2017 Kawasaki KX450F Review
2017 Kawasaki KX450F on www.Totalmotorcycle.com
The Kawasaki KX450F has a rich history of producing champions…
The Kawasaki KX™ motocross line up is the most successful motocross and supercross brand of motorcycles on the market today. As the flagship model in the KX family, the Kawasaki KX™450F motorcycle leads the way with a powerful, nimble, and technologically advanced heritage. Inspired by Kawasaki’s factory race team, the KX450F motorcycle is simply race-ready. It remains one of the most sought-after bikes in its class and Kawasaki mounted racers also receive the benefit of the industry-leading Team Green™ support network that can be found trackside.
•Factory race team inspired, redesigned triple clamps with increased rigidity that enable quick turn in
•Slim, perimeter frame and swingarm give better rider feel
•Revised ECU settings
•Industry-leading Showa SFF-Air TAC (Separate Function front Fork, Triple Air Chamber) separates damping and spring duties into each fork tube. It also replaces heavy coil spring with air chambers to improve response and reduce weight
•Aggressive factory styling including seat designed for easier rider movement and new for 2017 in-mold graphics
Kawasaki is determined to produce the best performing 450cc motocross bike, featuring a factory-race inspired engine, state of the art aluminum perimeter frame, and lightweight, razor-thin chassis. New for 2017 are redesigned upper and lower triple clamps inspired by the Monster Energy® Kawasaki racing team. Riders will reap the benefits of rider adjustability and innovative electronic upgrades, which target maximizing performance for a variety of riding levels and racing conditions.
KX design philosophy is simple: put mid-level to expert riders on the top step of the podium – and that is what the KX450F does best. Engine and chassis performance delivers what riders need to win. And complimenting this dominant performance, the KX450F is loaded with advanced technology with industry firsts that give riders an even greater edge.
KX – Power For Glory
The new KX450F will unleash your potential with our strongest engine and chassis package ever. At its KX core, a simple philosophy – more power with more control… and yet more podiums! Adjustable ergonomic fit, ultra-slim chassis plus suspension and engine upgrades for 2016 deliver both the Power and the Glory.
2017 Kawasaki KX450F www.Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features
THE BIKE THAT BUILDS CHAMPIONS
Absolutely nobody can exceed the championship legacy of Kawasaki and the KX™ motorcycle. At any level. KX has more combined professional 250 and 450 class SX titles than anyone. At the amateur level, legends like Villopoto, Carmichael, Stewart, Emig, and McGrath all launched their incomprehensible professional careers with support from Team Green™, our amateur Motocross program. The common thread? The KX is The Bike That Builds Champions.
TEAM GREEN™ SUSPENSION SETTINGS
No matter which KX™ motorcycle you ride, Team Green™ offers an easy to use guide for determining optimal suspension settings. From the championship-proven Showa SFF-Air TAC of the KX™450F model, to adjustable UNI-TRAK® rear shock of the KX™85 model, Team Green is putting factory support right at your fingertips with our recommended suspension settings.
THIS IS OUR PROOF
The 2017 KX™450F motorcycle is the most powerful, lightweight, and agile KX450F ever. Developed from the highest levels of racing, this championship bike has advanced technology sourced straight from the world’s premier race team—another reason why the KX450F is The Bike That Builds Champions.
The 2017 KX™450F motorcycle is lightweight and powerful due to innovative race-proven components. Pick a category to start exploring.
CHASSIS AND BODYWORK
The slim, lightweight, aluminum perimeter frame and revised triple clamps contribute to agile handling while a flat seat profile and integrated bodywork facilitate easy rider movement and a championship fit.
SLIM, LIGHTWEIGHT CHASSIS
•Lightweight aluminum perimeter frame for sharp handling
• Redesigned triple clamp offers improved stability on corner entry to allow quicker turn-in.
• Slim frame spars and narrow shrouds allow easier rider movement
• Optimized swingarm rigidity for maximum rear wheel traction
• Lightweight bodywork features Kawasaki’s first in-mold graphics for a durable, aggressive look
• Lightweight bodywork with smooth, seamless surface at the rider’s contact points.
