Generational Gap – 2 Kawasaki KDXs

In Dual-Sport, Japan by AbhiLeave a Comment

Here are two generations of the Kawasaki KDX – one displacing 175 and the other displacing 250ccs. Both are available at a similar price and with low mileage. Which would you pick?

Let’s start with the veteran. The KDX175 was introduced in 1980 – in 1981 it gained several minor changes like shorter fork tubes, revised carburetor jetting, and a smaller air filter (with more surface area). The engine put out about 20 horsepower but where this bike shone was the Uni-Trak suspension, which the press loved, though there were some issues with long term durability. Here’s a period review (of which I unfortunately cannot determine the author or source) that’s full of praise, and it ends with the following quote:

Kawasaki KDX175 - Rear Right

When you consider all of the things the KDX175 can do how well it does them and the incredibly wide range of riders for whom it can do them when you take into account all of the offbike factors such as price and reliability and the like, the picture—in my mind, at least-is crystal clear: The KDX175 is the best all-around enduro motorcycle built. And not just at the present time.


Kawasaki KDX175 - Front Right

This example (VIN: JKADXPA11BA010007) has just 210 miles and is claimed to be all original except for the fuel line and UNI air filter – note that the tool bag is missing. It’s been recently serviced and it has a Tennessee title.

Find the ol’ girl for sale in Lexington, Tennessee with an unmet opening bid of $1,500

Fast forward to 1991, and Kawasaki introduced the KDX 250 to supplant the 200 and compete with 250s from Suzuki and Yamaha. Slight problem though – most riders preferred the 200, so 4 years later Kawi killed the 250 and updated the 200. Still, this example (VIN: JKADXMD16MA000103) is in decent nick. It was originally acquired to be a museum piece in the New England Motorcycle Museum, but they’re letting it go to raise funds for repair costs. The carb was just serviced and they say the bike runs great. Few small flaws – the front tire is cracking, the front brake lever is bent (but works fine), and a couple of rubber pieces are worn. Thanks to the evolution of technology, you’ll get 40 horsepower out of this bike.

Kawasaki KDX250 - Front Left

Find the ’91 for sale in Vernon-Rockville, Connecticut with bidding up to $1,325

Dirt Bike Magazine says to get the 175, but which would you pick?