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ADV NewsKawasaki Launches New KLX230S With More Rider Friendly Changes

Kawasaki Launches New KLX230S With More Rider Friendly Changes

The small dual-sport is now more approachable than ever for new riders.

Published on 10.06.2021

The Kawasaki KLX family of off-road motorcycles are known for their rider-friendly character, nimble handling, and reliability, making them an approachable machine for exploring trails. For 2022, the KLX230 is gaining an ‘S’ and receives several changes to make it even more accessible for new and shorter riders.

The new model is based on the KLX230 platform but has lost some suspension travel to lower the seat height 2.2 inches, making it easier for riders to reach the ground. According to Kawasaki, the bike is still nimble, torquey and purpose-built for trail riding. To help instill extra confidence in riders Kawasaki will also offer an ABS version of the model, which the brand calls their “first dual-purpose anti-lock braking system.”

Kawasaki KLX230S dual sport motorcycle

2022 KLX230S Highlights

  • Shorter two-stage front suspension with 6.2 inches of travel
  • Shorter Uni-Trak rear suspension with 6.6 inches of travel
  • Lower seat height of 32.7 inches
  • Available with Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS


The front forks were shortened by a total of 2.4 inches by using shorter dual-stage springs with a firmer spring rate than the KLX230, helping to bring the seat height down. A 37 mm telescopic front fork takes care of the rider up front and offers 6.2 total inches of travel, which Kawasaki says increases rider confidence when navigating challenging terrain or piloting on the pavement. The revised Uni-Trak rear suspension includes a shock absorber with a stiffer spring rate and provides 6.6 inches of wheel travel. The new front and rear suspension settings result in a lower overall seat height than that found on the KLX230. 

Kawasaki KLX230S dual sport motorcycle



The frame, seat, and tank of the KLX230S 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 KLX230S and updated suspension, a low seat height of 32.7 inches was achieved.

Like the KX lineup of motocross 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 dual-purpose riding, 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.


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 233cc. The long-stroke offers robust low-mid range torque for smooth and easy handling. A simple SOHC two-valve design was chosen for an easy-to-use power character and reliability.

Fuel injection helps ensure 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 and features a tapered silencer with an oval cross-section.

Kawasaki KLX230S dual sport motorcycle

A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission offers gearing for a wide range of conditions on the trails or streets, while also allowing for more comfortable cruising on long open straightaways. A short final gear ratio (46/13) was selected, enabling riders to continue moving forward even when navigating challenging terrain.


Built for taking on both the dirt or the street, the high-tensile steel perimeter frame offers the optimal handling needed for enjoyable and confident riding. By designing the engine and frame together, engineers were able to achieve a low engine height, ideal chassis rigidity balance, and a low center-of-gravity, all in a compact chassis. The short 53.5” wheelbase contributes to the bike’s maneuverability.

Wheels & Brakes

Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, help riders navigate across a wide variety of terrain. The KLX230S motorcycle also comes equipped with petal disc brakes, front and rear, which provide plenty of stopping power. A 240 mm front disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper offers strong, easy-to-control braking. Slowing the rear, a lightweight, KX-type, rear master cylinder with a unitized reservoir and single-piston caliper grips a 220 mm disc.

Styling & Instrumentation

The KLX230S takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s line of KX motocross motorcycles. The bike features a 1.9-gallon fuel tank and an easy-to-read instrumentation dash, which includes an ON/OFF button, indicator lamp, low-fuel warning lamp, and FI warning lamp.

Kawasaki KLX230S dual sport motorcycle


Riders can personalize their KLX230S motorcycle to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as a skid plate, frame covers, hand covers, tapered handlebars, handlebar pad, and black rims.

Colors and MSRP

 The 2022 KLX230S is available in Lime Green with an MSRP of $4,799. The 2022 KLX230S ABS is available in Lime Green and Urban Olive Green/Ebony with an MSRP of $5,099.

KLX 230S Specs

Engine Type4:4-Stroke, Air-Cooled, SOHC, 2-Valve Single
Displacement:233 cc
Bore & Stroke:67.0 x 66.0 mm
Compression Ratio:9.4:1
Fuel System:DFI® with 32mm throttle body
Ignition:TCBI with Electronic Advance
Rake/Trail:27.5°/4.6 in.
Front Wheel Travel:6.2 in.
Rear Wheel Travel:6.6 in.
Front Tire Size:2.75-21
Rear Tire Size:4.10-18
Front Suspension:37mm Telescopic Fork
Rear Suspension:New Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload
Wheelbase:53.5 in.
Front Brake Type:265mm (GNFNN)/240mm (HNFNN) Petal Disc
Rear Brake Type:220mm Petal Disc
Fuel Tank Capacity:2.0 gal.
Ground Clearance:8.3 in.
Seat Height:32.7 in.
Curb Weight:297.7 (ABS) / 295.5 lb.
Warranty:12 months. 

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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October 9, 2021 5:14 pm

I know some people who will appreciate the lower altitude.

December 7, 2021 8:24 pm

Really a neat bike. Cool that the ABS version has 25mm larger front disk and olive/ black color combo.

MC Benelli
MC Benelli
January 8, 2022 11:05 pm

I’m 72 and I just about got a groin pull getting on my DR650, so I think this motorcycle makes a lot of sense for me. Plus my riding skills aren’t quite as good as they used to be, so less power is in order. Me want.


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