Here’s one we didn’t see coming: Kawasaki has unveiled a new dual sport motorcycle, the KLX230, arriving in the US later this riding season.

The KLX230 is based on the KLX230R, which is Kawasaki’s latest mild-mannered offroad playbike, debuting a few weeks ago. The KLX230R is aimed at riders who just want to tootle about off-road or who are just learning the offroad riding basics. It’s not performance-oriented.

Same goes for the KLX230 dual sport. It’s powered by an air-cooled long-stroke SOHC four-stroke single, 233 cc capacity, with two-valve head. There’s electric start, and no kickstarter from factory. Expect the engine to make about 20 horsepower. It uses a six-speed gearbox, mated to a 14/45 final drive gearing.

A basic design, starting with that air-cooled engine. Photo: Kawasaki

Although this doesn’t sound too technically advanced, Kawasaki does say this machine will be available with “dual purpose ABS,” the first machine Kawasaki has offered with such a system (it’s sourced from Bosch). In the US, the ABS system is optional. The non-ABS KLX230 has a 240 mm brake disc up front, mated to a two-piston caliper, and a 220 mm disc in rear with single-piston caliper. The ABS version has a larger 265 mm front disc.

The Kawasaki KLX230 rolls on a 21-inch front wheel, 18-inch rear, with steel perimeter frame. Seat height is 34.8 inches. Although we haven’t seen an official weight from Kawasaki, it’s expected to weigh 293 lb. with ABS, 291 lb. without ABS.

Kawasaki is offering a luggage rack as an option, among other basic pieces. Photo: Kawasaki

The dashboard uses a simple, cheap LCD gauge, with speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, clock, and blinker warning functions. Fuel capacity is two gallons. Wheelbase is 54.3 inches, with 10.4 inches of ground clearance.

The front forks are 37 mm telescopic units, very old-school, with 8.7 inches of travel; the rear shock is adjustable for preload only, with 8.8 inches of travel.

The KLX230 will cost US customers $4,899 with ABS, $4,599 without ABS. Kawasaki is offering the bike in Lime Green this year, and will offer several accessories, including skid plate, frame covers, hand guards, oversized handlebar, handlebar pad, helmet lock, and a rear carrier. Look for the bikes and accessories in your local dealerships later this summer.


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