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2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM First Ride Review

In recent years, motorcycles like the 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 have become increasingly more popular, not only due to its small displacement, but also because it gives riders the versatility of having a mount that’s street legal while being able to handle duties in the dirt without being too intimidating. The KLX update couldn’t come at a better time for folks interested in dual-sport motorcycles. In a world ravaged by COVID-induced change, motorcycling – particularly the off-road segment – has enjoyed a welcome surge of interest for those looking for a new way to fill their time while still maintaining a safe distance from their fellow humans.

Wow ah so uh guys out here riding the 2021 kawasaki klx 300 it’s been a day off road today we’ve got a fun day tomorrow riding the supermoto version of this bike so kind of run through a little bit of what we did today it was everything from back highway roads to an ohv park had a lot of fun this bike is kind of been in kawasaki’s lineup for quite a

While now but uh they increased the bore so now it’s a 300 from the 250 previously it’s gonna gone up a couple hundred bucks to uh starting at 5600 and then if you want the camo version with the black frame and everything it looks really good i’d pony for the the camo version myself it’s 5800 other than that it’s it’s just been a really cool bike and it’s

It’s a motorcycle that you could get and keep in the garage and you could have your kids learn on it you could ride it around the ranch you could ride around town doesn’t matter if you’re in la or you’re up middle montana whatever it’s a really cool bike to sit around and just have that to run around with the family on and another thing about it being a single

The 292 cc single is it’s also easy to work on so you know if you don’t want to do the work yourself it’s got like a 7 600 mile service interval so it’s pretty good uh but then again you know you can pop that tank off and kind of probably do it yourself and just kind of learn it’s one of those bikes that father son father daughter mom daughter whatever uh

You know you can kind of have that bonding time with it and just go out and have a lot of fun it’s not a very serious motorcycle but at the same time we we probably pushed the bike’s limits quite a bit today and found the limits of the suspension and and ground clearance and whatnot but everyone here had a great time the 300 kind of feels like a sweet spot

In the bike uh the gearing is really nice 1440 final drive gearing and it was nice out on the trails it has a lot of torque you know low down in the rev range uh definitely through the first few years so when you’re kind of poking around like we did today out in ohv park with some ascents descents and stuff like that it’s got plenty of torque to get up a

Hill i did notice this morning uh getting out of town we’re kind of on a long slope and you could tell that the engine would maybe struggle but at the same time on on flat ground i hit 83 i’m probably 180 pounds plus gear so did the job and would do it just about anywhere it’s got a little bit of run out in the revs too so you can kind of rev it out quite a

Bit and it it peters off a little bit up top but it’s got the 21 18 inch wheel combo so it’s kind of you know it’s geared towards that kind of off-road trail riding and i think it’s it’s pretty well set up for that the klx 300 it’s a it’s a really comfortable bike on the road it soaks up all the imperfections it’s if you’re hammering the brake the fork is

Gonna dive but normal riding conditions i didn’t have any problems on the street it was super comfortable ergonomics for me i’m 5’8 uh worked out really well uh standing up i kind of wish the bars were a little higher so i don’t know if it were my bike i might put risers on it or probably roll the bars forward first and then maybe put risers on it just to

Be a little more comfortable standing up nine inches of travel in the rear ten in the front so you got quite a bit of uh travel there and then you have like 10 inches of ground clearance so it’s pretty good and off-road you just kind of need to be cognizant that you’re not on a bike that’s performance oriented really you know something that you’re going out

There and racing on or something like that this isn’t the bike for that what is nice about this bike riding on the trails is you can go over really cobblestone big rocks whatever and the suspension eats it up it’s like riding a cadillac off-road so that’s fine and honestly it’s probably less intimidating to a lot of riders who aren’t looking to you know slam

Their way through a bunch of rocks whoops whatever it’s it’s just really comfortable yeah so braking on the bike you know on the road when you have tires like what we have on this you’re always going to be flirting with the edge of traction if you’re pushing it too hard i didn’t have a problem with the brakes at all uh the rear brake worked really well for

Me i off-road i really appreciated it the front i felt like the bite was there the initial bite and and the strength was there it’s you know we’re not talking brembos dilemmas here but uh it totally gets the job done off-road and it’s more than enough on road and i think what you need to be worried about more on road is what kind of rubber you have on the

