2021 Kawasaki KLX 300 SM.

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by dlmarquez, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. southwade

    southwade Long timer

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    #21
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  2. Motonirvana

    Motonirvana Can't make this shit up

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    #22
  3. RioRideNM

    RioRideNM Adventurer

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    I was going to post here and ask a whole bunch of questions but decided, the hell with it… just picked up mine today. Seems like a great little bike! Also happy to see another supermoto. Rocket ship? Certainly not but it seemed to coast about 55 on my way home in 5th.

    Mine will complement my T7 and be more of a commuter, but i want to look at tires like most of you. 705s or Karoo Street might just be enough ‘bite’ for these bikes.
    FF1C30E3-AF64-4B25-8AE7-90D7445C3A90.jpeg
    #23
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  4. mkviz

    mkviz Been here awhile

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    How easy is it to convert it to a 21/18 dirt setup. I think this would be a great bike to do that and have the best of both worlds.
    #24
  5. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    Don't do that! The frames are different, rake and trail. The suspension is 1" less on both ends with 1" less ground clearance. Then you have the front brake differences to deal with.

    I have already helped one person who bought a SM through this. His salesman told him this was easy but, the salesman basically lied. When he went back to the dealer, the sales manager told him basically the same thing I did. Unfortunately, this individual is stuck with an $8K 300SM in California. He was offered only $2,000 in trade in for his 300SM with 80 miles on it for the KTM he really wanted and needed (King of Hammers, open desert and, sand dunes). :cry

    The salesman really screwed him selling him a 17" wheeled motorcycle with street slicks to run exclusively off-road. He came in to get a KLX-300R but, wanted it street tagged for use in California and brief connects on the asphalt between trails and fuel stops.
    #25
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  6. mkviz

    mkviz Been here awhile

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    I dont mind the shorter suspension since I am short myself. I figured you can buy the same hubs and re-lace them to fit a 21/18 rim. Didn't know about the frame part. I dont need a firebreather sumo but would like to hit up the dirt like you mentioned from time to time.
    #26
  7. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    The spring rates and valving are going to be a bit harsh in real offroad riding unless you are really heavy. The tank slapper part though is going to be problematic for most riders. Whether or not the 21" front will clear the frame is another issue to consider.

    If you really want to spend the money on a second set of wheels for your KLX, I think most people would be better served with the KLX-300S and a set of 17" wheels. The only drawback would be bottoming out with the 17" wheels on a jump. With the more relaxed front end, the tank slapper issue is negated too.

    I'm still puzzled by the salesmen and new owners that think it is best to use the shorter rake and trail with an offroad set of wheels and tires as it really is backwards and dangerous. The dual sports are much easier to safely convert to a SuperMoto if you really want to go that route. For me, a set of wheels and tires along with brake components is about 1/2 the cost of a second motorcycle on the used market. A five year old KTM enduro would be a much better dedicated offroad option for most people so for me, a KLX-300SM and KTM are what I'm thinking. Sure it's going to be $1500~$2000 more overall but, I will end up with a better street machine and an awesome offroad option as well instead of a jack of all trades and master of only some.
    #27
  8. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    What is your definition of dirt? If you aren't doing hardcore single track or going over logs or rock staircases, the 17" wheels with an appropriate tire will take you down almost any trail a Jeep could traverse and definitely anything most normal SUVs could traverse.

    The stiffer suspension will still be an issue on washboards and generally uneven terrain though. As long as you aren't pushing it really hard, the SM will go most places the R or S go once you rule on real single tracks and aggressive paces (ie. slow down some).

    Don't be fooled into thinking a SuperMoto can't go offroad with 17" wheels. It can though road slicks aren't a good choice.
    #28
  9. mkviz

    mkviz Been here awhile

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    No hardcore stuff just baby trails and flowy single track but occasional technical stuff not hard enduro technical.
    #29
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  10. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    In that case, I wouldn't spend the money on a second set of wheels or relacing. Your 17" tires can be easily swapped out for something a bit more appropriate for light offroad and will serve you well for that type of use. In fact, assuming no sand or wet track conditions, you might be okay with the stock OEM tires at a moderate pace.

    That's why I demoed the KLX-300SM! I live in a rural area without any real single track within one tankful of gas. I will probably mount some light dual-sport 90/10 or 80/20 tires if I don't end up with a Husqvarna Svartpilen 401.
    #30
  11. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    #31
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  12. RioRideNM

    RioRideNM Adventurer

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    They can certainly do it. Either will handle that stuff. If you are new to off road riding, better tires will help you learn but otherwise, practice practice practice :ricky I have ridden a duke 390 and they have some punch. I imagine the husky would be similar given it’s nearly the same. That said, I went KLX300sm for simplicity, reliability, and lighter weight to hitch carry if needed.

    Whatever you get, just ride and enjoy!

    KLX pics in places it “shouldn’t” be still to come. Until then, these will have to do!

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    #32
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  13. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    I really like those pics and thoughts behind them! :clap

    My choices are down to either the KLX-300SM or a Husky 401 for my smaller displacement option.
    #33
  14. Shotgunchuck

    Shotgunchuck Adventurer

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    #34
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  15. Shotgunchuck

    Shotgunchuck Adventurer

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    Attached Files:

    #35
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  16. RioRideNM

    RioRideNM Adventurer

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    Talk about a big change! my 300 will be nicely in the garage next to my bigger bike.
    Needs changed for ya or do you still have a bigger bike?
    #36
  17. Sid Post

    Sid Post Middle aged rider

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    For me, it really is a question of one do-it-all and pseudo-master of some or, two or more that really are the master of their dedicated uses?

    My KLX-250S is simply awesome commuting at ~45MPH for example but, on faster roads gets blown around by every SUV, pickup, large car, bus, truck, ... However, it is super nimble and easy to ride.

    My street machine is great for an Interstate run but, being heavier with a longer wheelbase isn't the nimble little beast for parking lot maneuvers or slow speed neighborhood runs.

    Understand what you really want to do with your motorcycle and then pick a good tool for that job! ;)
    #37
  18. Bama67

    Bama67 Comfort is for cars

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    The SM will do fine off-road.

    I did the TransAmerican Trail on it, then did an Iron Butt ride on the way home.
    This was on the 250, so the 300 should be much better.
    #38
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  19. Shotgunchuck

    Shotgunchuck Adventurer

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    Sold the 1200... Only this & an 86 Fat Cat
    #39
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  20. Pkblu

    Pkblu n00b

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    #40