2011 Kawasaki KLX110L
The Kawasaki KLX110 has been a long time favorite a youth's first dirt bike. With a bulletproof centrifugal clutch which allowed the rider to just concentrate on riding rather than worrying about gear shifting clutch technique, countless thousands of youngsters learned how to ride on the venerable KLX110. For 2010, the Kawasaki engineers decided to one-up their KLX110 by introducing the KLX110L which is basically a KLX110 for riders that are one step ahead.
The 2011 Kawasaki KLX110L has a taller seat which at 28.7 inches is almost two inches higher than the KLX110. The increased height on the KLX110L comes from fitting a 2.4 inch longer fork which provides 5.5 inches of travel and a longer shock in the back which gives the L model a full 5.2 inches of travel there. With fully revised damper and spring settings, the KLX110L is easily adjustable to suit any form of riding conditions as well as widely varying rider skill levels. The ergonomics of the KLX110L have also been totally rearranged to fit the larger rider, right down to the positioning and bend of the handlebars.
The biggest change for the L model has to be the conventional clutch and gear system. The KLX110L has a four speed tranny which runs through a typical clutch assembly so that the youthful rider can learn to shift like the big boys. Surprisingly on what is essentially a small motocrosser, the KLX110L is fitted with a push button electric starter. Kawasaki engineers had to weigh the advantages of easy starting vs. the lower weight that the KLX110L would have benefited if the heavy electric starter and battery had been left out. They chose to make it easy on the kids, and it's a bit of a controversial decision. The crux of the L model is that it's a KLX110 for the next skill level up, and to give the youths an option from learning how to kickstart their racers in a variety of situations doesn't seem to be the smartest way to go.
Although the fairly primitive, horizontally canted 111cc SOHC engine can't really be called a powerhouse, it does generate enough tractable power for kids of any age, shape, or size to get around the track. With extremely generous ground clearance for a motocrosser this small of 10.4 inches, the little KLX110L is not going to get hung up on berms or ridges like the KLX110 did as it is a far more "serious" motocross experience for the younger set. The 2011 Kawasaki KLX110L is a great place for kids to learn the skills they'll need on the full sized motocrossers in their future, and it's an overall great little off roader.
2011 Kawasaki KLX110L At A Glance
Base MSRP: $2,799
Engine Displacement: 111 cc
Engine Type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke Single
Bore & Stroke: 53 x 50.6 mm
Ignition Type: Digital DC-CDI
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Valve Train Type: SOHC, 2 valves
Transmission Type: 4-speed, return
Final Drive Type: Chain
Front Tire: 2.50-14 4PR
Rear Tire: 3.00-12 4PR
Wheelbase: 1,075 mm
Saddle Height: 730 mm
Curb Dry Weight: 76 kg
Fuel Capacity (US): 3.8 L
* Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released