Kawasaki’s Lites class motocross weapon, the KX250F, is a stellar example of just how far racing technology has evolved. The production machine is extremely light with an explosive four-stroke engine and superlative handling. Kawasaki’s Trade/Enthusiast Media Supervisor Russ Brenan saw the potential of adapting the track-specific machine to handle single-track trails and off-road riding, resulting in this impressive in-house project.
The KX250F’s suspension was completely reworked by Fineline Suspension in Long Beach, Calif. Fineline replaced the stock arms of Kawasaki’s progressive link system with Pro Circuit units for improved shock accentuation and movement. The shock was re-valved for off-road—as opposed to motocross—with damping and rebound altered to deliver a more compliant, plush ride. However, this resulted in the back end dropping a full inch. (Click image to enlarge)
To compensate, Fineline re-valved the front forks, improving damping action and lowering the front end to match the rear, maintaining the KX-F’s original geometry. The lower seat height, a byproduct of the suspension modifications, is a welcome trait in tricky off-camber sections where the rider needs to touch a boot down.
To smooth out the Kawasaki’s irascible powerband, a Yoshimura Comp Series stainless steel exhaust system was installed. The spark-arrested pipe mellows power delivery, eliminates the hit inherent in the race-bred 4-stroke engine, and reduces wheel spin while quieting things down, all elements that render the KX250F more conducive to off-track outings.
EXHAUST. While Yoshimura R&D is most closely linked to street-going Suzukis, it offers high-performance exhausts for a wide variety of applications. (Click image to enlarge)
An IMS tank increases fuel capacity while Acerbis Rally Pro handguards and spoilers help deflect the inevitable, potentially incapacitating, rocks, branches and debris encountered in off-road environs. Kawasaki accessories include radiator braces and a skid plate. A Boyesen SuperCooler water pump kit provides cooler running temperature in slow-going situations. Titanium footpegs, Works Connection clutch lever/hot start/perch and front brake rotating bar clamp round out the project, giving the project KX250F respectable functionality and a unique persona expected to be similar to an anxiously awaited KLX250R off-road racer.