2014 Kawasaki KX 85 Preview
Think about Ryan Villopoto and his complete dominance in the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships. Does the color green come to mind?
It should, considering Villopoto has won all his titles, including three Supercross championships, aboard Kawasaki machinery. And it all began when Villopoto began his amateur MX career in 2003. That year, Villopoto dominated, winning 12 titles for Team Green aboard the KX 85. If that not testament to a perfect machine for a beginning motocross machine?
But that was 2003. Fast forward to 2013, and the KX 85, though winning races, was in need of an overhaul. And this is what Kawasaki did for the 2014 KX85.
For 2014, the Kawasaki is loaded with improvements, including 20-percent more peak power output, with improved low-end and mid-range torque. This power increase is due to a complete redesign of the 85cc two-stroke engine featuring Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS), including a Nikasil-plated cylinder with a larger exhaust port that is optimally shaped for better flow.
It isn’t only engine improvements, though. The 2014 Kawasaki KX85 features a revamped perimeter-frame chassis, 36mm cartridge fork up front with 20-way compression damping adjustability, and a fully adjustable Uni-Trak out back.
Stopping the KX85 are a 220mm front and 184mm rear petal-style rotors, and the 14-inch rear and 17-inch front wheels are wrapped in new Dunlop Geomax MX51 intermediate tires.
Ergonomics were also tweaked for 2014, with a wider and taller handlebar that’s adjustable to six-different positions. The new KX85′s seat is also 32.7″ tall, which is 0.4″ lower than the previous generation.
Bold, factory-racing style graphics highlight the 2014 KX85′s signature lime green paint, along with blue alumite coatings on the coatings on the adjusters and black alumite coating on the rims, just like Villopoto’s factory KX450F. What else could a beginning racer need?
Also, those who race their KX85 at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program.
Following are the features and specs for the 2014 Kawasaki KX85. Kawasaki has not released the price as of this writing.
2014 Kawasaki KX85 Features:
At a glance:
- NEW Retuned liquid-cooled, two-stroke, 85cc engine produces 20% more peak power than previous model
- NEW Revised Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve increases more mid-range torque and top-end power
- Uni-Trak rear suspension is fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping and spring preload
- Rigid 36mm inverted cartridge forks are 20-way compression damping adjustable and provide better steering response and control
- Revised jetting in the 28mm Keihin PWK carburetor helps give ideal fuel atomization, for quicker throttle response and a smoother power delivery
- Six-speed transmission has chrome-finished shift fork ends to resist wear and seizing while bushings on the second, third and fourth gears on the output shaft increase durability
- Industry-leading amateur racer support through Team Green
Liquid-cooled, Two-stroke, Single-cylinder 85cc Engine:
- NEW Cylinder head combustion shape increases power at all rpm
- NEW Cylinder head gasket and gasket retention dowel prevents detonation, increasing reliability
- NEW Piston with longer piston pin improves reliability; single-ring design (was two rings) reduces friction
- NEW Lightweight Nikasil-coated cylinder features a new exhaust port shape for better flow, more power
- NEW Larger outer diameter crankshaft is now 83mm (+2mm), increasing rigidity and improving durability
- NEW Precisely shaped resin block added to crankshaft closes the gap around the machined area near the crank pin, reducing volume of the bottom-end to increase intake transfer for more power
- Intake and exhaust port bridges are machine-finished for reduced wear and improved reliability
- Rotor comes with rare-earth magnets; the unitized piece is small, light and more efficient; low inertial moment improves low-rpm response
- Connecting rod big-end bearing has more rigid cage for improved durability
- Intake port shape and cylinder skirt allow cooling air into the crankcase chamber
- Primary gear is secured using a lock-nut to help reduce mechanical noise
- Metafoam gaskets for the generator and water pump covers improve sealing
Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS):
- KIPS system varies exhaust-port height for increased horsepower and torque at all rpm
- NEW independent valves replace the old three-piece valve design, increasing reliability and reducing maintenance
- Produces a broad powerband with more mid-range torque and excellent top-end power
- Breather in KIPS cover improves high-rpm and overrun performance
- NEW larger radiator increases cooling capacity by nearly 52% to sustain engine power during long motos
- Radiator is 2.6mm wider, 40mm taller
- Large right-side cutout improves airflow for increased power
- Reusable foam air filter
28mm Keihin PWK Carburetor:
- Revised jetting optimizes performance with new engine tuning specs
- Large crescent slide positions the needle closer to intake ports for ideal fuel atomization, providing quicker throttle response and a smoother power delivery
- Carburetor adjustable for various conditions
- Features large-diameter O-ring and groove on exhaust pipe for improved durability and easy installation
- Aluminum silencer is re-packable like larger KX models
- Thick-base clutch hub rides on needle bearings for smooth action
- Large 91mm clutch plates offer excellent durability and precise engagement
- Clutch-release ratio is designed for light clutch lever action
- Clutch plate service cover simplifies maintenance and utilizes a metal-carbon composite gasket
- Positive shifting action and rugged durability
- Fifth and sixth gears ride on bushings for added reliability
- Shift forks are hard chrome-finished to resist wear and seizing
- Convenient oil-level window offers easy level checks
- Bushings on the second, third and fourth gears increase durability
High-tensile Steel Perimeter Frame:
- High-tensile steel tubing is reinforced in key areas to optimize durability and weight
- Perimeter design accommodates optimal intake/exhaust design
- Wide, steel footpegs offer added control and strength.
