Size and model year differences explained!
Hi everybody, it’s Peter and we’re here at Jim Gilbert’s PowerSports looking at two nearly identical motorcycles. But there’s actually a few things I want to point out that are major differences between these two. So first of all, this is the KLX 230 and this is the KLX 230 S. Now I’m also looking at a 2022 model here and a 2023 model there. But the thing you should know the S designation that makes it a shorter ride height. Now I know a lot of you’re saying shorter should be shorter lengthwise, but the S means that it’s a shorter ride height. So we’re gonna talk about that and we’re gonna, you know, I’m gonna straddle both these so you see sort of how it looks and how much difference it is in real life, not just on a spec sheet. But if you have questions about either of these bikes, make sure you ask me in the comment section because the best thing about being here at, Jim Gilbert’s Power Sports, is they give me complete access to their entire vehicle lineup and I can come back to these bikes in detail.
Now I have reviewed this bike in the past and I’ve compared it to other things, so feel free to search, sort of search the channel for some of those. But I will be coming back to the 230 s in the future and the two 30 because like I said, there are some differences here in model year features as well. So part of why I wanna get this on camera is because you may want the 2022 before it sells out. We’re filming here in February, so it’s something that you could still come and get today or you may wanna wait or even come in and get the230s. So let’s go through some of the details and some of the differences and we’ll start by just showing you the size comparison. So just quickly before I jump on this bike and this bike, I wanna be clear of some of the things that I’m gonna be talking about.
So you stay tuned for the video. This one has a b, s and has this color scheme. It has no l e d light, this one does not have abs, it has this color scheme and it has an LED headlight. So that’s really the difference is I’m probably gonna focus mostly on this one cuz I think it fits me the best. But the features are gonna be the same. And I’m gonna go in depth to some of those features just so you have a general I general idea of what these bikes are about. But let’s just start with me now. I’m about six feet tall, I think I have a 32 in seam. I’m laughing at Jessica’s walking by. I don’t know what my in seam is and I know that you guys all need to know that Jessica’s laughing. Anyways, six feet tall, you can see that I am just barely off the ground if I try to flat foot it so you know I can stretch down and almost flat foot from here.
From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript… enjoy…
So you have a sense of what that is. Now this one’s got just over eight inches of suspension travel. That one’s got just over six inches of suspension travel. It’s probably a little bit greater difference than that, probably about two and a half inches of difference in suspension travel that makes up the difference. So again, here I am on the pegs here and down on the ground with two feet on the ground. You can see that one foot’s flat, the other foot’s flat. It’s a little bit different, uh, than you’ll see on the next one. Let’s jump off, throw the kickstand down and jump over here. Now I have to put the kickstand up on this one because again my weight will take it down a little bit. So we’ll throw that kickstand up and you can see that I am very, very easily flat footing this.
So why would you want to go shorter? It’s not just if you’re a shorter rider, if you’re riding primarily on the street, if you’re a little bit lighter weight, you probably won’t need all of that suspension travel and this one might give you a little bit more confidence then that one right there. So you have options here to be able to handle the differences between the two bikes, not just because you’re shorter, but you can see here, position here with my feet, you can see where they, where my knees go, the riding position right there. So again, larger, more suspension travel. But other than this CD position with both feet on the ground, these are identical bikes given that if they’re the same year, they’ll be identical. So I’m gonna use the 2022 model to kind of go over the differences because this will likely be our last look at this model.
Now again, ABS is going away on this model. Why is that? Well, let’s just talk about how we use it. First of all, on a off-road bike, if you are riding it primarily off-road, abs isn’t always the best feature to have. Not everybody in this price class wants or needs abs and off-road, you kind of wanna be able to switch it on or off sometimes. Those are all things to keep in mind. So they’ve gone away from ABS for 2023 in this model, but if you’re doing a lot of on-road riding, you’re gonna want to find a 2022 and here at Wheels and Deals, this one is still sitting here available for you. So that is one thing to keep in mind. Overall this is a do everything kind of bike. It’s quite comfortable for a dirt bike. It’s got a smaller seat than something like a Ninja 400 would have.
Uh, but it gives you of course a lot more versatility than that. The nice thing about this one versus the KLX 300, and again it depends on what you want in a bike, this one is air cooled. So you’ve got a really, really simple process here. You know, it’s what they’ve done for bikes for forever. So the benefit of air cooling in an off-road bike is if you just get a whole bunch of mud in these fins, you can kind of rinse ’em off and uh, keep going. You don’t have that complicated system, which isn’t too complicated, but a more complicated system with liquid cooling. For me and for my use, I like to look for liquid cooling. I, you know, I’m not gonna go crazy, crazy, crazy off-road and the KLX 300 does give you a little bit more power and certainly for on-road use, liquid cooling to me is a better system.
