Hey everybody, it's Peter, and in this video we're gonna talk about the Kawasaki KLX 230 S and I'm really gonna talk about it as a first bike or as a secondary bike, so not your second bike necessarily. And this S version has really intrigued me because when I just look at the website and I think about, you know, how this bike would be used, I think, oh, okay, if you're a shorter rider, want something more approachable, this is what you should get. But I'm about six feet tall and this might be the right bike for someone my size, especially if you're a new rider or even if you want a secondary bike or a bike that's gonna go through the family, that kind of thing. This thing is pretty impressive. And for 2023 it has a little update, something like an L E D headlight.
From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...
The lower height is also new and I wanna talk about in detail. So here I am filming at And if you are interested in this bike or more about this bike, I have complete access to the entire Kawasaki line, in fact to every vehicle they sell here. And my job is to make sure that you get the information you need. So if you're interested in this bike, make sure you hit subscribe and let me know when the comments below some of the things that maybe I didn't answer for you in this video. And I'll answer you both in the comments and in future video. So we can build a video database of all the information that you could possibly want. This is not the first time this bike has appeared on video. I did it with the 2022, this is the 2023, but I filled it with the 2022 klx, the little bit taller seat heights.
You can compare those, uh, the height to Paris in between those. And I've also talked about, uh, the KLX line in the past. And like I said, I'm gonna continue to come back to it over and over again to make sure that we give you all the information you want. So let's start with the review of this right now. So in my mind, this is a great first bike and a great secondary bike or bike to pick up later on that you can use for a variety of things. Let's focus it in on it as a first bike. Traditionally, when someone says to me, what should I get as a first motorcycle, most people are thinking I want a bike that I can buy now and not get tired of and keep for a long time. And the bike I traditionally recommend is the Z 400 or Ninja 400.
Both of those have a lower seat height than this two 30 s. So even this shorter height seat is still a taller bike. It's not that um, you know, it's not that short overall, which makes me kind of reconsider this as I start examining this. The difference with those ninja and Zed 400 is they're street oriented bikes. I'm a street oriented rider. I didn't grow up riding dirt bikes or anything else. I grew up, you know, when I turned 16 I was driving street bikes and that's probably part of my bias. This is a great first bike. And let me explain a little bit why. First of all, let's address the size comparison. I'm about six feet tall and you can see here this feels like a street bike, but it's not too short. I'll put the kickstand up. It does compress on the suspension and it's a very narrow seat that allows you to have an easier touch to the ground, potentially even easier than the Zed 400 or Ninja 400.
Although again, a little bit different there. What you also is really good control when you're learning to ride a motorcycle. Higher speed stuff or medium speed stuff isn't actually that hard to do. A lot of people think, oh, and I get up to 60, 70, 80 kilometers an hour. That's really hard to control the bike at that point. The bike does a lot of the controlling for you. Certainly breaking and emergency maneuvers, there's a whole bunch of things, but just staying balanced isn't hard at speed. Slow speeds is where things get tricky and this bike does a lot of things right for you. First of all, a steering angle is way sharper than something like the Z400 or the Ninja 400. So you can turn it sharper, which means, excuse me, squeaking on the floor. You can turn it sharper, which does mean that you have more potential control.
You're not gonna run outta steering lock in your slow speed maneuvers. The other thing with this one is being narrow. It's also very light. It's under 300 pounds. It just makes it really easy. And the problem with a heavy bike is if it gets leaning too far, you can't pick it back up. If you had an 800 pound bike, there's no way that someone like myself could easily pick this back up. If this one falls over, I can also very easily pick it up. And because it's dirt bike plastic instead of street bike plastic, it's kind of designed to take some impact. You can see this is designed to Flex Street bikes. Plastics not really designed to flex. If you scuff this up, hey it's a dirt bike, no big deal. Love dirt bikes go down on the dirt. People are expecting that if you ever went to resell this, it's not the end of the world to see a little bit of scrapes up here.
