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Kawasaki KLX250 Trail Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

Kawasaki has revived a dead class of motorcycle – the cheap and cheerful trail bike. Soft power, a novice friendly chassis and low running costs are completely at odds with the hardcore enduro styling. It’s as happy getting back and forth to work every day as it lolloping along green lanes.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

The liquid-cooled single dates back 20 years, and feels like it. Power is modest, but there’s no danger of it ever catching you out. 70mph is just about flat out – it seems Kawasaki restricts the engine in the upper gears, as it seems to lose its ability to rev in fifth and sixth. You have to be very brutal with it off-road to get the wheel-spinning, and combined with the whisper-quiet standard exhaust it won’t offend rambler as you cross the countryside.   

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The standard dual purpose tyres are fine on the road, though struggle with very loose or wet surfaces. The suspension is very soft and pitches back and forth, though it means it deals with potholes very well. Heavier riders will need to up the preload to stop the suspension bottoming out off-road. Again, more suited to sedate off-roading rather than hammering around an enduro course.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The KLX is a simple machine – the LCD dash give the basics, the only storage is a small canvas bag on the tail and the seat isn’t really up to big miles or two-up use – it has pillion pegs, but they’re a token gesture and the bike struggles.  But that’s fine – it doesn’t pretend to be a sophisticated machine. As long as you’re not expecting R1200GS levels of kit, then it does exactly what it promises. Compare and buy parts for the KLX250.

Kawasaki KLX250 (2009-current)

Detail Value
New price £4,799
Dealer used prices
£2,900 (2010) - £4,530 (2013)
Private used prices
£2,610 (2010) - £4,080 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 249 cc
Power 22 bhp
Top speed 72 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3
Engine rating is 2 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 2 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

From a distance the KLX is a smart machine, but look closely and the details is cheap. It doesn’t take much off-road use to damage the finish either – boots rub paint through and everything quickly looks scruffy. MCN’s test bike has suffered two mystery electrical faults too – though that’s likely to be unique to this bike rather than a widespread issue.

Value

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

If bike prices hadn’t been forced up by the poor exchange rate, the KLX could have been a bargain, but at a quid under £4000 it’s a pricey way to get a soft, basic trail bike. It’s hard to recommend it to anyone – commuter riders would be better off with bikes like Kawasaki’s own Ninja 250R. Off-road riders will be happier with something more up to rigorous riding. The KLX is a pleasant bike – but it’s hard to identify who should buy one. Find a Kawasaki KLX250 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2009: New model

Other Versions

2011: KLX250 White introduced [£4,539]

Specifications

Top speed 72 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 22 bhp
Max torque 15 ft-lb
Weight 138 kg
Seat height 890 mm
Fuel capacity 7.7 litres
Average fuel consumption 60 mpg
Tank range 120 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 249 cc
Engine specification DOHC 4v liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke, six gears, wet clutch
Frame Steel perimeter
Front suspension adjustment Compression damping
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression damping, rebound damping
Front brakes 250mm disc, twin-piston sliding caliper.
Rear brake 240mm disc, single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 3.00-21
Rear tyre size 4.60-18

See all Kawasaki KLX250 motorcycles for sale

Kawasaki
KLX250

3622 miles

£2,650

Kawasaki
KLX250

1 miles

£4,199

Kawasaki
KLX250

2507 miles

£2,799

Kawasaki
KLX250

1140 miles

£3,499

Kawasaki
KLX250

miles

£3,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(2 reviews)

  • Bit let down....

    joshh465

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The KLX250 is/was my first bike, and boy do I wish i just got a restricted 600 instead :P It's fast becoming a chore to ride because it feel so damn sluggish, its light on the suspension and handles alright but the engine is that bloody slow. It revs nicely, and it just about gets by off-road but I'm finding it a tad slow as a commuter. This wouldnt be so bad, but any upgrades you put on it do literally nothing to help it, it accelerates a tad faster, but theres still no top end. It was £4,700 when I got it (Breand new) and a year and a bit old its already dropped £1,700 in depreciation. The only good side I can give about this bike is it's insurance prices. For my first year riding after my test is was £1000, where as the 250 ninja was £4,000 minimum for fully comp. It's stupid I know, but quite frankly I can't wait to get a restricted 600 once my insurance runs out for this year :D A reliable bike, but the performance really lets it down... P.s. It actually sounds like a lawn mower, no joke!

    18 July 2013

  • Not to be under estimated

    batcaveracing

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Great bike for the money. Mine was bought new, and after running in the engine loosened up nicely. It's great on the road, and handles the green lanes as well as any other more expensive bike. Yes the power is a bit low but the bike will not chuck you about. The engine just keeps plodding on with low maintenance costs as well. The fuel injection provides smooth power delivery and the bike is comfy too. It's a great bike to get on and just ride, it looks good and sips fuel. Yes it's no WR or KTM but it's a fraction of the price with low running costs.

    16 March 2012

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johnrodgers

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johnrodgerssays

Easy derestrict

In stock form the EFI model won´t rev out properly past 7k rpm. To cure this take the block connector with the two wires leading to the clutch handlebar cluster (the clutch cutout mechanism) and either remove the connector and short the wires by bridging with a piece of wire or cut wires and join together. The bke is still slow but will now rev out past 7k rpm. On the straights with full knobblies I can get over 120km/h and more importantly relaxed cruising at 60/70mph and the loss of the constricted feeling.

I wouldn´t buy this bike if most of your riding is on tarmac. Off road it is great, the gearing and suspension makes perfect sense but I can think of much better bikes if you only occasionally wander off tarmac. Running costs are low, 75-80mpg regardless of how hard bike is thrashed which is just as well with a 2 gallon tank.

 

27 June 2014 21:35

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