Review Kawasaki KLX 250-300 R

Review Kawasaki KLX 250/300 R

My little green cactus..

.. it stings, stings, stings.

The sting is really deep: The small four-stroke enduro hangs itself briskly on the twice as powerful 250cc two-stroke crosser and doesn’t want to be shaken off. The unequal chase on the grippy cross-piste in northern Spain comes to an abrupt end with a capital somersault by the overwhelmed cross-driver.

The situation is telling: Hardly anyone takes the Kawasaki KLX 250 R – an inconspicuous, relatively weak-chested four-stroke engine in full street outfit – seriously as an off-road opponent.
Off-roaders might know better: In 1993, MOTORRAD had already warned of the lively, poisonous dwarf in issue 4. Compared to the last test, the lightweight has only changed in minor details. Because now Kawasaki Germany imports the Australian version instead of the Spartan US version. The main differences: the front suspension is upside-down instead of conventional, the steel tank holds 8.6 liters, half a liter more than the former plastic version, the instrumentation and lighting, including indicators and sensible wiring harness, are more suitable for everyday use. The KLX has clearly gained in roadworthiness, and dealers find it easier to purchase items individually.
The paradox is that the 250s currently on offer were originally 300s. Kawasaki produces the KLX 250 R and 300 R, but the German importer had only ordered the larger version and simply forgot that the 250 four-stroke class was advertised for the first time in enduro racing this year. And this is exactly why the 250 R is a very interesting operational device. So the 300s are being sold by committed dealers like Popko in Braunschweig (phone 0531/289900) for around 700 marks by swapping cylinders and pistons. The not exactly cheap 250cc is almost unrivaled in its displacement category, the usual competitors like KTM and Husqvarna have to pass. So in 1998 she will fight for national and international laurels with the Honda XR 250.
It was already mentioned at the beginning that the 250 R itself does not have to shy away from a comparison with much stronger competition. With just under 30 hp, the motor is not particularly powerful, but it is child’s play to implement the power. The recipe is practically always called: full bottle. The fear of slides and unpredictable reactions disappears in no time. In this way, surprisingly good times are achieved despite performance handicaps, and more and more joy comes with every kilometer of terrain. This is not marred by the constant pressure carburettor, which has been enlarged to 34 millimeters. Because it doesn’t get hiccups even on hard landings. Only with extremely extreme driving does the perfectionist want a touch more spontaneity that a slide carburetor could bring.
If you want to nag, you have to look further: The seating position is perfect, the chassis is gentle, but thanks to progression it has enormous reserves. Maybe you could criticize the ground clearance in corners. It is actually large by design, but with 80-kilogram drivers the kawa sinks so much into its springs that the stand on the left and the footrest on the right get stuck. But that can be managed with a little harder suspension. Anyone who has sport in mind will want to do a little tweaking anyway. With a few tweaks, it might even hurt serious opponents.

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