FIRST LOOK: KAWASAKI’S NEW OFF-ROAD BIKES FOR 2020

Kawasaki  has unveiled two new off-road bikes for 2020. The KLX300R and KLX230R are brand-new models designed to appeal to recreational riders and hit an affordable price point.  Additionally, the KLX230 is available as a dual-sport bike, which you can read about here. Below is Kawasaki’s official press release.

KAWASAKI KLX300R

2020 Kawasaki KLX300R

The all-new Kawasaki KLX®300R off-road motorcycle bridges the gap between a weekend play bike and a full race bike. As the leader of the KLX® lineup, the KLX300R combines the best of both engine and chassis performance to create the ultimate lightweight, fun off-road machine. Taking cues from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this 2020 off- road motorcycle has been designed to ensure that there is an affordable, capable, and durable motorcycle in the KLX lineup for every rider in the family to get out and attack the trail.

• ALL-NEW 292 cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine with DOHC and fuel-injection
• ALL-NEW perimeter, high tensile steel frame
• ALL-NEW long travel suspension
• ALL-NEW large diameter wheels (21”/18”)

The KLX300R was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for riders who aren’t looking for a full-time race machine. Utilizing a powerful, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled engine design along with the tried and true easy handling semi-double cradle frame design helps to keep the KLX300R compact, while the balance between the engine and frame results in optimal trail performance.

A smooth and powerful 292cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled four-stroke engine and easy handling, semi-double cradle frame were designed with reliability and durability for trail riding. Full-size wheels, long-travel suspension, ample ground clearance and large diameter front and rear disc brakes all contribute to the off-road capability of the KLX300R motorcycle, as well as featuring KX-inspired styling and ergonomics for agile handling in a variety of conditions.


ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
• ALL-NEW 292 cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled four-stroke engine
• ALL-NEW electric start
• ALL-NEW six speed transmission

The new liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine is fuel-injected, delivering a crisp response, quick-revving nature, and strong low-end torque. The engine has a bore and stroke of 78.0 x 61.2 mm, with a displacement of 292 cc. A four-valve DOHC cylinder head design provides maximum valve area for optimum flow. The pentroof combustion chamber yields an 11.1:1 compression ratio, while utilizing a lightweight piston, pin, and connecting rod allow power producing revs. Thanks to the use of an efficient cam design, a low reciprocating weight was achieved while also increasing efficiency at high rpm. Cam profiles and intake port design contribute to the smooth, quick-revving engine character.

The reliable and durable fuel injection system utilizes a 34 mm throttle body and a fine atomizing 10-hole injector, which delivers a precise response for optimal control. With fuel injection, fuel delivery is consistent regardless of outside air temperature or elevation. It also ensures excellent starting characteristics, whether the engine is hot or cold, and contributes to clean emissions. Together with fuel injection, electric start offers hassle-free starting at the push of a button.

Performance and durability were top of mind when designing the engine of the KLX300R motorcycle. Features like a piston skirt were designed to minimize contact with the cylinder wall, hard Nikasil plating on the cylinder bore, and wider connecting rod big-end bearings were utilized for increased reliability. Dual high-capacity radiators, similar to those used on KX motocross bikes, deliver superior cooling efficiency. The radiators are very slim and feature a tightly packed core and fin configuration for excellent heat dispersion. An all-stainless steel exhaust system with a honeycomb catalyzer, located in the silencer, keeps emissions clean. The silencer is fitted with a spark arrestor, which allows access to riding areas where required.

The smooth-shifting six-speed transmission offers a gear for different riding situations, and is particularly effective when riding on long straightaways. A short final gearing ratio of 50/14 complements the engine’s low-mid range focus, enabling riders to continue moving forward when navigating off-road trails.


CHASSIS
• ALL-NEW high tensile steel perimeter frame and aluminium swingarm
• ALL-NEW 43 mm inverted telescopic long travel fork
• ALL-NEW Uni-Trak® long travel suspension

The frame of the KLX300R is a lightweight semi-double cradle frame, which has served as the base design for countless Kawasaki off-road machines. The latest evolution of this proven frame delivers the durability to handle hard off-road riding, while rigidity is optimized for trail riding.

The boxed tubular-section high-tensile steel perimeter frame creates a slim, lightweight package with a 26.9º rake and short wheelbase, which contributes to quick handling and optimized frame rigidity. Equipped with 12” of ground clearance, the KLX300R enables riders to more easily navigate the trail. A new, lightweight extruded aluminum swingarm contributes to the desired rigidity balance of the KLX300R, while the D-section arms add to the motorcycle’s good looks.

