Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kawasaki KX 450F

The Kawasaki KX 450F has the hard hitting motor monster of the group,” agreed Milan. “On tracks with ample traction, nothing can run with the Kawasaki. The power comes on strong right off the bottom through the arm stretching midrange and continues to pull strong even on top.

Not only does the Kawasaki deliver the most amount of power, next to the electric-start KTM, it’s the easiest bike to start, requiring one or two kicks to fire. Although the Kawasaki’s five-speed transmission doesn’t feel like it meshes between gears a precisely as the rest of the bikes, it did perform without fault. We did notice a gap between second and third gears, but with such broad and robust power, it’s easy to work around. Kawasaki has the ability to run second gear longer, through a wider variety of terrain than the other bikes.

In order to keep the overall package light, the engine is kickstarted, but don’t imagine you’ll brake your leg or anything like that if your engine stops when falling. The ECU powers up at the initial movement at the kickstarter so you’ll hear bangs after a single kick.

And those bangs will be as smooth as you’ll ever get as the new larger AC generator rotor that makes sure to increase the rotational inertia of the engine. Also, the redesigned crankshaft will bring contribution so the new engine reduces vibrations to a minimum.

The cylinder head is 5 mm shorter and features revised intake and exhaust ports. This makes it rev higher, be more compact and lighter. It also gives an increased compression ratio of 12.5:1, which required a one-piece titanium exhaust for even greater low and mid-range throttle response.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four valves
Displacement: 449cc
Bore x stroke: 96.0 x 62.1mm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Carburetion: Keihin FCR40
Ignition: Multi-map digital CDI with throttle position sensor (K-TRIC)
Transmission: Five-speed
Rake / trail: 27.1 degrees / 4.6 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 48mm inverted, Kayaba AOS with DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound dampening adjustment / 12.4 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® linkage system with 22-position low-speed and variable high-speed compression dampening, 22-position rebound dampening and fully adjustable spring preload / 12.4 in.
Front tire: 90/100-21
Rear tire: 120/80-19
Front brake: Semi-floating 250mm petal disc
Rear brake: 240mm petal disc
Overall length: 86.0 in.
Overall width: 32.3 in.
Overall height: 50.4 in.
Wheelbase: 58.5 in.
Ground clearance: 13.58 in.
Seat height: 38.0 in.
Dry weight: 220 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 1.9 gal.
Color: Lime Green

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