Kawasaki announce updates to their KX250 and KX250X models – new engine for the flying 4T – plus a KLX230R “S” model, more tuned to the trail with a steel tank and tweaked handlebars, footpegs and seat positions.

Kawasaki has announced major updates to the off-road an motocross motorcycle range with a new KX250 and KLX230R the key models which caught our eye.

“Radically updated spec” they say on the 2025 KX250 improves the four-stroke engine power feeling at low speeds and throttle control when exiting corners – the result of “symmetrically aligned” air intake and exhaust design.

The new KLX230R S model gets a key ignition and steel, 7.6 litre/2 US Gal fuel tank and tweaked riding position to make it more useful on the trail.


KX450 leads the way

As is common across the Japanese manufacturers and their off-road model progression, the KX450, and 450 X enduro/cross-country version, already paved the way for the changes we see on the 2025 250 sibling.

Updates to the frame and suspension, similar to those on the flagship KX450, combine with new features such as ODI Lock-On grips and smoother new bodywork all help rider movement and feel, which translates into faster lap times they say.

Power Modes and Kawasaki Traction Control are accessed with a new switch located on the left handlebar and you can adjust which map, and what shape you want it for different riding conditions, via your smartphone using Kawasaki’s Rideology App.

“Attention getter” new engine

Finger-follower valve actuation stays, as does a downdraft-style intake Kawasaki says, and dual injectors but these are now joined by a new design of piston plus a revised intake and exhaust layout (with the silencer moved further forward for better mass centralisation) and a single-shaft primary balancer for an all-around stronger package with enhanced control and greater low to mid-range “urge”.

The “symmetrically aligned” intake and exhaust, sucking and blowing air to and from the cylinderhead, deliver a strong over-run and smooth low-rpm torque characteristics, Kawasaki says. 


The redesigned intake has a much straighter route for air-fuel mix to enter the cylinder, while a more central exhaust port lines up with the intake for better airflow efficiency; both contributing to increased performance. 

No press release would be complete without the word optimised in there somewhere and it is “optimised downdraft intake” this time, which is adding to low-end performance while a single-shaft primary engine balancer contributes to smoother power delivery and reduced vibration.

Completely redesigned airbox

Kawasaki say the completely redesigned airbox works with the KX250’s dual injectors and new downdraft intake aiding what they say is significantly increased low-end torque, smoother power delivery and a more linear throttle response. All of which sounds good to us on a bike which we already loved riding (the X model) last year.

Hydraulic clutch

The baby Kawi runs a hydraulic clutch for a more direct feel and lighter lever action plus less play as the clutch heats up during heavy use they claim.

A single-shaft primary engine balancer also contributes to the smooth power delivery plus reduced vibration, which improves throttle control, especially when exiting slower-speed corners.

New frame

The 2025 KX250’s new frame is based on last year’s KX450 with adjustments to suit the new intake and exhaust layout.  We have no further details on that at present.

Highly rated Showa 48mm inverted coil-spring forks and a New Uni Trak rear suspension system were, again, highly rated by us when we tested the KX250X in a timecard enduro last year.

Watch our YoutTube video review on that here: Kawasaki KX250X – Enduro21 ‘Real World’ Test

The cross-country KX250X benefits from the same updates as the 2025 KX250 by the way except cross-country-specific tuning for the suspension, different final drive ratio in the five-speed gearbox, 21”/18” wheel combination with enduro tyres and a side stand.

Plus, like the motocross model, you can make adjustments to suit your riding via four handlebar and two footpeg positions.

KX250 / KX250X 2025 colours: Lime Green

Prices: not yet known

Availability: This month

New S model KLX230R

Retaining much of what has made the original KLX230R popular since its introduction in 2020, Kawasaki say they have updated the S model for 2025 with the added owner security of a key based ignition, bead clamps in the rims to hold tyres, a balancer shaft for a smoother engine and a larger fuel 7.6L/ 2US Gals steel (was plastic) fuel tank to up-scale the off-road and trail potential.


A redesigned rear subframe traces a lower line and, though the seat height is lower (875mm), front and rear wheel travel remain the same as the previous model while thicker seat cushioning offers increased ride comfort.

A thicker 80mm seat (+6 mm) offers increases ride comfort while its new shape offers a wider seating area than the previous model for a more comfortable ride for those who sit down more on the trail. 

Adding a balancer shaft to the popular electric-start, six speed, 233cm, single cylinder engine makes it smoother and tractable.

The new ECU setting and a narrower intake port and smaller intake valve (ø37 mm >> ø33 mm) for 2025 helps make that all-important low-mid range part of the power more useful.

That lower seat height for the S model, 875mm plus long-wheel-travel suspension (250 mm front and 217mm rear) results in ground clearance at 270mm. Front and rear wheel sizes are 21”/18”, 1,375mm wheelbase and a steeper rake (caster angle) (26.5° >> 25.4°) helps handling they say.  

New Uni Trak rear suspension has slightly harder springs and damping settings than those on the KLX230 model plus front and rear wheels now feature bead clamps, which allow lower tyre pressures to be used without tyre slip.

Other adjustments to the ergonomics include handlebars set 25 mm further forward to match the lower seat height, footpegs 9mm further back and shrouds and side covers closely resembling the latest KX450 and KX250 for a strong family feel.

2025 model year colour: Lime Green

Prices: not yet known

Availability: This month (check with your country and dealer, not available in all territories)


More information: www.kawasaki.com + www.kawasaki.co.uk + www.kawasaki.eu