 

Long-travel suspension front and rear greatly contribute to the KLX300R’s ability to soak up bumps on the trail. A large, 43 mm inverted telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front, with 11.2” of travel to take on rougher terrain. The fork settings take advantage of the long travel, using a lower spring rate to allow damping to work over a wider stroke range, providing a very stable front end feeling.

At the rear, Uni-Trak® suspension configuration with 11.2” of wheel travel provides great holding ability and bump absorption, with settings that contribute to light, nimble handling. The single rear shock absorber with piggyback reservoir is adjustable for rebound and compression damping, as well as preload, allowing riders to set the bike up to best suit their preference and weight.

WHEELS & BRAKES
• Large diameter wheels
• Large diameter disc brakes
• Large brake master cylinders
• Dunlop MX52 tires

Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, make it easy to navigate the trails, greatly contributing to trail-riding performance. The wheels are equipped with new Dunlop MX52 tires for optimal handling and traction.

A large diameter 270 mm front disc is gripped by a twin-piston caliper, utilizing the same size disc found on the full-size KX models, which offer strong, highly controllable braking. Slowing the rear is a large 240 mm disc, gripped by a single-piston caliper. Both front and rear brake master cylinders are based on tried and true pieces from the other models in the Kawasaki off-road lineup.

ERGONOMICS
• ERGO-FIT® adjustable handle positions
• KX-inspired ergonomics
• Adjustable brake lever position

Similar to the Kawasaki KX™450 and KX™250, the all-new KLX300R features bodywork designed to facilitate easy rider movement. The slim design of the frame and bodywork help the rider grip the bike for increased control, while the KX-inspired seat design offers great freedom of movement for off-road riding. All of this is complemented by the ERGO-FIT® four-way adjustable handlebar components, allowing for a personalized fit during relaxed riding or when pushing hard on the trails. Thanks to the compact design of the KLX300R, a seat height of 36.4” was achieved. The seat uses a slip-resistant top surface to facilitate grip when seated and smooth sides for easy mobility. Brake lever position is also adjustable, offering riders the ability to set the position to suit their hand size and preference.

STYLING & INSTRUMENTATION
• KX™-inspired styling

The KLX300R motorcycle takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s KX motocross line-up, sharing several key styling elements with the KX250, giving the KLX300R an agile, aggressive image to match its trail-riding prowess. A 2.1 gallon fuel tank allows the good times to keep rolling over the course of a long day.

The motorcycle includes an ON/OFF button, power indicator lamp, low-fuel warning lamp, and FI warning lamp.

ACCESSORIES
Riders can personalize their KLX300R motorcycle to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as: hand covers, handlebar pad, and oversize bar.

KAWASAKI KLX®300R
Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $5,499
Availability: Late Summer 2019

KAWASAKI KLX230R

Kawasaki’s all-new KLX®230R off-road motorcycle has been purpose-built for serious fun in the dirt; with priority placed on both its engine and frame design. Taking cues from the KX™ line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, the 2020 off-road motorcycle has been designed to ensure that there is an affordable, capable, and durable motorcycle in the KLX lineup for every rider in the family, to get out and enjoy the trails with confidence.

• ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine
• ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame
• ALL-NEW long travel suspension
• ALL-NEW large diameter wheels (21”/18”)

The KLX230R was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for a wide range of riders. Utilizing a simple, air-cooled engine design, along with an easy handling perimeter frame, the KLX230 is compact and balanced resulting in optimal trail performance and fun.

The powerful 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled four-stroke engine and compact steel perimeter frame are matched with full-size wheels, long-travel suspension, ample ground clearance, and large diameter front and rear disc brakes, all contributing to the off-road capability of the KLX230R. The motorcycle also features KX-inspired styling and ergonomics for agile handling in a variety of conditions.


ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
• ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled four-stroke engine
• ALL-NEW electric start
• ALL-NEW six speed transmission

The four-stroke air-cooled single cylinder engine offers smooth, reliable and durable performance in a compact package. The engine has a bore and stroke of 67.0 x 66.0 mm, with a displacement of 233 cc. The long-stroke offers robust low-mid range torque for smooth and easy handling. A simple SOHC two-valve design was chosen for an easy-to-use power character and reliability.

Fuel injection ensures consistent fuel delivery regardless of outside air temperature or elevation. It also enables the use of an electric starter, for easy starting at the push of a button, whether the engine is hot or cold, and contributes to clean emissions. The fuel injection system utilizes a 32 mm throttle body, which delivers precise response. Exhaust pipe length was selected to contribute to the engine’s low-mid range performance. To match the aggressive off-road look of the KX-inspired bodywork, the exhaust features a tapered silencer with an oval cross-section.

