Kawasaki has a rather solid entry-level dual-sport platform in the form of the KLX230. Loved by casual and experienced enduro riders alike, the KLX230 has received quite a lot of praise for its accessibility, bulletproof reliability, and undeniable versatility. As far as modifications go, there are tons of aftermarket upgrades available, including aftermarket wheel sets that convert the dual-sport into a supermoto.
Luckily, starting the 2023 model-year, Kawasaki will be selling a supermoto version of the KLX230 in Japan, catering to those looking for a fun, hooliganistic ride for the streets and supermoto tracks. Dubbed the KLX230SM, the new bike shares nearly all the same components as the standard KLX230 apart from the previously mentioned 17-inch front and rear wheels. It’s expected to become available by October 15, 2022, in the Japanese market, and it’ll retail for the equivalent of $3,861 USD.
As for the KLX230SM’s overall package, it presents itself as a utilitarian, if not agricultural machine, with an air-cooled single-cylinder engine poking out 19 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 13.7 ft-lbs of torque at 6,100 rpm. This power is then sent to the rear wheel via a six-speed transmission which gives the bike a bit more top-speed and roadgoing capabilities. Kawasaki claims a pretty impressive fuel economy figure of around 33.4 kilometers per liter, which translates to 78.6 miles per gallon.
Complementing the KLX230SM’s workhorse of an engine is a shiny new 37mm inverted front fork that offers 204 millimeters of travel. The rear, meanwhile, gets Kawasaki’s Unitrack rear suspension complete with progressive springs and preload adjustment. The back wheel gets a total of 168 millimeters of wheel travel. Last but not least, the KLX230SM comes to a stop with front and rear disc brakes measuring 300 and 220 millimeters respectively. Overall, the KLX230SM should be a rather easy machine to ride—both spiritedly and around town—owing to its rather light 136-kilogram wet weight and fairly accessible 845-millimeter saddle height.