2020 Kawasaki KLX230R First Look

A new full-size off-road bike for the masses.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R riding up trail.
This is going to be an awesome trailbike.Kawasaki

Kawasaki has announced the new KLX230R for 2020, a full-size dirt bike that has been designed from the ground up and priced at $4,399. The news comes alongside the announcement of two other off-road-capable machines, the KLX230 dual sport and KLX300R dirt bike, showing Kawi's keen on filling any perceivable gaps it might have in the lower-displacement ranks of its off-road line for the coming model year.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R illustration on black background.
Nearly 10 inches of travel both front and rear.Kawasaki

Kawasaki developed the air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc single for this bike and the dual sport version with the aim of providing better low-end to midrange performance. It’s not going to be a torque monster by any means, but it will at least provide enough accessible pull in the low revs to be really fun on the trail. Gear ratio is slightly different for the six-speed transmission when compared to the 230 dual sport, with Kawi opting for a 46/13 final ratio to better meet the needs of off-road-only riding.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R riding down hill.
2020 Kawasaki KLX230RKawasaki

The compact steel perimeter frame holds the new mill in place, and it promises to be well-suited for the dirt. Narrow, lightweight, and designed alongside the engine, this new frame will contribute to creating an easy-to-handle bike that beginners and experts alike can have fun with.

The 37mm fork provides 9.8 inches travel, a little more than 1 inch above the dual sport variation, and the Uni-Trak setup at the rear will offer 9.9 inches travel.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R riding beside water.
The 230R is all new and marks a significant expansion of Kawasaki’s off-road line.Kawasaki

It’s also equipped with full-size 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, bringing seat height to 36.4 inches. This is a really big improvement for Kawasaki’s off-road line, which topped off for the 2019 model year with the KLX140. There was a “G” variation available with larger wheels, but it was essentially a transition bike for growing riders or a fun kick-about machine for older folks.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R on white background.
Priced at $4,399, the KLX230R will be available starting late summer 2019.Kawasaki

There are petal discs front and rear, 240mm in the front and 220mm in the rear, along with a KX-type rear master cylinder.

The revised frame allows Kawasaki to create a narrow cockpit, providing riders a nimble bike that will be pretty easy to toss around. Its looks are inspired by the KX line, and a simple instrument display will provide essential information out on the trail. It packs a 1.9-gallon fuel tank as well.

Kawasaki indicates the 2020 KLX230R will be available starting late summer 2019.

2020 Kawasaki KLX230R front wheel on white background.
A 21-inch front wheel and petal disc brakes.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230R rear wheel on white background.
A 18-inch rear wheel and petal disc brakes along with a KX-style rear master cylinder.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230R cockpit on white background.
A narrow cockpit for easy handling.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230R air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc single.
Kawasaki developed a new air-cooled, fuel-injected 233cc single for the KLX230R.Kawasaki
2020 Kawasaki KLX230R steel perimeter frame.
A look at the new steel perimeter frame.Kawasaki