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2009 Kawasaki KLX250S Photo Gallery

A new and improved dual-sport motorcycle for off-road adventure? Kawasaki signed us up and we were along for the ride in Death Valley, California. Check out our 2009 Kawasaki KLX250S First Ride

Slideshow
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2009 Kawasaki KLX250S
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Filling the void the big six-fifty simply cannot, the more diminutive 250S is well suited in its role as the 'other' motorcycle for riders who have the discretionary income for multiple bikes in the garage.
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The '09 250S is Kawasaki's latest entry to the increasingly popular dual-sport market that its steadfast KLR650 has dominated over the years.
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The KLX's stylized front headlight acts as a number plate/wind deflector if you can call it that. It didn't block much of the 30-mph headwind we battled on the highway our last 50-miles back to the Furnace Creek Resort but it definitely looks cool.
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At $4899, this dual-sport offers a smile-per-dollar ratio that's pretty damn hard to beat.
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A trick new digital dash replaces the dual analog dials on the previous bike and features a bar graph-style tach across the top of the slim screen.
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An electric-start, liquid-cooled 249cc Single teams with a 6-speed transmission.
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Another highlight is the nifty flip-top gas-cap that has keyed access and a hinge that lets it remain on the bike during fuel stops.
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Titus Canyon – A narrow scenic canyon with a graded mile-long, one-way dirt road that snakes through beautiful canyon walls that go on for miles.
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The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels have been beefed up with thicker spokes wrapped in tires with a tread pattern aimed at improving the off-road worthiness and providing a more stable ride on the street than the spindly units on its predecessor.
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Considering its intended purpose as an all-around motorbike, the KLX transmits enough feedback to make it easy to go fast.
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2009 Kawasaki KLX250S
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Changes to the steering geometry have the rake decreased from 27.5 to 26.6 degrees to make it more responsive to rider input off-road.
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The KLX250S might not be the biggest or baddest off-road bike to come out of the Kawasaki camp but it will go farther than most riders will be willing to go.
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During our ride through Death Valley the terrain featured primarily rugged jeep roads with heavy gravel, brutal rocks and an abundance of dust and silt thrown in for good measure. The KLX250S handled it all without complaint.
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The 2009 Kawasaki KLX250S is aimed directly at the only motorcycle market segment that continues to increase in this time of economic decline: Dual Sport.
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Kawasaki’s market research reveals that KLX owners are a diverse consumer group with 43% choosing to have this dual-sport as an additional bike, 33% replacing an older machine and 22% making it their first new bike purchase.
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Everything about the KLX250S is on the gentle side. The suspension is as soft as the mellow power delivery and the riding position is painless. On the trails the shock and fork absorb the rough stuff admirably so advanced riders will be able to easily push the KLX to its limit.
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Effort focused on decreased emissions will allow the ’09 KLX250S to be sold in California, which just happens to be the largest market for dual-sport motorcycles in the United States.
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Having been around since '06 in the USA, the KLX has been revised and begged us to abuse it in one of the harshest environments known to man.
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At 250cc the KLX250S is clearly intended to be an off-road machine first and foremost. It can still move along just fine on the highway with an indicated top speed of just around 90mph but it doesn’t accelerate as fast as its more aggressive MX-style siblings.
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Often overlooked in stock trim is the selection of tires on a motorcycle like this one. Kawasaki was intent on making the KLX a better off-road bike than it has been in the past so the service of Dunlop 605 rubber has been employed on this version.
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A number of subtle tweaks give the 2009 KLX250S an edge over the previous version. From revised cam profiles, carb settings, brakes, steering geometry and closer 5th & 6th gear ratios help make it a better bike than its predecessor.