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How and why did this happen? Rodger Howe, Director of Communications for Kawasaki explains:

“We are giving the press the first ride on our new KX 250F four-stroke. Customers have been asking for four-stroke technology, and it’s a great way to introduce our new product.”

Before heading out to the track, we had a short tech briefing on the new bike. Kawasaki’s stated goal for the KX 250F: to be the #1 bike in the 125 class.

Steve Fischer, Kawasaki’s KX Product Manager told us about the new bike: “The engineers spent a lot of time developing the swing-arm, chassis, front forks, and the new four-stroke motor. Customers must know this is definitely a motocross track bike. It’s been winning races in Japan, claiming six out of 12 motos in the All Japan Motocross Series, and leads the championship. Our very own Mike Fisher has had a great deal of input in developing this bike to where it’s at today.”

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Tech briefing before the ride

As we pulled into the track, I was pleasantly surprised. The Kawasaki semi with bikes, a killer outdoor style sand track with gradual ups and downs, sweeping into beautiful two inches of rain the day before turns. Perfect weather, 67 degree’s with some clouds, located between Temecula and Indio, The Cahuilla Creek MX track was ……… the bomb! I put on the new Thor Core gear compliments of Paul Anderson at Parts Unlimited, and went looking for a ride.

First look: Kawasaki designers are to be commended for their efforts. The bike is sleek,slim, and green. The number plates, fenders, and shrouds flow together nicely, creating a very finished looking product.

On the track: After my first few laps, I realized I had been shooting myself in the foot, riding bigger, heavier machines. The KX250F was so easy to ride and go fast on. Right off the bottom and into the mid, the motor is smooth and strong, and pulled long into the upper rpm range. Smooth on the bottom, fast on top. Shifting and clutch operation felt right on, and handlebar vibration was not an issue.

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The new engine braking technology I had heard about was very noticable. It’s nice to be able to decelerate without being thrown into the bars. I asked Mel Moore, Kawasaki’s Media Relations and Marketing Manager to explain more:

Mel: “It’s our first four-stroke motocross race bike, and it combines much of our KX technology, and has all new technology as well. The engine braking management is all new. Now we are able to offer the engine braking characteristics much like a two-stroke engine – it’s what people expect a motocross bike to be like. The bike is 216 lbs. without fuel, and will hit the showroom floors mid-September.”

The Kayaba suspension worked great for me. It’s easy to criticize suspension when it doesn’t work. When it works, you don’t think about it. With this bike, I didn’t have to think about the suspension at all. It just works. It didn’t surprise me in any situation.

Cornering was a blast with the mean green machine! This thing rails turns, holds it’s line, with no front end push. A confidence inspiring trait that helps the 250F shine in the corners.

Here’s a quick recap of the new KX 250F:

  • Smooth power delivery with the ability to rev
  • New engine braking technology
  • A+ handling
  • A+ suspension
  • Corners great
  • Serious fun factor!

The alliance of Kawasaki and Suzuki developed a very competitive four stroke addition to an already fierce 125cc class!

Much thanks to Jan, Mel, and the entire Kawasaki crew for the invite and good time!


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