Kawasaki has been on quite a roll lately. In the last eight months, the company has launched five new models – a testament to how dynamic this company is in Malaysia. This week they launched the KLX150L. At first glance, the new bike seems like a rehashed KLX150S with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear rims, but Kawasaki is quick to point out that there are a lot more changes to the new bike than meets the eye.
First off, a new high rigidity box-style steel perimeter frame and longer Unitrak swing arm give the little KLX more poise off road than any bike of this size has a right to have. Some of the journos who tested the bike were close to 100kg, but the bike took their weight in stride. Combined with the bigger wheels – the bike rolls over holes and bumps with nary a care. The new rims come with wider 2.75 front tyres and 4.10 rears.
While the engine produces just 12hp, but mated with a slick 5-speed gearbox and a feathery light clutch, the bike is capable of gaining some serious speed on the little Ulu Yam motocross track which Kawasaki chose to host their launch. We also rode the bike on a trail loop in the jungle. The relatively low seat and light weight (as opposed to bigger trail machines) make it amazingly easy to handle in mud.It’s low and light enough for you to paddle your way out of a sticky situation with your feet on the gound. Yet it’s tall enough to clear those ridges and roots without a problem. Kawasaki says the gearing has also been changed to better suit the bigger wheels. The height of the bike has also gone up by about 5cm for better ground clearance. But what most buyers will be most happy to hear is the price.
The new bike goes on sale for RM9,389 – but considering the amount of kit you get for the money – this is quite a steal. It is also worth noting that the new wheels are aluminum while the old bike had steel rims. Basically what Kawasaki is doing with the launch of this model is bringing some serious off-roading fun to the masses. Kawasaki says the bike is targetted at customers ranging from 17-40 years old. But we are sure that Kawasaki will be gaining more customers than this at both extremes of the age spectrum.