Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2013 Kawasaki KLX250S | Preview

2013 Kawasaki KLX250S | Preview

2013 Kawasaki Dual Sport

For 2013, Kawasaki returns with its light and nimble KLX250S as a carryover model with new color/graphic schemes.

Tipping the scales at just under 300 lbs., Kawasaki’s 250 dual sport provides an optimal platform for a wide range of riding styles, from light commuting to the tightest of trails.

The KLX250S is powered by 249cc single enclosed in a lightweight, high-tensile steel perimeter frame, the combination yielding a low center of gravity that translates into better maneuvering on tight trails.

The engine breathes through a durable, 34mm semi-flat slide Keihin CVK carburetor that provides “easy to use response and a broad, smooth power delivery – not to mention fantastic fuel economy.”

An aluminum engine guard that protects the crankcase, and dual lightweight, high-capacity Denso radiators and an electric fan provide ample cooling.

The engine, which features an electric start, is hooked to a refined six-speed transmission that’s geared for use on the trail and the highway, the transmission featuring an advanced shift cam design for positive shift feel and consistent gear engagement.

Featuring a short wheelbase for quick turning, the chassis is complemented by lightweight aluminum swingarm employing a highly rigid D-shaped cross section; KX racing-type chain adjusters allow for precise chain adjustments.

Up front, the KLX250S features a 43mm inverted cartridge-style front fork with 16-way adjustable compression damping and 10-inches of travel. Out back is a Uni-Trak linkage-type rear suspension that has 16-way adjustable compression and rebound damping, providing 9.1-inches of wheel travel. The bike rolls on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels that feature 4mm-thick spokes for off-road durability.

Stopping the 2013 KLX250S are twin-piston calipers squeezing a 250mm semi-floating petal-shaped disc up front and a 240mm petal-shaped disc at the rear.

Finishing the dual-sport package is aggressive bodywork complemented by a custom seat filled with firm urethane and a carefully chosen handlebar pull it all together for long, comfortable days on- and off- the road.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2013 Kawasaki KLX250S.

2013 Kawasaki KLX250S Highlights:

Key Features

  • On- and off-road capability means maximum versatility
  • 249cc engine is liquid cooled for long engine life
  • Adjustable 43mm fork offers excellent rigidity and consistent damping
  • Adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension helps ensure a smooth ride and great handling
  • Fully digital instrumentation has easy-to-read speedometer and tachometer
  • Starting is easy with push-button electric start
  • Six-speed transmission provides the right gear for any situation
  • Brakes feature petal-style discs for superior stopping power

Single-cylinder 249cc DOHC Engine

  • Compact engine design is lightweight and high revving, with a broad torque curve
  • Good mass centralization for superior handling
  • Flat-top piston and pentroof combustion chamber deliver an 11:1 compression ratio
  • Lightweight piston, piston pin and connecting rod enable higher revs for maximum power
  • Aluminum cylinder features electrofusion coating, which allows a tight clearance between piston and cylinder for greater horsepower and increased engine life thanks to superior heat transfer and lubrication retention properties
  • A gear-driven engine balancer provides smooth power delivery from idle to redline
  • Provides maximum valve area for optimum flow, to boost low-end torque while providing improved high-rpm breathing efficiency for more power
  • 34mm semi-flat slide Keihin CVK carburetor delivers the optimum amount of fuel at all rpm, resulting in improved throttle response, greater power and excellent fuel economy
  • Meets strict CARB regulations, so it’s available in all 50 states

Liquid Cooling

  • Dual high-capacity, vertical-flow Denso radiators provide reliable and efficient engine cooling
  • Radiators feature tightly packed cores and a fin design for excellent heat dispersion
  • More consistent engine temperatures allow tighter engine clearances for quieter running and sustained power, while promoting longer engine life
  • Cooling fan is powered by a shallow-footprint electric motor

Electric Starting

  • Quick and easy push-button starting
  • Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR) automatically lifts one of the exhaust valves at cranking rpm, for reduced starting effort

Exhaust System

  • Secondary air system helps provide clean emissions
  • USFS-approved spark arrestor lets the KLX®250S access designated off-road public riding areas

Six-speed Transmission

  • Allows engine’s full potential to be used
  • Provides excellent acceleration as well as relaxed highway cruising

Inverted Front Forks

  • 43mm inverted cartridge fork offers excellent rigidity and consistent damping performance
  • 10.0-inch wheel travel means straight-line stability, great handling and a low seat height
  • 16-way compression damping adjustment allows tuning for differences in rider weight and terrain

Uni-Trak Rear Suspension

  • 9.1-inches of rear wheel travel for straight-line stability, great handling and a low seat height
  • Progressive linkage rate provides a smooth ride and excellent bottoming resistance
  • The gas-charged remote-reservoir shock features 16-way adjustable compression and rebound damping

Diamond Frame

  • Lightweight, high-tensile steel for amazing rigidity
  • No downtubes, for lower engine placement and lower center of gravity as well as ample ground clearance
  • Lightweight, aluminum D-section swingarm is highly rigid and reduces unsprung weight
  • KX racing-type chain adjusters allow precise adjustment to minimize drivetrain power losses

Enhanced Ergonomics

  • KLX-spec handlebar for a more relaxed position and effortless control
  • Footpegs are positioned close to the bike’s centerline
  • KLX-spec seat shape and foam make it easier to change seating position


  • Aggressive headlight and front fender design
  • Two-piece radiator shrouds styled like the KX motocross line
  • Rear fender is a two-piece unit featuring a sharp taillight design that offers great visibility and further contributes to the KLX 250S’ aggressive styling

Narrow Fuel Tank

  • Narrow tank design gives riders maximum comfort and control without sacrificing capacity

Digital Instrumentation

  • All-digital instrument console gives at-a-glance information, including a digital bar graph tachometer, digital speedometer, clock, and dual trip meters

Petal-Shaped Disc Brakes

  • Front and rear disc brakes offer impressive stopping performance
  • Twin-piston caliper grips a 250mm petal-shaped disc up front
  • 240mm rear petal-shaped disc for great power, feel and feedback

Wheels and Tires

  • Fat, 4mm spokes for greater off-road durability
  • Tires with small tread blocks for longer tire life and increased grip on asphalt


2013 Kawasaki KLX250S Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve single
  • Displacement: 249cc
  • Bore x stroke: 72.0 x 61.2mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.0:1
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Carburetion: Keihin CVK34
  • Ignition: Digital CDI
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • Final drive: Chain
  • Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
  • Rake / trail: 26.5 degrees / 4.1 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted cartridge fork with 16-way compression damping adjustment / 10.0 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-Trak® with adjustable preload, 16-way compression and rebound damping adjustment / 9.1 in.
  • Front tire: 80/100×21
  • Rear tire: 100/100×18
  • Front brake: 250mm semi-floating petal disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper
  • Rear brake: 240mm petal disc with single-piston hydraulic caliper
  • Overall length: 86.6 in.
  • Overall width: 32.3 in.
  • Overall height: 47.4 in.
  • Ground clearance: 11.2 in.
  • Seat height: 35.0 in.
  • Curb weight: 297.7 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 2.0 gal.
  • Wheelbase: 56.3 in.


2013 Kawasaki KLX250S Color Options/MSRP:

  • Lime Green / $5,099
  • Bright White / $5,099

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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