After just leaving the pressroom for the introduction of the radically new 2006 Kawasaki KX250F, we must say that this bike looks extremely good on paper. For the past two years the green team has been trying to find themselves in a world chock full of 250 four-strokes, one in which Yamaha has ruled since they came to the plate. Kawasaki had produced a good bike, but Yamaha had a more potent engine and Honda had better handling. However, for 2006 Kawasaki made a few changes within the infrastructure of the company. First, the Kawasaki/Suzuki pairing is no more, made evident tonight by the marketing team at Kawasaki. What does this all mean? In 2006 the clone will be no more, meaning that Kawasaki will have an all-new bike untouched by Suzuki, while Suzuki keeps close to the same 250F offered in 2005. Also, instead of a steel frame, which is quickly going by the technological wayside, Kawasaki decided to enter the world of aluminum. Crafted from forged, extruded and cast components, the frame looks beefed up and ready for race action.


            At first glance, there were several key parts that stood out. First, Kawasaki chose slimmer radiators that extend quite far down past the shroud. As for the shrouds, the KX250F comes with two-piece shrouds (black on top and green on the bottom), which are screwed together. The bike also has front and rear flowered brake rotors, and brand new grips which aren’t as hard of a compound as in years past. Kawasaki incorporated holes in the shroud and side panels to either allow for more air or give the radiators a chance to flow air better. All of the plastic is new, save for the front fender and front number plate. And, what we found quite appealing, is that there is no longer a painted swingarm but instead a trick looking bare aluminum swingarm.

            Karl Edmondson, the Motocross Product Manager at Kawasaki, listed many highlights of the 2006 KX250F. These points are listed below:

Aluminum frame

Slimmer, yet longer radiators

Beefed up transmission

Bike weighs 2.2 pounds less than the ?05 (mainly because of the switch from steel to aluminum frame)

New linkage ratio allows for 15mm more travel

Showa twin-chamber cartridge forks (not Kayaba this year)

32 spoke front wheel (previously 36 spokes)

The 2006 KX250F has more torque than the 2005 CRF250 and YZ250F

Available in mid-September and will retail for $5,899


Tomorrow we ride the bike at the picturesque Castillo Ranch in California and we’ll let you know our first impression of the all-new Kawasaki. Until then, ride safe and especially be safe surfing the web.

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