Take a look at the 2011 Kawasaki KFX450R Comparison photo gallery to see this sport quad in action.
- Kawasaki has left its KFX450R well enough alone but it continues to hold the favor of many sport ATV riders for one important reason – reverse.
- Kawasaki uses clean features like compact headlights and reinforced rim plates to add value to a well-roundad package.
- Our testers were happy with the performance of the rear end with its aluminum swingarm and 10 inches of travel.
- The KFX runs great and comes to life easily with its electric start.
- Both front components are piggyback units with high/low compression, rebound and preload adjustment.
- Our riders also liked the Kawasaki’s headlights better, not necessarily because they shine brighter, but because they proved more durable and are tucked away more effectively to shield from abuse.
- The five-speed transmission places reverse below first gear, so the rider actuates with a reverse-lock release lever and then taps down into reverse.
- The aluminum chassis is designed to be very stiff and makes use of a similar single-tube lower design as the Yamaha which allows for longer lower A-arms.
- In order to absorb the larger impacts blowing through the stroke and bottoming, we have to run the shocks fairly stiff, and the compliance on small trail garbage is not comfortable.
- In the dunes and on fast sections it equates to a tendency to oversteer, but switchbacks and situations that require instant corrections favor the green quad.
- The punchy, tractable engine and lighter weight (392 lbs. claimed wet) helps give the sensation of closer-set wheels.
- The Renthal Fatbar handlebars are closer to the rider’s lap and create more of a hunched position when standing.
- Short-shifting works best and the green ATV as an easy clutch pull. It makes for easy launches and works well for less experienced riders.
- The Kawi employs a 42mm Keihin throttle body for its digital fuel injection (DFI) system.
- Most of our testers wished for more space and noted that the fenders create stopping points for moving around the cockpit.
- All of the riders agreed that the YFZ is still a valuable ride off the track, and the Kawi impresses with its easy, hard-working nature.