Although it may seem unnecessary for Kawasaki to have both 233cc and 249cc dual-sport motorcycles, the KLX230 and KLX250 are quite different. Compared to the KLX250, the 2021 Kawasaki KLX230 (and the ABS version) are designed to welcome new riders into the dual-sport category with a lower seat height, more manageable power, a bit less weight, and a significantly lower price tag.
The KLX230 features a torquey motor that is just slightly oversquare in a basic and reliable architecture—air-cooled, SOHC, two-valves. However, the Kawasaki motor does feature EFI and electric starting, two features that appeal to new and experienced riders alike.
The KLX230 is a fully capable dual-sport motorcycle that delivers fun on everything from single-track to dirt roads, thanks to impressive handling and power. However, keep the speeds down in the rough stuff. Though the ultra-soft suspension bottoms out quickly—particularly the shock—if the rider isn’t unusually light or timid.
If you’re thinking about picking up the 2021 Kawasaki KLX230 as a commuter motorcycle with very few off-road demands, spring for the optional ABS at $300. It is definitely a great urban motorcycle, in addition to being ready for rural exploration.
We tested the Kawasaki KLX230 in the dirt and street.
2021 Kawasaki KLX230 and KLX230 ABS Specs
- Type: Single-cylinder four-stroke
- Displacement: 233cc
- Bore x stroke: 67.0 x 66.0mm
- Compression ratio: 9.4:1
- Valvetrain: SOHC; 2 valves
- Starting: Electric
- Cooling: Air
- Fueling: EFI w/ 32mm throttle body
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Wet multi-disc
- Final drive: Chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 37mm fork; 8.7 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted spring-preload adjustable shock; 8.8 inches
- Front tire: 2.75 x 21; IRC Trails P-21F
- Rear tire: 4.10 x 18; IRC Trails GP-22R
- Front brake: 240mm petal disc w/ 2-piston caliper (ABS: 265mm)
- Rear brake: 220mm petal disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Optional ($300)
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 54.3 inches
- Rake: 27.5 degrees
- Trail: 4.6 inches
- Seat height: 34.8 inches
- Ground clearance: 10.4 inches
- Fuel tank capacity: 2.0 gallons
- Curb weight: 291 pounds (ABS: 293 pounds)
- Color: Lime Green
- 2021 Kawasaki KLX230 Price: $4599 MSRP
- 2021 Kawasaki KLX230 ABS Price: $4899 MSRP