And the whole design of the bike is designed to be dropped. It's, there's pieces of this bike that hey, things can go on. You've got really flexible signal lights here and they're not expensive to replace even if they did brake. So whether you're on the road or off-road, some of the off-road components of this make it really great for that first bike. So let's take a little bit closer look here and examine some of the, you know, easy to ride and simplicity of this bike that make it really great. So let's start by taking a look at the front wheel here. Now if you're looking at a first bike, there's a few things you gotta keep in mind you could buy used. The problem with buying used is was that bike taken care of? Has it had its oil changes on time? Has it been overheated?
Especially with an air-cooled engine, that can be a concern. Mud fills up in the fins, you know, maybe a hot date of idling or sitting around or doing the wrong stuff. You can have issues. And the front end here to the suspension, same thing. You don't wanna pay for crazy high-end suspension on your first bike. You're just probably not gonna be able to have the skills to take advantage of a really high-end suspension, but you don't want it too softly sprung. And the nice thing about this bike is the suspension is really well sorted for an entry level bike and we're not gonna try to kid around. This is an entry level bike. You can move up from this, you can get better but sometimes better. And the cost that is associated with it doesn't equal more fun, doesn't equal better for you. So you do a 21 inch tire here. Now again, not being a dirt bike, this is a road legal tire. Sometimes dirt bikes or other bikes, especially if they're used, they'll throw on a dirt bike tire which is not road legal and it can have trouble at speeds. And of course this one's all set up. You also have disc brakes on here, which I'm a big fan of. They work really well.
Older bikes have different style, you know, most bikes have disc, but you've got discs front and rear here. And then again a little fork tube covers here just to keep the um, you know, as the fork moves up here and dirt and bugs and all kinds of stuff sits here, that'll just keep it nice and clean. So all of this stuff, being new componentry doesn't cost you a ton. And when we think about cost, yes it's more to buy this new than used, but it also holds its value quite well. So if it is something that you wanna learn to ride on, practice your skills and then move on from, you're not taking a huge financial hit. And if you have more people in your household that can ride, this is a great bike for multiple people to ride. And if you're blessed enough to not have to sell this to buy your next bike, having a dual sport bike around, uh, if you moved on to another street bike is really nice because you have that dirt road capability.
You can use it just like a dirt bike without a license or you can uh, have it on off road as well. So a lot of nice things here. This big 21 inch tire, again, even though it's a shorter ride height, you still have a full size tire. You're not losing that sort of rolling ability of uh, you know, by shrinking the tire size down to get the lower seat height. So taking a closer look at the bike here, kind of looking at everything all at once, gonna focus here on the engine. Now I'm a fan of liquid cooled bikes. I think for your street riding, that kind of thing, that's what you should be looking for. However, an air cooled bike is really good for a beginner because it is simple, simple, simple. If this was to go down, there's no coolant lines that can leak out.
And then you overheat, if it goes down, you pick it up, you're totally fine. And you can see the whole bike is designed to sort of have impact because it's designed like a dirt bike. It doesn't have a sort of the automotive style oil filter hanging down low that you'll find in the road only bike stall tucked into here. And the frame itself, this would be considered a non fully UpToDate frame in the street market just because the design, it's not a high tensile diamond shaped type thing, it's sort of a cradle frame, but that cradle frame gives you a lot of strength underneath there. If you're going off road and you want to head down trail or something like that, you can bash this into thing and not be bashing your engine, you're actually hitting just your frame. So you have some abilities there. But if you're looking for a street bike, you wanna be able to take passengers and you do have the ability to take passengers here you have the rubber coated, rubber mounted, uh, foot pegs. This little area here keeps your passenger's feet away from some moving parts a little bit. Just gives them a little bit of a vi uh, you know, a physical barrier there. But it also could be used to tie things down. You can tie things down around this area, there's frame underneath here and also use that to sort of, you know, bungee strap or get a bungee net things to hold extra gear on here if you wanted to. So you have a lot of little things that kind of blend that on and offroad thing. And again, being such a lightweight bike, it's very easy to handle on, very easy to learn on.
