Kawasaki klx250 dual sport returns


Expedition Leader

Kawasaki has offered a single cylinder four stroke 250cc dual sport bike to USA customers for many years. In 2014, however, they withdrew from the 250cc market to focus on other classes of motorcycle. Now the KLX250 is back, offering fuel injection and a distinctly off-road orientation. The KLX is based on a Kawasaki 300cc dirt bike, so its ergonomics are better for trails and dirt roads, rather than pavement. The 305 lb curb weight is pretty good for a street-legal 250cc machine. The two gallon fuel tank is the only thing I’d worry about for a Trans-America Trail ride.

In the same price and displacement class, Kawasaki competes with the Yamaha XT250 and Honda CRF250L. For about $1200 more, Yamaha’s WR250R offers a more sophisticated suspension and somewhat more powerful engine for faster riding over rough terrain. And for double the price, KTM, Husqvarna and Beta offer barely street-legal versions of their 250cc off-road racing machines.

If you’re interested in a dual sport machine in this displacement class biased more toward pavement pounding, Kawasaki offers the two cylinder 300cc Versys-X. It costs about the same as the KLX250, and has ergonomics aimed at street riding. The Versys-X is about 80 lb heavier than the KLX250.