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– 2012 Kawasaki KX85
2012 Kawasaki KX85 Review
The 85cc-class mini-motocrosser has long been the training crucible for the world’s top racers. For much of that time, Kawasaki’s KX™85 has been at the forefront. The level of technology, power and berm-busting capability packed into this 152-pound rocketship is mind-boggling, and the way it can tear up a motocross track in an expert’s hands must be seen to be believed. It’s nothing short of a youth motocrosser’s dream machine.
The Next Step for Future Champions
With an impressive power-to-weight ratio and a compact, nimble chassis, it’s no wonder that the KX™85 is the bike of choice for riders getting serious about motocross competition. The 85cc class has long been the proving ground for many of the top riders, and the KX85 has helped them gain mastery of the track.
This little rocket ship is powered by a two-stroke, 84cc engine that puts out eye-popping power. Among its race-proven features are an advanced chassis package with a 36mm cartridge fork that has 18-way compression damping adjustability and settings designed to tame the nastiest, most challenging tracks. The UNI-TRAK® shock in back features fully adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping for superior rear wheel control.
Surrounding all that suspension goodness is a black-painted, high-tensile steel perimeter frame with a specially designed fuel tank sitting inside the cage to keep the fuel load and, thusly, the center of mass as low as possible for improved handling. All this is wrapped in lime green body panels, with lightweight black aluminum wheels and aggressive graphics. The result is a factory-look racer with factory-like performance.
The engine bay features some factory-like tricks of its own, including an electrofusion-coated cylinder with a narrow squish band, a large-volume combustion chamber to boost top-end power, and a 28mm Keihin carburetor featuring a crescent-shaped slide that positions the needle closer to the intake ports, optimizing fuel atomization and delivering smoother fuel delivery throughout the powerband. Further enhancing the KX85’s tractable power are the Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve System (KIPS®) and tuned exhaust pipe that provides better drive out of corners and a linear power delivery for young riders of varying skill levels.
The KX85’s six-speed transmission delivers smooth and positive shifting along with enhanced durability thanks to hard chrome-finished shift fork ends, a thick base on the clutch basket housing and an additional bushing on the input shaft.
Those who race their KX85 at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green™, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program. Each year, Team Green provides regional support vehicles and highly trained technicians at more than 100 events throughout the United States, offering technical information and assistance to those who race Kawasaki products. Kawasaki also offers a comprehensive contingency program for amateur and professional riders who place well at designated events.
2012 Kawasaki KX85 Features and Benefits
At A Glance…
– 99cc two-stroke engine is liquid cooled to help assure even running temperatures, consistent power output and greater reliability
– Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve System varies exhaust port height, helping to produce a broad powerband with more low-end torque while retaining excellent top-end power
– Six-speed transmission offers positive shifting action and rugged durability; hard chrome-finished shift forks resist wear and seizure
– Clutch has 119mm-diameter plates for durability and control
– Swingarm uses large cross-section beams for more rigidity
– Uni-Trak® rear suspension features a shock with adjustable compression, rebound damping and spring preload, while the 36mm inverted cartridge fork has 18-way adjustable compression damping
– Industry-leading amateur racer support through Team Green™
Liquid-cooled, 99cc, Two-stroke Engine
– Utilizes a separate clutch cover on the engine’s right side for quick servicing without removing the water pump cover
– Liquid-cooling assures even-running temperatures, consistent power output and greater reliability
– Bridges between intake and exhaust ports are machine-finished for increased durability
– Rotor utilizes rare-earth magnets – the unitized piece is small, light and more efficient; low inertial moment improves low-rpm response
– Connecting rod big-end bearing has a more rigid cage for improved durability
– Intake port shape and cylinder skirt allow cooling air into the crankcase chamber
– Primary gear is secured using a lock-nut to help reduce mechanical noise
– Metafoam gaskets for the generator and water pump covers improve sealing
Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS®)
– KIPS system varies exhaust port height for increased horsepower and torque at all rpm
– Produces a broad powerband with more low-end torque while retaining excellent top-end power
– Breather in KIPS cover improves high-rpm and overrun performance
