Kawasaki continues to build its dual sport lineup with a new switchable-ABS version of the KLX 230 series.
While its power output is humble, and the suspension certainly isn’t race-ready, the 230 series is still way, way beyond the crude enduros that your dad learned on in the 1970s.
The KLX230 is Team Green’s tamest duallie, with a long-stroke air-cooled single-cylinder engine, with SOHC two-valve head, six-speed gearbox and electric start. Oh yes, and EFI—and in its original configuration, a very good Bosch-built offroad-friendly ABS system.
The ABS works well both on the street and in the dirt (see Zac’s review of the original 2020 model here). However, not everyone wants ABS on all the time, even though Bosch’s system seems pretty capable on unpaved surfaces. While locking your front wheel is never desirable, some riders like to lock the rear to “steer with the back end” off-pavement.
So, Kawasaki has introduced an updated version of the KLX230 and the KLX230 S (which has a lower seat height). By pressing a button, riders can cancel the ABS option if they’re headed off-road.
This is a fairly common option on higher-end adventure bikes, but not necessarily on lower-priced dual sports, which didn’t even have ABS available until the last couple of years.
There’s also a new LED headlight on ’23 models.
Pricing remains among the lowest among Japanese-built bikes for 2023, with MSRP for ABS-equipped 230 and 230 S models at $5,899 (plus taxes and fees). If you don’t want ABS, pricing is only $5,749, but now that ABS is switchable, most riders will happily pony up the extra money.
See more details at Kawasaki’s website here.