• Kawasaki tuned up the looks and ergonomics on the KLX300 for a fresh presentation of its entry-level dual-sport machine.
  • A more comfortable handlebar position allows for a relaxed upright riding posture and revised foam support in the saddle improves long-distance comfort.
  • Generous ground clearance, long-stroke suspension, and terrain-busting 21-inch front wheel speak to the 300's capabilities. With sharp responses to your steering inputs and no ABS, you can slide it at will for your offroad shenaniganery.
  • An all-digital instrument panel features a speedometer, bar-type tachometer, clock, dual trip meters, and a range of warning/indicator lamps.
  • Kawasaki drew on its own enduro experience for the engine design of the KLX300. Updates in the engine improve throttle response with more enthusiasm than ever before.
  • MSRP on the 2022 Kawasaki KLX300 is $5.6k. Swipe up to read the full article.

Put this on your short list of zombie apocalypse bikes

LISTEN 08:38

Kawasaki put together its KLX300 model with dual-sport riders in mind and a definite bias for the off-road work. Suspension stroke and ground clearance point to a capacity for fairly rugged terrain, while the mirrors and full all-around lighting make it street legal. Whether you plan on proper adventure riding, or just want to forego the trailer action every time you want to hit your favorite trails, the KLX300 has you covered.

  • 2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
  • Year:
    2021- 2022
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    292 cc
  • Price:
    5599
  • Price:

Kawasaki KLX300 Design

  • New front cowl and headlight design
  • All-digital instrument display
  • Relaxed and upright riding position
  • New seat design
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009186
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009185
All-in-all, it's scarcely distinguishable from a full-on dirtbike, only by the street-legal lighting, tag, and mirrors give it away.

Kawasaki tuned up the looks and ergonomics on the KLX300 for a fresh presentation of its entry-level dual-sport machine. A new front cowl and headlight housing rides atop a tripletree-mount, off road-style mudguard that really makes a solid connection to its brown-top roots and leaves plenty of room for the terrain-busting 21-inch front tire and generous suspension stroke.

The ergos were tweaked a bit with a more comfortable handlebar position that allows for a relaxed upright riding posture. Seat height is still pretty high at 35.2 inches off the deck even though it’s fairly typical of the genre, and the footpegs were moved closer to center to complete the adjustments to the rider’s triangle.

A dirtbike-style seat and rear fender complete the bike with a compact hang-down mudguard that carries the license plate, its light, and the rear turn signals up abreast of the boxy taillight. The extended seat comes with revised foam support to improve long-distance comfort and make the bench mate up with the tapered fuel tank and narrow waist. Plus, since it climbs up the backside of the fuel tank, you are left with plenty of room for the body English normally associated with technical off-road work.

All-in-all, it’s scarcely distinguishable from a full-on dirtbike, only by the street-legal lighting, tag, and mirrors give it away.

Kawasaki KLX300 Chassis

  • Dual-sport-tuned long-travel suspension
  • Low center of gravity
  • Slim, lightweight frame
  • Quick handling response
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009200
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009201
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009199
Generous ground clearance, long-stroke suspension, and terrain-busting 21-inch front wheel speak to the 300's offroad chops.

High-tensile tubular steel was the material of choice on the KLX300 for the perimeter-style, box-and-tubular-section frame for the strength and rigidity it brings to the table, while out back, an aluminum “D” cross-section yoke completes the structure to keep unsprung weight down at the rear axle. The main frame carries the engine in a single-downtube/double-cradle structure that supports the engine rather than relying on the engine for support and leaves the lump an unstressed member. Plus, a stock bash plate protects the bottom of the cases from terrain strikes, and that definitely speaks to the “300’s” off-road capabilities.

The steering head establishes a 26.7 degree angle of rake over a short 56.7-inch wheelbase, and once the 21-inch front wheel is factored in, 4.2 inches of trail to deliver sharp responses to your steering inputs. A set of 43 mm inverted forks float the front end on 10 inches of travel with adjustable compression damping. Out back, Kawi’s Uni-Trak system relies on a piggyback shock that’s gas charged as an anti-foaming/anti-fade measure with 9.1 inches of travel and adjustable rebound damping.

Ground clearance measures in at 10.8 inches off the deck to accommodate the long-stroke suspension and fairly rough terrain. At 302.1-pounds curb weight, the brakes don’t really have that much work to do, so the single 250 mm front disc and twin-piston anchor are sufficient for the task. A single-piston caliper bites a 240 mm rear disc on the 18-inch rear wheel to keep your rear-end behind you where it belongs, plus you can slide at will since there’s no ABS feature on this model.

Frame: Semi Double Cradle
Front Suspension/ Travel: 43 mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable compression damping/ 10.0 in
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Uni-Trak® gas charged shock with piggyback reservoir with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload/ 9.1 in
Rake/Trail: 26.7°/4.2 in
Front Tire: 3.0 x 21
Rear Tire: 4.6 x 18
Front Brakes: Single 250 mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper
Rear Brakes: Single 240 mm petal disc with single-piston caliper

Kawasaki KLX300 Drivetrain

  • Enduro-inspired 292 cc liquid-cooled engine
  • Manageable low- to mid-range power
  • 26 hp and 17 lb-ft of torque
  • Offroad-tuned performance
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009202
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009183
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009189
Updates in the engine improve throttle response with more enthusiasm than ever before.

