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Home » Kawasaki Motorcylce, motorcycle

Kawasaki KX250F 2009

Submitted by on April 5, 2012 – 3:56 amNo Comment

Seriously, nearly every single piece of the ’09 KX250F has been redesigned. Starting with the (take a deep breath) 249cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, four-valve, DOHC ‘thumper’ engine, a new cylinder head keeps the titanium valves from last year but enlarges them and casts them from a revised material. Along with a straighter intake tract, the new head allows the engine to take much deeper breaths from its single lung. That lone piston spins a new crank which is completely new and has more weight down low – a feature that is immediately felt and provides very smooth operation with little vibration, even at high revs. Also noticeable is the extremely smooth shifting action, which can be chalked up to the stronger gears and new cast-in clutch cable holder.

That powerplant is hung in a new aluminum perimeter frame. Although its design certainly draws inspiration from its bigger brother, the KX450F, it is completely new and shares no parts with any other machine. Kawi’s engineers managed to remove 2.2 pounds of material from the new main spars while keeping everything nice and rigid with new engine mounts and newly-shaped geometry.

The totally new front downtube is easily identifiable due to the reduction in material around the head-tube and fewer welds as compared to last year’s model. Continuing to the rear of the bike, the subframe features thicker diameter tubes that are set wider apart for more rigidity — something our well-padded posteriors appreciated.

At the front, off-set triple clamps hold dark navy blue titanium-coated forks. Kawasaki is very proud of its friction-reducing titanium and Kashima coatings, something which no other manufacturer can claim in the 250 four-stroke class. Despite the long travel, absolutely zero stiction could be felt in their operation, so perhaps Kawasaki is on to something here. Combined with the new rear shock and the D-shaped swingarm which sees its pivot placement raised by some 3 millimeters, the Kawasaki’s suspenders kept us well cushioned and never bottomed out (after being properly set-up of course).

Rounding out the changes is an enlarged skid plate made from flexible resin as opposed to the previous rigid aluminum. Kawasaki assures us that the new plastic piece is plenty strong. Although you’d never notice it otherwise, we got a good look at the bikes undercarriage while watching fellow journalists lap the track – everything looks fine from that vantage point. The bodywork has the Kawasaki ‘speed-holes’ at the front and is made from about half as many pieces as before thanks to new molding techniques which allow for multiple colors in one plastic unit. As you would expect, green is front and center on the new bike while black makes up the rest. All in all, it’s a mean looker, all the more so when equipped with the new Monster Energy graphics for an extra couple hundred bucks.

Considering that this was our first time swinging a leg over the new bike, we think that Kawasaki did an excellent job of refining its past race-winner. Before setting off, we noted how slim the bike felt between our knees and thighs. After a minute of fidgeting, it’s easy to get comfortable in the saddle. Everything fell easily to hand and the grips were right where we expected them. Ample ground clearance was afforded by the pegs, which felt just a wee-bit high for our liking before hitting the track. Of course, after the first whoop section, we changed our tune and appreciated everything as it was. Those of us large of foot may want to especially thank Kawasaki’s engineers for the wider foot pegs this year.

Kick-starting never proved problematic as long as the bike was kept in neutral. When left in gear, we kicked ourselves silly with no results. Kawasaki recommends leaving the bike in neutral for starting. The shifting mechanism is now a ratcheting design and finding the next gear was never a problem, and neither was locating neutral after coming to a stop. Despite the heat of the mid-day California desert sun and machine’s constantly being abused, the bike showed no signs of overheating, which could possibly be due to Kawasaki’s newly-designed radiators which are now six-percent larger and feature more cooling blades.

From the first tentative lap around the Rynoland track in Anza, Calif., we felt at ease with the smooth power delivery. Some added compression damping was needed after the first lap, but that was largely due to the 215-pound rider, which is considerably heavier than the typical motocross racer.

After getting things adjusted, the KX felt like an excellent handling machine. While wallowing just a bit in the sandier sections of the course thanks to the tight steering geometry, the hard-packed dirt allowed us to rail through the corners without fear of putting it down. Wheelies were a quick blip away in first gear while a mild clutch drop was needed to bring the front up at speed. Once there, everything felt well balanced and easy to maneuver. On a motocross bike, the brakes should be easy to modulate without fear of locking them up unless desired – no problems there. Sliding the tail around tight turns proved ridiculously simple, which is definitely a boon for those who ride on smaller tracks.

otomaps.com source article: www.netcarshow.com www.motorcycle.com www.roushperformance.com

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