But for off-road use, for simplicity, for you know, general maintenance, everything air cooling is really strong and that’s kind of what you’re getting here is a throwback bike with modern ergonomics, modern suspension, you know, and it’s built to a price for a reason. It’s simple. If you were to drop it, you know, panels are cheap to replace. The mirrors are nice and simple and round the signal lights again, they’re not uh, L E D or anything like that, so they’re a little bit less, uh, less to replace. But again, in that 2023 model, you step up with a better headlight than this one. This one has the halogen headlight, which is totally fine and l e d headlight is going to give you better spread, better light, better color of light as well in a bike that you’re gonna use. So really good bike for beginners.
Really good bike for all round riding. And actually the last guy we had that came through here that bought one of these was a guy that was older than me probably in his fifties and he just wanted to get out and be able to go on the road and on the trails and find all sorts of fun fishing spots and other kinds of things and that’s what he bought it. So it’s a really good bike for a lot of people. Let’s take a look a little bit closer at some of the details. So whether you’re looking at the KX two 30 or the two 30 s, you do not lose that height from smaller wheels. So your approach angle onto all of the obstacles. Obstacles that you’re gonna be running around is the exact same. And you have full size tires here they are a 2.7 5 21 inch tire.
So again, identical on the S model as this. That 21 inch diameter is the same as full size adventure bikes. It’s the same as you know, full size bikes. This is what the size tire you want to be able to tackle terrain off road again, you have a little bit more suspension travel here. You’ve got the nice uh, rubber uh, pads here to keep everything, all the debris out of your shock seals and that kind of thing. But you have quite a bit of travel here, basically full on dirt bike type travel here compared to the shorter version or the lower ride height version, that S version. But really that’s the only difference down here is the same thing. The wheel will look a little different on that one. The uh, this area here, the brake looks a tiny bit different and that’s really just due to that A B s taking a closer look at everything here.
You’ve got of course that air cooled engine easy to get to in there. You do have the metal, um, foot pegs here, which of course fold up like every other bike, but they are more dirt bike and style because they’re metal. However, your passenger pat, uh, foot pegs and there are passenger foot pegs here, you can take a second person. They are a rubber, so a little bit vibration dampening in there for that passenger. And sometimes just where you mount it, it can have different vibrations. Uh, you know, I’m not really sure why there’s a difference, but you know, in some cases these are a step up. They’re even a step up from my Z 900 Rs, which is a road going bike, which has metal pegs for my passenger. You get the rubber ones here. You do have a little hook here that’s a little, uh, ability to help, um, tie down accessories.
So of course you can tie things around here. There’s a frame rail that runs underneath here and you have an extra place to tie an extra bungee. So if you want to take some things on the back here on the tail bag, you can do that with this little hook right here. And again, regular dirt bike stuff, good support, uh, frame rails underneath here, so if you’re crashing anything, you’ve got that uh, uh, nice support rail there. So again, dirt bike type stuff here, but also fine for the road. Take a look at the dash here, I’ll spin the key, we’ll let it come to life there. And you see pretty much the same dash if not identical to the dash that you have on the K L R adventure bike. Now if you move up to the um, KLX 300, you gain attack, you don’t have attack here. It’s not something that’s super, super crucial. It’s, you know, it’s a, you know, you kind of feel the power on this bike again, it’s not overly powerful and you don’t have to rev it full out to the very top to get max power. So it’s kind of a more intuitive way to know how to shift on this single cylinder, fairly TOKY motor. Um, but again, if you need attack, if that’s something you want, the KLX 300 does everything. This bike does and allows you to have that tack as well. So Down here, pretty simple display, You’ve got your odometer, let’s just plug it in over this side there. Trip A, trip B and that’s it. So Those are really your Options there. Some people wonder if there’s a gear Indicator in Here. There’s not. This is just the dash you get so very compact digital and again for 2022 you’re gonna have that abs, you’re not gonna have abs in 2023. So if that is something you want, this is the bike you gotta come get and you gotta come get it pretty soon. Let’s take a look at some of the controls on the handlebar. So very basic but very functional and quality feeling controls here on the left side. So the brake le or the clutch lever, excuse me here, does not have any adjustment like it would have on something like a Ninja 400 or something like that. You do have your high and low beams and on the street bikes you have a little trigger to do high beam, you don’t have that