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Kawasaki KLR250 reviews

4.6
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Reliability
4.8
Overall quality
4.7
Performance
4.5
Comfort
4.4

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12 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

CRPT

Lisbon, Portugal

Reviewed on 2011-05-22

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
I bought mine used a couple months ago. Since then, 4,000 km. have rolled by. This particular machine had a hard life with some Baja participation back in 1993, I'll call it "pedigree". Some routine maintenance had to be done as I wanted this bike for my commute to work (100km./day), to save my Suzuki Burgman 400K7. The main goal has been road/highway use. I never tried it on dirt roads. It handles extremely well, is very lightweight and has a very nice engine. It's amazingly economical, both on gas and parts/maintenance. It's very cheap to buy, also. I wanted something cheap, reliable, economical, with a fair performance on the road. I have already seen the OEM gauges mark top speed 160km./hr. (16T sprocket), more than once. Now I can say it's a 100% check on all these points. I have done all maintenance/tires and so on at home, with basic tools. It's also very easy to work on.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

big daddy

stonington, Connecticut

Reviewed on 2005-06-12

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
I bought this bike used with 400 miles on it. it's the perfect bike for trail runs in the woods and short trips around town. On the street I got it up to 75mph and that's plenty. I wouldn't recommend the bike on highways-too light. Not exactly a great bike for heavy dirt or sand but very good in tight wooods. I am 39 and it's the perfect bike for me. Much more comfortable than the Suzuki, and more power than the Yamaha.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Gary

Woodbridge, Virginia

Reviewed on 2005-05-07

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
This is my second KLR 250. The first was a 1989 model but they haven't changed. I wish I still had the '89 so I did the next best thing, buy a new one. The break in period is the worst with this bike due to the fact that the real power isn't until later in the RPM range. It really is torture keeping it under 4000 RPM for 500 miles. After break in, from what I remember from the '89 it holds its own. I will give another review when break in is complete.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Greg

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Reviewed on 2005-04-07

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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4.0
Wow, this bike has surprised me. I bought it used for my wife to dual sport with me as I converted a Honda XR650R to a street legal dual sport. Over a short time I found myself prefering the KLR250 over my 650. Yes, the 650 is a rocket, but it is also a beast to start, ride, overheats in traffic and is just too much. The KLR is easy to ride and teaches you how to ride a small bore bike on or off the road with the big bikes. The KLR's 6 gears provide good low end for the trails and 6th will get you into the 90+ MPH range! I have ridden this bike at 80+ for 50 mile stints at a time over and over and at 7500 miles there is no oil consumption, blow-by, nor valve adjustment needed? I have been impressed, just fuel and go. I replaced my original tires at 7500 miles. My new IMC tires allow the bike to even work better on or off road. Granted, no electric start and wheelies are limited to 1st gear and shifing into second, but the bike is so smooth with a wide power band.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Terri

SoCal, California

Reviewed on 2004-12-06

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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4.0
Living with the mini beast and riding it off-and-on for the past two years has mixed marks. After riding large cc bikes, this one feels vastly underpowered, but extremely smooth for a single cylinder powerplant and perfectly reliable. Compared to its larger sibling (KLR650), it is slugglish, but makes up for this by its small size and relatively light weight (230 lbs). I have made it my study in power improvement. Not much aftermarket parts at all. Controls and suspension best suited for small people. Not recommended for extended highway travel.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

N1NUG

Stafford, Connecticut

Reviewed on 2004-03-07

Motorcycle reviewed2003 Kawasaki KLR250

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4.0
I bought this bike a year ago after wanting a dual sport for 10 years. This was also my first street legal bike. It is great for small-framed beginners like myself to learn street riding, although it is short on performance off road. But this bike was designed to be a compromise, and it fills this role to a tee. I learned the hard way that this bike is a little heavy and cumbersome on narrow trails. It could use more low-end power, and perhaps higher gearing. The stock tires also leave something to be desired for heavy duty off road use, but that is a given. On the road, the bike is great for tooling around town and even works well on state highways where speed limits are less than 55. The stiff seat will limit long distance rides, as after about 20 miles, you will remember you are on a dirt bike and not in a Cadillac. So far my bike has been very reliable. I have to seen the loose connectors others complain about and I have given this bike a thorough workout on the trail and on the street. However, after romping through a rocky trail I discovered the kickstand safety switch the hard way by breaking it on a rock. My trusty pocketknife, and the on-board tools proved indispensable in removing the broken part and shorting the wires so I wasn't stuck deep in the backwoods of New England. The bike is also a little anemic with a passenger. But considering it is only a 250, it does a good job handling the load. However, with a passenger, the stiff seat really becomes apparent after about 10 miles. Overall, I'm very happy with my KLR250. Now that I have a taste of the street I am ready to upgrade. But I won't be getting rid of this bike to do it. This bike is a blast on a summer day. You can ride to your favorite back road or trail and do some exploring. This bike doesn't do anything particularly well, but it does a little of everything. I'd consider it just as capable and indispensable as my trusty pocketknife.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Dale

