MXA TEAM TESTED: 2019 TM DESIGNWORKS FE #2 KX450 CHAINGUIDE
WHAT IS IT? The stock 2019-2021 Kawasaki KX450 chainguide has its mounting tabs in different locations from previous KX450 models. For long-time KX450 owners who used to move their TM Designworks chainguides from their old bikes to their new ones, those days are over. Thankfully, TM Designworks has made an all-new KX450 chainguide to work with the 2019 KX450 spacing (and, as a bonus, it will fit on most late-model Kawasaki KX450s).
WHAT’S IT COST? $97.95 (Chainguide), $26.95 (Powerlip roller), $29.95 (replacement wear pads).
CONTACT? (541) 772-4161 or www.tmdesignworks.com.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the TM Designworks Factory Edition SX rear chainguide.
(1) Adjustable bolt holes. To make the 2019-2021 Kawasaki KX450 Factory Edition #2 chainguide more versatile (and to make it fit the KX450), TM Designworks molded a special chainguide shell with an oval hole in the middle of the three bolt holes. By sliding a bushing back and forth in the oval hole, the Factory Edition #2 chainguide will fit on the 2019-2021 KX450 and on most previous KX450 models.
(2) KX450 chainguide. Over the years KX450 chainguides have had the lifespan of a gypsy moth. The chain not only ate through the stock chain-wear pad but through the aluminum shell as well. It wasn’t uncommon to see a KX450 with the chain hanging out under the chainguide. Serious riders knew to order a TM Designworks chainguide before rolling their new green machine off the showroom floor. Over the years, TM Designworks has perfected a plastic compound that is infused with an oil additive to reduce friction. Additionally, the plastic has impact return memory. If it hits something on the track or in a crash, it returns to its original shape. The Kawasaki KX450 Factory Edition #2 chainguide comes with a replaceable wear pad so that you can use it year after year, as long as the bolt holes don’t move again. There are two different styles of wear pads—one for motocross and one for heavy-duty off-road use. The Factory Edition #2 will accept up to a 51-tooth sprocket and regular or O-ring chains.
(3) Lower chain roller. MXA has had excellent luck with the stock KX450 chainguide. It has lasted longer than any previous KX chain guide, but what hasn’t lasted is the lower chain roller (up by the swingarm pivot). The weirdly configured, sawtooth-shaped stock roller disintegrated in a couple hours of riding. TM Designworks’ Powerlip chain roller has sealed bearings in the roller that are matched to a set of plate washers that help seal out grit. The roller itself is made from a low-friction material that has a raised lip that keeps the chain centered on the roller. It wears like iron. There is a one-year free bearing warranty.
(4) Installation. If you are replacing a worn-out stock chainguide, you should note that the chain tension will get tighter when you install a new chainguide because of the thicker wear pad. Installing the Factory Edition #2 chainguide is simple because the wear pad is removable which allows the guide to slide into place. There’s no need to break the chain.
(5) Colors. For the KX450, the Factory Edition #2 chainguide is only available in green or black.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints.
MXA RATING: We trust TM Designworks because we have dealt with them as far back as when they were known as Crotch Rocket Factory (CRF), making hot-rod CR125 cone pipes in Goleta, California. Their chainguides are the best in the business.