So with an entry level bike, you get a few entry level things, no fancy l e d lighting out here. Now keep in mind L e d lightings can be more expensive if you crash them and I'm gonna count contradict that in a second. But you have a regular uh, halogen type light out here. You have the regular halogen type signal lights out here. Very bright though I will point out. They're quite bright, they've got a nice pattern to it and again, they're easily mounted. These are very inexpensive. If something were to go badly and they were to break, still get your license plate mounting down here you've got the reflectors which are mandatory in uh, pretty much everywhere, uh, to have the side visibility. Uh, so you've got very good overall modern lighting here, but tucked in nice and narrow. So again, if you were to drop something, not likely to damage anything enough that you'd have to break it and pay for more.
Then again, I'm talking a lot about dropping stuff, but you know when you're riding a bike and you're learning to ride, if you're concerned about doing those kind of things, this one you don't have to be nearly as concerned about for uh, dropping if you were riding. Now let's take a look at some of the controls. Actually let's go lighting out front and then we'll go back to the controls. So for 2023, the big thing here is you have this really, really bright white L e D headlight. This is up to date. Now again, l e d lights as a housing can cost more to replace than a regular um, you know, halogen bulb. But I think for the most part, this isn't something that traditionally breaks on a bike that are of course very strong can handle impacts to the front. And there are six centrally located with handlebars around to protect them.
I think the bigger safety benefit here is the visibility. Now of course we know with white l e d lights, you've got that, we've got the high beam up here, we're aimed a little bit crooked so you may not be able to see how bright that is. We're not quite aimed at the camera, but you can see that it does have that extra high beam there. The biggest benefit with this is that white color. So that white color isn't just brighter to your eyes, it's also closer to the color of daylight. And that means if you're zipping around a trail or zipping down a country road or something like that, your eyes are used to identifying things in the color of daylight. And because this is close to the color of daylight, you can tell if that thing on the side of the road is a rodent or a rock, those kinds of things.
And it helps you identify things which just keeps you safer. So I really appreciate that for 2023 they put in that L e D light on this. So now let's talk instrumentation here on a road bike, you wanna have your instruments here. And again, in some ways this is budget friendly, but let's just show you what we've got here. Not gonna lie, there are better dashes in the Kawasaki lineup, but this is actually the same dash as the K L R six 50, which is a legendary adventure bike. Now it doesn't have a tachometer at first, that kind of me, but single cylinder bikes tend to make a lot of torque down the mid-range and down low. So you don't really need attack, uh, because this isn't like a Kawasaki sport bike where you're making all of your power up high in the rev range.
You're gonna figure out very easily where to shift. And again, very simple display. So you do have a fuel gauge here, which is very nice. You have an odometer there. You also have trip A, trip B and that's it for the odometer over here. I wish this was a gear indicator, that's actually a battery light indicator. So if you had a battery problem it would show up in there. It does not have a gear indicator. And again, that is something you would get if you move to more street oriented Z 400 or Ninja 400. Uh, but you do get the basics here. Big clear speedometer. This is capable of highway speeds. It's not something you're gonna wanna do a long tour at highway speeds, but I think you know, if you're looking to drive absolutely anywhere on the roads, short chron shortcut across dirt roads and head on the light trail, this bike will do that perfectly.
Take a look at the controls here. Let's start on the left side here. Of course you're clutch levers right there. So you of course if you're learning manual transmission, that's you're gonna be learning to play with quite a bit and this nice feel to this, again, fairly light, uh, fairly simple, nothing fancy in there but just uh, works very well. Your headlight is always on your high beam. Turns on like that. Signal lights of course left and right, turn right there. And the horn, let's hit it. Why not nice and loud. So again, even though it's a smaller bike, you can certainly get people's attention with that horn. Hard to show you how loud it is on uh, camera, but you can trust me. Nice loud horn over here on the throttle side. First of all, same grips as you would have on pretty much all the dirt bikes, which means if they do get dusty or dirty, this little diamond type uh, fine pattern there gives you a lot of grip even if it gets wet or something like that
So whether you got gloves or no gloves, which you should probably wear gloves, you've got a good amount of grip in there over here. Kill, switch, start, switch, front break. And that's it. Just wanna take a look here at the uh, sort of left side of the bike here, the chain side of the bike. And you've got a lot of nice things like we mentioned that air cooled engine. So no hosing or routing for your liquid cooling in there, which means you know, just less things to worry about, less maintenance and uh, you know, less things to break if something did go wrong. You've got your uh, shift labor down here, your solid steel really uh, heavy kind of um, uh, spring on that to hold the hold your feet there. You do have kickstand here and coming along back here, you've got these chain guides here, which again, if you do decide to go, you know, quite a ways off road, this is just gonna keep that chain in line.