A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission offers a gear for every type of condition on the trails, while also allowing for more comfortable cruising on long open straightaways. A short final gear ratio (46/13) was selected, enabling riders to continue moving forward even when navigating challenging trails.


CHASSIS
• ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame
• ALL-NEW 37 mm telescopic long travel fork
• ALL-NEW Uni-Trak® long travel suspension

Built from the start for dirt-riding, the all-new high-tensile steel perimeter frame offers the optimal handling needed for enjoyable trail riding by a wide range of riders. By designing the engine and frame together, engineers were able to achieve a low engine height, ideal chassis rigidity balance, and a low center of gravity, all in a compact chassis. The short 53.5” wheelbase combined with the high 11.8” ground clearance contributes to the bike’s maneuverability, allowing riders to more easily navigate the trail.

A large, 37 mm diameter telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front; equipped with 9.8” of travel suspension offers more rider control in a variety of terrain. At the rear, new Uni-Trak® rear suspension with 9.9” of wheel travel provides great road holding ability and bump absorption. The single rear shock absorber with pressurized nitrogen gas is adjustable for preload, allowing riders to set the bike up for their weight.

WHEELS & BRAKES
• ALL-NEW large diameter wheels
• ALL-NEW large diameter disc brakes
• ALL-NEW KX™-type rear master cylinder

Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, help riders navigate trails, greatly contributing to trail-riding performance.

The KLX230R motorcycle comes equipped with petal disc brakes, front and rear, which provide sure stopping power. A 240 mm front disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper offers strong, easy-to-control braking. Slowing the rear, a lightweight, KX-type, rear master cylinder with a unitized reservoir and single-piston caliper grips a 220 mm disc.


ERGONOMICS
• ALL-NEW low seat height
• ALL-NEW KX™-inspired ergonomics

The frame, seat, and tank of the KLX230R motorcycle were designed with a combination of form and function in mind, making the frame easy to grip with the legs, offering superior chassis control. Thanks to the compact design of the KLX230R, a seat height of 36.4” was achieved.

Similar to the KX lineup of motorcycles, the flat design of the tank and seat give the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding positions, and facilitates sitting farther forward. In addition to trail riding, comfort was also a consideration when deciding the seat shape and thickness. The seams between the shrouds, seat, and side covers all fit flush, making it much easier for the rider to move around on the bike.

STYLING & INSTRUMENTATION
• ALL-NEW KX™-inspired styling
• ALL-NEW instrumentation

The KLX230R takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s line of KX motocross motorcycles, which gives the bike an agile, aggressive look to match its trail-riding prowess. A 1.9 gallon fuel tank allows the good times to keep rolling over the course of a long day.

An easy-to-read instrumentation dash is mounted at the center of the handlebars, which includes an ON/OFF button, indicator lamp, low-fuel warning lamp, and FI warning lamp.

The California model is Green Sticker compliant, allowing it to be ridden off road year round. Instead of an ON/OFF button, California models feature a key-type ignition cylinder and an on ON/OFF indicator lamp. The steel fuel tank has a 1.98 gallon capacity and is equipped with a lockable cap and meets strict environmental regulations.

ACCESSORIES
Riders can personalize their KLX230R motorcycle to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as: skid plate, frame covers, hand covers, fat-type handlebars, handlebar pad, and black alumite rims.

KAWASAKI KLX®230R
Color: Lime Green
MSRP: $4,399
Availability: Late Summer 2019

ABOUT KAWASAKI
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) started full-scale production of motorcycles over a half century ago. The first Kawasaki motorcycle engine was designed based on technical know-how garnered from the development and production of aircraft engines, and Kawasaki’s entry into the motorcycle industry was driven by the company’s constant effort to develop new technologies. Numerous new Kawasaki models introduced over the years have helped shape the market, and in the process have created enduring legends based on their unique engineering, power, design and riding pleasure. In the future, Kawasaki’s commitment to maintaining and furthering these strengths will surely give birth to new legends.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, side x sides, and Jet Ski® watercraft through a network of approximately 1,100 independent retailers, with close to an additional 7,700 retailers specializing in general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with approximately 260 of them located at KMC’s Foothill Ranch, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll®”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.

Comments are closed.

Get Your FREE Issue of Dirt Bike Magazine 2-Stroke Special!