This is just a video of the results of the 2019 MXA 450 Four-Stroke Shootout. The magazine test will go into much greater detail of what works, what doesn’t work, what breaks, what excels and why we rated the 2019 450s where we did. It should be noted that we didn’t test them over three days (as with most of the shootouts you may have read). We prefer to race our test bikes over a long period of time to see what really happens to the bike when it is used the way it was intended to be. We also didn’t have factory mechanics follow us around during our shootout period as with other shootouts (we let them come with us for only one day to help us solve already existing issues — in no small part because we like them and appreciate their feedback). For the vast majority of our time, we were on our own.
MXA used the bikes the same way that any motorcycle racer in any town in America would. We worked on them ourselves (except for that one day). We made adjustments to suit a wide range of riders (starting with the six Pros in the video and working down through the talent level to Vets and Novices). We didn’t use any aftermarket products on the bikes. If a clutch slipped, as it did on the Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki, we used stock clutch plates, but ditched the judder spring systems. If we had fork issues we didn’t call Bones, we fiddled with the clickers, changed settings, lowered or raised oil height and, in the case of the KX450, used optional Kawasaki fork springs to build a custom spring rate. We lived with these bikes and treated them with as much care as possible. When we had 130-pound test riders we changed to the optional shock springs and when we had blazing fast AMA Pro test riders we stiffened everything up. Yes, we crashed them (twice bad enough to have to get them extensively repaired). Except for photos session, all the hours on our test bikes were either in testing set-ups or racing.
We prefer that you watch this video and then, when the 450 Shootout comes out in the magazine, read it to get all the details on each bike. But, that only applies to people who want to know all the details. We aren’t telling you what bike to buy, we are just giving you our assessment of what each bike does well (and doesn’t do well).