Keep everything where you wanna do. So you got that, some of that dirt bikey type stuff, which really makes this versatile. I wanna talk about that. Dirt bike onroad versus off-road feel there as well. I dunno if you had a good view of the uh, pegs in the past, but there's the passenger pegs there as well. So let's talk about this, about how to use it and who maybe it's for and where it's best and where it's maybe not so best. So let's talk about who the spike is for how it's used, what it's good for, what it's not. Now I spent a lot of time here talking about if you drop the bike, which is something I never ever do. But I do find sometimes when you talk to certain new riders, that is their big fear. What happens if I drop it? I don't want to ruin it.
KLX 300Well that's why I went through this. The flip side is this is one of the hardest to drop bikes because you have this lower seat height. And again, even though it's higher than the ninja and Z400, it does compress a little bit on the suspension and it's so light and so narrow. It's not something that you're likely to drop compared to bigger bikes because like I said, that bigger problem with dropping bikes is you end up leaning it too far over and you can't bring it back like this. So the heavier the bike, the hard that's gonna be and that makes it a little bit easier to ride. The other reason this is great for a new rider is if you're unsure about the type of riding you want to do. For me, I always knew I wanted to be on the streets, but if you're unsure, maybe dirt riding is kind of your thing. Maybe road riding is kind of your thing. This bike is great for that and the shorter seat height is absolutely fine for most on and offroad. Now if you know that you're gonna lean more off road, you may wanna consider the taller suspension because it does give you a couple extra inches of travel. This is over six inches front and rear. You would have over eight inches
Front rear on the exact same bike in the taller mark. The other thing is if you know you're gonna be going on a lot of highways or more high speed, the KLX 300 is very similar to this bike. It does give you a tachometer, it does have a little bit bigger engine, it does give you liquid cooling, but it's the same principle as this bike. And that's gonna give you a little bit more speed. Not a whole lot heavier, but it is also a little bit taller than this particular bike. So you've got options that way. But the benefit of this is if you wanna learn on a bike and really nail your skills, a lightweight bike is great to do that. And because this is on and off road, you can figure out what your next bike should be, should you focus more on the road, should you buy an adventure bike next because you like doing those lighter off-road trail And this bike, as far as the where it can go, is very similar to a modern adventure bike. Adventure bikes can't really go jumping on dirt just like you know, some dirt bikes can, but you know, the lowered suspension of this kind of gives you the same abilities that a modern adventure bike. And if you only use dirt a little bit, you could keep this as your dirt bike and move over to a street bike to have better street handling. So you have options. The other thing is, if there are people in your house that are going to learn to ride a motorcycle, this is something you can give them to try to learn on. And it's, you know, it's not too intimidating, not overwhelming power, not overwhelming anything else. Very easy to ride. And because of its lightweight, it's easy to figure out your mistakes without having problems get better and better and better.
So when you move to a bigger bike, you're ready for it. So there's a lot of reasons to love this bike. And again, this shorter version, I really encourage you to look at it if you want more of that street height when you're hopping on it. So you move that from that dirt bike, it's really tall bike to more of a street height seat and it allows you to kind of figure out all the kinds of riding you want. So even if you're taller, I think this bike makes sense. But let me know what you think. Do you like the two 30? Do you like the two 30 s? Are you glad they came out with it? If you own one of these bikes, tell me about how you like it, what kind of riding you do with it, and uh, let's sort of build a database of of information for people that are looking at this. And again, if you have questions, I'm here filming at Jim Gilbert's Power Sports. They can be complete access to all of their bikes and I can make sure I do more videos to make sure you get the answers you need. So make sure you subscribe, stay tuned and we'll talk to you in the next one.