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Home » Kawasaki Motorcylce, motorcycle

Kawasaki KX450F 2010

Submitted by on April 5, 2012 – 11:28 pmNo Comment

Kawasaki hosted this event at the newly opened Pala Raceway, on the Pala Indian reservation in Southern California. At a press intro, usually you get bikes that have been broken in, cleaned up with new plastic and tires, so the testers get machines with the “bugs” worked out of them. Not this time, all the bikes were new, with zero hours on them.

There were three mechanics assigned to each magazine crew: two Kawasaki techs and one Kayaba man. We even had a tire guy from Bridgestone to inspect the wear our rider was putting on the Bridgestone 404s front and back, and it proved to be an excellent motocross tire for the sun-baked clay that makes up a SoCal MX track.

Our test rider, Joey Webb, was pirated from Noleen Racing and was the fastest guy on the track, hands down. He was so smooth it was like watching a young Roger DeCoster carve up the course. Joey Webb is going to be a big name in motocross some day, you can bet on that. And he’s ours (when he’s not slaving away in the Noleen shop rebuilding shock absorbers, that is).

Now the young Mr. Webb had never ridden a 450 Kawasaki before, and as such had no preconceived notions on the bike.

Based on some of the issues known about the earlier KX450Fs, here are some of the things I asked Joey to do with the big KX:

“Abuse the clutch; see if you can make it go away. Go a gear higher into turns, see how it pulls out. Abuse the transmission, and try to make the front end plow off the berms. Also work the brakes hard and try to make them fade, also, lug the motor down in too high a gear, and go real slow, see if those big radiators do their job.”

Kawasaki has improved the power over earlier versions of the 450, in part by the addition of electronic fuel injection with new 12-hole injector set at a 45-degree angle to improve combustion efficiency.

Engineers also concentrated on reducing the engine’s reciprocating mass with the introduction of a new “bridge box” piston type that is seven grams lighter than previous effort and the use of aluminum valve-spring retainers. The exhaust’s head pipe has been shortened by 40mm, and camshafts have been lightened and given a soft-nitride coating to improve durability. The airbox has improved breathing, along with revised mapping for the engine control module. So it looks like Joey was correct in his assessment of the new 450’s power.

The KX’s transmission proved to be notchy, especially in the lower gears. Kawasaki said it would loosen up with time, but some Kawasaki dirt bikes have had had the issue of having a strong but notchy transmission. Also, first gear is very tall, like a cross between first and second gears. Kawasaki doesn’t list any changes in the 2010 KX450F’s transmission except for a beefier clutch and clutch hub. The mechanics relayed that the transmission would loosen up after a few hours of break-in time, but we couldn’t verify this in our short test.

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

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