2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Dual Sport First Look

A new option for on-/off-road riders.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 driving through field.
There’s a new dual sport coming from Kawasaki: the KLX230.Kawasaki

Kawasaki released news of a brand-new dual sport coming to market for 2020, the KLX230. Complete with a fresh engine, frame, and suspension, among other features, it promises to be an attractive option for riders who want a lightweight, all-purpose machine.

The KLX250 remains in the lineup, so it seems almost redundant to have such a closely related bike in the family. But there are some big differences, starting with the inclusion of an ABS option for the 230 (in addition to a non-ABS). The ABS 230 prices at $4,899 which is $500 less than the standard KLX250. The 230 also weighs about 11 pounds less and has a slightly lower seat height (0.2 inch). These could be really attractive to newer riders, or riders who want to have a new bike but balk at a price tag over $5,000.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 riding through field.
Lighter, almost as strong, and better priced than the KLX250.Kawasaki

The air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc single is all new too, boasting a 67 x 66mm bore and stroke compared to the 71 x 61.2mm design in the 250. The displacement is down slightly, but the 233cc mill could have better pull in the low-end and midrange than its sibling. The revised exhaust is also claimed to contribute to better low-end performance. Additionally, the six-speed transmission is dialed to strike a balance between road and trail riding with a 45/14 final gear ratio.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 driving through forest.
The KLX230 is ready to hit the trail.Kawasaki

Kawasaki has developed a new high-tensile steel perimeter frame for the 230 as well. The company designed both the engine and frame together, allowing engineers to optimize things like chassis balance and rigidity. It’s as compact as possible, so will likely aid in making this a nimble, easy-to-handle machine.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 riding down trail.
Better low and midrange performance is promised.Kawasaki

There’s a new 37mm fork with 8.7 inches of travel and a Uni-Trak setup at the rear with 8.8 inches travel and preload adjustment. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel configuration prime this for off-road duty and carry-over braking hardware from the 250 (present on the ABS 230, the non-ABS gets smaller discs) provides plenty of stopping power.

Bosch ABS is described as “dual purpose” in Kawasaki’s release, but the only explanation of what that might mean is the assertion that it’s been tuned for on and off road.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 beside water.
There will be an ABS and non-ABS KLX230 available starting late summer 2019.Kawasaki

The KLX230 has a 2-gallon fuel tank, motocross styling, and an LCD instrument display with the basics. There will be plenty of accessories available to upgrade as well. We’ve noted the ABS pricing previously, but for an even better deal check out the non-ABS version for $4,599. Both KLX230 models will be available starting late summer 2019.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230 headlight on white background.
A new headlight for those rides home at dusk.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230 back accessories on white background.
You can bet there will be loads of accessories for the KLX230.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230 cockpit and new instrument display.
A slim cockpit and new instrument display.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230 fuel-injected 233cc single with revised exhaust.
A brand-new, air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc single with revised exhaust powers the 230.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230 brand-new perimeter frame.
Kawasaki also developed a brand-new perimeter frame for the 230.Kawasaki