has an “all digital” instrument panel, but you can’t compare this outdated KLX300 crap. Just pure disappointment with Kawasaki, Honda is much more innovative and isn’t afraid to spend money in new R&D. Forget about Kawasaki Adv / Dual Sport, they have their head up their arse in Z naked bikes. If the KLX didn’t get revamped or the KLR revived in 2021, then they never will.

    • Who cares about stupid dashboard electronic crap. Go buy an iPad if that’s important to you. This bike is 40lbs lighter and has WAAAAY better suspension than the CRF300L. Go rip a KLX across desert whoops and a CRF and compare if you don’t believe me.

      The KLX is no KTM, don’t get me wrong. But its also 5 grand and you can get it down to 285lbs (reasonable trail bike territory) with an exhaust and a lithium ion battery.

      If a fancy dashboard is worth 40lbs of weight, go for it though.

  2. Pingback: Kawasaki Unveils All-New KLX300 for 2021 - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

  3. Very nice looking bike. I have never owned a Kaw but have always respected the brand. Looking forward to seeing the updated KLR 650.

  4. At 8:00 AM PST the Kawasaki site almost crashed due to the traffic. The KLX300 and Honda CRF300L are quite welcome because the 250s were fairly anemic. Now lets see a WR300R.

  5. What a huge disapointment from Kawasaki. No replacement for KLR650. Kawasaki is just abandoning middle size Dual sport market. What a shame. Very very sad.

  6. One byproduct of this announcement: this probably guarantees the CRF300L will be coming to the US. Whether we’ll see a WR replacement…who knows? My next bike will be in this range and there is nothing about the KLX300 that I see that takes it out of the running. (I note no mention of a fuel gauge still; the lack of ABS is not an issue for me.) I think a lot of the disappointment here is there is no replacement for the KLR650. There’s always the January announcement being touted. For me the biggest question is when will any of these things make it to the showroom. (One minor thing I noticed is the camo is different than the previous matrix digital whatever, and with smaller brand graphics, which I thought looked more interesting than the new version.)

  7. A few people are on here complaining about the bike not being fancy enough, but this promises to be a good, affordable 50/50 street/ trail bike for the masses. I would like to see a bigger, more highway worthy version with a bigger tank and seat, plus a little adjustable wind screen, you know, the replacement for the KLR650, but this is a good start.

  8. Sadly not for the european market. No ABS = not Euro 5 compliant. And I guess the emisdions aren’t that either. Seems like they focus entirely st the asian and maybe US market.

  9. I just can’t understand why they can’t make a dual sport bike under 300lbs. A comparable e-start honda 250x or yama WR250 is ~250lbs. Do turn signals and mirrors really weigh 50-60lbslbs? Dang. And why not have fully adjustable front suspension?

    • I think it’s all about compromises. Lighter-yet-stronger materials like frame add costs, in some parts, durability; higher tech engines (or suspension) can often translate into more maintenance or costs, and if starting from scratch, costs to recover the R&D. Yes the WR was something, but it was also considerably more expensive. Same with the KTM EXC-Fs.

    • The KLX has adjustable preload which is better than the CRF-L and the same as the WR. It’s a 5 grand bike.

      If you stick an exhaust and lithium battery the weight gets down to 285, which is the same as a WR400F.

  10. Chinese bikes like GPX are going to do to these bikes like Honda did to the big 3 in the 70s. Over 300 lbs. Are you kidding me? It reads like a turd. Imagine picking that thing up on a hill side.

    • I doubt it. The reason Japan was so successful in the 70s was because it was a matter of personal and national pride for the Japanese to do high quality work. But China has no such pride. They are happy to produce cheap commie junk, as long as stupid westerners will buy it.

    • The Chinese build cheap junk, and uninformed Westerners by their cheap junk in the Chinese put their dollars in their military to threaten us and our allies.
      If you buy Chinese products you’ll be betraying your own country and building up there’s

  11. Pingback: Kawasaki Unveils All-New KLX300 for 2021 – Bikers Connection

  12. What a complete waste of my time – watching and waiting for Kawasaki to pull a (KLR) rabbit from the hat. Kawasaki for all their much vaunted engineering expertise can’t put together a serious competitor to the Tenere? Two years down the track and nothing WTF are they doing.

