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No 2023 Kawasaki KLX230SM For NZ

Kawasaki has unveiled a new budget supermoto which will undoubtedly fill the space left by the Suzuki DR-Z400SM in many markets. Unfortunately, at least for now, New Zealand won’t be one of them.

The 2023 KLX230SM slides into the Kawasaki family underneath the KLX300SM but brings with it a more approachable powerplant for novice riders and the additional safety of ABS braking which is currently not available for the 300 (hence why the KLX300 is not offered for Kiwi roads).

Peak power is claimed at 14kW(19PS) at 7600rpm and 19Nm of torque at 6100rpm. Not huge numbers but the bike only has to push 136 kilos.

To bring it into Supermoto trim Kawasaki has dropped the dirt bike suspension and wheels out from the steel perimeter frame and swapped in a set of 17-inch wheels and new suspension. Up the front is a 37mm inverted fork while the rear scores a new uni-track type rear suspension.

It looks like an appealing package, with sleek black bodywork and a new headlight design which looks much better than the bulbous headlight of the road-legal KLX230.

Unfortunately for budding supermoto fans, Kawasaki NZ has indicated that the KLX230SM won’t be heading our way anytime soon, citing minimum order numbers being too high for the New Zealand market.

It's not a big surprise with the road-going KLX230 also dropping off Kawasaki’s showrooms. Kiwis tend to favour bikes with larger capacity engines such as Honda's CRF300L for their affordable dual-purpose needs.

But never say never. If you want one desperately, bug Kawasaki NZ and they might find a way to get you one.


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