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Forget about Ryan Villopoto’s four AMA Supercross Championships on a Kawasaki. Although impressive those wins on a special hand-built machine mean very little to the local racer. But, what does count is the KX450F’s incredible string of MXA 250/450 Shootout victories. This is where the pudding is—and where the proof is found. The 2015 Kawasaki KX450F rises to another level with more adjustability along with chassis, suspension and brake upgrades.
11 NEW THINGS ON THE 2015 KX450F
1. Last year’s Kayaba PSF air forks have been replaced by Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF) with a Triple Air Chamber (TAC) that separates the damping forces into the left fork tube, while the pneumatic spring is housed on the right tube for less friction, better movement and a lighter fork. The Triple Air Chamber features three separate chambers with individual air volumes that allow for the ultimate in adjustability. An inner 145 psi high-pressure pneumatic chamber works in harmony with a 7.25 psi low-pressure outer chamber and a 130.5 psi high-pressure lower chamber. These replace the heavy, friction-inducing coil springs of a conventional fork.
2. Every 2015 KX450F comes with a free 0 psi to 300 psi digital air pump to help riders quickly adjust their high-pressure SFF-Air TAC forks. The digital display offers increased precision when setting air pressures.
3. Out back the Showa shock has revised valving for firmer damping. The Kashima coating inside the shock body reduces friction and improves suspension action. Kawasaki also offers an optional 1mm longer shock link to reduce seat height by 4mm.
4. The revised Bridged Box piston offers increased durability and a higher compression ratio (12.8:1 from 12.5:1 in 2014). The cutting edge piston design was pulled straight from the factory race team and features short skirts with reinforced external ribs to improve combustion efficiency and reliability.
5. The ECU system was revised for 2015 with new programming to enhance traction by retarding the ignition when rear-wheel speed increases too quickly (from sudden, excess wheelspin). This is best known as traction control.
6. Launch Control returns for 2015. The push-button activation retards ignition timing in first and second gears, which, in turn, maximizes traction. Once the rider shifts into third, normal ignition mapping is resumed and full power returns.
7. Kawasaki has upped the ante for 2015 with a 270mm, oversized, petal-shaped front brake rotor to replace last year’s 250mm front rotor. It is paired with a 240mm Braking rear rotor.
8. A lighter rear subframe is shared with the KX250F. It reduces the weight and improves mass centralization for a more nimble feel.
10. The axles are new for 2015, lightened by 31 grams front and 32 grams rear.
11. The 2015 KX450F look is highlighted by factory-style graphics, green engine, oil cap and generator plugs, as well as green alumite suspension adjusters and black alumite wheels.