Bike uh to be kind of worried about where that limit’s going to be found getting out here and coming to these events even though we’re out here with our competitors you know we travel a lot we ride motorcycles a lot and we kind of need to rely on each other to have a good head on each other’s shoulders or something like that but it’s always a blast to get out

And ride bikes with your friends and bikes like these it’s just everything’s so intimidating the price point’s low it’s always going to be a good time and the other thing about it is you can push a bike like this you know if you have some experience you can push a bike like this all the way to its limits and it’ll be okay and i saw a couple of these bikes

Tip over today and they were totally fine you know i mean i would like to see hand guards on the bike you know wrap around hand guards might have prevented a clutch lever from getting broken today but i guess you have to buy that from the aftermarket and then we got a chance to come out to the cart track here in prairie city and that was a lot of fun spun

A bunch of laps had a pretty good time unfortunately i decided to check out how abrasive the pavement was in a low speed turn but overall it was a lot of fun and i think it was really cool to get out and ride on the street this morning and then come to a track like this and be able to just spin laps on a bike that’s a super cool feature of any motorcycle

And it’s kind of the same thing with the dual sport as well you have the chance to just ride around town do whatever you need to do and then peel off and have some fun you know in the afternoon whenever you have time whatever some changes between the two bikes you lose an inch of suspension travel front and rear between the dual sport and the super moto

The spring rates on each end are also bumped up quite a bit uh rake is actually a little bit steeper on the sm as well and the trail is quite a bit shorter so the bike handles really really great it’s a really quick steering bike and again you know coming out to a car truck is perfect place to get to really test that out but on the street too it’s just a

Really nimble easy motorcycle it feels super light it’s a lot of fun the brake rotor is also a bit bigger and then of course you have the 17 inch lace wheels what’s cool about the having the 300 sm is you know we we have a slightly smaller rear sprocket so it’s a 1437 so you get a little bit better gearing for street riding and you know you have a little

Bit more top speed but at the same time it’s it’s really the same motor so you still have a lot of that low end torque and i think bumping it up to 300 again kind of really helped out in that department the smaller wheels just make the bike feel really really flickable and that torque that low end torque makes it a blaster ride on you know tight twisty roads

Or around town what shined out there on on the twisty roads that we had uh this morning is is was further illustrated here at the cart track you know this is an environment where you get geared up maybe a one-piece suit or whatever and then you can kind of have fun and push the bike’s limits in a safer environment and with a motorcycle like this it’s just

It’s a really a fun motorcycle i i mentioned about the dual sport as well but this is a much less intimidating package than trying to come out here on like a ktm 450 you know built super moto bike if you don’t know what you’re doing you can get into trouble with the bike like that with a bike like the klx 300 sm it’s a lot easier for your average joe or new

Rider that’s just interested in pushing the limits and finding limits of of what a motorcycle has to offer uh the car track’s a great place to do that i was thinking about this morning while we’re just kind of cruising through some uh just kind of roads snaking through some really nice green uh hills and whatnot out here it’s really beautiful around folsom

But one thing i started thinking i was like man this engine is super smooth and i think it is really smooth but i think the uh the the narrower handlebar as well as the big rubber uh inserts on the foot pegs make a big difference like you really don’t feel any vibrations through that so it’s a nice feature to have at six grand you know it again it’s it’s a

Great tool for people to keep in the garage let the whole family use for people to come out to a track like this kind of get um initiated into you know maybe track riding and maybe you know they want to work their way up it’s a great bike for that and again i you know it’s a little bit more than the dual sport model at 6000. just a couple hundred bucks more

If you wanted the camo version or whatever it’s it’s a great price point um i think for me i do like the versatility of the dual sport because i just i kind of enjoy getting out not riding off-road i think that the supermoto if you really have no interest in that this supermoto is a great street bike you know it’s just again just for around town anything kind of

Use i like the dual sport because i i think that kind of gives you more versatility being able to get out and get off-road as well as getting around town but that’s just me kind of depends on what you want to do even though i hit the deck once uh i still had a great time it was just a vent clutch lever the bike did incredibly well it didn’t look damaged at all

Except for the bent lever and we got that uh kawasaki got that replaced for me pretty quickly and i got back out to finish the session so good time uh it’s always great riding with friends and and being out here and get the opportunity uh yeah guys so if you like the video like comment subscribe and thanks for watching for the full write-up it’ll be on motorcycle.com you

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2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM First Ride Review By Motorcycle.com