2017 Kawasaki KLX140G - FIRST RIDE REVIEW

These larger wheels don’t quite get you there

2017 Kawasaki KLX140G off-road action
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz

Kawasaki knows that, sometimes, there's such a thing as too much power. Yes, I know the green guys are the ones behind the insane H2R, but they also make the KLR, Ninja 300, and Versys 650—three machines that are beloved for being the porridge at the perfect temperature.

Recently, Kawasaki realized that it’s forsaken the common man a bit in its search for off-road glory. Its true dirt destroyers, the KX250F and KX450F, have won many championships over and over again, but Kawasaki’s pure performance outlook has left many people out in the dust.

2017 Kawasaki KLX140G static side view
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz

With that in mind, the company has released the KLX140G, a new variant on its KLX140 platform. The 140G retains the same 144cc four-stroke Kawasaki developed more than a decade ago, as well as the electric starter, Uni-Trak fully adjustable rear shock, and petal-style front and rear disc brakes of the KLX140 and KLX140L. To that platform, the KLX140G adds a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, which increase seat height to 33.9 inches.

The new Kawasaki KLX140G does a great job at making trail riding unintimidating and fun for full-size riders. The suspension is ample for average-size riders (though a little lacking for our more full-bodied friends), while features like electric start and the progressive clutch let the focus stay on enjoying the ride.

2017 Kawasaki KLX140G rear brake
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz

However, we have a hard time thinking the KLX140G will unseat the Yamaha TT-R230 as our favorite fun little trailbike. Sure, it may be $300 more expensive, weigh 30 pounds more, and still come with a drum brake at the rear—but the Yami's 230cc single also pumps out more power in a package that just works great.

The KLX140G is just fine if you have a thing for green, but Kawasaki is going to have to do a little more than add some larger wheels if it wants to reign supreme as the backyard bike of choice.

Dirtbike
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz
SPECIFICATIONS
Engine type Air-cooled, SOHC single
Displacement 144cc
Seat height 33.9 in.
Fuel capacity 1.5 gal.
Claimed wet weight 218 lb.
Price $3,699
2017 Kawasaki KLX140G rear exhaust
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz
Dirtbike
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz
Dirtbike
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz
Dirtbike
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz
Dirtbike
2017 Kawasaki KLX140GDrew Ruiz