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Author Topic: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport  (Read 521 times)

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Offline michnus

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2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« on: September 22, 2017, 02:42:58 AM »
I guess we won't see it although FI and all it is not on Eurodamn19andhalf standards.  :patch:

 It is a great bike and this class of bike is big business for the brands in Latin America, India and places like Spain. But if ZA people can get over the big is better thing they will make stunning Africa travel bikes.

After a three-year hiatus, the KLX250 is back in the Kawasaki line-up and better than ever with the addition of fuel injection, new Uni-Trak suspension linkage and other changes to increase performance both on paved and dirt roads.

Borrowing notes from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this 2018 street legal, dual-purpose motorcycle is designed to cut through the busy traffic of an inner city or climb up a back trail to see the city from a beautiful view.

KLX250 Key Features
• New Fuel Injection System
• Revised Suspension Improves Handling
• Full Digital Instrumentation
• On/Off Road Capability
• One of Kawasaki’s Most Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles

The 2018 KLX250 motorcycle receives a new fuel injection system for improved starting at all elevations, fuel efficiency and performance. With riders of all skill levels in mind, Kawasaki’s target with the KLX250 are riders seeking a less expensive, lightweight dual sport motorcycle that is capable off-road.

The KLX250 features more aggressive styling noticeable in its front cowl, front fender, sharp taillight and two-bulb headlamp design. Taking cues from the KX family, the KLX250 motorcycle features two-piece radiator shrouds and KX-style fork guards, which help protect the inner tubes from rocks and brush.

An all-digital instrument console gives the rider at-a-glance information. Features include a digital bar-graph tachometer, digital speedometer, clock and dual trip meters. Fuel-injection and low-fuel warning lamps are also included.

Dual high-capacity Denso radiators, like those used on KX motocross bikes, deliver superior cooling efficiency and contribute to space and weight savings. The radiators are very slim and feature tightly packed cores and a fin design for improved heat dispersion.

• Liquid-Cooled, Compact 249cc 4-Stroke Engine
• New Fuel Injection (FI) system
• Improved throttle response and power
• Stainless-steel exhaust system

The engine of the KLX250 motorcycle is a modern, lightweight and compact, 249cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine with a wide torque band, pulling from down low. The new KLX250 features a new fuel injection system, for improved fuel efficiently, improved starting in a variety of conditions and better performance and throttle response. The FI system utilizes an ultra-fine atomizing (10-hole) injector. The result is a very smooth engine character, especially in the rpm range most used in day-to-day riding.

With an electric starter and Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR), which automatically lifts an exhaust valve during engine cranking, starting the KLX250 is a breeze. Precise control of ignition timing by the digital CDI also contributes to easy starts and reliability under extreme conditions.

The engine has low reciprocating weight, thanks in part to the use of a cam lobe for each valve, with shim-under tappet arrangement, which also contributes to better efficiency during high rpm. A lightweight piston, piston pin and connecting rod allow power-producing revs. With a bore and stroke of 72.0 x 61.2mm, the engine displaces 249cc. The engine is mounted low in the frame, contributing to a low center of gravity. Flat-top piston and pent-roof combustion chamber deliver a 11.0:1 compression ratio

The engine of the KLX250 further features an electro-fusion cylinder, which is an ultra-hard coating that offers superior heat transfer and less weight. It also contributes to engine reliability: the coating holds lubrication well, resists abrasion and seizure, and allows a tight piston-to-cylinder clearance for increased horsepower.

Its smooth engine is due in part to a gear-driven engine balancer, providing smooth power delivery from idle to redline. On long rides this means greater rider comfort and less fatigue. The KLX250 motorcycle also features an all-stainless steel exhaust system, with a honeycomb catalyzer located in the muffler. Gear ratios facilitate smooth shifting through the rpm range and help with increased performance off-road and on. A revised shift drum offers an improved shift feeling, ensuring gears firmly engage.

Chassis & Suspension
• Fully adjustable suspension
• 43 mm inverted cartridge fork
• Gas-charged rear shock
• Front wheel travel of 255mm and rear travel of 230mm

The box- and tubular-section high-tensile steel perimeter frame of the KLX250 motorcycle creates a slim, lightweight package, which offers both great cornering performance and straight-line stability. The 26.5-degree caster angle and short wheelbase contribute to quick handling, while the high rigidity of the frame increases straight-line stability. The lightweight, highly rigid aluminum D-section swingarm also contributes to reduced unsprung weight and rigidity.

