Looks like Kawasaki plans to keep the KLX230 dual sport around for a while, with a new supermoto version announced for 2023.
First up, the KLX230SM. This is a supermoto variant, with two 17-inch rims instead of the 21-18 combo on the standard dual sport version. The front suspension is changed to a USD fork setup, and there’s a new front fender to match the wheel. Kawi put a new LED headlight on it as well. A 300 mm disc up front will slow the bike down with plenty of punch, just like you want when hooning about the city.
Still, it has the 233 cc air-cooled engine that Kawasaki first used in the street-and-trail version of the bike, with six-speed gearbox. It isn’t exactly high-powered, so while this will be a fun runabout, it isn’t a fire-breathing wheelie monster like the more expensive European options. It’s an affordable bike for riding around town—at least, it’s affordable for other markets. The SM variant is not on Kawasaki’s Canadian website right now, although we can’t imagine it won’t come here to Canuckistan eventually.
Kawasaki also announced some updates to the rest of the KLX230 lineup. As per the press release:
“The 2023 KLX230 and KLX230 S received several updates for added versatility. The air-cooled 233cc single’s ECU settings were revised to not only reduce engine noise at idle but also to enhance the performance in a wider range of altitudes and temperatures. Design-wise, both models get a sportier, more aggressive styling with a KX-inspired front fender and an LED headlight.”
The KLX230 has a $5,749 MSRP for 2023, and the KLX230S has the same sticker price.
Would it kill the Japanese manufacturers to produce a 450cc motard? Suzuki does a 400cc version which seems to sell for a while now.
Just buy a z400 and stick BMX bars on it. Or aftermarket the hell out of KLX/CRFL 300.
Nobody wants to spend the R&D, enviro testing, production costs,….. into a niche bike for a mediocre sized market. The real money is in what will also sell in Asia / Oceania.