Monday, May 6, 2013

2012 Kawasaki KX450F Review

The Kawasaki KX450F is to become the jack of all trades in the world of dirt bike. KX450F were on the podium in Pro Motocross, Supercross, WORCS, GNCC, enduro cross and track events, flat and homogeneous. The KX450Fs success has always revolved around two main features: an enormous power and capacity to perform well enough about it.

Although he won the races, the KX is a great rider ergonomics, too heavy for a while (some would say rude), low-power delivery and less cornering behavior of a net has traditionally been the KX450F winning popularity contests. When we drove across the frozen lakes of the 2011 version and the motocross track cross-country level, we have more or less understood the wheel. When we learned about the changes to the Kawasaki KX450F 2012, we could not wait to try it by pressing the start of the famous Red Bud Track Buchanan, MI.

Kawasaki is proud of the improvements in the 2012 KX450F. We drive through to summarize quickly, but you can read about these changes in detail here.

Kawasaki complained too great in a variety of ways. First, there is a new frame thinner, but the most important of the handlebars can be adjusted to four different configurations, with new triple clamps, while the footrest can be raised or lowered to accommodate personal preferences. If the KX450F still feels a little big, there is a link suspension option that reduces the seat height of 6 mm. The end result is more ergonomic adjustable motocross bike in recent history.

Kawasaki has also worked to improve the reliability by incorporating a thicker first gear, a crankshaft specially designed to improve the balance and the low gas engine, piston rings and thinner to improve the atmosphere. They cut small pieces of the whole weight of the bike, get to the point of installing a fuel lighter. The new electronic fuel injection EFI makes setup easier than ever. The new exhaust system was designed to reduce weight, improve performance and meets the AMA sound. Something entirely new launch system is a control Kawasaki. It is designed to improve grip and handling out of the starting line before the kick return to normal mode, the pilot selects third gear.

Red Bud is a wonderful creation of motocross, the earth well maintained motocross track and a world-class. Obviously you can not do a bike test "real world" in a perfectly groomed national motocross track with factory technicians on his shoulder. We tried to find a variety of driving conditions, in addition to the motocross track, but not yield a "first impression" as a test of the bike properly. Our first impression after having spent so long in 2011 and KX450F 2010, was how the 2012 model felt much smaller and lighter than their predecessors.

One thing that has helped cornering and overall handling of the 2011 KX450F is milder calibrate the fuel injection mapping the lower end of the power range. Tuning the fuel injection KX450Fs earlier was complex, requiring special software and adapters. It is a model 2012, changing three base maps EFI take up to 10 seconds without special tools. Kawasaki has three connectors EFI colored, soft ground, medium, normal, hard ground, and that fire only in the wiring. Terrain map is designed for hard conditions of low voltage, so its really the power of "soft" of the three. Initially embarrassed to admit we were, we wanted a softer, hit the "hard pack / map without Traction , but said later that most of the other editors of the magazine she felt better, even waking up in the map.

Even brand new, with zero time on the clock, changed in 2012 KX450F gently under the power and the clutch worked well. We noticed a considerable difference between the second and the third was a bit too big. Adding a tooth or two rear sprocket would be an improvement. The clutch is light and progressive feel really helps the customs of the KX450F, but how long the last vestiges clear link. Kawasaki has improved in 2012 to change the clutch springs a little stiffer to cure the most talked about problem of wear they had with older models. In two days we drove in 2012, the clutch has never wavered or the need for excessive regulation. The first gear is quite low, even for off-road use, especially considering there is so much torque on tap.

It was a hot 97F on the second day. As we walked slowly and pretend to be Endurocrossers, we cooled the KX450F the splashes through the water, but we do not need. Radiators gurgled a bit slow moving, but never boiled their cooling. There is another improvement over 2010 and 2011 models. Sometimes when the engine was really hot, it would flame out at low revs and take several shots to restart. Its something weve never had a problem with last year and could probably be cured with careful tuning EFI. Besides the three main "plug and play" tables of the new injection system Kawasaki is adjustable via a PC running Windows.

Despite some major changes in the chassis remains vague as momentum KX450F in a row. Its a big heavy bike that likes to be controlled with the accelerator. When mounted aggressive it revolves around the power faster, but it does not eliminate the line inside. In 2012 KX450F Sharp, but you have to work on it and the bike does not wander more than we want.

We tried to improve cornering by adjusting the height of the pallet fork extension and compression settings, SAG, the rear suspension and high-speed compression and support for the positioning of the hand to find the ideal balance of traction, stability and ability to change. In turn, improved, but never good. Despite this, a Kawasaki is a great speed exceptionally stable. KX450F rear brake is excellent, but the front is still on average. We Bled the front brake lever and tried different settings, but never had to get rid of pain "on or off" feeling. Cushions or different than a rotor might help. We would like to try a different front tire as well, which could potentially improve both the performance cornering and braking.

2012 suspension KX450Fs not beat a small effect on the track lumber. It was difficult to get an electric shock preload back off enough to get the 95-100mm compressed with 160 pound rider. The heavier riders do not complain much, but it would be nice if equipped with a Kawasaki 450 forks with adjustable preload a SFF to use, it is 250F. Kawasaki modified the link shaken this year to improve the traction of the rear wheel. Please note the beginning of the establishment was essential, and when we retreated to soak up the pressure to split wheel jumping harder. Without touching the bottom of the resistance has always been excellent, and although the bottom of the suspension the effect is never too difficult.

Keep in mind that we are probably lighter than the average 450 rider, there was our favorite chassis settings in Red Bud:

Kawasaki technicians told us that they forget to worry about using the perfect starting techniques, adding that the system rewards Launch Control novice drivers are not professionals. Thats how it works. Mounted on the door and press the launch control button until it flashes. Select second gear, the pin and release the clutch when the gate drops. The ignition timing is delayed a bit by the launch control system until the rider approaches the third speed, improving traction.

Kawasaki Launch Control system does not work begins in third gear, which is a shame, because testers found it easier and easier to leave port for the third. Kawasaki has a lot of torque and power to a strong third gear starts, as you can see here.

The KX-F is really a fun bike. Please do not find mountains and turn every piece of land from a jump. With a low speed first, the clutch smooth and long wheelbase of the KX450F feel stands up to the top of the hills with knots, but the suspension is too sharp face deviates success and makes it difficult to maintain the line. Moto last year took over roads garbage acceptable pace, but 2012 is more severe. This could be due to the foam of the new headquarters for the 2012 or the suspension of new joints or the new image. In any case, we are not sure why yet. The fuel capacity will be lower in 2012 than in 2011, the narrowest and flat sitting position reduces the gas tank capacity 1.9 to 1.6 liters. The new exhaust system was very quiet at first, but becomes too strong by a score of six hours.

So what do you think? We need more time to lead and learn to live KX450F before you can give a complete answer. 2012 Kawasaki KX450F is a bike that can win races. We consider 2012 better than the 2011 model, because it feels more compact and aggressive. Classic KX450F features are pretty much the same, but the overall level of performance and reliability is increased. We hope to have the opportunity to lead and evaluate the 2012 KX450F in the real world.

Thank you to USA Kawasaki KX450F 2012 to invite the press release, Red Bud to deliver the test facility and amazing Jim Carver to help provide input test.