2013 Kawasaki KX450F First Impressions
Friday, June 29, 2012
Earlier this week, we spent hours at the controls of Team Green’s updated-for-2013 Kawasaki KX450F. Personally, I think it’s crazy it gave it another update as last year’s bike was already pretty dang good. So good it won the 2012 450 Motocross Shootout
. Not to rest on its laurels, Kawi has again fitted it with a host of updates that you can read about in the 2013 Kawasaki KX450F First Look
. Here are some initial impressions from Santa Barbara, California’s Zaca Station:
1. It finally turns
: KX450Fs have never been known as the sharpest steering bikes but the ’13 model is a night and day improvement. It’s not quite as sharp as say the Suzuki but it’s certainly close. And the best thing about it is that it turns predictability with no irregular over-or-understeer.
2. It’s FAST!!! But even better is how easy it is to manage engine power
: Since its inception in ’06 Kawasaki’s 450 engine has never been lacking power. And the new engine continues with the trait. But the best thing about it is how much smoother it is off the bottom. This makes it easier for a novice like me to ride yet simply yank throttle and the thing shoots forward like nothing else in its class. The thing rips! As always, you can modify the powerband electronically with its industry-leading Kawasaki Fuel-Injection Calibration Kit
: In motocross having your machine ‘set-up’ specifically for you is one of the keys to going fast. And the ’13 KX450F proves to have more adjustability than any other off-road bike built. From the position of the handlebars, the location of the footpegs, engine powerband and now the extreme range of adjustability courtesy of the Kayaba pneumatic spring fork, the Kawasaki is the closest thing to a production factory race bike.
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