After a three-year absence, the Kawasaki KLX250 dual-sport returns for 2018, now equipped with fuel injection. Arriving in showrooms in early October, the 2018 Kawasaki KLX250 is priced at $5,349 for the lime green color, with a special Camo edition priced at $5,549.

The Kawasaki Digital Fuel Injection system sprays fuel from a 10-hole injector, with Kawasaki claiming easier starting, smooth idling and improved performance while consuming less fuel. The electrically started 249cc engine is otherwise unchanged from when we last saw the KLX250 in 2014. The engine is paired to a six-speed transmission with a revised shift drum for a firmer feel when shifting gears.

The engine is mounted to a box- and tubular-section steel perimeter frame. Up front, a 43mm upside-down cartridge-style fork offers 16-way compression damping adjustment. The gas-charged rear shock has a remote reservoir and offers 16-way compression and rebound damping and fully-adjustable preload.

The 21-inch front wheel has 10 inches of travel, while the 18-inch wheel has 9.1 inches of give. A twin-piston caliper is paired to the 250mm front disc while a single-piston caliper is matched with the 240mm rear rotor.

Other features include a digital instrument panel with bar-graph tachometer, and a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrester, allowing access to designated public riding areas. The KLX250 is also CARB-compliant and legal for the state of California. Claimed curb weight is 304.3 lb. with a full 2.0-gallon fuel tank.

Check out our coverage of the 2018 Kawasaki KLX250 from AIMExpo.

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  • Old MOron

    I know three people who just love their WR250R’s. But that bike is too expensive for me. Will Kawi’s new fuel injection return this KLX to being the best of the more affordable funsters?

    • KiwiBri

      this will bring some more competition to the WR250R but yeah , the WR250’s are great

  • DreadPhysicist

    Wooo! Some competition for the crf250l that might come with usable suspension! I’m going to be buying a dual sport next winter/spring. You just made my day MO!

    • DreadPhysicist

      Yamaha just put the wr250r back on the menu today for the US. Huzzah choices!

  • Craig Hoffman

    Wow. Signs of life in the Japanese dual sport realm. 5.3K is cheap too, and the engine is well proven. One could do a lot worse. The world still waits for the now mythical 450cc Japanese dual sport though. If they produce such a bike, 10’s, maybe even hundreds, will be sold. It is a pity, but the DS market seems to be dead…

    • sgray44444

      tens, if not hundreds… lol… I love it and you speak the truth.
      I am one that would like to see a 450cc that weighs the same as this bike. 250 is just too small to use on a highway anywhere for any amount of time, and the 650’s are pigs.

      • Craig Hoffman

        Agree. I would like such a bike, which is a kiss of death, as bikes I like tend not to sell very well.

        My ’06 FZ1 is an example, as is the previous TL1000S. Then there is my ’10 Husaberg FE450 dirt bike, which via my smoking it past a sleepy DMV lady, wears a license plate and is a real dirt bike dual sport. That slant engine 450 is the coolest bike on earth, and they sold 10s, maybe hundreds of them – one of them to me 😛

        • sgray44444

          Well, I for one think you have great taste in motorcycles, going by what you have listed.
          I think there are many European bikes that are close to fitting the ideal dual sport, but I really want something Japanese reliable (and hopefully, priced).

      • Percival Merriwether

        DRZ400S

        • sgray44444

          Needs a refresh… carbed, 5 speed trans. Otherwise, it’s close.

        • R. Casimir

          * Geared too high for easy off-road work. Unhappy on highway if geared for dirt. Needs a six-speed.

          * Heavier, at least 10 lbs more, but possibly more (Kawi seems to be taking the high road with bike weight now and telling the whole truth).

          * Notorious for blowing counter-shaft seals, which is a pain when you are in the middle of nowhere.

          A lot of people think the WR-R is better as a stock DS than tthe DRZ, despite giving away 150 ccs.

    • James Stewart

      Your comment are inspiring me to blow the dust off my 08 CR450R project, finally install the stroker crank and big bore kit, and then add the trail tech genny & light kit. Only one challenge left…how to sneak past the TX DMV and get it plated…

      • Craig Hoffman

        Sounds like a cool project. Lotsa WR450s have had the dual sport conversion done, and they hold up quite well.

        Used to have a DRZ400 with some well chosen engine and suspension mods. Here that is, up on the same hill as my prior photo, it was not bad at the start, but by the end of the climb, holy crap it was cold up there (12,000 plus feet high in October). Sold the DRZ and got the ‘Berg as it was time, but also in part as the sensitive ego middle aged KTM guys with their bling encrusted bikes that I rode with tended to get butthurt and tired of getting smoked by this solid “B” level former and still occasional racer on a lowly DRZ 😛

        The DRZ, with valving mods and firmer springs in it’s suspension, combined with a bit of conventional fork and noodly frame flex, had a friendly “just ride the sh%t out of me, it will be fine” quality to it, especially in the rocky Colorado terrain I ride in. Rode the DRZ hard for 8 years, on road, off road, it never let me down. The ‘Berg is better though, far better. Duh! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95b2bf2db6e8d0c8299de823305fcbb97910c72188f18e5358493083aa228834.jpg

    • Douglas

      Likely the perfect urban DP, enuf zip for 50mph traffic and sized to be the ideal traffic tie-up dodger (short-cut taker). And lotsa mpg to boot.

  • Don Silvernail

    Are we witnessing the death of the 49-State bike from the foreign manufacturers?

    • Kevin Duke

      Yep. Building to Euro 4 regs, including the prescribed evap canister, takes care of most of CARB’s requirements.

    • Jason

      The 49 state bike died a long time ago. 13 states and the District of Columbia use CARB emission standards. Those states are:

      California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington DC

      Together they make up about 1/3 of all vehicle sales in the USA.

  • Jason M.

    Now this is a bike I’ve been waiting for. And only 304 lbs fully fueled!

    • David Kraft

      Yah, and remember this has a “full 2.0-gallon tank.” What a joke! Why doesn’t this bike have at least a 3.0 gallon tank? My KLR had a 6.1-gallon and I loved every ounce of it!

      • Jon Jones

        Indeed, teacup-sized fuel tanks hobble almost all the dualsport bikes.

    • Olle Andersson

      That is pretty heavy for a new 250. The 18 year old DRZ 400 E weights 119 kg (262 lbs) dry, with twice the power.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    i’d like one in camo or olive drab!

  • Joseph Carper

    this is the best news for dual sport.

  • Jon Neet

    I didn’t know Kawasaki had dropped the KLX250. Glad it’s back now. I bought a new 2001 KLR250, and later, a new 2005 KLR650, so have some experience with their dual sports. My KLR250, so far, is the only Japanese bike that hand grenaded it’s engine while under warranty. Kawasaki fixed it right, and it went on to be a good bike. Kick start only, but I had the drill down, and with a coulpe of key off priming kicks, that thing would fir off for me with one kick even after sitting for 3-4 weeks in winter. The KLR650 was as comfortable as any motorcycle I’ve owned over 55 years of riding.
    As a 63 year old retired dude, I’d still consider a new KLX250. I also admired the super moto model.

  • Patriot159

    Competition for the 250 Honda. Speaking of the Honda, I looked at a CRF 250L Rally and was surprised at how large it was, pretty much the size of my DR650.