  13. This will compliment my Vstrom 650 nicely. Low center of gravity and Hp should be well over 30. Low ground clearance for the class at 9.8 inches does seem odd though. Suspension tuning will be the deciding factor for me

  14. I had 2007 klx250s – put on full muzzy exhaust, jet kit from klx300r, bigger rear sprocket and i would hit around 85mph (almost closing rpms) but front was so soft for my fat ass (230lbs) that i sold it
    Another thing – first gear was too tall for slow mountain trail climbing (maybe I should put even bigger rear sprocket and drop one in front?)
    But since originally having i think 21hp on it I hope this one has at least 33hp what they claiming on klx300r off-road version – if it is under 30hp and still with soft front i would pass on it

  15. I actually took two Kawasaki stock photos of the KLX250 and 300 and did an overlay of them and I don’t see any difference in ground clearance at all.

  16. So last year Kawasaki introduced the KLX 300R, which is a trail only bike, and this year the KLX-300, which is a dual sport.

    But strangely, this bike is a small revamp of the previous KLX-250, and not a street-legal version of the 300, which would have been the more attractive option, I think. Here’s the specs compared:

    KLX 300-R New KLX 300
    Frame Type Tubular, Semi-Double Cradle same
    Rake/Trail 26.9°/4.3 in 26.7°/4.2 in
    Overall Length 83.5 in
    Overall Width 32.5 in
    Overall Height 49.2 in
    Ground Clearance 12.0 in 9.8 in
    Seat Height 36.4 in 35.2 in
    Curb Weight 282.2 lb 304.3
    Fuel Capacity 2.1 gal same
    Wheelbase 56.5 in 56.3 in
    43mm inverted fork adj. compression damping – possibly the same
    Frpmt trave;11.2 in 10.0 in
    Uni-Trak® piggyback reservoir with adj compression, rebound &preload
    (no piggyback, preload and damping only on the Dual Sport)
    rear travel: 11.2 in 9.1 in
    Front Tire 80/100-21
    Rear Tire 100/100-18
    Front Brakes Single 270mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper
    Rear Brakes Single 240mm petal disc with single-piston caliper

    So, it’s not just the 300 with 20lbs of lights bolted on.
    The street legal 300 you want might be the R with a Baja Designs kit, as always.

    • The R weights 22 lbs less, has 1.2″ more front travel, 2.1″ more rear travel, sits 1.2″ higher in the seat, and has 2.2″ better ground clearance.

      The R has a fancy rear shock with more adjustability

      It’s not the worst translation of a decent enduro into a street bike, it’s just not the best either. OTOH: Street legal is a big deal for a lot of people.

      And, it’s still pretty cheap. .

  17. yawn, the big surprise under the cover was “haha got ya! nix”…? so Yamaha’s T700 will romp off with the bulk of Adventure bike sales in 2021 while Kawasaki/Honda/Suzuki adv sales dwindle in the face of the emerging/emerged mid-range-adv sector for the now older demographic. Time to head down to your blue Yamaha dealer peeps… and join the long adv lineup for a mid sized T7

  18. I think if you extend the range and probably a more comfortable seat you could make this a long tripper. As long as it will do 65mph, it should make for a good dual/adv bike. Heck its 100lbs lighter then my KLR, has better ground clearance and 6 speeds. I think we are all caught up in the now and technology. Bikes 30yrs ago went to the same places as the bikes today. Just my perspective.

    • Very true the dirts roads i ride down on my KLX250 (now 351) I used to ride on my 72 BMW R60/5. They are in a little rougher shape now.

  19. No thanks, I’ll keep my old reliable DRZ400. Only 5 gears, but with an extra tooth on the front sprocket, comfortable on the highway and still plenty power off-road. All these bikes need bigger fuel tanks!

  20. I totally agree, they should have just added blinkers, horn and anything else to make the R street legal. And a bigger fuel tank. KTM 790/890s come in 3 suspension sizes; S, R, and Rally, but they all are street legal. Kawasaki could easily make a street legal 300R and cheaper/less travel 300S. KTM wants $20k for their Rally model but isn’t making enough to keep up with demand.

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