2014 Kawasaki KLX250S
In this world of rapidly progressing technology and must have doo-dads, it’s easy to get caught up in the need to acquire the latest and greatest whether it’s for your phone, in your car, or on your motorcycle. But then something comes along to remind you that you don’t really need any of that stuff. So maybe simpler really is better.
BRIAN ROBINSON: As kids, growing up riding dirt bikes, we used to think dual sports must be the coolest bikes in the world, not only could you ride the trail all day, but you could take to the street, opening up unlimited possibilities for adventure. Well, once we got old enough to actually ride on the street, our attentions quickly turned to sportbikes and going fast. Well, now that I’m old and slow and Adventure Bikes are all the rage, let’s take a look at an original Adventure Bike.”
If like many of us you grew up riding dirt bikes, as soon as you throw a leg over 2014 Kawasaki KLX250S, you’ll feel instantly at home. And if your adventures entail more than just a gravel road, you’ll need an original Adventure Bike… also-known as a dual-sport.
It’s got all of the necessary hardware to take you wherever you need to go, provided you don’t need to pack a lot of gear to get there.
Wheels are dirt-bike spec. 18-inches in rear, 21 in front. Tires are not quite full knobbies, but the big block tread does adequate duty in dirt without giving that squirmy feel on pavement that you’d get with full on knobbies
Suspension entails 43mm inverted cartridge forks up front, and Uni-Trak rear with 9-inches of travel and remote reservoir shock with compression and rebound damping adjustments. There’s a single disc brake for up front and in back, providing more than adequate power for this 300-pound machine.
The seat is long and narrow in true off-road style and has just enough comfort to run out the range of the 2-gallon tank.
A single piston engine provides the power; there’s 249cc’s of displacement with water cooling and some odd looking thing behind it, oh that’s a carburetor with a choke knob, you young folks can ask an uncle what that is.
That’s not meant as a complaint, as it works just fine; though in true Kawasaki fashion, this KLX is a little cold-blooded.
And not that it’s all Stone Age. There is a digital instrument cluster with easy to read speedometer and bar tachometer, tucked behind the minimal cowling. It appears to have some internal switch that sets the mirrors to vibrate at 7,000 RPM; vibes through the seat shortly follow at around 8,000.
The exhaust with spark arrestor is mounted high on the right side behind a faux number plate; the coolant tank tucks in behind on the left side.
Highway speeds are possible on this 250, but for the comfort and safety of all those involved, best to keep to secondary roads and around 60. The typical 6-speed transmission provides shifts so smooth sometimes you’re not sure it actually went into gear.
The look is all dirt-bike, with a tall seat, minimal steel frame, and big plastic front fender.
And for the best news yet, you can be on the road or the trail for just over 5-grand.
So if you’re not in a hurry, and you want true go anywhere capability at a fraction of the cost of most Adventure Bikes, go dual-sport. Better yet, go green, in the 2014 Kawasaki KLX250S.