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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is a good chance that I will be moving from California to Arizona soon, and that's got me thinking about this. I have not done a lot of research on it yet, but I believe it's pretty easy to get any old dirt bike registered for street use there.

When the new KLX models debuted, I was pretty disappointed to learn that only the 230 was a dual sport. On paper at least, the 300 is almost the perfect dual sport in my book. It has everything you want in a real, proper dual sport. I'm not talking about a street bike masquerading as off-road-capable or an off road race bike with a plate slapped on as an afterthought. I'm talking about a true dual sport that can be good in both arenas. The 300 would seem to fit that description, if only it were...a dual sport. But again, if one could get it legitimately registered, then...

The KLX 300 would have a lot to offer as a dual sport:

*Six Speed transmission (I'm not sure what the ratios are...would love to find them and plug into a gearing calculator to see what highway cruising would look like...)

*Great suspension that's just right for that "aggressive trail bike" segment (from what little I have read/seen about it) -- with 11.2 inches of suspension travel!

*An impressive 12 inches of ground clearance!

*Seat height somewhat tall at 36.4 inches, but still very reasonable compared to a typical KTM (and slightly lower than a DRZ 400 S or WR 250 R); in the past, I might have bemoaned that a little, but now I would have no issue with it at all

*Relatively light weight (around 20 pounds lighter than a WR250R -- although with dual sport equipment slapped on, it will be the same)

*Direct fuel injection!

*Almost just enough power for a DUAL sport (at 292 CC, it needs about another 60 CC...); I could not find any power specs myself, but a guy reviewing it in a video (posted below!) said it makes 32 horsepower (sounds about right for crank horsepower from this motor), which is 2 more than the WR250R (yes, I'm using that model as a sort of benchmark by which to judge the new KLX); also, this motor is reportedly quite torquey at low RPM. With the DFI and an off road exhaust and such, I bet the motor will feel quite similar to the KLX331 that I owned and rode briefly -- slightly more top-end power than my 331 (which was only around 28 or so), and probably slightly less bottom-end torque (my 331 was an absolute tractor), or possibly even as much...not too sure, but that would be fantastic. One thing I learned over the years of riding serious off road terrain is that it's virtually always at least possible to encounter a situation in which you will need more power (there are some big, nasty hill climbs and sand dunes out there!), but a mild-mannered 350 will get it done about 97% of the time, depending on where you're riding LOL. This 292 will probably be more like...89% haha :)

*NOT a race bike motor -- does not have typical race bike service intervals (much better, in fact, from what I've gathered; more research needed, though).

*Priced well: even after adding all required dual sporting equipment, it would still come in at least a few hundred dollars under a DRZS or WRR -- the two bikes that would most closely compete with the KLX300R if it were a factory dual sport.


If Kawasaki does make this a dual sport in the near future, I can easily see that leading to an explosion of new models and updates in the segment (real DUAL sports with modern tech and styling, in the 300 to 500 cc displacement range) -- much like what we saw happen when Honda came along and decided to end Kawasaki's monopoly on the sub-500 sport bike class. I mean just look at what competition has done for that segment of motorcycling! Among others, it produced the R3 and the CBR 500 (okay, there was the Ninja 500 and GS500 for a while, but still, I do think the "bigger" CBR was a product of that rapid sub-market evolution...) -- two absolutely brilliant little sport bikes.

Speaking of that class, if I may digress momentarily, I'm not sure I'm all that excited about the Ninja 400: it's ugly (higher relative importance if we are talking about the sport bike class, IMO...), and I don't trust the reliability (rubbish clutch, for example...IIRC). I really do not like what Kawasaki has done to the styling of its newer sport bikes; they absolutely RUINED the looks of the Ninja 650, which used to be one of the very best looking sport bikes, period -- arguably even better looking than some of the 600s/1000s or Ducatis of the time. The new 650 looks like puke compared to the last one, IMO, LOL... Anyway, so ends this digression.

I thought about the KLX300R as a dual sport when it debuted, but now that I might well move to Arizona... Hmm. Hah...

I almost forgot, here is a great video about the new KLX; the reviewer definitely echoes some of my thoughts on this model:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Damn these older lime green 650s looked SO good IMO!

 

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Isn't the KLX250 their small displacement best selling Dual-Sport already or did they stop making that?
Similar to a TW it's a carbie so sometime maligned compared to it's competitor CRF250 which is fuel injected.
 

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Buddy has 2018 KLX250 fuel injected plated dual sport that goes everywhere my TW does, from extended Death Valley wanderings to technical 11,000 foot summits and lots of fun in between. Good bike in a digital camo look.
 

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Yeah, I love that Digi-camo look one.
I didn't know they had upgraded to EFI, great for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Isn't the KLX250 their small displacement best selling Dual-Sport already or did they stop making that?
Similar to a TW it's a carbie so sometime maligned compared to it's competitor CRF250 which is fuel injected.
The KLX250 dual sport changed to EFI recently. But now the 230 is indeed a dual sport -- alongside the 250... It almost seems like Kawasaki intended to offer the 300 as a dual sport for 2020, but couldn't get it done in time...maybe emissions was a holdup or something. That would make way more sense than the current offerings: it seems really odd that Kawasaki is concurrently offering a 230 dual sport and a 250 dual sport, which are fairly similar in basic design principles. It really makes me wonder if the company meant to offer the 230 dual sport along with a new 300 dual sport for 2020, but just decided to sell the 250 for one more year because the 300 wasn't ready soon enough. I really hope something like that is the case, and that Kawasaki will offer a factory-legal 300 next year. That could really be the catalyst that this segment of motorcycling desperately needs.
 

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I'm sure you have thought of this but how about calling a Kawasaki dealer in Arizona? With any luck they can answer your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm sure you have thought of this but how about calling a Kawasaki dealer in Arizona? With any luck they can answer your questions.
That's not a bad idea. I'm not trying to do anything like this in a hurry at all at this point. Arizona is one of a number of possibilities (also looking at Arkansas and possibly other states, like Colorado, or even staying in California if an opportunity arises here...). I'm not even sure if I will start riding again. I know I probably really shouldn't, but that might not stop me forever...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've thought about hanging up my helmet a time or two but motorcycling is a habit I just can't break. It's worse than peanut butter!!
I guess it's better than meth, right? LOL
 

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I have no idea and don't want to know if it's better than meth. I can tell you it's a whole lot better than just sitting around and waiting for something to happen.
 
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