Here’s the Kawasaki KLX230: A new entry-level dual sport

Kawasaki has just announced it’s building the KLX230 dual sport, and bringing it to Canada.

The KLX230 is a street-legal version of the KLX230R trail bike, another machine Kawasaki just unveiled. Like the trail bike version, the KLX230 has a long-stroke single cylinder motor, with simple design. It’s air-cooled, has 233 cc displacement,  and has a SOHC head with two-valve design. It makes roughly 20 horsepower. There’s a proper six-speed transmission, and electric start.

Suspension is likely on the soft side, as this bike isn’t intended for aggressive riding. Unlike the KLX250, the 230 has telescopic forks up front, and no mention of adjustability, except the rear preload. Suspension travel is 220 mm up front, and about 225 mm in the rear.

Fuel capacity is 7.5 litres, which is modest, but this EFI-equipped machine likely sips gas very conservatively. There’s a simple LCD dash, with readouts for rpm and speed, a fuel gauge, a blinker warning light and an odometer.

A basic LCD dash keeps costs down.

In some markets, the KLX230 will be available with Bosch-built offroad ABS, and without it (for less money, of course, and about one kg of weight savings). No word yet on whether both versions will be available in Canada, but guessing from the rest of Kawasaki’s lineup, we’d expect the ABS-equipped bike only. Kawasaki says this is its first machine coming equipped with an ABS system that has offroad mode. Interesting … might we expect another, soon?

It will be available at $5,499 with ABS in Canada, $5,299 without ABS.

Along with the bike itself, Kawasaki also plans to offer a few key accessories, including handguards, a rack, a skid plate and other useful bits. Talk to your dealer when the bike arrives in showrooms, and they’ll get you pricing.

Nothing ground-breaking, but a machine that will likely introduce a lot of new riders to the dual sport scene.


  1. There is also a KLX300R (Bore and stroke 78 x 61.2 mm), vs KLX250 (72.0 x 61.2 mm) both have same size fuel injection and gear ratios (Kawasaki website)
    KawaSAKE should have spent their energy on the 300 and make this one street legal
    The KLX250 only cost $500 more than KLX230,with it you get water cooling,bigger engine and Shamwow
    You’ll Say Wow Everytime!

    • I would pay the extra for the 250 which also give you an aluminium swingarm and better suspension.The 250/300 share the same engine beside cylinder and piston so not much energy would have been required to make the 250 a 300 without a big impact on price or preferably with the longer suspension travel and larger discs of the 300. shorter riders could disagree though.

      • My thoughts exactly! A 50cc upgrade would have given Kawi a nice talking point for a “new” KLX300 in comparison to the other quarter-liter dualsports.

  2. A bit less expensive, a bit less powerful than an already low powered KLX250S. So in the quarter liter dualsport from the big 4, we have the WR250R, the slow (CRF250, KLX250) and the slowest. I was hoping for something … more … like a modern 400 cc twin dualsport. Not a street bike in adventure clothing like the Versys 300. Something equally at home on and off road .. like a KTM 390 Adventure ou a smaller Yamaha Ténéré 700. I know, i’m dreaming.

    • A Versys 400 could happen but would it be more off road oriented to fill the void left by the KLR 650 ? The test mule of the KTM 390 Adventure look almost production ready but Yamaha have somehow been sleeping, with luck the Ténéré 700 might inspire them to release a version with their 321cc twin (They’re not likely to make a new engine). Well i’m also dreaming.

  3. Kind of like a modern Super Sherpa, it was a 250, air cooled with a 6 speed gearbox.
    This one has fuel injection and ABS – what’s not to like?
    Bravo Kawasaki.

  4. That seems like a lot of money for an air-cooled 230cc dual purpose bike to me. Admittedly, it looks pretty good, but it will surely be in the CDN$7,000 range?

      • Oh, Canadian dollars. Nice. Not so bad. But yeah, is probably be inclined in this class to look for a nice clean DR200S or XT225. Good to have choices though.

        • They didn’t have the Canadian pricing when they published the news (updated now). Indeed nice to have choice and the same price as the XT250 and even less than for the non ABS but i think the MSRP should be a bit less, unless it is the KLX/CRF 250 that are sold at bargain price.

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