Although many bike makers such as Bajaj, KTM and Royal Enfield plan to give the 2018 Auto Expo a miss, Kawasaki is one big brand that’ll be present there. The Japanese motorcycle bike maker will reportedly launch a new off road bike that’s road legal. So far, all the off road bikes that Kawasaki has launched in India have not been road legal. The new bike will open up an opportunity for bikers who want a rugged machine for on and off road use a genuine, high performance option. The KLX250 is the bike that Kawasaki is likely to launch in India.
Sold in many international markets, the KLX250 is powered by a 249cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected single cylinder four stroke engine that is expected to output about 25 Bhp. Dirt bikes are more about suspension and lightness than the engine.
Talking of which the KLX250 gets 43 mm inverted cartridge-style adjustable front forks with a travel of 250 mm and a rear Unitrak monoshock suspension with 230 mm travel. Weighing a light 138 kilograms, the bike uses a 250 mm front and 230 mm rear hydraulic discs. The bike gets a 6 speed manual gearbox.
It’s not clear if Kawasaki will assemble this bike in India through the CKD route or import it as a CBU. The former approach should allow it to price the bike competitively, between 2-2.5 lakhs. The latter approach will make the bike too expensive for any meaningful sales numbers. India has never seen a genuine on-off road bike with enough power and suspension travel.
The Kawasaki KLX250, if launched here at an affordable price tag, could open the gates for a lot more such motorcycles for the Indian market. Such dual purpose motorcycles are apt for pothole ridden Indian roads where a high riding position, tall wheels, long travel suspension and high ground clearance makes for the perfect combination.