• The KX graphics are now molded into the shrouds for greater longevity and an
ultra-smooth outer surface.
• The adjustable handlebar mounts provide a choice of 4-positions
(35mm range of adjustment) enabling the rider to set-up their ideal riding
position. Factory-style Renthal handlebar and handlebar pad come standard.
• Two-position adjustable footpegs help reduce knee angle when seated
• Footpegs allow the rider to adjust center of gravity by 5mm
SHOWA SFF-AIR TAC FORK
STEP 1: Set inner chamber air pressure – The pressure in this chamber affects the overall feel across the entire stroke
STEP 2: Set the pressure of the outer air chamber – The outer chamber affects the last third of the travel so you can adjust the level of bottoming resistance
STEP 3: Set the pressure of the balance chamber – This will adjust fork ride height and damping feel at the initial part of the stroke
STEP 4: Final set-up step – Open the bleed screw on the left fork cap. This equalizes pressure with the atmosphere
STEP 5: Fine-tune damping – Adjust rebound and compression damping to best suit riding conditions and personal preference
• Lightweight design with tuned rigidity to match chassis dynamics and optimize front end feel
• Features low-friction fork seals and optimized valve settings for smooth action and progressive damping
ADVANCED FUEL MAPPING TECHNOLOGY
The KX™450F motorcycle features several advanced ignition and fuel-mapping systems for precise adjustability.
FI CALIBRATION KIT
• Handheld FI calibration controller eliminates need for laptop and 12V battery at the track
• Allows the user to adjust fuel and ignition settings for ultimate performance
• Can store up to 7 preset maps for different tracks
•Factory-tuned power settings with plug-and-play versatility
• Select a coupler to access one of the 3 different preset engine maps
•Standard, hard and soft terrain setting options
LAUNCH CONTROL MODE MAXIMIZES TRACTION AND ACCELERATION OUT OF THE GATE
• Race-team-derived feature for grabbing the holeshot
• Engages with a press of a button
• Functions in first and second gears
• Precise ignition timing helps ensure quicker
acceleration with less slippage
2017 Kawasaki KX450F www.Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits
•Factory race-derived Bridged-Box-Bottom piston has optimum rigidity for maximum high-rpm power and durability
•Intake ports, intake valves, cam timing and cylinder offset designed for increased power across a broad rev range
•High-flow airbox with rear intake channels improve flow and reduce intake noise
Kawasaki’s already powerful race-winning motocross bike is back stronger than ever for 2017, with the KX450F motorcycle boasting a potent, lightweight engine package inspired by its factory race efforts.
The cylinder head is offset (8.5mm forward) to reduce mechanical loss through friction from the piston movement, thus enabling more efficient power generation. Intake port angles contribute to improving mid-high RPM performance and over-rev. A special coating has been used on intake port cores during the casting process to make the ports smoother. The butter-smooth surfaces and port shape increase efficiency and performance at all RPM.
The 36mm titanium intake valves complement slim throat angle and reduced recess to increase high-RPM performance, similar to valves on the engines found in Kawasaki Ninja® sportbikes. Intake cam timing settings maximize low-RPM performance, while a lightweight camshaft improves throttle response and extends over-rev. A bridged-box piston design, which features a 12:8:1 compression ratio, is based on the AMA factory race bikes and matches the intake valve shape.
The exhaust system header design features a resonator chamber to improve low-RPM power and help reduce the decibel sound level. A unique air box design has gone away from using any steel parts, resulting in weight savings. Underseat intakes and air box shape help ensure clean airflow, ultimately improving engine response and reducing intake noise.
In the transmission, lightweight gears and shafts reduce weight and retain their overall strength while contributing to the motorcycle’s overall winning performance. The engine cases, which feature a scavenger pump on the right case, have been constructed of the lightest materials and are designed to meet the highest standards of durability.
