Most Common Problems With Kawasaki KLX (Solved & Explained!)

The Kawasaki KLX is a series of off-road, dual-sport, and Supermoto bikes designed for riders who are seeking adventure in their rides.

The current range has 8 motorcycles in it, including 4 off-road bikes, 3 dual-sport bikes, and 1 Supermoto.

They are among the most affordable bikes in the entire Kawasaki range, priced from just $2,349 to $5,999.

This article explains “most-common problems with Kawasaki KLX”…

Kawasaki KLX 100 Kickstart Problems

Many users who have bought and driven the Kawasaki KLX 100 bikes, specifically the still-existing 110 and 140, as well as the previous 125 models, experienced issues with the kick starter.

KLX 100 bikes with kickstart problems would first experience slipping in the kick starter, but would then grab the motor and start. The trouble came when that slippage became more serious and the engine would kickstart. The solution to this problem appeared to be found within elements of the clutch.

One method was to tighten the clutch nuts under the right-side cover.

Another is to fix the clutch adjuster when it slips too far out.

Other issues with KLX 100 kickstart problems are caused by the improper installation of aftermarket manual clutches and other components.

These may promise great enhancements in performance, but sometimes they just cause fundamental problems like the kick starter slipping right through and the bike failing to start up.

Kawasaki KLX 125 Carburetor Problems

The carburetor on the KLX 125, as on any motorcycle, is a very simple yet crucial device that you simply cannot do without. It mixes the gasoline and air that creates the combustion that your bike needs to propel itself forward.

The following is a list of problems that can occur when a motorcycle carburetor has problems:

  • Difficulty in starting the bike
  • The bike only works properly when the choke is activated
  • Engine stalls as you open throttle
  • The bike revs up but then hangs high when idling

Quite a number of riders on the Kawasaki KLX 125 experienced problems when idling.

They would start the bike up and get moving without a problem, but when idling would stall or just find they couldn’t maintain the bike’s running.

Many of these problems were eventually traced back to the carburetor on the KLX 125.

It actually is a similar problem that also occurred on the Suzuki DRZ125 as well. (A good idea is to look at the motorcycles diagram)

It seems that most of the problems are specifically related to the status of the mixer screw.

Many advised riders that if the screw was not in far enough, then you couldn’t get a high-enough idle and the bike would stall out.

In other words, the problem being created is that the carburetor was getting all the air it wanted, but not enough gas.

The mixer screw is located on the side or the bottom of a carburetor.

You can locate it and then check its status according to what the stock settings should be according to the bike’s owner’s manual.

Another issue is that the pilot jet might be clogged.

Some riders were neglecting the basic maintenance of cleaning the carburetor.

In fact, all the jets of the KLX125 carburetor need to be properly cleaned and maintained in order for it to work properly.

To clean the pilot jet properly, you’ll have to remove the carburetor, open it up, and then take out the pilot jet to blast it with solvent and compressed air.

Kawasaki KLX 230 Problems

One rather unfortunate issue that seems to be occurring even on the newest KLX 230 models is that the bike initially starts up, but then stalls out and won’t start up again.

There was much speculation about kill switches and clutches, but the problem appears to be unresolved on the many Kawasaki forums.

If you experience this problem on a new Kawasaki KLX 230, you should report it to the Kawasaki dealer right away.

Another problem appears to be to do with fuel consumption.

The KLX 230 is rated as getting about 72mpg, and it has a 2-gallon gas tank.

Some users have pointed out that after just 48 miles or so the gas warning light is blinking on their digital instrument display.

Some have also reported minor issues with the clutch and brake levers, saying that they are either too sensitive or generally hard to master when compared to aftermarket alternatives.

First-time riders have also experienced some problems with the proximity of the shift lever to the footrest, especially when wearing bulky motorcycle boots.

The footrests themselves are also very small, which makes it fidgety for larger riders.

Aftermarket parts can resolve this issue.

Lastly, and similar to several other KLX models from Kawasaki is the high idling rate.

When the bike idles, at times, it sounds as though it’s getting close to full throttle.

Some speculate that this high idling rate could be one of the causes of the fast fuel consumption rate.

Other Kawasaki KLX bike owners have managed to fix their high idling rate to some degree by cleaning and making adjustments to the mixing screw on the carburetor.

Kawasaki KLX 250 Problems

The Kawasaki KLX 250 also suffers from a similar issue with high idling and stalling out from time to time.

The issue is most commonly traced back to the pilot jet, which other users have advised should be switched out.

By taking the stock pilot jet and apparently replacing it was a #38 pilot jet, the issue of idling and stalling – especially in hot weather conditions – was much improved.

In colder conditions, some reported that whenever they turned the throttle the bike would stall or the engine just cut out.

This is a fairly common issue in the 250 and can be solved by starting the bike using the choke instead of the throttle.

Finally, the 250 would also experience issues with its jets when it sat idle for any protracted period of time.

The KLX 250 was built to ride, and when sitting idle, the jets would get clogged with bad gas.

All of this means that cleaning the KLX 250 carburetor is more important than ever and that it’s done using quality solvent and compressed air.

Those with any expertise should feel confident to dismantle the carburetor and clean all the parts individually.

Kawasaki KLX 250 Starting Problems

Some riders of the KLX 250 have particularly pointed to issues with starting the bike, which has become something of a common theme across KLX bikes from Kawasaki, even the new ones.

The main issues related to starting are often traced to the carburetor, but not all.

Some problems, like those on the 230, still remain unsolved by riders and have to be fixed up or checked by dealerships.

Most often, however, the starting problem in Kawasaki KLX 250 bikes can be solved by draining the carburetor bowl and then trying again.

It may take between 5 and 10 cranks after finishing the draining work, but it should start up.

Kawasaki KLX 300R Problems

One of the most positive and welcome things about the KLX 300R is that it introduced a push-button electric starter, removing the kicker.

This makes things a lot easier for newer riders, but the bike isn’t without its own problems.

One small issue to start is that while the limited wheel spin on the 300 is good for newer riders as they get acclimatized to riding a motorcycle, more experienced riders may not appreciate having to exert so much more effort to steer the bike when they want to go at a faster pace.

Another issue riders are having with the KLX 300 is the position of the shift lever and the footpegs.

The closeness is causing even more experienced riders to accidentally up or downshift as they adjust their feet.

It can be resolved by simply replacing the shift lever with an aftermarket part, but it seems odd and counterintuitive to do that on a new model.

Finally, one mechanical issue that has also been reported is that the bike easily slips back to neutral when it’s in second gear.

This may have to be fixed with an aftermarket kit like a Strokers kit.