28mm Keihin Carburetor
– Crescent slide carburetor puts the needle closer to the intake ports for optimum throttle response
– Adjustable for various conditions
– Clutch hub rides on needle bearings for smooth action
– Large clutch plates measure 119mm in diameter for added durability and control
– Clutch-release lever ratio provides light clutch lever action
– Thick clutch basket housing improves durability
– Clutch plate service cover simplifies maintenance and utilizes a metal-carbon composite gasket
– Fifth and sixth gears ride on bushings for added reliability
– Positive shifting action and rugged durability
– Allows the engine’s full potential to be realized
– Oil level window allows easy level check
– Hard chrome-finished shift forks resist wear and seizure
High-tensile Steel Perimeter Frame
– Wide, steel footpegs for better control and added strength
– Thick footpeg brackets withstand today’s rigorous tracks
– Engine and chassis bolts feature rust-resistant coating
– Positioned low in the frame to lower center of gravity and improve handling
UNI-TRAK® Rear Suspension
– Swingarm uses large cross-section beams for more rigidity and control
– Swingarm incorporates cast-aluminum drive chain adjuster sections for easy chain adjustments
– Flanged collars at the bearings to protect seals from mud
– Fully adjustable shock with compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
36mm Inverted Cartridge Fork
– Aluminum upper tubes are 49.5mm in diameter for excellent control and steering response
– Compression damping is 18-way adjustable
– Front brake lever shape offers better feel
– Forged-aluminum rear brake pedal is strong, lightweight and features two seals at the pivot for smooth operation
Lightweight Aluminum Rims
– Rear hub features two wheel bearings on the drive side for durability
– Thick spokes are used in the front and rear for strength, and require less adjustment
– Lightweight aluminum rims
– Aggressive Kawasaki graphics compliment its black frame and wheels, just like the larger KX models
2012 Kawasaki KX85 – USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $4,149.00 USD
Engine Two-stroke single with KIPS®
Bore x Stroke 52.5 x 45.8mm
Cooling System Liquid
Carburetion Keihin PWK28
Induction Two-petal reed valve
Compression ratio 9.6:1 (low speed) – 8.8:1 (high speed)
Ignition Digital CDI
Final drive Chain
Frame Type High-tensile steel perimeter design with subframe member
Rake/Trail 27 degrees / 4.1 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18 position compression damping adjustment/ 10.8 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel UNI-TRAK® single shock system with 4 position compression and 20 position rebound damping adjustment plus adjustable spring preload/ 10.8 in.
Front Tire Size 70/100×19
Rear Tire Size 90/100×16
Front brakes / rear brakes Hydraulic disc / Disc
Overall length 75.2 in.
Overall width 28.9 in.
Overall height 43.5 in.
Ground clearance 15.0 in.
Seat height 34.3 in.
Curb weight 156.5 lbs.
Fuel capacity 1.5 gal.
Wheelbase 50.8 in.
Color Choices Lime Green
2012 Kawasaki KX85 – Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: See Canadian Kawasaki Dealer for pricing.
Type 2-stroke, Single with KIPS
Bore and Stroke 48.5 x 45.8 mm
Compression Ratio 10.0 (low speed), 9.2 (high speed)
Induction 2-petal carbon-fibre piston reed valve
Fuel System Keihin PWK28 carburetor
Lubrication Petrol mix (32:1), 2-stroke racing oil
Transmission 6-speed, constant mesh, return shift
Final Drive Chain
Primary Reduction Ratio 3.400 (68/20)
Gear Ratio: 1st 2.538 (33/13)
Gear Ratio: 2nd 1.875 (30/16)
Gear Ratio: 3rd 1.500 (27/18)
Gear Ratio: 4th 1.250 (25/20)
Gear Ratio: 5th 1.090 (24/22)
Gear Ratio: 6th 0.956 (22/23)
Final Reduction Ratio 3.571 (50/14)
Clutch Wet multi-disc
Type Tubular semi-double cradle, high tensile steel
Wheel Travel: Front 275 mm (10.8 in.)
Tire: Front 70/100-17
Wheel Travel: Rear 275 mm (10.8 in.)
Tire: Rear 90/100-14
Caster (Rake) 27°
Trail 89 mm (3.5 in.)
Steering Angle (Left/Right) 45° / 45°
Suspension, Front 36 mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping
Suspension, Rear Uni-Trak single-shock system with 4-way compression and 16-way rebound damping, plus adjustable spring preload
Front: Type Single 220 mm disc
Front: Caliper Single-piston caliper
Rear: Type Single 184 mm disc
Rear: Caliper Single-piston caliper
Overall Length 1,820 mm (71.7 in.)
Overall Width 735 mm (28.9 in.)
Overall Height 1,055 mm (41.5 in.)
Wheelbase 1,255 mm (49.4 in.)
Ground Clearance 340 mm (13.4 in.)
Seat Height 840 mm (33.1 in.)
Curb Mass** 69 kg (152.1 lbs)
Fuel Capacity 5.5 litres (1.2 gal.)
** Includes all necessary materials and fluids to operate correctly, full tank of fuel (more than 90% of capacity) and tool kit (if supplied)
Colour Lime Green
* The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price does not include freight, pre-delivery inspection or applicable taxes. The final price is at the discretion of the dealer. Prices and Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice.
Equipment illustrated and specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.