In recent years, motorcycles like the 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 have become increasingly more popular, not only due to its small displacement, but also because it gives riders the versatility of having a mount that’s street legal while being able to handle duties in the dirt without being too intimidating. The KLX update couldn’t come at a better time for folks interested in dual-sport motorcycles. In a world ravaged by COVID-induced change, motorcycling – particularly the off-road segment – has enjoyed a welcome surge of interest for those looking for a new way to fill their time while still maintaining a safe distance from their fellow humans.
Nope, this is not a First Ride review. Yes, I’m annoyed too. But hey, COVID-19 is affecting everyone in different ways. I won’t whine about not getting to ride new motorcycles for X number of weeks if you folks promise not to whine about, “Where’s the Ninja 1000 SX review!” I understand your anticipation, we feel the same way over here. When our comprehensive Ninja 1000 SX data dump (basically just a giant Kawasaki press release) was published last November during EICMA 2019, Kawasaki spilled all of the beans on the new model. Last week we had a “virtual press launch” which was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there was no new information to publish since Kawi had already released it all.
I pulled into one of my favorite breakfast spots one Saturday morning, and before I even had the chance to take my helmet off, some guy rushed out, leaving his table of friends, and had to talk to me about the motorcycle I just rode in on – a 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS. I stood there chuckling to myself for a moment as I pulled my earplugs out and composed myself, then happily proceeded to chat and answer his questions. This wouldn’t be the only time someone went out of their way to compliment or inquire about the bike, either. There was the guy on the freeway who changed two lanes just to get a closer look, followed by a big thumbs up seal of approval, then the random girl in a Hermosa Beach crosswalk who asked me for a ride across town – and she didn’t even see my face! – damn you, helmet laws. If only it were the ’70s, I could’ve gotten away with it…
The only thing unpredictable about that announcement is that there’s no word on the Z900RS Cafe. Oh well. The Z900RS has drawn tons of interest ever since its leakage right before the big EICMA show last month, and now it’ll be North American buyers’ chance to put their money where their retro-loving mouths are – on the order of $10,999.