2012 Kawasaki KX250F First Look

May 17, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Engine internals are stronger to help improve durability.
The KX250F gets dual fuel injectors for 2012 along with new suspension settings.

Kawasaki breaks cover on its Lites-class motocross bike with details on the 2012 Kawasaki KX250F. Team Green knows that winning in the 250F division requires racers and their machines to hold it wide open longer than any other. To give even better top-end performance, Kawasaki has added a second fuel injector for ’12 after switching to digital fuel injection (DFI) last year. The second injector is a different size than the original and now the 43mm Keihin throttle body adds extra fuel on acceleration to maximize high-rpm output. The throttle linkage opens more quickly after reaching 3/8 position. Kawasaki says the new injector also helps eliminate any bogs from heavy landings. To make the dual injector design work, Kawasaki reprogrammed the ECU, increased ignition power and altered the air boot. The DFI can be tuned with Kawasaki’s calibration kit which uses the same connector but updated software.

Kawasaki has a second injector this year which requires a new air boot.
Engine plugs are blue this year for a factory look.
The second injector is located upstream of
the primary and required a new air boot
design. Engine plugs add some color to the
visual package.

The four-stroke engine is still the 249cc, DOHC, four-valve Single we love, but Kawi beefed up the internals for better wear characteristics and longer durability. The crankshaft is more rigid and rebalanced with a connecting rod that has a thicker stem. Cylinder walls get new nickel plating and the bridged box-bottom piston is tin plated with a shorter piston pin. The decompression spring is tweaked for easier starting. The shift fork is now solid construction and has a shorter stroke.

Kawi’s Showa Separate Function Fork gets a boost in spring rate from 9.1 N/mm to 9.5 and the rebound spring is longer. On the opposite side of the triple clamp, the left fork leg contains updated valving to match the spring change. The shock gets a heavier spring also (51 vs. 53 N/mm) with new valving and tweaks to the compression damping restrictor and piston rod. The linkage gets a thinner tie-rod, and on top of all the suspension changes is a new seat.

Most of the changes are going to be difficult to discern on the showroom floor, but Kawi added som new graphics to spice things up and matched the blue anodized suspension adjusters with an oil filler cap and engine plugs. Kawasaki continues to push the envelope with production motocross bikes with the new dual injector design, which is an industry first. This is on the tail of 2011’s radical SFF – another first for production. With that, Kawasaki is proud to say that the KX250F offers more adjustability than any other bike in its class, and it’s a tough claim to argue. Racers looking to extract every ounce of performance from their machine without resorting to aftermarket companies for parts or service have more options to play with on the green 250F. Kawasaki has yet to release a price for the 2012 model, but it will be eligible for Team Green support at over 100 events as well as Kawasaki contingency.

2012 Kawasaki KX250F Specs
Suspension and engine modifications make the 2012 KX250F more potent than ever.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, 4-stroke Single
Displacement: 249cc
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 53.6mm 
Fueling: DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle body and dual injectors
Compression Ratio: 13.5:1
Ignition: Digital CDI
Transmission: 5-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Frame: Aluminum perimeter
Rake/Trail: 28.2 degrees/4.7 in.
Front Suspension: 47mm inverted Showa SFF telescopic fork with spring preload, compression and rebound damping adjustability, 12.4 in. travel 
Rear Suspension: Uni-Trak® linkage, Showa shock with low/high-speed compression, rebound and preload adjustment, 12.2 in. travel
Front Tire: 80/100-21
Rear Tire: 100/90-19
Front Brake: Semi-floating 250mm petal disc with 2-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 240mm petal disc with 1-piston caliper 
LxWxH: 85.4 x 32.3 x 50.0 in.
Wheelbase: 58.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 13.0 in.
Seat Height: 37.2 in.
Curb Weight: 233.8 lbs. (claimed)
Fuel Capacity: 1.9 gal.
Color: Lime Green