•ECU programming is easily selectable via interchangeable DFI® couplers included with the bike that provide three pre-programmed maps for standard, hard or soft (terrain), without the need for a separate programmer or laptop
•The KX450F was the first factory-motocross bike in the industry to feature launch control, which increases the ability to get good starts by maximizing available traction
•Kawasaki Accessory FI Calibration Kit (Handheld) allows precise adjustment of fuel and ignition settings while eliminating the need for a laptop (sold separately)
In addition to the high-performance engine components, the fuel injection system (ECU) returns with DFI® couplers that have set the industry standard. Each KX450F motorcycle comes standard with three different couplers, allowing riders to quickly change fuel injection and ignition mapping to suit the riding conditions. The four-pin DFI couplers are designed for standard, hard or soft terrain settings. Changing the coupler is as simple as connecting the coupler cap of choice.
For riders looking to fine tune their ECU the KX FI Calibration Kit (Handheld) is offered as part of a selection of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories, which allows access to the fully programmable ECU. Eliminating the need for a trackside laptop, the handheld device gives riders the ability to create custom maps for precise adjustment of fuel and ignition settings. It can store up to seven preset maps and is PC-compatible.
The launch control system of the KX450F motorcycle is extremely popular for both amateur and pro riders who are focused on getting the holeshot. The push-button activation retards ignition timing in first and second gears, helping maximize traction and put the bike’spower to the ground. As the rider shifts into third gear, normal ignition mapping immediately resumes and full power returns.
•Factory race team inspired, redesigned triple clamps that enable quick turn in
•Tapered “D” shape swingarm is lighter than a comparable box-section unit and provides superior rigidity for its weight
•Swingarm features tapered hydro-formed spars and forged chain adjusters
Kawasaki’s engineers have worked with the factory racing team to develop new upper and lower triple clamps with increased rigidity that provide more stability to improve front-end feel and enable a quicker turn-in when cornering. The new triple clamps combine with the perimeter frame to boast superior handling. With rider movement in mind, the perimeter spars have been designed to ultra-thin specifications for a narrow profile. A lightweight, rigid swingarm is used to help rear-wheel traction and overall rider feel and handling performance.
The alloy swingarm is constructed of a cast front section and twin tapered hydro-formed spars in a raw aluminum finish. Forged chain adjusters are also equipped with a self-locking rear axle nut. The axle nut holds the 80lb-ft torque setting without the need of a cotter pin for ease of maintenance at the track.
BODYWORK & SEAT
•Lightweight minimalist bodywork including in-mold graphics that result in an ultra-smooth shroud surface and ensure the race-inspired graphics are not easily damaged
•Aggressive design of front fender adds to race-like appearance
•Reinforced seat base with increased rigidity
•The minimalist shrouds were designed to be small and slim where they come into contact with the rider’s legs. The two-piece construction and elongated design creates a smooth surface between the rider’s legs, facilitating easier movement
•Flat seat design uses urethane foam designed to retain its original shape and provide optimum durability. Flat design unifies with bodywork to help ensure the rider can move around freely
•Top of fuel tank is low, allowing easier progression from the seat to the tank. Flat design gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding position, allowing the rider to sit further forward
The 2017 KX450F motorcycle’s appearance features aggressive styling along with in-mold graphics on the radiator shrouds in order to keep up with its race proven performance, retaining the racy look expected at the top of its class. The bodywork has been shaped to form around the narrow chassis design, which allows for rider maneuverability in the fiercest conditions.
The fuel tank has been designed to lower the overall center of gravity. The flat design gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding position, while also allowing the rider to sit further forward.
Completing the bike’s eye-catching appearance are the green engine plugs, oil cap, and generator cover plugs, as well as green alumite suspension adjusters and black alumite wheels. The clutch cover features embossing that is designed to appear as contact from the rider’s boots wears away the paint.
To help protect the bottom of the 2017 KX450F motorcycle’s engine from general wear and tear encountered during a typical day at the track, a large synthetic skidplate offers a level of protection with minimal weight. It features oval holes in order to facilitate easy mud removal and further reduce weight.