The 43mm inverted cartridge-style front fork comes with 16-way compression damping adjustment, adding incredible adjustability for a variety of riding conditions. The cartridge provides consistent damping force by minimizing aeration of the fork oil. Uni-Trak rear suspension provides great road holding ability and bump absorption. The gas-charged shock with remote reservoir has 16-way compression and rebound damping and fully adjustable preload adjustability.

Front wheel travel of 255mm and rear travel of 230mm creates a comfortable street ride and makes the KLX250 a capable off-road machine on the trails. Footpegs are positioned close to the bike’s centerline for a slim riding position conducive to both on- and off-road riding.

Wheels and Brakes
•   21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels
•   Front 250mm disc and 240mm rear disc

The KLX250 features a 21-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear wheel, for great handling and plenty of tire options. Great wheel rigidity care of thick spokes (4.0mm), which contributes to lighter, smoother handling and offers greater durability for off-road riding.

Front and rear disc brakes offer great stopping performance, with a twin-piston caliper gripping a 250mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper gripping a 240mm disc in the rear.

Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $5,349
Availability: The 2018 Kawasaki KLX250 is available for purchase early October, 2017

KAWASAKI KLX250 Camo Edition
Color: Matrix Camo Gray
MSRP: $5,549
Availability: The 2018 Kawasaki KLX250 Camo edition is available for purchase early October, 2017

KLX250 Specifications
Engine:   4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valves, liquid-cooled
Displacement:   249cc
Bore x Stroke:   72.0 x 61.2mm
Compression ratio:   11.0:1
Fuel System:   DFI® with 34mm throttle body
Ignition:   Electric CDI
Transmission:   6 speed, return shift
Final drive:   sealed chain
Rake/Trail:   26.5°/4.1 in
Front Suspension/Travel:   43mm Telescopic fork/10.0 in
Rear Suspension/Travel:   Uni-Trak® swingarm/9.1 in
Front Tire:   3.00-21 51P
Rear Tire:   4.60-18 63P
Front/Rear Brakes:   Single disc
Frame Type:   Tubular, semi-double cradle
Overall Length:   86.6 in
Overal Width:   32.3 in
Overall Height:   47.4 in
Ground Clearance:   11.2 in
Seat Height:   35 in
Curb Weight:   304.3 lb
Fuel Capacity:   2.0 gal
Wheelbase:   56.3 in
Trail:   110 mm (4.3 in)

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 07:42:49 AM »
Thanks Michnus!

What are your views on the reliability / parts availability out in the sticks? I know the smaller 250 Hondas is not such a major issue in Africa and South America as Honda parts are available pretty much anywhere in the less developed countries.

I am convinced that a kitted out 250 is the way to go for extended overland travel. The day of the big beast for extended overland travel is over.


Offline michnus

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 08:33:19 PM »
@EtienneXplore the 250cc are cool but I would personally try and stay with a 450cc up to 650cc. The 250cc when loaded can struggle a bit and in sand and such it just lacks power and torque. But as a trip bike for 2weeks or even a month in Africa it will be a blast!
You will find spares for them easier than a BMW or KTM that is forsure. Only people with too much money still use a big bike for extended trips. Or they are new to it  :biggrin:

They just do not make financial sense to sue them. But personally I will try and have both. Use the big bike around ZA and nice trips and the small bike for the lekker offroad trips in Nambia that new country left of ZA (Trump)  :biggrin:

Offline XPat

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 01:23:51 AM »
@ Etienne & Michnus: Honest question - not trolling (for once  :grin:):

Where is this belief that 250 cc bike is the bike for extended overland travel coming from? I see quite a few people (who mostly ride 1000cc bikes) preaching the same on the other forum. I've seen people claim that the 250 bikes are taking over RTW trips and such, based on anectodal evidence of one lady using it for RTW. I would bet a lot of money that for every 250, there are at least 10 times as many bigger bikes doing RTW (or big overland trip) at any point in time. And it will remain so as IMO 250 just is not the right bike for extended trip - lack of power, and comfort. Let's get real - most RTW/overland travellers are sticking to main roads - be it dirt or tar - which are easily navigable even on heaviest adv bikes with average level of skill.

After quite a bit of experimenting, I'm of strong opinion that the best bike for RTW/overland travel is roundabout 650cc single (OK, if Aprilia makes reliable RXV650 twin, that would be ultimate). That for me excludes heavy ass Dakar/Sertao and Tenere, but includes DR650, XR650, XT660R, X-Challenge for cautious ones, and for risk-takers 690/701 and TE610/630.

