Kawasaki New Zealand have just sent us through details about the all-new, purpose-built KLX230, a learner-approved street legal trail bike, with an ABS system, jointly developed with Bosch, that has been optimised for both on and off-road applications.

The KLX230 fits in the Kawasaki product line-up above the KLX140, with a quiet fuel injected SOHC, 233cc 2-valve single with electric start. It doesn’t, however, replace the KLX250S. The new KLX230 is designed from the ground up with trail riding in mind. The single-cylinder motor provides ample low-to-mid range torque, and its simple construction makes it ideal for trail runs. The all-new compact frame has been designed to offer stable handling, which is necessary for confident trail riding. Fitted with an 18-inch rear and 21-inch front wheel, and equipped with Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS system, the bike is light, powerful, and maneuverable, making it perfect for attacking the trails.

The long-stroke engine offers robust low-to-mid range torque, pulling strongly and facilitating low-speed control. Fuel injection delivers precise response and linear acceleration. The air-cooled motor requires fewer parts than a liquid-cooled variant, contributing to a lighter, more compact chassis. The all-new perimeter frame has been designed after extensive feedback from Kawasaki test riders, taking great care to optimise the engine height and frame line, to achieve an ideal rigidity balance as well as keeping the seat height at an appropriate level. The bikes relatively short wheelbase contributes to the easy-handling and maneuverable nature, a welcome feature for new and intermediate riders.

Long-travel suspension front and rear (250mm front, 251mm rear) greatly contributes to the KLX230’s ability to soak up bumps on the trail. And, with 300mm of ground clearance, riders are more easily able to clear obstructions they encounter. The 37mm telescopic forks and the new Uni-Trak® mono-shock rear suspension provides superb road-holding and outstanding shock absorption for excellent off-road performance. The relaxed riding position makes the bike easier to ride and control. The footpegs are positioned close to the bike’s centreline for a slim riding position, conducive to both on and off-road riding.

Styling cues have been taken from Kawasaki’s KX motocross range, giving the bike an agile and aggressive image to match its trail-riding prowess.

The KLX230 is expected to arrive at Kawasaki dealerships in August 2019, with pricing to be announced closer to that time. For more information, check Kawasaki’s website.

Words and Photos: Kawasaki New Zealand