Click on image to enlarge

Dear MXA,
My 2016 KX450F is a great bike, but it pops when I chop the throttle and seems like it pings when the engine gets hot. I read MXA’s KX450F test and you said you were working on a better map to stop of the pop. Can you help me?

Our 2016 KX450F test bike pinged and when it didn’t ping it suffered from some of the loudest popping on deceleration we’ve every heard. The “decel pop” was so irritating that riders finishing behind us in a motos would come over to complain. Decel pop is normally caused by an air leak or overly lean jetting. We had Kawasaki come with us to attempt to iron out the decel pop out. We tried all seven pre-programmed maps in their Calibration Controller and Kawasaki even gave us three additional maps. In the end, our best solution was to run the richer black plug-in coupler. The black coupler mimics the richest map in the Calibration Controller. It stopped the pop and the ping, but produced a mellow-style of power. We asked the factory Kawasaki team to help and they sent us a very simple map that fixed the problem and gave us better throttle response. We put the stock green coupler back in the bike, hooked up the Calibration Controller and added the new fuel map (which is only richer at the smallest throttle opening, but across the complete rpm range). We left the ignition map stock (which meant “0’s” in every box).

The numbers in the boxes represent the percentage richer that we went. For example, except for the first box (upper left) we went 15 percent richer all the way across the board.

We were happy with our new fuel map because it solved our original problem. However, the Kawasaki Calibration Controller cost $699.95. And every time we went to use our Controller the rechargeable battery was dead. We finally realized that we needed to charge it the night before we wanted to map the engine with it at the track. Luckily for us, Kawasaki sent  IT manager, Patrick Flynn, a racer himself, out to help us—and his Calibration Controller was charged up. Although ten times more complicated to use than GYTRs $290.00 Power Tuner, the Kawasaki tool has lot of options for riders who are tech savvy (and can house up to 200 different maps). Your best bet is to find a friendly dealer or borrow the Controller from a friend.


(We made no changes to the stock ignition map).

2016 kx450fmotocrossmxa