An off-road motorcycle with a fresh, festive lime green paint scheme as one of its signature features, the 2011 Kawasaki KLX is a fun bike often ridden by kids but which has its adult aficionados also. The bouncy, alert look of the bike, poised high on its knobbed tires, is borne out by its actual performance, which is peppy and agile. Designed for cross-country enjoyment, the light motorcycle is given plenty of energy by its 111-cc, single-cylinder engine. Horsepower is 6.25 at 7000 rpm and five lb-ft of torque is generated at 4500 rpm. The KLX starts vigorously from an idle, its tires gripping the earth firmly, while a kickstarter and push-button electric starting combine to make springing into action swift and easy.
There are four different models of 2011 Kawasaki KLX available in the United States, including the 110, 110L, 140, and 140L. (A fifth model, the KLX250S, is sold only in Canada.) The 140 upgrades the engine to one offering 144-cc displacement, an increased bore of 2.29 inches, a 2.14-inch stroke, and other strength-boosting improvements. The L versions of both the 110 and the 140 models increase the size and performance of the basic KLX frame to accommodate older, larger riders who demand sturdier off-road action. Seats on the KLX 110L and 140L are raised by one to two inches. The forks are two to three inches longer, the clutch is shifted from automatic to manual for greater control, suspension is strengthened with further spring and damping, and push-button electric starting is standard on these models.
In terms of performance, the 2011 Kawasaki KLX is quick, dexterous, and reliable. With kids frequently at the controls, safety is paramount. For this reason, the KLX can only be started while in neutral, and a screw-type throttle limiter is installed as standard. This throttle limiter lets parents or other supervising adults set the top speed available, thus allowing young riders to ease gradually into motorcycling and gain experience before opening the throttle wide open. The lay-down engine helps maintain stability by lowering the center of gravity. The drum brakes offer considerable feel and crisp, effective braking. Overall, the Kawasaki KLX line gives riders an energetic off-road experience on a small, lightweight bike that is easy to transport and includes many conveniences and safety features.