2020 Kawasaki KLX300R First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Kawasaki introduced a new 292cc off-road bike, offering an option between its smaller trail bikes and its full race-ready KX models. The 2020 Kawasaki KLX300R brings back a model name that was last used in 2006, but with much needed modern updates.

The engine is a 292cc liquid-cooled DOHC Single, which actually similar to the old KLX300, down to the same 78.0 mm bore and 61.2 mm stroke. The new engine, however, is fuel injected, with a 34mm throttle body, providing more precise throttle control, improved emissions, easier starting in cold conditions and more stable fueling in different air temperatures or altitudes.

The engine uses a lightweight flat-top piston, with light connecting rods for faster engine speeds without too much vibration. The piston skirt was designed to minimize contact with the Nikasil-plated cylinder walls, reducing friction and improving durability. The dual radiators offer a similar design to the ones used on the KX250.

The 2020 KLX300R comes with an electric starter and a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrester, allowing access to designated riding areas.

The engine is mounted to a box section and tubular high tensile steel perimeter frame optimized for rigidity. Suspension duties are handled by a 43mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable compression damping and a Uni-Trak rear shock with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping. Both offer 11.2 inches of travel.

The front brakes are inherited from the KX250 and KX450, with a twin-piston caliper and 270mm disc. The rear wheel is matched with a single-piston caliper and 240mm disc.

Like the KX models, the KLX300 uses Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit system, with an adjustable front brake lever and four different handlebar positions. The seat-tank junction was also designed with ergonomics in mind, providing freedom of movement, allowing riders to slide further forward during turns.

Other features include KX-inspired styling, a 36.4-inch seat height, and a claimed 282.2-pound wet weight (286.4 pounds for California models).

The 2020 Kawasaki KLX300R will be offered in lime green for $5,499.

2020 Kawasaki KLX300R Specifications

Engine Type4-Stroke, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, 4-Valve Single
Displacement292 cc
Bore & Stroke78.0 x 61.2 mm
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Fuel SystemDFI with 34mm throttle body
IgnitionDigital DC-CDI
Rake/Trail26.5°/4.3 inches
Front Tire80/100-21
Rear Tire100/100-18
Front Suspension43mm inverted cartridge fork with compression damping adjustment, 11.2 inches of travel
Rear SuspensionUni-Trak with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping adjustment, 11.2 inches of travel
Wheelbase56.5 inches
Front Brake270mm Petal Disc
Rear Brake240mm Petal Disc
Fuel Capacity2.1 gallons
Ground Clearance12.0 / 11.8 (CA Model) inches
Seat Height36.4 inches
Curb Weight282.2 pounds / 286.4 pounds (CA Model), claimed
Warranty6 months
Kawasaki Protection Plus12, 24 or 36 months
ColorsLime Green
Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

More by Dennis Chung

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments