FIRST LOOK! 2022 KAWASAKI KX450 & KAWASAKI KX250
2022 KAWASAKI KX450
As the flagship model in the Kawasaki KX lineup, the 2022 Kawasaki KX450 is built with race-winning components to help get Kawasaki riders to the top step of the podium. Tuned to best suit race-experienced riders, the 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine boasts an abundance of power along with a slim aluminum perimeter frame, Showa A-KIT technology suspension, coned disc-spring hydraulic clutch, and electric start to deliver the ultimate championship-winning package.
The 449cc lightweight engine package utilizes input derived directly from the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team, producing peak power and a torque curve that makes it easy to get on the gas early. The potent KX450 engine features an electric start activated by the push of a button and powered by a compact Li-ion battery. A lightweight finger-follower valve actuation design comes by way of Kawasaki’s top-level road racing technology and World Superbike engineers, enabling larger-diameter valves and more aggressive cam profiles. A close-ratio five-speed transmission is paired with a high-capacity coned disc-spring hydraulic clutch that helps facilitate control and provide a consistent feeling even under heavy use.
A slim aluminum perimeter frame provides precise cornering through excellent front-end feel and agility when riding at high speeds. The frame’s lightweight construction is composed of forged, extruded, and cast parts, while the engine is used as a stressed member and adds to the frame’s rigidity balance. Engineers carefully selected the dimension of the swingarm pivot, output sprocket and rear axle locations to focus on the center of gravity and balanced handling.
High-performance 49mm Showa coil spring front forks with A-Kit technology can be found up front, featuring large diameter inner tubes that are the same size as those found on the machines of Kawasaki’s factory racing team. The forks enable the use of large damping pistons for smooth action and firm damping. In the rear, a new Uni-Trak linkage system is connected to the Showa Compact Design rear shock that boasts A-Kit technology with large diameter compression adjusters.
An oversized 270mm, petal-shaped front brake rotor from the renowned manufacturer, Braking, is fitted to perfectly complement the powerful engine of the KX450. The rear is equipped with a 250 mm petal-shaped Braking rotor coinciding with the large front disc.
Kawasaki continues its unmatched commitment towards providing riders with class-leading Ergo-Fit comfort thanks to its adjustable handlebar mounting system and footpegs to fit a variety of riders and riding styles. The factory-style 1-1/8” Renthal® Fatbar® handlebars feature four-way adjustable mounts with 35mm of adjustability to suit different sized riders. The footpegs feature dual-position mounting points, with a lower position that reduces the standard setting by an additional 5mm, reducing the knee angle when taller riders are seated.
Complementing the championship-proven technology, the 2022 KX450 maintains its aggressive styling along with in-mold graphics on the radiator shrouds that result in an ultra-smooth surface and racy look needed to finish at the top of its class. The sleek bodywork has been molded to match the V-mounted radiators and narrow chassis design, helping facilitate rider movement and making it easy to slide back and forth. The MSRP is $9499.
2022 KAWASAKI KX250
With a championship heritage that boasts 18 AMA professional titles and 193 race wins since 2004, the Kawasaki KX250 is the ideal platform for mid-level to expert riders and continues as the best performing bike on track. Its high revving engine, electric start, coned disc-spring hydraulic clutch, and slim aluminum perimeter frame provide the power and handling needed to deliver quicker lap times.
The 249cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine delivers significant low-mid range performance while boasting top-end revs and impressive peak power thanks to its development through Kawasaki’s factory racing efforts. Its electric start system, activated by the push of a button, makes starting easy and convenient and is powered by a lightweight, compact Li-ion battery. The valve train utilizes a finger-follower valve actuation to help achieve a high rev limit and allows for the use of more aggressive cam profiles. A diamond-like coating on the finger followers helps protect against wear. Large-diameter, lightweight titanium valves and a high-performance piston with a dry film lubricant coating contribute to strong performance at all rpm.
A high-capacity coned disc-spring clutch offers a more direct feel and maintains a consistent feeling even as the clutch heats up under heavy use. The airbox construction features a tapered intake funnel for high rpm performance and dual injectors deliver a smooth, instant response, and contribute to engine output at high rpm.
The KX250’s slim aluminum perimeter frame is based on its KX450 counterpart and with lightweight, nimble handling, and slim ergonomics in mind. The lightweight construction is composed of forged, extruded, and cast parts and offers optimal rigidity balance. The addition of a KX450 swingarm delivers the rigidity necessary to match the frame and helps to increase traction at the rear wheel. The center of gravity and key dimensions such as swingarm pivot, output sprocket and rear axle locations have all been carefully selected so that the rear tire drives the bike forward.
Large-diameter 48mm Kayaba coil-spring front forks offer optimum action at the initial part of the fork stroke and feature large-diameter inner tubes, enabling the use of 25 mm damping pistons and deliver smooth action and firm damping. A Kashima Coat on the fork’s outer tubes creates a hard, low-friction surface to help prevent wear abrasion on the inside of the tubes. On the rear, a Kayaba shock unit complements the front fork and features dual compression adjustability, which allows high-speed and low-speed damping to be tuned separately. Kashima Coat on the tank cylinder helps prevent wear abrasion and reduces friction. A new Uni-Trak® rear suspension system mounts the linkage arm below the swingarm, allowing a longer suspension stroke and uses the same linkage ratios as that found on the KX450 motorcycle.
Adding to the numerous factory-style racing components on the KX250 are petal disc brakes, which include an oversized 270 mm Braking® brand rotor that delivers strong braking force and superb control. A 24 mm Braking brand disc can be found on the rear and contributes to controllability and optimized stopping performance.
Just like its KX450 counterpart, the KX250 continues with its class-leading Ergo-fit comfort thanks to its adjustable handlebar mounting system and footpegs to fit a variety of riders and riding styles. The factory-style 1-1/8” Renthal Fatbar handlebars feature four-way adjustable mounts with 35mm of adjustability to suit different sized riders. The footpegs feature dual-position mounting points, with a lower position that reduces the standard setting by an additional 5mm, reducing the knee angle when taller riders are seated.
Sleek bodywork with factory-style in-mold graphics help ensure it’s the sharpest looking bike in the paddock and further reflect its highly-tuned performance. The bodywork has been designed to facilitate rider movement with long, smooth surfaces that make it easy to slide back and forth. The fuel tank design allows for a flat progression from the seat to the tank, which gives the rider greater freedom of movement and facilitates sitting farther forward. The MSRP is $8399.