The whole family will be able to take their turn on two wheels following the recent announcement from Kawasaki of the return of three models for the 2023 model year – the KLX300 dual-sport, KLX300SM supermoto, and Ninja ZX-6R sportbike – as well as a new electric balance bike for the kiddos called the Elektrode. Read on to learn more about these bikes, then don your gear and follow Kawasaki’s advice to “let the good times roll.”
2023 Kawasaki KLX300
The Kawasaki KLX300 dual-sport returns for 2023 with all the features riders have grown to love, whether off-roading or on the street. Starting at $5,899 for the familiar Lime Green ($6,099 for the Fragment Camo Gray), the KLX300 is still a financially friendly entry point for new motorcycle riders. It features a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled 4-valve Single with its powerband, electric starter, cam profiles sourced from the KLX300R off-road model, and a 6-speed gearbox. We did a first ride review on the KLX300 in March 2021 and reported solid bottom-end torque and midrange power.
The bike has a steel perimeter frame and aluminum swingarm, a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel combo, and dual-sport tuned long-travel suspension for optimal ground clearance. The 43mm inverted fork with adjustable compression damping and the fully adjustable gas-charged Uni-Trak shock provide 10 inches of travel in the front and 9.1 inches in the rear, meaning the KLX300 can dish out whatever the trail (or asphalt) throws at you. When it comes to braking, the dual-sport comes with a 2-piston caliper and 250mm disc up front and a 1-piston caliper and a 240mm disc in back.
2023 Kawasaki KLX300SM
First introduced for the 2021 model year and developed alongside the KLX300 dual-sport, the KLX300SM shares a similar engine and chassis with its stablemate. However, the SM features a host of supermoto-inspired components, including 17-inch front and rear wheels paired with IRC Road Winner RX-01 street tires, supermoto-tuned suspension, and a larger 300mm disc and 2-piston caliper up front for braking.
Priced at $6,299 for both Neon Green and Ebony, the KLX300SM is still a great entry-level supermoto bike but with the credentials that make it attractive to more skilled riders as well.
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
In order to meet growing consumer demand, Kawasaki has reportedly moved up the production and introduction of its 2023 model Ninja ZX-6R supersport motorcycle, featuring a 636cc 4-cylinder DOHC engine optimized for both the street and the track. The Ninja ZX-6R has the Kawasaki QuickShifter, Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS), selectable power modes combined with Kawasaki Traction Control, Showa suspension with a SFF-BP fork, slip/assist clutch, adjustable clutch lever, multifunction LCD screen, and a pressed-aluminum perimeter frame.
The 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is available in Metallic Matte Twilight Blue / Metallic Diablo Black without ABS for $10,699, or in Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray / Metallic Diablo Black for $10,999 without ABS or $11,999 with ABS.
2023 Kawasaki Elektrode Electric Balance Bike
From the brand behind the KX motocross powerhouse comes the new Elektrode electric balance bike. Little rippers can now start their journey on two wheels as early as 3 years old, putting them on the path to the podium earlier than ever.
Since engine noise and exhaust can often be intimidating to young children learning to ride, the Elektrode should help encourage those who might otherwise be nervous to see how much fun riding can be. The Elektrode is lightweight and compact in size to allow for easy transportation in the back seat or trunk of a car.
The 2023 Elektrode electric balance bike features an air-cooled, brushless, in-wheel electric motor producing 250 watts of acceleration at the rear wheel. Power is said to be delivered in a smooth, linear fashion, getting the bike moving in a predictable way and gradually building the rider’s comfort with power and control. The motor positioning contributes to the Elektrode’s low center of gravity, which should create a light steering feel and easy turning and leaning.
The Kawasaki Elektrode’s in-frame lithium-ion battery is said to provide up to 2.5 hours of riding (or approximately 9 miles) depending on battery and rider conditions. The battery takes 2.5 hours to fully recharge from any home outlet, car, camper, or side-by-side vehicle, and the bike features an auto-sleep feature that shuts off the power after 10 minutes of inactivity. The battery’s location in the aluminum frame provides protection from dirt, debris, and potential impact damage that could occur during hard use.
Three speed modes allow young riders to grow and adapt as their abilities increase. Modes can be selected using the LCD screen located on the handlebars – but only when the bike is at a complete stop. Each mode caps the electric bike at a specific speed: low at 5 mph, mid at 7.5 mph, and high at 13 mph. A special parental lock requires a unique passcode to deter unauthorized changing of power levels. Or turn off the power entirely, fold up the rubber-padded steel footpegs, and use the Elektrode as a standard balance bike.
The Elektrode’s lightweight aluminum frame and 32.8-inch wheelbase provide durability while remaining light for kids to handle. A highly rigid steel front fork on the front of the bike should grant young riders a solid feel for steering, and a 160mm rear-mounted mechanical disc brake provides ample stopping power at the pull of a lever.
To add to the lightweight, sturdy nature of the Elektrode, Kawasaki designed special 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels with 16- x 2.125-inch HE-type knobby tires for use on several different types of terrain and tubes with Schrader valves.
The Elekrode is designed to accommodate riders from ages 3 to 8. The 16-inch wheels and adjustable components make it suitable for growing riders, including over 4 inches of adjustability in the seat, meaning the Elektrode can fit children 37-55 inches tall. The handlebar design promotes an upright riding position without compromising knee space, providing the extra room as kids grow, and with a common-sized handlebar and seat, parents will have the ability to change and customize their child’s bike as they see fit.
And when it comes to looking cool, Kawasaki designed the Elektrode to look like a full-fledged off-road machine. A KX-inspired front number plate adorns the front of the Elektrode, and the bike comes in the iconic Kawasaki Lime-Green coloring and racing graphics.
The 2023 Elektrode electric balance bike will be available in Lime Green with for $1,099.
For more information or to find a Kawasaki dealer near you, visit Kawasaki.com.
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The post Kawasaki Announces 2023 Returning Models, New Electric Balance Bike first appeared on Rider Magazine.