KAWASAKI KLX250 (2009-on) Review

Published: 22 October 2009

"Soft power, a novice friendly chassis and low running costs are completely at odds with the hardcore enduro styling"

Kawasaki KLX125

"Soft power, a novice friendly chassis and low running costs are completely at odds with the hardcore enduro styling"

  • At a glance
  • 249cc  -  22 bhp
  • 60 mpg  -  120 miles range
  • High seat height (890mm)
  • Suitable for A2 licence
  • £4,799

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 2 out of 5

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.   

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 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 & Running Costs 2 out of 5

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.

Equipment 2 out of 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.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their KAWASAKI KLX250 (2009-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Bit let down....

18 July 2013 by joshh465

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... Read more 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!

Overall Rating 2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Not to be under estimated

16 March 2012 by batcaveracing

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £4,799
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £38
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 22 bhp
Max torque 15 ft-lb
Top speed 72 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 60 mpg
Tank range 120 miles
Specification
Engine size 249cc
Engine type DOHC 4v liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke, six gears, wet clutch
Frame type Steel perimeter
Fuel capacity 7.7 litres
Seat height 890mm
Bike weight 138kg
Front suspension Compression damping
Rear suspension Preload, compression damping, rebound damping
Front brake 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

History & Versions

Model history

2009: New model

Other versions

2011: KLX250 White introduced [£4,539]

Photo Gallery

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