SUSPENSION & BRAKES
•Showa SFF-Air TAC (Separate Function front Fork, Triple Air Chamber) with triple air chamber uses air as a spring. The reduced weight and inertia of the air spring improves smoothness and enhances the fork’s ability to follow terrain contours
•Revised rear shock linkage ratios and tie-rod length along with revised rear shock valve setting and spring
•22-position rebound damping adjuster allows precise fine-tuning of the rebound circuit
•Easy adjuster access allows trackside suspension tuning with a minimum of hassle or lost time
•Lightweight 270mm “oversized” front rotor is squeezed by a powerful twin-piston caliper and features an aggressive petal design to help clear mud and debris
The 2017 KX450F once again features the Showa SFF-Air TAC (Separate Function front Fork, Triple Air Chamber) fork technology, which separates the damping and shock absorption duties into the individual fork legs. The left fork contains the damping assembly and the right fork contains the air spring. Instead of the steel coil springs found in conventional forks, the SFF-Air TAC’s right fork tube has three chambers filled with pressurized air that acts as a “spring.” With the elimination of steel coil springs, friction is reduced by approximately 20% and creates an extremely smooth action throughout the fork’s stroke. This has added the benefit of greatly reducing weight and allowing a larger damper piston to be used, providing smoother action.
It is lightweight and rigid, contributing to superior riding stability and front-end feel. The low-friction design, including a DLC coating to the outside of the lower fork tubes, contributes to an extremely smooth fork action. Precise settings can be adjusted by simply changing air pressure or using the 22-position compression and 20-position rebound damping adjustment. Changing air pressure covers a range of settings offered by optional springs in a standard fork, including quick changes of ride height, without needing to disassemble the fork tubes.
Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak® linkage rear suspension system is designed to work in conjunction with the aluminum frame and swingarm. The linkage mounted below the swingarm allows a longer rear suspension stroke, while maintaining a low seat height. Dual compression adjustability from the Showa shock allows high-speed and low-speed damping rates to be set separately. The shock reservoir has a friction-reducing internal Kashima Coat for improved suspension action. The race-oriented rear suspension offers class-leading action and adjustability on par with the Showa SFF-Air TAC fork. The fully adjustable shock allows for precise settings to help keep the rear wheel planted and the rider out front.
An optional Kawasaki rear suspension linkage tie rod is available for riders seeking an edge over the competition. It is 1mm longer than stock and can be used to reduce seat height by 4mm to give the rider adjustment options.
In order to consistently turn fast lap times and keep up with its powerful engine, Kawasaki uses an oversized 270mm, petal-shaped front brake rotor from the renowned manufacturer, Braking. Its purpose is to provide powerful stopping, good lever feel, and consistency in all conditions. The rear is equipped with a 240mm petal-shaped Braking rotor.
•4-way adjustable handlebar
•Wide 50mm footpegs can be adjusted 5mm lower than stock to lower the center of gravity and suit a range of riders
Kawasaki is committed towards paving the path to success, which includes providing class-leading comfort with an adjustable handlebar mounting system and footpegs to fit riders of all sizes and riding styles. The handlebars feature 4-way adjustable mounts. The multi-position handlebars offer two mounting holes with 35mm of adjustability, and the 180-degree offset clamps boast four individual setting to suit different size riders.
The footpegs feature dual-position mounting points, with a lower position that reduces height from the standard setting by an additional 5mm. The lower position effectively lowers the center of gravity when standing, and reduces knee angle when taller riders are seated.
The 2017 Kawasaki KX450F motorcycle can be customized to suit a large range of riders thanks to its flat seat design, adjustable handlebar and footpegs and fully adjustable suspension components.
This perfectly complements the wide range of damping settings as well as the DFI couplers and optional handheld KX FI Calibration Kit, allowing the rider to find the ideal engine characteristics to suit a particular track or conditions. While the base settings on the KX450F motorcycle are based on extensive testing, including racing, the motorcycle provides a huge range of technology and adjustment to help ensure every rider can fully exploit the incredible ability of this extremely capable motocross bike.