Kawi drew on its own enduro experience for the engine design of the KLX300. A four-stroke thumper, the liquid-cooled mill carries dual over-head cams with offroad tuning. Bore and stroke measure at 78 mm and 61.2 mm respectively for a 292 cc final displacement, and the dome-shaped combustion chambers and flat-top piston factors in for a medium-hot, 11.1-to-1 compression ratio. Power is reported as 26 ponies at 8,000 rpm with 17 pound-feet of torque at seven grand.

To keep weight low, the engine runs sans piston liner in the traditional sense, but instead relies on an electrofusion process that toughens the walls of the aluminum bore without any sort of appreciable weight gain. Inside the engine, weight-saving measures reduce reciprocating mass along with its associated mechanical losses to make the engine respond to throttle inputs with more enthusiasm than ever before.

Induction control falls to a 34 mm Keihin throttle body with no intervening electronics between the grip and the soup can, so you get raw unfiltered responses to your demand at the right grip. A six-speed transmission crunches the ratios with a tough chain-type final drive.

Engine: 4-stroke single, DOHC, liquid-cooled
Displacement: 292 cc
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 mm x 61.2mm
Compression Ratio: 11.1:1
Fuel System: DFI® with 34 mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: 6-speed, return shift with wet multi-disc manual clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Kawasaki KLX300 Price

2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009197
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009187
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
- image 1009184
MSRP on the 2022 KLX300 is $5.6k.

You can score a 2022 KLX300 in the traditional Lime Green over black and white highlights for $5,599. If that ain’t your style, perhaps the Fragment Camo Gray will appeal to you, I know it does me, but you’ll have to cough up another two Benjamins to get it.

Warranty: 12 Months with optional Kawasaki Protection Plus™ 12, 24, or 36 months
Color: Lime Green, Fragment Camo Gray
Price: $5,599, Camo: $5,799

Kawasaki KLX300 Competitors

2015 - 2020 Suzuki DR200S
- image 790269
2021 Honda CRF300L / CRF300L Rally
- image 995045
2015 - 2021 Yamaha XT250
- image 720545

There’s no shortage of dual-sport competition out there, and as with any market that has reached a point of saturation, it’s a game of inches at this point; fractions of an inch even. In fact, all three of Kawi’s domestic foes have similar models in their lineups.

Yamaha hits the scene with its $5,199 XT250 dual-sport that fits the mold perfectly but falls behind in the drivetrain area with only 249 cubes and a five-speed transmission. Suzuki followed the same playbook for its DR200S, but falls even further behind in the displacement column with only 199 cc with a trade off at the checkout in its $4,649 asking price.

Honda comes the closest to giving Kawi a run for its money with the CRF300L. Displacement is in the neighborhood at 286 cc, and the suspension stroke tops 10 inches front and rear to give it roughly equal rough terrain capabilities. The $5,249 price point is also closest on the base model, and if you want ABS, you can have it on the Honda for another three bills.

Read our full review of the Yamaha XT250.
Read our full review of the Suzuki DR200S.
Read our full review of the Honda CRF300L.

He Said

“If I had to pick a bike for the zombie apocalypse, this one would be on the short list. It has a go-anywhere build that can handle some serious off-road work and still get along okay enough on the blacktop though it clearly has an off-road bent. Plus, the camo-over-blackout paint package lends it an army-scout look that I find very appealing.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The KLX300 is very capable, but, in my opinion, looks a bit dated. Although the camo colorway has a more modern look, sitting next to, say the Honda CRF300L, the Kawi looks like yesterday’s styling. That’s not a big deal, it’s just my observation. The footpegs are a bit narrow, but it’s something you can get used to. The suspension is very nice, and overall, I find the KLX300 to be a capable terrain buster.”

Kawasaki KLX300 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke single, DOHC, liquid-cooled
Displacement: 292 cc
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 mm x 61.2mm
Compression Ratio: 11.1:1
Fuel System: DFI® with 34 mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition: CDI
Transmission: 6-speed, return shift with wet multi-disc manual clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Frame: Semi Double Cradle
Front Suspension/ Travel: 43 mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable compression damping/ 10.0 in
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Uni-Trak® gas charged shock with piggyback reservoir with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload/ 9.1 in
Rake/Trail: 26.7°/4.2 in
Front Tire: 3.0 x 21
Rear Tire: 4.6 x 18
Front Brakes: Single 250 mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper
Rear Brakes: Single 240 mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 86.4 in
Overall Width: 32.3 in
Overall Height: 47.0 in
Wheelbase: 56.7 in
Ground Clearance: 10.8 in
Seat Height: 35.2 in
Curb Weight: 302.1 lb
Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal
Details:
Warranty: 12 Months with optional Kawasaki Protection Plus™ 12, 24, or 36 months
Color: Lime Green, Fragment Camo Gray
Price: $5,599, Camo: $5,799

Further Reading

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- image 795478

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TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: kawasaki.com, suzukicycles.com, yamaha-motor.com, powersports.honda.com

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