Carmel, California

Reviewed on 2004-01-23

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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4.0
I recently bought a '01 with 350 miles on it. Just been sitting in the guy's garage. He didn't even know how many speeds it had. (Why does a person spend $4k+ on a toy and just let it sit?) The bike ran fine and the undercarriage was clean with no dings and the forks were spotless so he didn't use it as an off-road bike. So I bought it. It is much taller than my Suzuki DR200SE and it carries its weight up high. It's kick start only and none of the "newbies" around the camp like it very well; they stall it a lot and tip it over trying to start the thing and it falls on them and they get hurt and cry. (Oh well, it's a real motorcycle after all, right?). First thing I did was to change the oil and filter and clean the air filter and then I rode it for a bit and changed the oil and filter again. (Always do this to a bike that's been sitting for, what, 2 years) The bike has good gauges, fairly adjustable suspension, fair tires and a LOUSY SEAT! After 2 hours riding time you'll be looking for any excuse at all to get off the thing! My best is 70 miles. Other riders that see me by the side of the road and want to know if everything is "o.k." and I just rub my behind and do a "Monkey Butt" dance! They understand...I've had the Kawasaki off-road on a real nasty section and it could use a bit of lower gearing. It keeps up nicely on the highway; 65-70 easily with it's 6 speed tranny. Note; the bike wants to "toss" misc. parts off-road so it's best to go over it with a tube of Locktite before you go there. Whoever picked out the color scheme on this bike, or the new bikes, should be shot. My bike is Olive Green in two shades, and I consider it to be "Butt Ugly"...The new color scheme of Red and Black does me nothing as well. Hey! Your new toy should be bright and shiny and pretty and you should park it in front of your house for the neighbors to admire, right? AND it should be highly visible around town in heavy traffic, right? The little Kawasaki actually has a top end "Kick" and if you're in the right gear you can slide it on dirt roads. I think the bike is a good value compared to what ever is out there. I'll keep her...
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Art-D

Baltimore, Maryland

Reviewed on 2003-09-22

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
Great for a primary bike, if you only want to have just one bike. Goes as fast as I need on the road, up to 90 mph if desired, plus light enough to take offroad, since it is light enough to pick up if it goes down, which is more than I can say about my Suzuki DR650! Now that I have this KLR250, my big, powerful DR650 gets little use -- this nifty KLR "junior" is way more fun than the heavier 650 bikes, and handles better too, both on the road and off. I installed Kouba lowering links to make it easier for me to flat-foot the bike, as the stock bike is a little too high for me to be comfortable at 5'-9". Now it is even lower than my lowered DR650. The motor and gearbox are smooth as butter, and once you get used to it, the kickstart is easy to use. I like the attached rear-seat toolbag, which has room for assorted stuff I like to bring along on every ride -- now I don't have to fill my jacket pockets. The lowered suspension still has enough travel for my type of non-racing riding, and is very comfortable, no matter how rough it gets. And the seat is WAY better than either the stock seat or the optional gel seat currently on my DR650. The instrument panel is attractive, useful, and easy to see with my worn-out eyes, too. And, I like the tach, which is missing on my 650. The only thing not-so-great, is the lack of convenient electric-start, and its inability to loft the front wheel when desired, due to slightly-heavy front-end, and the nature of the powerband, which gives decent low-end grunt (with help from the nice low first and second gears), but with a nice top-end hit from 7000 rpm to the 9500 rpm redline. So, you can plunk along as slow as needed in the rough stuff, then go out on the road and cruise at 65-70 mph or more, if desired. Plus sixth gear can be lugged down as low as 25 mph without downshifting, and with no jerking or chain-snatching -- just smooth power from 25 to 90 mph! Even my 650 doesn't have a powerband that wide! So, I don't have to shift this bike to keep it going -- it just goes and goes and goes like the energizer bunny. And gets around 70-72 mpg while doing it! What's not to like? No wonder it has become my favorite bike.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Chris

West Palm , Florida

Reviewed on 2002-02-09

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
Good Dual Sport, more off road than street but handels well, not to heavy , and gets the looks.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Jon Neet

Bonney Lake, Washington

Reviewed on 2001-10-28

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Kawasaki KLR250

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5.0
Mine is also a 2001 model, but they have made no major changes for a long time. The 2001's have a silver gas tank. I'm 47 and have been riding for 38 years, and have owned 15 motorcycles. I bought the KLR250 to gat back to my roots of dual-sporting. I have no regrets. It's a compromise, as all d-s bikes are. It's a decent street bike. I commute 65 miles per day on it, but I prefer the backroads to the freeway, where it is not really fun to push it to 65 mph, though it's fine at 55-60.The stock tires are very good on the street. The bike easily gets 72-76 miles per gallon too! It's fun on the fire service roads too. The KLR is much lighter than, say, a KLR650, or a DR650, and with a lower 32.7" seat height, which is fine for my 5'10" bod. Rassling a heavier bike on the trails takes much of the fun out of it, but this bike is still fun. It has enough power for me too. The stock tires are not real good in loose gravel, so use caution, and learn the limits, and abide by them (I pushed it a little too hard, and "met dirt"). The KLR is a kick start only, which I prefer. Ever tried to push start a motorcycle in the mud? It has a four valve cylinder head, and runs 12.5 to one compression, so I use premium gas. I had a warranty problem with mine that I feel I should mention. At the 1650 mile mark, the engine started knocking really bad. I trailered it to the dealer. They found that a chunk of gasket sealer had come loose and plugged an oil supply line to the top end. It destroyed the cylinder head, camshafts, rocker arms, camchain and tensioner. Kawasaki replaced all this under warranty with no hesitation. I figure this would have cost me about $1500.00, had it not been under warranty. Now a problem like this could of happened to any motorcycle out there, I just happened to be the unlucky guy that had it happen to him. I am still happy with the motorcycle, and I know that Kawasaki backs up it's warranty-no questions asked.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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