2017 Kawasaki KLX140G First Look
Kawasaki returns to the full-size trail bike market with the new 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G, a compact adult off-road motorcycle for shorter or new riders. Powered by a well-regarded air-cooled 144cc motor, the KLX140G has the features you expect on an off-road bike, with a smaller chassis and motor than the full-sized trail bikes from Honda and Yamaha. The KLX140G joins the the small-wheel KLX140 and KLX140L trail bikes, which are returning unchanged for 2017.
1. The 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G has full-sized wheels. The KLX140G gets 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, so it can easily roll over rocks and roots on the trail. You will find that the 2.75 (front) and 4.10 (rear) widths are a narrower than standard, and that will restrict your options when it comes time to replace the relatively expensive stock IRC Vulcanduro (VE-35F and VE-33) tires when they wear out. Fortunately, those are high-quality tires.
3. At a claimed 218 pounds curb weight, it undercuts the 230s. Weight about 30 pounds less than the 230s, the KLX140G should be very manageable for the new rider moving up to an full-sized trail bike. The KLX140G’s weight is just nine pounds more than the KLX140L, which has 16-inch rear and 19-inch front wheels.
4. Suspension travel is 7.5 inches in the front, and 7.9 inches in the back. Again, these number are smaller than the 230 equivalent bikes, by about an inch or two. This is what helps keep the seat height low with the same-sized wheels. Also, with the lighter weight, those travel figures look pretty reasonable. The KLX140G’s 33mm Showa forks are not adjustable, but the piggyback-reservoir rear shock has help from a linkage system, plus adjustments for rebound damping and spring-preload.
5. The 144cc motor is bulletproof. We’ve been impressed with the motor in the KLX140 and KLX140L, and expect it to do fine in the larger 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G. It’s slightly oversquare and willing to rev, though the KLX140G will be the slowest of the 140s due to its chassis weight and heavier wheels. Maintenance requirements will be modest.
6. The KLX140G has a manual clutch and five-speed transmission. By the time a rider is ready for a bike this size, fully manual operation of the clutch makes sense. The 144cc engine’s transmission has been flawless in the past, and we expect to continue to be satisfied with its performance.
7. Electric starting makes us happy. A key would be nice, but e-start is where it’s at. A kickstarter as a backup is always a good idea, but the 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G does not have one.
8. Disc brakes all around. Unlike the 230s, which use drum rear brakes, the Kawasaki KLX140G has petal discs, front and rear–good job.
9. The 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G looks sharp. The plastic is modern, with angular styling, and the square-tube frame has a competitive appearance.
10. The price is right at $3699. It’s a few hundred dollars less than the 230s, but they aren’t really direct competitors. The 2017 Kawasaki KLX140G is for adult riders who want full-sized wheels, along with lighter weight and a lower seat height, and they don’t mind sacrificing engine power to get it.
2017 Kawasaki KLX140 Specs
- Engine: Air-cooled, SOHC single
- Displacement: 144cc
- Bore x stroke: 58.0 x 54.4mm
- Compression ratio: 9.5:1
- Carb: Keihin PB20
- Ignition: Digital DC-CDI
- Transmission: 5-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension: 33mm Showa forks; 7.5 inches of travel
- Rear suspension: Linkage assisted piggyback reservoir shock with spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustment; 7.9 inches of travel
- Tires: IRC Vulcanduro
- Tire sizes f/r: 2.75×21 / 4.10×18;
- Front brakes: 220mm petal disc w/ four-piston caliper
- Rear brakes: 186mm petal disc w/ two-piston caliper
- L x H x W: 78.9 x 44.7 x 31.3 inches
- Wheelbase: 52.4 inches
- Rake: 27 degrees
- Seat height: 33.9 inches
- Curb weight: 218 pounds
- Fuel capacity: 1.5 gallons
- Limited Warranty: 6 Months (12, 24, or 36 optional)
2017 Kawasaki KLX140G Color:
- Lime Green
2017 Kawasaki KLX140G Price:
- $3699 MSRP