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FIRST RIDE: 2010 KAWASAKI KX250F:

September 21, 2009
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FIRST RIDE:
2010 KAWASAKI KX250F


The 2010 KX250F is bred for racing success. Does that sound like marketing fluff? Let’s try this again. The 2010 KX250F has received quite a few refinements that will improve it over last year’s model.

ON PAPER:

    Kawasaki is out for blood. After holding the coveted MXA 250F Shootout award for three straight years (2006-2008), the KX250F finished second in 2009 to the Honda CRF250. With a host of refinements made to the 2010 KX250F, Kawasaki expects to be back on top once the dust settles from MXA‘s 2010 shootout.

    What did Kawasaki do to advance the KX250F? They made plenty of refinements that focused on durability and improved performance. Kawasaki aimed at increasing power and getting the engine to rev quicker, all while making sure that durability was also improved. They also targeted a problem area that plagued the KX250F in the past – shifting. The 2010 model comes with a strengthened fourth gear and larger dogs on third gear. In years past the MXA wrecking crew found that shifting the KX250F was a hassle. The bike didn’t want to shift under heavy acceleration, and often we would find a false neutral. Apparently, these issues have been eradicated.

    Kawasaki opted for a stainless steel head pipe on the 2010 KX250F (in years past it was titanium) in order to save money and improve durability. The head pipe has also been tapered for better throttle response.
 

    In the suspension department, the KX250F still comes with Showa Twin-Chamber Kashima-coated forks and a Showa shock. Damping settings have been changed for better front/rear balance, improved action, and increased absorption performance. Kawasaki also revised the steering stem shaft, reducing the angle from 24mm to 23mm to rid the bike from it’s usual front end understee problems. The rear linkage ratio was changed (just like on the 2010 KX450F) for improved stability and rear wheel traction.


MXA photo rider Sean Kraynak gets cozy with a corner after introducing it to the 2010 KX250F. Berm blasting results vary depending on the rider.

ON THE TRACK:

    The MXA wrecking crew was invited out to the beautiful Castillo Ranch motocross facility in Los Alamos, California (some 50 minutes north of Santa Barbara). The track sits in a valley between outlying hills and offers a wide variety of terra firma (silt, loam, hard pack). It’s a very unique place to ride, but it does not stand out as being a good measure for testing a motocross bike. However, with elevation changes and a wide array of different shaped corners, we were able to get a good initial feel of the 2010 KX250F.

    What do we think about the new model KX250F? For starters, it’s a very fun bike to ride. However, we’re certain that the 2010 KX250F will also fit in quite well on a race track. How do we know? Kawasaki didn’t make any major changes to the engine or suspension, so we knew what we were in for. The green team focused on our biggest complaints (shifting, engine performance, front end steering) and tried to address them.

    What do you need to know about the bike? Our guess is that you would like to know every nitty gritty detail about the 2010 KX250F, but we’re not going to tell you until the full test appears in an upcoming issue of MXA. Not because we don’t want to, but because we have lots more tetsing to do (with every one of the test riders).

    The 2010 Kawasaki KX250F retails for $6999. For more information, please visit www.kawasaki.com.

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