Church Of MO 1997 Honda XR400R Vs. 1997 Kawasaki KLX300R

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By Troy Siahaan

As we jump in the vault for this week’s Church feature, we travel back to 1997, a time of change and consternation amongst off-road enthusiasts. Why? Because this was the year California really cracked down on two-stroke off-road motorcycles. A look at showroom floors today reveals (thankfully) that two-strokes haven’t exactly died off, but are far from prominent. Instead, the four-stroke era kicked in, and here we have a test of some modest trail bikes – the 1997 Honda XR400R and Kawasaki KLX300R. Far from speed demons, both bikes are fun on the trials. How fun? Let Len Nelson tell you…


1997 Honda XR400R Vs. 1997 Kawasaki KLX300R

Four-Stroke Trail Bikes

By Len Nelson Jun. 25, 1997
Photography by Staff

We’re willing to bet that most off-road enthusiasts are acutely aware of this by now, but in case you haven’t heard, two-stroke off-road vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1997 are now prohibited from operation on public lands in California. For those of you operating two-stroke machinery outside of the Golden State take note, for this may very well foreshadow the future of off-road vehicle design. Sure, consumer demand still influences direction of the motorsport market, but laws have a funny way of creating rapid change. No need to remember the Alamo, just think back to when three-wheelers were on showroom floors. It’s a raw deal for many reasons but let’s face it – are you really going to wait for clean-burning two-stroke machines to go into mass production? Give us a call when they’re ready – we’ll be out enjoying the latest thumpers until then.

Different Strokes

A while back we were invited by Kawasaki to their KLX300R introduction in Idaho. We were …read more

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