EARLIER THIS MONTH, Kawasaki invited the press to ride the all-new 2010 KLX110 and KLX110L, two bikes that are likely on more than one Christmas list. As dealers begin receiving their first shipments, the timing couldn’t have been better.
The event took place at the headquarters of Fox Racing in Irvine, Calif. The Fox building is smack-dab in the middle of an industrial complex, but the company still has an amazing mini-moto track in its backyard. In addition to the journalists, several youth racers were on hand, one of whom is shown here.
Look for full bike reviews from these magazines and websites: American Motorcyclist Magazine, Cycle News, Cycle World, Dirt Bike, Motocross.com, Motorcycle.com, Motorcycle-USA.com, Motorcyclist, Off-Road Illustrated, Supercross.com, Transworld Motocross and VitalMX.com.
I also rode the bike. I had a lot of fun, but I was slow. I hadn’t been on a dirtbike since I took the MSF DirtBike School seven years ago.
Still, the experience convinced me further of Kawasaki’s claim that research shows that most KLX110 riding is done by adults, not children. This includes bikes that are supposedly bought for kids. With this statistic in mind, Kawasaki came out with this year's KLX110L version aimed at adults and experienced youth.
But perhaps an overview of both models is in order. Kawasaki dealers will want to ensure their salespeople are familiar with how the new models differ from last year’s. After all, since the model was introduced in 2002, it has been one of Kawasaki’s top sellers. And in some years, it was the top seller. It trades off with the Ninja 250R, I'm told.
2010 vs. 2009
The most obvious upgrade to the bike is its styling. Instead of sharing the looks of KX65 motocross bike, the KLX110 now has a KX450F-style fuel tank, seat, shrouds, side panels, fenders and half-waffle grips. The bike also gets a new handlebar bend to fit “a greater variety of riders.” Luckily, though, the bike still comes with the convenience of a side stand.
The seat height has increased more than an inch, going from 25.6 inches to 26.8 inches. A longer rear shock has stiffer spring and damping rates.
Push-button electric starting now complements the kick-starter.
Kawasaki added an ignition timing inspection hole for easier maintenance. A redesigned choke knob on the 18mm carburetor is said to be easier to grab with gloves on. (Continued)