If you thought the idea of Japanese MX bikes for enduro and cross-country racing were out the question then Kawasaki’s 2019 KX450 might make you think again.
An agile chassis, electric starter button, hydraulic clutch – what’s missing? A bigger tank, gearing and an 18-inch rear wheel? Aftermarket manufacturers are your friends in solving those problems and lighting kits? They are on the market too.
It proves the point – Japanese bikes are worth looking at again since they got more user-friendly.
What’s new on the 2019 Kawasaki KX450?
- No longer a 450F, new KX450 engine has an additional 3.4hp for 2019 thanks in part to a new finger follower valve actuation system.
- Small mistakes and sudden stalls do not matter now as the electric start makes sure you are back up and running in an instant. The KX450 also has a launch control for fast race starts.
- The 2019 model features a new hydraulic clutch with more direct feel and a lighter lever action.
- If you want to upgrade you riding experience, the KX450 comes with a selection of DFI couplers to easily change engine mapping while the KX FI Calibration accessory kit allows riders to go deeper into detail and fully customise engine maps.
- In addition to the powerful engine, chassis tweaks help increase front and rear traction to make it easier to put its power to the ground controllably and efficiently.
- The larger diameter front axle and revised rear suspension layout and linkage ratios ensure that perfect lines are achieved from gate drop to final flag.
- Showa 49mm sprung front fork delivers smooth action and compliant damping in all situations, while a new 250mm rear disc and oversized 270mm front rotor combine with a new front brake master cylinder to offer all round improvements in braking performance.
- The all-new bodywork not only makes the bike look more compact, it also helps rider movement while the riding position can be tailored to personal preferences with adjustable handlebar and footpeg positions.
Ok, so there aren’t too many Kawasaki’s racing in enduro internationally or in domestic series around the world, yet. The most notable we know of is Alesssandro Battig ripping up the European Enduro Championship in 2018. We reckon that could well change with the new model.
More information on the Kawasaki 2019 range at: kawasaki.com
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org