2014 Kawasaki KX85 & KX100 First Look

July 8, 2013
Justin Dawes
Justin Dawes
Digital Media Producer |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Raised on two wheels in the deserts of Nevada, the newest addition to the MotoUSA crew has been part of the industry for well over 15 years.Equal parts writer, photographer, and rider, "JDawg" is a jack of all trades and even a master of some.

Kawasaki has turned its attention to the KX85 and KX100 models for 2014, with a host of revisions and updates to give the mini warriors a more modern look and better performance. Both small-bore 2-strokes have been a stepping stone for some of the greatest motocross racers of all time such as Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto, and with the changes for 2014, Kawasaki is intent on providing championship winning machines for the up-and-comers.

The engines of both the 2014 KX85 and KX100 feature numerous improvements for a 20% and 17% gain in peak output, respectively. On the KX85 mill, the cylinder head now has a smaller squish band with a narrower angle and a shallower combustion chamber, while both models get a new head gasket with a 1mm increase in the bore surface height that reduces detonation. A larger exhaust port has been optimally shaped for better flow at wide-open throttle. A revised Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve System (KIPS) features new independent sliders for each exhaust port, doing away with the previous three-piece design for increased reliability and ease of maintenance. Finally, both KXs get a single ring piston for less friction and better engine response.

Fueling is handled by a 28mm Keihin PWK carburetor with new jetting specs and a crescent-shaped slide that moves the needle closer to the intake for better fuel atomization and smoother fuel delivery. A new resin block that fills in the gap around the crankshaft pin reduces the volume of the bottom-end for better intake transfer. The crankshaft itself is now 83mm, 2mm larger than the previous model.

In the suspension department, the smaller KXs get a new Uni-Trak linkage with a lighter black-anodized KYB shock. The shock now features a clicker-type compression adjustment for better fine-tuning of the rear suspension. Up front the 36mm upside-down fork gets new shim-type valving with firmer damping for better bottoming resistance. The high-tensile steel perimeter frame has received reinforcement in key areas to handle the more powerful engine and to complement the changes to the suspension.

The brakes on the KX85 and KX100 also get upgrades with new petal-type rotors. Both machines have the same size rotors – a 220mm front and 184mm rear. Additionally the front brake hose is now routed behind the front axle for better protection.

The most notable changes to the two Kawasakis are the looks with bodywork that mimics the larger KX250F and KX450F. A new fuel tank is now 20mm lower at the filler cap and mates to a flatter two-tone seat. Slimmer side panels sharpen the design even further, while the radiator shrouds cover a radiator that has increased cooling capacity by 52%. New wrap-around fork guards protect the inner fork tubes and seals. The front and rear fenders get sharper styling and help reduce mud accumulation.

Ergonomics have also been changed up with lower seating for the KX85 at 32.7 inches to accommodate a wider range of inseams while the KX100 keeps its 34.3-inch height. A 24mm wider and 22mm taller handlebar increases leverage, and the risers offer three positions at the standard, plus 5mm and plus 10mm heights. The handlebar clamps are also adjustable from the standard reach to 10mm forward.

Pricing is still to be determined for the 2014 KX85 and 2014 KX100, and both models are eligible for support and contingency from Team Green at designated events.

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