Kawasaki’s KX450 has been on a roll since its final main overhaul in 2019. The inexperienced machine gained Filth Rider’s 450 Motocross Shootout that 12 months and adopted it up in 2020, 2021, and 2022. To remain on prime of such a aggressive class for thus lengthy is nearly unprecedented, particularly for a motorbike that didn’t see many modifications from 12 months to 12 months. The one mechanical revisions for the present platform got here in 2021.
A scarcity of updates has caught up with the KX450, nonetheless, as a detailed competitor smoothed lots of its tough edges and grabbed the No. 1 spot in 2023. Though Workforce Inexperienced completed within the runner-up spot on this 12 months’s comparability take a look at, it’s nonetheless an outstanding bike that may be loved by riders far and huge.
2023 Kawasaki KX450 Engine
Kawasaki’s flagship motocrosser makes the least peak horsepower and torque of the bikes gathered right here with peak figures of 51.9 hp at 9,400 rpm and 32.6 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,600 rpm, as measured on our in-house Dynojet 250i rear-wheel dynamometer. On the monitor, the KX450 engine has a really perfect steadiness of energy and management, and it isn’t scary quick or intimidating.
Associated: 2022 Kawasaki KX450 Evaluation
Fast throttle response and a vigorous engine character make it playful and enjoyable to experience, particularly with the aggressive EFI coupler plugged in. Energy supply is predictable and straightforward to handle all through the rpm vary. Backside-end hit is second strongest within the class, and engine-braking and vibration are minimal. Clutch pull from the Nissin hydraulic system is gentle and clean.
2023 Kawasaki KX450 Suspension
Geared up with a Showa 49mm coil-spring fork and Showa shock, the KX has suspension setting that’s proper within the ballpark off the showroom flooring. It’s effectively balanced for probably the most half. The fork is a little bit tender as soon as damaged in, which is noticeable on heavier impacts equivalent to when overjumping or developing quick on a soar. Apart from that, the Showa parts are nearly spot-on. They provide a lot of consolation, are simple to tune, and don’t require a lot adjusting to seek out a really perfect setting.
Associated: 2023 Kawasaki KX450 Technical Info
2023 Kawasaki KX450 Chassis/Dealing with
Hitting the Filth Rider scales at 244 kilos moist, the Kawasaki is the second-heaviest entry on this comparability being simply 1 pound lighter than the Honda CRF450R. Nonetheless, it’s nimble and straightforward to maneuver. Dealing with could be very impartial with a really perfect steadiness of cornering and stability. It’s additionally predictable, which is a large plus on highly effective 450cc equipment.
As soon as once more, Kawasaki leads within the ergonomics division. Each a part of the bodywork is slim together with the radiator shrouds, midsection, and aspect quantity plates. The cockpit just isn’t overly open however not cramped both, and the seat is each snug and flat. Brakes are an space that might be improved because the entrance is weakest of the bunch and the rear is sensitive attributable to its outsized 250mm rotor, which causes the rear brake to lock up too simply and the engine to stall if the rider isn’t cautious.
Associated: 2023 Kawasaki KX450 First Trip Evaluation
Why the 2023 Kawasaki KX450 Ought to Have Gained
That is nonetheless one of the crucial well-rounded motocross bikes we’ve swung a leg over.
Why the 2023 Kawasaki KX450 Didn’t Win
Though our criticisms of the inexperienced machine are somewhat minor, we’ve talked about them for fairly a while now. A firmer fork setting and fewer sensitive rear brake have been on our need checklist since 2019. Additionally, Kawasaki’s EFI coupler system was first launched on KX fashions in 2012. It’s time for a handlebar-mounted engine map choose button.
Helmet: Bell Moto-10 Spherical
Goggle: Spy Basis
Jersey: Thor MX Prime
Gloves: Thor MX Agile
Pants: Thor MX Prime
Boots: Alpinestars Tech 10
Quantity Plate Backgrounds: DeCal Works preprinted
2023 Kawasaki KX450 Specs
|Engine:||DOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke:||96.0 x 62.1mm|
|Filth Rider Measured Horsepower:||51.9 hp @ 9,400 rpm|
|Filth Rider Measured Torque:||32.6 lb.-ft. @ 6,600 rpm|
|Gasoline System:||EFI w/ 44mm throttle physique|
|Clutch:||Moist, multiplate; hydraulic actuation|
|Entrance Suspension:||Showa 49mm coil-spring fork, compression damping and rebound damping adjustable; 12.0 in. journey|
|Rear Suspension:||Showa shock, spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping adjustable; 12.1 in. journey|
|Entrance Brake:||Nissin 2-piston caliper, 270mm semi-floating disc|
|Rear Brake:||Nissin 1-piston caliper, 250mm disc|
|Tires, Entrance/Rear:||Dunlop Geomax MX33; 80/100-21 / 120/80-19|
|Floor Clearance:||13.4 in.|
|Filth Rider Measured Seat Peak:||37.8 in.|
|Gasoline Capability:||1.6 gal.|
|Filth Rider Measured Moist Weight:||244 lb.|