here. Again, simplicity, less things to catch if you would ever drop it. Nice large control for the signals here and easy to control. And of course the horn down there again, it is a street road going bike. So very Simple Controls, not a lot to break. And you can see the mirror coming up here as well. You’ve got round mirrors. Let’s just kind of zoom into that for one second. Nice round simple mirrors there that uh, you know, again, if you were to ever drop this bike, very simple stuff, nothing too fancy. Take a look at your throttle side controls here, front brake and again, nice sort of grip, uh, grippy texture there to the, uh, hand grip. So something worth pointing out that it’s very easy to grip even if your hands were to get wet or slippery. Some of the road bikes are the more road going, uh, controls here. If your hands get wet, it can be a little tougher to grip this, but this is gonna work in all conditions, whether it’s dirty, wet, whatever it is, start button there, kill switch here. Pretty simple stuff. Uh, you know, basic is kind of the, the name of the game right here. One little feature worth Pointing out because this is a road going bike. You do have a keyed uh, gas tank cap here as opposed to uh, you know, sort of just a twist off, uh, style. So again, even though it’s dirt bike based, you do have all the street bike components. So that’s a basic review of these fairly basic bikes. But let’s have an honest conversation. These are relatively entry level bikes and they’re built to a price point and that’s a hard space to compete and sometimes
You, you know, you may Wanna look for more on certain bikes and of course Kawasaki has that in Its lineup. What I like about these bikes is considering they’re Built for a price point, the suspension It Is very good. The engine is simple, which is What you want.
Simple for maintenance but also very good. I like that the KLX 300 exists. If it was me, that’s the bike I would probably go for that 300 gives you a little bit better highway power. It’s not that much heavier, it’s not that much harder to control for Most people are gonna find it similar.
But this s model really does open up a a motorcycle option for people that these larger dirt bikes are not as good for. And that’s where I think this bike really appeals. We used to have to steer new riders who weren’t super tall or didn’t like a taller bike into a road going bike like the Zed four, like the Ninja 400. Now you’ve got an option to get onto something that you can feel very comfortable on. Like I said, I can, this feels like a street bike to me when I stand across it and that allows you to go off road. Now because of what these bikes are, I’m not sure that you need a ton of extra suspension, especially if you’re a little bit lighter weight. If you’re much heavier than me, uh, then you’re gonna need the suspension travel of this bike. But if you’re my height, my size, my weight and lighter, losing some suspension travel is probably gonna make no difference in your riding style for this type of bike.
These aren’t designed to just go off any jump, but they are designed to go down any trail and that’s really where this S model stands out for 2023. You do lose a bs. I like that in a street bike. But again, there’s a cost benefit. You know, these are entry level bikes. They kind of survey their customers and see where they wanna do with things. I like that you get that l e D headlight. I think that really matters both on and off-road so you can really see what you’re getting at. If you head down a trail at night and you don’t have great lighting, you know that’s harder. And again, there’s nothing wrong with the halogen light, but an L E D light is better for two reasons. One, people perceive it as brighter, it usually is brighter, but that whiter color allows you to identify what you see easier.
In other words, your eyes are used to seeing things in the daylight, that white color is closer to daylight and you can identify things quicker on the trail. So when you’re zipping down a trail, is that an animal or just a rock? Is it a little bunny rabbit or is it a rock on the side of the road? That l e d light will help your eyes identify in your brain to make a decision quicker and that leads to good safety. So which one of these bikes is best for you? Well, it really depends. I wouldn’t shy away from this bike. Even if you are taller, it gives you that sort of street bike feel with that off-road capability. Then of course this one here, if you’re taller like me, you could probably be very comfortable on this bike as well. There are lots of options in the Kawasaki lineup for you if you’re looking to get into a street and trail bike, an on or off-road bike, something that’s road legal but can go off the trail.
And if you wanna swing by and see them all here at Jim Gilbert’s PowerSports, even in February, we’ve got a massive inventory of all of this style bike. So make sure you swing by there and if you wanna know more, let me know in the comments section and I’ll make sure I come back to these bikes again and again and again. We will come back to it for sure as this bike becomes a 2023. We’ll compare all those lighting details. Maybe we’ll even do a, you know, an at night kind of display different so we can show you some of that stuff. So let me know when the comments, what you wanna see and we’ll talk to you in the next one.