A quick glance at this bike and you might think it's the Kawasaki KLX250, but look closely. It is a little Kawasaki KLX140L that has been modified. The engine got a 160cc big-bore Stage 2 upgrade from American manufacturer Engines Only. The 160cc Stage 2 big-bore kit for the Kawasaki KLX140 includes a high compression piston with rings and clips, head and base gaskets, high performance camshaft and valve spring set.
The performance of the Kawasaki KLX160 is a claimed 16 horsepower out of the modified engine. The modified Kawasaki KLX160 big-bore has a compression ratio of 11.5:1 and runs on regular 91 octane fuel. We used a K&N air-filter and on the Mikuni 28mm carburettor. Kawasaki stock KLX140 comes with a weird shift linkage that doesn't make a lot of sense, so it was scrapped, and an Engine Only shifter took over the gear changing duty.
The combination of 20 more cc and a simple exhaust modification made the little lime-green KLX140/160 monster sound like it was ready to take on the best – and perform like it too. The modified Kawasaki KLX140 lays a beat down on a stock KLX140 in every aspect, from power to handing.
It simply has way more boost from idle all the way to the revving limit, which is exactly what we love – broad, usable power. The suspension worked as suspected, good off-road with full-sized adult riders piloting the machine. If the terrain became too jumpy, the suspension was on the soft side, but that's not really what the bike was designed for. On the fun trails and off-road is where the Kawasaki KLX160 is at home. If the trails were tight, like first and second-gear speeds, the KLX160 left a full-sized bike in the dust.
The low center of gravity and smooth power made weaving in and out of trees a riot. We made it up some climbs we didn't think possible on such a small machine, but the mix of extra power and good suspension made possible way more than we imagined on the little, mean, lime-green machine.
Sometimes we forget how much fun a little bike set up for an adult can be. We put in endless hours pounding single track and even more hours just play riding, doing wheelies, nose wheelies and skids on the Kawasaki KLX160.
The complete 160cc Stage 2 big-bore kit costs about 19,000 Baht, without transport and import duties, it is worth every single Baht...