Team Green's New Iron! KLX400SR

2003 Dirt Bikes From Kawasaki

Feb. 01, 2006 By ORC STAFF
New Offerings And Old Friends
KLX400SR - MSRP: $5,449.00

Based on the Kawasaki KLX400R motorcycle, which is designed for enduro and off-road use, the KLX400SR can go places its muddy sibling can't. But don't let the license plate fool you. Underneath all the headlights, taillights and turn signals is a double overhead cam, four valve, liquid-cooled dry-sump four-stroke engine that delivers aggressive power on demand.

Because its design was derived from a true off-road machine, the KLX400SR is built to withstand harsh elements. A nickel-silicon-phosphorous-plated cylinder provides excellent heat transfer properties and is host to a forged aluminum piston, which receives oil cooling through a crankcase oil jet. A thermostatically controlled cooling fan is also mounted to the left radiator to help maintain a consistent operating temperature in traffic. While on the roads or in dirt, smooth and crisp throttle response comes courtesy of a Mikuni BSR36 CV-type carburetor, which drinks from a long-range 2.6-gallon fuel tank.

For easy maintenance, a cable-operated clutch with a separate outer cover operates with the compact five-speed transmission. Equipped for any off-road or on-road riding situation, the KLX400SR's transmission is geared with versatility in mind. It can handle tight and rocky terrain as well as it can endure long stretches of pavement.

Wrapped around the responsive engine is an equally responsive chassis. With a dry weight of just 291-pounds, the KLX400SR is slim, nimble and comfortable enough to spend long days in the saddle. Attached to the chrome-moly steel frame is an aluminum subframe that provides a skeleton for a smooth transition between tank, seat and bodywork, making the KLX400SR a stylish high-performance dirt bike. Bolted to the KLX400SR chassis and providing it with a plush ride is the 49mm long-travel cartridge fork, which features rebound damping and adjustable spring preload. A lightweight aluminum swingarm and rear shock with high/low-speed rebound and compression damping adjustability complement the fork and overall chassis package. Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes give the KLX400SR ample stopping power.

A dual-purpose motorcycle wouldn't be complete without a number of other features, including a 60/55-watt halogen headlight, taillight/stoplight and rubber-mounted turn signals. The KLX400SR also boasts a sophisticated digital instrument panel tucked behind the headlight cover, which consists of a speedometer, odometer, twin-trip meters, clock and timer with stopwatch functions. To meet highway-way use regulations, dual-sport tires shod the aluminum rims front and rear. A U.S. Forestry-approved spark arrestor assures access to any Forest Service road open to licensed vehicles, while sturdy engine and rear disc brake guards protect against rocks and debris.


Liquid-cooled, 398cc Four-stroke Single

  • Four-valve cylinder head with 36mm intake and 29mm exhaust valves is compact and light weight
  • Double overhead cam, dry-sump engine produces ample power at all rpm
  • Compression ratio reduced to 11.3:1 to operate with 87-octane fuel

Nickel-silicon-phosphorous-plated cylinder

  • Cylinder plating lightweight and durable with excellent heat transfer properties
  • Holds lubrication well, resists abrasion and seizure

Thermostatically-controlled Cooling

  • Cooling fan mounted to left radiator aides consistent operating temperature while in traffic or on the trail

Forged Aluminum Piston

  • Lighter than cast piston by 10 percent
  • Receives additional oil cooling to crown through crank-case oil jet

Automatic Decompression System

  • Allows for quick and easy starts
  • Also equipped with manual system

Mikuni BSR36 CV-type Carburetor

  • Precisely meters fuel for good fuel economy
  • Provides quick and smooth throttle response
  • Fed by six-liter airbox with easy access to air filter

Five-speed Transmission

  • Positive shifting action and rugged durability with gearing for every situation
  • Oil-level window provided
  • Cable actuated clutch with separate outer cover for easy maintenance

Electric Starter

  • Lightweight starter motor and 6.5 amp battery provide easy starts
  • Kick-system can be added to electric-start system

Digital Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI)

  • A digital microcomputer delivers a precisely-timed spark no matter how fast the rpm changes

Chrome-moly Steel Frame

  • Profile narrow with smooth transitions between tank, seat and bodywork
  • Backbone tube, front down tube and steering head gussets form the dry-sump engine oil tank
  • Straight-line ability is not sacrificed due to the incredible frame rigidity

49mm Cartridge Fork

  • 14-way compression damping adjustment, 18-way rebound adjustment for all types of terrain
  • Cartridge maintains more consistent damping force by minimizing aeration of the fork oil

Fully Adjustable Rear Suspension

  • Spring preload adjustable to accommodate a wide range of riders
  • High and low-speed compression and rebound damping adjustable to meet the demands of all terrain

Front and Rear Disc Brakes

  • Twin piston front caliper grasps a floating front disc for "single finger" stopping power
  • Single piston rear caliper gives strong, reliable performance

Dual PurposeEquipment

  • Durable rubber-mounted turn signals
  • Digital instrument cluster includes odometer, speedometer and clock
  • Highway-legal headlight and tail/stoplight
  • Engine guard and rear disc brake guard
  • O-rings keep the dirt and water out, but keep lubrication in for longer chain life
  • Large 2.6-gallon tank allows great range, but is narrow for comfort
  • Snail-type chain adjusters for quick wheel changes and chain adjustments
  • Dual purpose tires meet highway-use regulations
  • Forestry Service-approved spark arrestor
Engine 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve single
Displacement 398cc
Bore x Stroke 90 x 62.6mm
Compression ratio 11.3:1
Cooling Liquid
Carburetion Mikuni BSR36
Ignition Digital CDI
Transmission 5-speed
Frame High-tensile steel
Rake/Trail 27.4°/4.3 in.
Suspension type, front 49mm cartridge-style fork
Suspension adjustments, front 14-way compression damping, 18 way rebound damping
Suspension, rear Single-shock link type
Suspension adjustments, rear Adjustable compression and rebound damping adjustment
Wheel travel, front 11.3 in.
Wheel travel, rear 11.6 in.
Tire, front 80/100 x 21
Tire, rear 120/90 x 18
Brakes, front/rear Hydraulic disc/Disc
Overall length 90.9 in.
Overall width 34.4 in.
Overall height 48.8 in.
Seat height 36.7 in.
Wheelbase 58.5 in.
Ground clearance 11.8 in.
Fuel capacity 2.6 gal.
Dry weight 291 lbs.
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