Etienne, if I'm not mistaken you are riding kitted X-Challenge. Would you really find 250cc bike (which ever - this Kawa, any of the Hondas or even the best one WR250R) better suited for the overland trip? And if so can you please say why? If it is just part availability (which will not be easy on this Kawa) for extended travel, my personal experience is that if you do extended travel you have enough time to get things shipped anywhere around the world easily and I would not base my selection on that.

Michnus: Would you really take 250 for a trip to Namibia? To me it seems distinctly the worst choice for the job. Most technical riding in Namibia requires riding sand (riverbeds in Kaokoland and Darmaland up north) and I would't like to try outrun pissed of elephant in Huarusib on 250 (heck, I was shitting myself even on Tenere). And rocky bits (VZP and such) are comfortably doable on 650 cc bike per above. And south of Kaokoland and Darmaland I actually believe is one of the few places (except for SA) which justifies 250 kg and 150 HP bikes to either gun it through those corrugated and quite frankly boring dirt highways as fast as possible, or take it slow in comfort (which kgs help with) to soak in the scenery.

What am I missing? As I said - genuine question - I just feel perplexed by the seeming attraction (and proliferation) of 250s (for the purpose described here), while the IMO really perfect bikes  for the purpose- 650cc singles - are more or less gone from the market.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 01:25:27 AM by XPat »

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 11:09:25 AM »
Hi XPat,

True, I do have a fully kitted out RTW ready X-Challenge, I also have a XT660Z, but in standard trim, not upgraded like yours.

I do see the point of the 650 class being the perfect compromise between the big bikes (1000+ cc's of KTM/Honda/BMW) with all their pros & cons and the smaller bikes (basically the 250's/350's - Honda/Yamaha/Kawa and now the KTM & BMW) with all their pros and cons. I really do, and I love my two 650class bikes to bits!

My personal situation is a bit different. I was ready to leave on my own RTW trip, hence the fully kitted out RTW ready X-Challenge. Then out of the blue I got an amazing job offer with very good pay to stay here in Zambia. So I decided to take the job, make a good amount of money, fairly quickly. I saw it as a few years of sacrifice for my RTW, as it would put me in a financial position to do the RTW with no stress about money. I saw it as a worthwhile pay-off.

Then I met my current fiancee, and we decided to do the RTW together in stages, not in one long go as I initially planned solo. She has never ever ridden a motorbike, so I am teaching her to ride on a little CRF230, while I follow on my KTM300 here in the Zambian bush...  :smiley: She is making good progress with the learning!

The issue is she will not ever be comfortable on a big bike (and for her 650's are big bikes). So the RTW will be on 250's. Either the CRF250 Rallye or the CRF250L, not sure yet, but will look at options closer to the time. I am happy to do the RTW on a 250, I do not need to sit at 140km/h all day, I am very happy to putter along at a steady relaxed pace all day, every day. Mainly knowing that my wife will be on a bike she is comfortable with so this will reduce my stress levels tremendously!!

Yes, I will miss a big bike on long boring stretches, of course I will, but I can live with it.

So for me it is a personal choice as I will be doing it with my "newbie" wife. If I was to do it solo, then I would have taken the X-Challenge. But I don't think I will ever want to do it on one of the BIG bikes, amazing as they are, but they are just not the right tool for RTW. For dirt highways and long tar stretches in SA, Namibia etc, the big bikes are perfect.

I know you rode from Europe to South Africa on your 1150GSA, and I have done many long trips on a 1150GSA, it is still my all time favourite bike, but not for RTW.....  :thumbsup:

Offline michnus

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 05:03:17 AM »
@XPat personally I would not take a 250cc around the world. You load the bike and it need a bit of power. Yes, you go slow, average speed is about 80-100kmp/h but you need torque. This last weeks we have been at over 3000m to 4000m and the bikes suffer due to altitute. 650'cc I agree is the best all rounder.
Not to sound smug or arrogant and to be an asshole, but this I have experienced so many times. Yes there's 1000cc doing around the world. But look at their routes, they mostly sit on tar and nice dirt. And then ask them afterwards if they would take one again and they will with a shy grin admit not. You are correct, if we were on big 800cc-100cc bikes we would not have done the routes we enjoy on our 650cc's.

I had guys ask me for the Turkana routes just to ask them afterwards how it was and they never went that way. Bikes, big toe's were sore, mom called whatever excuse. Same for Copper canyon, White Rim trail and other routes we have done. Unfortunately guys wanna show the goods and look the part on the big bikes, and they will tell you how they will go around the world on big bikes and can pick them up and will do gnarly offroad,and have the skill, fact is they very rarely do. Not because they lie, but because reality hit home. The bike is 230kg, then they load another 45-50kg onto that. Suddenly that bike is a dumper truck  and you won't want to pick it up in a sand track more than once. Break a leg and you go home.

