Far from the urban jungle that is Los Angeles lays a land of extremes. A land worthy of exploring by any means - hike, bike, or ride - regardless your skill level or personal passion. California's Death Valley is this land and our playground for the introduction of Kawasaki's first 2009 model, the KLX250S. Throwing extremes from every direction our way - heat and dust, rocky trails to barren desert playas - the nimble, quick and affordable KLX soaks up the hits with a smile while leaving your wallet smiling in the process.
I'll trade in the skyscraper walls of Alvarado Street in downtown L.A. for the sandstone canyon walls of Titus Canyon any day. The Buff Monster tags are famous all over Los Angeles but they haven't got the staying power of the petroglyphs found in the slot canyon carving through the Grapevine Mountain range just west of the ghost town Leadfield, CA.
Twenty-two hard miles from Beatty Nevada, the road to Leadfield was once a main thoroughfare from the east into Death Valley. A testament to durability of both humankind and the KLX, the heat and dusty conditions make you wonder why the hell anyone would build a city here. But there was 'Gold in them thar hills!' –actually lead ore and silver – and so the mining town operated primarily from 1925 to 1927 with great debate of its legitimacy. Despite shady promoters and stock fraud, an inflow of hundreds, if not thousands, of men and an outflow of millions of tons of ore and silver built a town large enough to support its own newspaper, post office and the Western Lead Mines Company. Western was one of the largest operations in town and brought in a 180-horsepower Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine in March of 1926 to operate their drills.
More: 2009 Kawasaki KLX250S Review