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2009 Kawasaki KLX 250S Preview



The KLX250S gets a makeover and a number of notable improvements for 2009, meaning the previous model, which enjoyed a terrific reputation, will become even more visually appealing. Also, several key changes were made to the engine and chassis to allow this small dual-purpose bike from Kawasaki to deliver even more performance.

Some will argue that the new styling is too road-oriented -- and they would be right. Kawasaki chose to give a more conservative look to the KLX much like its main rivals, which target beginners. Although the old motocross style will be dearly missed, we have to admit that the new bike is decidedly more modern-looking.

Surprising engine
The 2009 KLX250S relies on a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine derived from the brand's enduro racing machines. It features a flat-top piston and a 4-valve DOHC cylinder head for high-revving performance. The 11:1 compression ratio is a clear sign of the engine's sporty roots. The ultra-hard coating in the aluminum cylinder bore offers superior heat transfer and improved durability. Meanwhile, the 34-mm semi-flat slide CVK carburetor with Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) gets revised settings to deliver the optimum amount of fuel across the entire rev band.

This little marvel of mechanical engineering is mated to a 6-speed transmission. The 6th gear ratio is set closer to the 5th gear ratio, allowing smoother shifts for increased performance on and off the road. Also, the new clutch shaft offers a better shift feeling, with gears clicking into place more firmly.

Almost a dirt bike
Based on the KLX300R, the frame of the new KLX250S is the key to its strong off-road performance. The various upgrades for 2009 will improve its low-speed maneuverability and control over slippery terrain. The new handlebar is straighter and moves the hand up and in; this more relaxed position makes the bike easier to ride and control.
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