To help spread the gospel of its midsize trailbike, Kawasaki now offers three versions of the affordable KLX140. The base model is of course the KLX140, which packages together a carbureted and air-cooled 144cc single, a steel frame, and a conventional fork and monoshock rear suspension. Mind you, a few decades ago its overhead-camshaft thumper and 7.1-inch front- and rear-wheel travel and would have been solid, Jackson. But that was then, and today, this technology simply translates to a fun playbike that medium-sized, not-too-serious riders will enjoy.
Up one step on the playbike podium, the KLX140L has larger wheels (up 2 inches front and rear to 19 and 16, respectively) and a taller seat (31.5 inches versus 30.7 inches for the base KLX140). The purpose, of course, is to expand the reach (literally and figuratively) of the KLX140L to suit taller riders. And finally, the KLX140G aims higher (or rather, taller) still with 0.4-inch more front and 0.8-inch additional rear suspension travel, full-size 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, and a tallish 33.9-inch saddle.
Likes: Fun middle rung on the playbike ladder
Dislikes: Could use a headlight and taillight for improved safety and versatility
Verdict: The yellow lab of trailbikes—i.e., super friendly!