1983 Kawasaki KLR250

Summary:

Brilliant

Faults:

Nothing - the bike was owned by a 60-year-old engineer.

General Comments:

Excellent bike.

I had a great time blasting it around my half-mile oval track neighborhood on 7-year-old dry-rotted tires.

In about .2 mile I could get the bike to 55mph, and it had more to give, plus another gear.

Never got to drive it on the road legally.

Did my first wheelie on it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2010

2003 Kawasaki KLR250

Summary:

The best bang for the buck in the dual sport category

Faults:

Mechanically, nothing has been seriously wrong with it in the past 500 miles. I have barely put more than 20 dollars in the gas tank since I bought the bike.

Tall gears mean you can't expect to crawl trails like you would on a dirtbike, use first gear and the clutch to work around this. The bike is geared to run more mph than the motor will consider working for, but the gears seem rather appropriate for a dual sport.

Would like to have a tachometer reading on the digital display, but you can more or less figure out the rpm's by listening to the motor. The first ~4k aren't loud, the second ~4k are. I believe the rev limit is 8500, with max torque coming in around 7500. Regardless, your butt dyno will let you know what rpm you're cruising at.

Soft shocks, rear has a preload but I haven't bothered with it yet as it soaks ups the bumps rather well. Don't expect to carry more than yourself and some cargo, as 3-400 lbs is practically going to drag the ground with the shock settings this bike has. Buy a street bike if you care to carry a passenger, or, sensibly talk them into buying their own bike or a car.

General Comments:

First and foremost, my bike is not the typical klr 250, mine is the air cooled super sherpa 250. 30 hp, 18 lb/ft, and about 24 hp to the rear wheel. these were discontinued in America past 2003, and are amazing enduro bikes. I generally prefer air cooled motors, even though everything I have at work is air cooled. They seem to be more maintenance free compared to their liquid cooled counterparts.

This is the best beginner motorcycle I've found yet. Honda wants nearly 4500 for a 230 class 4 stroke dual sport, whereas I found my shelter-kept super sherpa for $2500 in perfect shape. 250's generally retain value well, so that's always a plus. mind you, you can get a year old ninja 250 "new" from the dealer for a similar price, but it won't offer the level of 'go anywhere' ability this bike will, even if you were bold enough to put 70/30 tires on it :)

This bike has torque wherever you want it. Tall geared as it may be, even 4th gear accelerates fairly well. You won't be going past 80 much, but be thankful it's not one of those 250's that struggles to go past 70. I've gotten this bike up to 83 before I quit caring to go any faster. It only weighs 250 pounds dry and a grand total of 500 with me on it, with fluids, loaded, and is still as responsive as you'd like.

The electric start is wonderful, it starts almost instantly with full choke, let it idle for a minute to get the oil flowing, and go through the revs to get the carbs working fine. This machine runs very lean from the factory, which surely adds to it's lovely 70+ mpg, which I have seen repeatedly. The DOHC motor gives a great powerband above 3k rpm to the limiter, and there's enough torque down low to make a beginner rider take a fall. A true 'thumper' though and through.

The bike comes with round mirrors as do the new ones, but I had them replaced with rectangular emgo mirrors, 10 bucks for a pair, you can't beat that. 8mm thread, so don't do like I did and accidentally order 10mm thread mirrors.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2008

2002 Kawasaki KLR250

Faults:

Rear side panel cracked when it landed on its side.

Rear turn signals broke, ended up being taken off.

Choke/throttle position control valve on the side of the carb threads stripped out (plastic threads), new one fixed it ($20).

General Comments:

This bike has been through numerous off road tip overs/hard landings, and continues to run like a champ.

Locally there are many trails, But to get to them there is quite a bit of road driving. This is one of the main reasons of me buying a road legal dirtbike.

The KLR250 in a sense, is a KX250 with the addition of turnsignals/instrument panel and DOT legal tires. The suspension is a little soft when off road, but the skid plate is solid, and takes any abuse without a problem.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2005