After absolutely annihilating the opposition for the past couple of years Kawasaki announced the all new 2013 KX450F. Modesty does sell for peanuts when you’hv got the racing world at your feet and every trophy that counts smiling back at gawking faces in your museum. The KX450F’s best-in-class performance is delivered through the highest level of rider adjustability and the most progressive electronics package ever seen on a production motocross bike. Get the picture? Don’t blame the bike if you can’t win on a KX450F! The KX™450F has been updated for 2013 to help continue its back-to-back string of recent championships. The string began with Monster Energy® Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto winning both the 2011 Supercross and 2011 Motocross titles, followed by leading the U.S. team to an overall victory at the Motocross of Nations, then Villopoto’s absolute domination of the Monster Energy Cup —which also earned him the Monster Million. Last but not least, Villopoto recently defended his Supercross title by winning the 2012 championship on his KX450F!
Headlining the 2013 upgrades for the KX450F is a switch to the new 48mm KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF), which uses pressurized air to eliminate the traditional metal-coil fork springs. The reduced weight and inertia of an air spring improves smoothness and enhances the fork’s ability to follow terrain contours. The Pneumatic Spring Fork also significantly reduces friction and cuts weight by an amazing 1.7 lbs. per set! Other benefits of the air spring include providing better bottoming resistance, quicker, easier and more effective tuning using nothing more than a hand pump, and reduced oil contamination due to the lack of microscopic metal particles caused by fork springs rubbing against the inside of the fork tubes. The super-hard Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating on the outer surface of the inner fork tubes and high-tech Kashima Coat treatment on the inner surface of the outer fork tubes significantly reduce drag compared to a standard fork assembly and help deliver supple, fade-free action.
A new swingarm compliments the new front fork and features a larger front casting that extends further down the spars for maximum strength and improved rigidity. The Kayaba rear shock features a beefy 50mm piston and a top-shelf Kashima Coat surface treatment on the inside walls of the shock body. Ample adjustability helps ensure smooth, reliable and consistent action of the rear suspension that not only offers superior performance, but also helps the rider relax and conserve valuable strength on the way to the finish line. Kawasaki offers an optional rear suspension tie rod that is one millimeter longer than stock, which can be used to reduce seat height by four millimeters.
No other production motocross bike offers a higher degree of adjustability to the rider interface or engine character than the KX450F. With a choice of four different handlebar positions, two footpeg positions, and virtually unlimited ignition mapping capabilities, the KX450F is uniquely able to adapt to changing track and surface conditions and meet the needs of a wide range of riders.
The Digital Fuel injection (DFI®) system comes with three pre-programmed ignition maps which are easily selectable without the use of a laptop computer or any other electronic devices. Maps can quickly be changed between three settings – standard, hard (terrain) and soft (terrain) – by swapping the DFI wire coupler cap clipped to the side of the steering head. Easy access to the coupler cap means no additional accessories are needed to alternate between pre-preprogrammed maps – simply connect the appropriate coupler cap to activate an ignition mode to match track conditions. The ECU is also fully re-programmable and custom maps can be created by using the accessory Kawasaki Racing Software Calibration Kit, the same tool used by Kawasaki factory and privateer teams in AMA and FIM racing.
The KX450F’s engine provides proven top-end and over-rev performance, but ups the ante with improved torque from ultra-low revs all the way through the upper mid-range. Revised intake valve lift, a revised piston crown and tweaked ignition settings provide the increased torque and improved throttle response for 2013. The end result is a smoother powerband with more “area under the curve,” AKA usable power. The KX450F’s works-style bridge-box bottom piston allows for optimum strength and high rev durability.
New, longer grips for 2013 extend further toward the center of the handlebars, allowing riders to slide their hands up to 20mm closer together, for a more compact feel than last year’s bike. The grips also feature a taller pattern and are molded from lower density material to make life easier on the rider’s hands. Minimalist body work, shrouds and number plates contribute to the slender feel and sleek looks of Kawasaki’s flagship motocross machine. Sparing no attention to detail, the seams between the radiator shrouds, seat and side covers are very flush fitting, which help prevent snags and allow the rider to change position and maneuver more freely on the bike. The compact fuel tank also forms a smooth and nearly straight line with the seat to allow maximum rider movement.
A blue finish on the oil cap and two caps on the generator cover highlight the factory appearance of the KX450F motor, and match the blue anodized finish on the suspension adjusters. An embossed logo on the clutch cover features a trick design and is painted silver to help hide the normal signs of wear.
The 2013 KX450F is available in Kawasaki Lime Green, with black anodized rims, blue highlights and aggressive graphics inspired by the Team Monster Energy Kawasaki factory race bikes.