2017 Kawasaki KX450F – www.Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $8849 USD
4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, water-cooled
Bore x Stroke
96.0 x 62.1mm
DFI® w/43mm Keihin throttle body
5-speed, return shift
Front Suspension / Wheel Travel
Inverted Showa SFF-Air TAC fork with Triple Air Chamber, DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound damping adjustment/12.0 in
Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel
Uni-Trak® linkage system and Showa shock, 19-position low-speed and 4-turns high-speed compression damping, 22-position rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload/12.0 in
Single semi-floating 270mm Braking petal disc with dual-piston caliper
Single 240mm Braking petal disc with single-piston caliper
2017 Kawasaki KX450F – www.Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: $9699 CDN
Type 4-stroke, Single
Bore and stroke 96.0 x 62.1 mm
Compression ratio 12.8:1
Valve system DOHC, 4 valves
Fuel system Digital fuel injection with 43 mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition Digital DC-CDI
Lubrication Forced lubrication (semi-dry sump)
Starting Primary Kick
Front: type Single semi-floating 270 mm petal disk
Front: calipers Dual-piston caliper
Rear: type Single 240 mm petal disc
Rear: calipers Single-piston caliper
Overall length 2,195 mm
Overall width 820 mm (32.3 in.)
Overall height 1,290 mm
Wheelbase 1,495 mm
Ground clearance 345 mm
Seat height 960 mm
Curb mass** 108.7 kg
Fuel capacity 6.3 litres
Transmission 5-speed, constant mesh, return shift
Final drive Chain
Primary reduction ratio 2.727 (60/22)
Gear ratio: 1st 1.750 (28/16)
Gear ratio: 2nd 1.412 (24/17)
Gear ratio: 3rd 1.188 (19/16)
Gear ratio: 4th 1.000 (19/19)
Gear ratio: 5th 0.875 (21/24)
Final reduction ratio 3.846 (50/13)
Clutch Wet multi-disc, manual
Type Perimeter, Aluminum
Wheel travel: front 310 mm
Tire: front 80/100-21 51M
Wheel travel: rear 315 mm (12.4 in.)
Tire: rear 120/80-19 63M
Caster (rake) 28°
Steering angle (left/right) 42°/42°
Suspension, front ø49 mm inverted telescopic Separate Function front Fork Air – Triple Air Chamber (SFF-Air TAC)
Suspension, rear New Uni-Trak with adjustable dual-range (high/low speed) compression damping, adjustable rebound damping and ajustable preload
2017 Kawasaki KX450F – www.Totalmotorcycle.com European Specifications/Technical Details
Europe/UK MSRP Price: £6849 GBP (On The Road inc 20% Vat)
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Single
Bore x stroke
96.0 x 62.1 mm
DOHC, 4 valves
Fuel injection: ø43 mm x 1 (Keihin)
Forced lubrication, semi-dry sump
Brakes & Suspension
Type: Single rigid-mounted 250 mm petal disc Caliper: Dual-piston
Type: Single 240 mm petal disc Caliper: Single-piston
Type: 48 mm upside-down AOS-type telescopic fork Compression damping: 22-way Rebound damping: 20-way
Type: New Uni-Trak Compression damping: 22-way (low-speed), 2-turns or more (high-speed) Rebound damping: 22-way Spring preload: Fully adjustable
Primary reduction ratio
Gear ratios: 1st
Gear ratios: 2nd
Gear ratios: 3rd
Gear ratios: 4th
Gear ratios: 5th
Final reduction ratio
Wet multi-disc, manual
Frame & Dimensions
26.9° / 113 mm
Wheel travel, front
Wheel travel, rear
Steering angle, left / right
42° / 42°
Dimensions (L x W x H)
2,180 mm x 820 mm x 1,275 mm
Manufacturer Specifications and appearance are subject to change without prior notice on Total Motorcycle (TMW).