We have met so many guys on big bikes that ask to ride some routes with us, but the moment it is a bit more challenging than normal they have some excuse. And I am not talking climbing mountains on Baboon tracks.

And then when you go around the world, you pay for shipping, and a big bike cost much more to ship than 650's, and spare parts cost much more, and services cost much more, and tyres are not available every where and cost significantly more, ect, ect. But guys only admit that once they are in the trip and reality hits home.

I like the 250cc as a play bike for Nambia if you wanna have some fun on a light bike with a tent and not much more. Okay I will personally go for a 450DRZ instead. But I think there is space for the 250cc. The sand we got in Angola I think would have been too much for a loaded 250cc, just not enough torque. I just think, if bikes are getting to expensive, these 250cc is at least an option. Personally I am sad that we are losing the 650cc class of bikes. And I think it was our own doing for wanting bigger and bigger all the time. Now we have 2wheeled RV's and people can tell you all how skilled they are riding those bikes, but there is a place for the 650cc's.

One thing many misses is that all these 250cc - 300cc are actually for the commuter markets in Latin America, India and Asia, check my post on how Royal Enfield got to be so big. All these bikes are not for our ädventure"market. They are small cc bikes for a market that uses them for daily transport. The GS300 included but that's another BS story. I think guys got onto the 250-300cc bikes as the 1000c are getting too expensive and heavy and fancy and these are the only alternatives out there.

I have written about it here:
We have met Martin and he wrote about his choice of big bikes here:
And Sibriky wrote a great one here:

Also I know Tolga and he did his first trip on a 1190KTM and he is on a 701 now. he will tell you the same about big bikes for round the world.

But that said our dear friends Leonie and Peter has done 3 years and 150000km around the world on 250çc and they actually did the rough roads many of the big bikes round the world guys never did. Sand was their biggest issues. :)

In the end it is every man or girl's own money and their own trip, if they wanna look the part for their Facebook fans and look like a Dakar racer or Charlie and Ewan so be it. The info is out there just sometimes ego gets the better of peoples judgement and common sense and reason goes out the door.    :grin:

We pay for our bikes, and if we can save 1000us on shipping it is another two months travel. Our DR650's maintenance currently is not 40% of our old Dakar's and not a quarter of my 1200GS. And not just for the reason of saving money. The roads and tracks we ride now are so much more enjoyable with the lighter bikes. No way in hell I will ever take a bike bigger than a 650 for long trips. Okay the 701 I will still consider.  :ricky:

Online Dual

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 07:03:04 AM »
I've started biking close to 10 years ago again
Had the 650's then a R1200GS and back on the 650/660 class
Must say that I rode my R1200GS everywhere as I did with the KLR 650
Back then I did not know about tyres, tyre pressure, rocks, sand, stand up, look up, open up, we just rode
Most of my travelling was with my wife as pillion
Later years we discovered all the issues and rules regarding tyre pressure etc, etc
Being on the KLR 650 and the last two years again in the XT 660 Z, I rode all those old routes again and with much more ease
The only time I miss my R1200GS, is when I'm on my way home and need that extra oomph and comfort
I changed my attitude towards the trip back home, to relax and take it as part of the trip, and all the issues are gone
Eselbank / Wupperthal is much easier on the 650/660 class that the 1200, and you experience the same out there, nothing more, nothing less
Depends what your riding attitude is and what you're looking for when riding
I think I'll be comfortable on a 250/300 bike, but it would be only one up, no pillion for sure, and a very relaxed style, no rushing
A weekend trip will work but think Cape to Cairo will be a bit more than doable
The guys riding around the world in a TV show, have a lot of backup, and they don't show us all the issues they experience
It's after all a show and a program to promote or sell something
I just love my XT 660 Z and would miss it when time comes to change
At this stage there is no replacement for my bike, so I'll stick to it

Offline meurig

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 09:56:00 AM »

.......I just love my XT 660 Z and would miss it when time comes to change
At this stage there is no replacement for my bike, so I'll stick to it

I think that is a great bike, just too tall for me to enjoy

Offline michnus

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Re: 2018 Kawasaki KLX 250 dual sport
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 02:11:47 AM »
Today was a good example why I would rather not use a 250cc for long term travel. We rode some freaking cool tracks today. Some took us up from 1400m to 3000m in 25km of switchback after switchback on the edge of the mountains. Rocks and more rocks and more rocky climbs. Loaded 250cc would run out of torque and the clutch would take a serious beating. Much of the 40km section up was 1st gear stuff.

 :BangHead:  damn thing does not want to embed