Kawasaki KLF300 4x4

With its permanent 4x4, high-torque engine and advanced suspension, this bike is suited to a wide variety of tasks.

This is Kawasaki’s only dual-range-gearbox bike and it provides the option of a “high” ratio, with five forward gears and reverse for general duties and light loads, or the “low” ratio, again with five forward gears and reverse, for climbing sharp gradients or pulling heavier loads.

KLF300’s limited slip differential creates lighter steering as well as ensuring that the engine torque always powers both front wheels.

“The power on this machine is good and the four-wheel drive makes it forgiving on the hills,” says our tester. “This is constant four-wheel drive, so it doesn’t corner as sharply as the two-wheel-drive bikes — that is characteristic of all four-wheel drives compared with two-wheel  drives — but nevertheless this bike is easy on the steering and makes for a comfortable drive.”

It’s clear by looking at the chunky design and sound engineering that this bike was built to last and to take the grind of everyday work. The extra-wide mudguards should keep the user clean in muddy conditions.

Our testers find the KLF300 to be sure-footed. The double-wishbone independent front suspension provides a comfortable ride with the minimum of pitching and rolling. The only downside appears to be the footplate. When changing gear, there is potential for the “toe down” action to bring the foot in contact with ruts and obstacles on the ground. That could mean a broken ankle.

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