- Thick footpeg-mount brackets withstand today’s rigorous tracks
- Engine and chassis bolts feature rust-resistant coating
- NEW Fuel tank design features a flatter top area for smoother seating
- NEW Tank cap is moved 20mm lower to extend available room for the rider
Uni-Trak Rear Suspension:
- NEW KYB reservoir shock features black-anodized aluminum body, saves 150 grams of weight
- NEW clicker-type compression damping adjuster allows for more precise damping adjustments
- Swingarm uses large cross-section beams for improved rigidity and control
- Cast-aluminum drive chain adjuster sections allow easy chain adjustments
- Shock is fully adjustable with 24-position compression and 21-position rebound damping, plus stepless spring preload
36mm Inverted Cartridge Fork:
- NEW shim-type valving provides more precise damping control
- NEW firmer damping rates offer superior bottoming resistance
- Inverted fork is rigid, providing better steering response and control
- Compression damping is 20-way adjustable
- Aluminum upper fork tubes measure 36mm in diameter for flex-free performance
- Revised axle clamp reduces under-hang for greater fork clearance in ruts
- NEW petal-type brake rotors (220mm front/184mm rear) increase stopping power
- NEW petal-type rotor design helps clean the brake pads for more consistent performance
- NEW front brake hose routing helps protect brake line; front guides are just like the big KXs
- Direct upward line routing simplifies brake bleeding and maintenance
- Front brake lever shape offers optimum feel
- Forged-aluminum rear brake pedal is strong, lightweight and features two seals at the pivot for smooth operation and increased durability
- Provide strong braking power with minimal effort
- Black alumite-coated lightweight aluminum rims offer a factory look
- Rear hub features two bearings on the drive side for added durability
- Large rear-axle diameter for optimum rigidity
- NEW Dunlop Geomax MX51 tires provide optimal grip for a wide range of riding conditions
- NEW Slimmer radiator shrouds and side panels improve rider ergonomics
- NEW Flat seat with seamless seat cover and gripper material improve comfort and make weight shifts easier
- NEW 32.7” seat height is .4” lower than 2013, ideal for growing riders
- NEW Handlebars are 24mm wider and 22mm taller for increased leverage and comfort
- NEW Three-position handlebar risers offer STD, +5mm higher and +10mm higher bar positioning
- NEW Two-position handlebar clamps offer STD, +10mm forward bar location for a total of six different handlebar positions with new handlebar risers
- NEW Swingarm surface finish matches big KXs and is easier to clean
- NEW Angular front fender, angular rear fender and number plate design match big KX-styling
- NEW Wraparound fork guards with embossed Kawasaki logo protect inner fork tubes and enhance styling
- Grey clutch and ignition covers resist the signs of boot rub to help keep the KX looking fresh
- Factory lime green “flow line” graphics and black alumite coatings mirror the reigning champ’s motorcycle
2014 Kawasaki KX85 Specs:
- Engine: Two-stroke single with KIPS
- Displacement: 85cc
- Bore x stroke: 48.5mm x 45.8mm
- Cooling: Liquid
- Carburetion: Keihin PWK38
- Induction: Crankcase reed valve
- Compression ratio: 10.9:1 (low speed) –9.0:1 (high speed)
- Ignition: Digital CDI
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: High-tensile steel perimeter design with subframe member
- Rake / trail: 29 degrees / 3.8 in.
- Front suspension / wheel travel: 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 20-way compression damping / 10.8 in.
- Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® single-shock system with 24-way compression and 21-way rebound damping, plus adjustable spring preload / 10.8 in.
- Front tire: 70/100×17
- Rear tire: 90/100×14
- Front brake / rear brake: Hydraulic disc / Disc
- Overall length: 72.0 in.
- Overall width: 30.1 in.
- Overall height: 43.3 in.
- Ground clearance: 11.4 in.
- Seat height: 32.7 in.
- Curb weight: 165.3 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 1.32 gal.
- Wheelbase: 49.8 in.
- Color: Lime Green
- MSRP: $TBD