The covers are off Kawasaki’s 5 new bikes, and it turns out that one of them is a supermoto. For 2021, Kawasaki has chosen to plant itself into the supermoto genre by introducing the KLX300SM supermoto. Clearly, someone at Kawasaki wants to get out and play.
Their attempt at joining the supermoto fray is based upon the just-released KLX300 dual-sport bike. The KLX300SM follows the KLX300 dual-sport model fairly closely. Many of the features found on the new KLX300 can be found on the KLX300SM.
The KLX300SM’s engine is the same engine found in the KLX300 dual sport. The KLX300SM carries a fuel-injected, enduro inspired 292cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine with digital DC-CDI ignition. The new engine has a 6mm larger bore than the KLX250. A lightweight flat top piston with a pentroof combustion chamber results in an 11.1:1 compression ratio.
Kawasaki says that the new Electrofusion cylinder has an “incredibly hard coating” to provide superior heat transfer with less weight. They say the cylinder also “holds lubrication well, resists abrasion and seizure, and allows tight piston-to-cylinder clearances for more horsepower.”
A 4 valve DOHC cylinder head with camshaft profiles from the KLX300R contributes to top-end performance and quick throttle response. Unfortunately, Kawasaki has chosen not to publish horsepower and torque figures at this time. But they did provide a chart that provides power and torque curves for the new KLX300SM compared to the KLX250.
The KLX300SM has more power
The chart shows that the new KLX300SM engine provides more torque and power across the entire rpm range than the KLX250. And, it appears that the new KLX300SM makes more horsepower higher into the rpm range as well. While the horsepower and torque gains are not specified, they certainly appear to be significantly better and form nice flat lines without hiccups over the entire rpm range.
The engine is equipped with a gear-driven balancer to smooth power delivery throughout the powerband. It also has high-capacity Denso radiators similar to those found on Kawasaki’s KX line for high cooling efficiency, reduced profile, and better heat dispersion.
Keeping the rider cool has not been overlooked. Kawasaki says that a radiator fan cover located behind the radiator directs hot air down and away from the rider, significantly improving comfort when in heavy traffic.
Since the KLX300SM is designed to be a supermoto, the machine’s six-speed gearbox has gear ratios that “facilitate shifting for optimal performance.”
Like its sibling, the KLX300, the KLX300SM has a high tensile steel perimeter frame. It is made up of both box section and tubular steel to provide the correct amount of rigidity. The company says that the frame’s steering head angle and short wheelbase contribute to quick handling while the rigid frame provides excellent straight-line stability.
Up front, you’ll find a 43mm inverted cartridge fork with 16-way compression damping adjustment. Kawasaki claims that the cartridge maintains a more consistent damping force by minimizing the aeration of the fork’s oil. The setup provides a claimed 9.1 inches of travel.
At the rear, you’ll find Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak® Rear Suspension. It uses a lightweight, rigid aluminum D-section swingarm to help reduce unsprung weight. It connects to a gas-charged shock that has 16-way compression and rebound damping adjustment. The shock is also adjustable for preload. The rear suspension provides 8.1 inches of travel.
Kawasaki says that the KLX300SM offers a lightweight package that offers maneuverability and excellent control at the track or on the street.
Braking and wheelset
One thing that supermotos require are brakes that are up to the job of slowing and stopping the machine quickly while maintaining control. Both ends of the bike feature petal brake discs to help reduce weight and improve braking performance. At the front, a twin-piston caliper grasps a large 300mm semi-floating disc. That rotor is 50mm larger than the rotor found on the KLX300. At the rear, you’ll find a single-piston caliper grabbing a 240mm disc. Kawasaki says that both give superb, strong, and reliable performance.
The KLX300SM rides on a 17-inch wheelset both front and rear. At the front is a 110/70-17 tire, while at the rear, a 130/70-17 tire is mounted. Both are street-oriented, but Kawasaki did not disclose the tire brand or model. However, the photos Kawasaki provided show IRC rubber is mounted. What tires will come on your machine may be different.
The KLX300SM has a narrower handlebar than found on the KLX300. But Kawasaki says its position adds aggressive styling and gives the rider a relaxed and upright position for an “easy to control ride.” Like the KLX300, the KLX300SM has footpegs positioned closer to the bike’s centerline for an optimal riding position.
A thickly padded seat is said to increase comfort on longer rides. The seat height is less than that found on the KLX300 and rises 33.9 inches. But Kawasaki says that the seat’s height and design were carefully considered to help riders reach the ground for added confidence when stopped.
They also claim that the bike’s narrow fuel tank holding 2.0 gallons contributes to the comfortable riding position. The tank also has a lockable, hinged one-touch cap.
To make starting the machine easy, the KLX300SM is equipped with an electric starter.
Instruments and styling
A new sharp and angular front cowl and headlight design give the bike an aggressive look. In addition, the bike includes a supermoto style rear fender, an angular taillight, and stylized angular mirrors that contribute to the bike’s aggressive supermoto look.
The all-digital instrument panel provides the pilot with all vital information, including a digital speedometer, bar-type tachometer, clock, dual trip meters, and a range of warning/indicator lamps.
Kawasaki claims that the KLX300SM weighs in at 304 pounds with all fluids and a full fuel tank. This weight is about the same as the KLX250.
Pricing and colors
The 2021 KLX300SM supermoto comes in Lime Green/Ebony and Oriental Blue/Ebony colorways. The bike’s MSRP is set at $5,999.
What do you think?
Is the KLX300SM a bike you are interested in? Let us know in the comments below.
Engine Type 4-Stroke, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4-Valve Single
Displacement 292 cc
Bore & Stroke 78.0 x 61.2 mm
Compression Ratio 11.1:1
Fuel System DFI® with 34mm throttle body
Ignition Digital DC-CDI
Rake/Trail 25.0°/2.8 in.
Front Wheel Travel 9.1 in.
Rear Wheel Travel 8.1 in.
Front Tire Size 110/70-17
Rear Tire Size 130/70-17
Front Suspension 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with 16-Way Compression Damping Adjustment
Rear Suspension Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, 16-Way
Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustment
Wheelbase 56.5 in.
Front Brake Type 300mm Petal Disc
Rear Brake Type 240mm Petal Disc
Fuel Tank Capacity 2.0 gal.
Ground Clearance 8.5 in.
Seat Height 33.9 in.
Curb Weight= 304.03 lb