2011 Kawasaki KX450F | Features Video

MX Video

The new 2011 Kawasaki KX450F has a race-ready engine is compact and light, with a short 100mm cylinder head and a 12.5:1 compression ratio. A wedge-shaped crank offsets 60 percent of the crankshaft’s reciprocating weight, producing an effective "counterweight" effect.

This is on par with Kawasaki’s factory racers and helps reduce engine vibration, smooths power delivery and enhance low-rpm throttle response. A stainless steel exhaust pipe connects to the revised silencer, which uses long-fiber packing material to maximize service intervals.

A rubber-damping collar in the rear silencer mount provides a boost to long-term durability. The KX450F’s Digital Fuel Injection (DFI) automatically adjusts to suit track and climate conditions, and offers stable fuel metering even when landing from jumps in tough motocross conditions.

The DFI system includes a compact and lightweight ECU, a 43mm throttle body, a lightweight aluminum fuel pump and an ultra-fine atomizing injector. Set at a 45-degree angle for ideal mid-range power, the 10-hole injector sprays precise, 60-micron fuel particles for smooth power delivery and accurate engine response throughout the rpm range.

Designed specifically for motocross, the KX450F’s lightweight DFI system doesn’t require a battery; the engine can be started within three rotations of the crankshaft using only the electricity generated through the initial stroke of the kickstarter.

An optional ECU Setting Tool allows racers to select from several different ECU data maps, or fine-tune a custom map that alters fuel injection and ignition timing to suit different tracks and conditions. The tool can also be used as a data logger, recording up to six hours of data, including engine rpm, degree of throttle opening, engine boost, coolant and air temperatures, ignition timing, fuel adjustments, gear position and system voltage.

At a glance…
• Powerful engine
• Revised
suspension settings
• Improved
shifting performance
• Revised
• Refined ECU
• Easier fuel
injection calibration system access
• Still easy
to start
Engine Overview
• 449cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single
• Bridged-box
bottom piston design offers optimal engine performance
• Reinforced
crankcase is strong and durable
• A forward
lean angle of 3 degrees puts the engine in the ideal position for
maximum traction
• Tuned for a
broad powerband with the torque curve set just under the wheelspin

High-acceleration cams help the engine rev quickly

Maintenance-free automatic cam chain adjuster
• Large
airbox flap helps prevent mud and water from entering
Bridged-box Bottom Piston
• Same design as used on our factory racers; offers improved
performance at all rpm
• Lighter and
more durable than traditional piston designs
• Short
piston skirt features low-friction coating for reduced mechanical losses
• Reinforced
external ribs for strength and durability
• Revised
profile with fully flush internal bracing results in a lighter, stronger
• Short
piston pin offers increased strength
Cylinder Head
• Compact head is only 100mm tall
• 36mm
titanium intake and 31mm exhaust valves with aluminum spring retainers
minimize reciprocating weight and cylinder height to help ensure
reliable valve control at high rpm
• Double
valve springs allow a short cylinder head height and help ensure stable
valve operation
• Camshafts,
lobes and tappet surfaces feature a soft-nitride treatment for long wear
and high-rpm reliability
• Crankshaft with high inertial mass helps maximize rear wheel

Wedge-shaped crank web provides enough offsetting moment for a 60
percent balance factor – and is similar to the crank balance in
Kawasaki’s factory race engines, resulting in reduced engine vibration,
smoother power delivery and increased performance, with a noticeably
snappier response at low rpm
• Crankshaft
and connecting rod feature a special carburizing and quenching treatment
to maximize rigidity
Digital Fuel Injection
• Self-adjusts to atmospheric changes for easier starting,
sharper throttle response and optimized power and stability when
• It is not
necessary to re-tune, or change any jets to suit climatic conditions
like on a carbureted model
• Ultra-fine
atomizing injector with 10 holes sprays particles with a droplet size of
60 microns for smooth power delivery and engine response throughout the
throttle range
• 43mm
throttle body uses a progressive throttle linkage to deliver airflow in
much the same way as an FCR carburetor
• Using two
linked shafts, the throttle body opens more quickly after reaching the
3/8 open position
• Lightweight
throttle body is approximately half the weight of a FCR carburetor,
saving over one pound in weight
• Fast-idle
knob on the throttle body allows riders to increase engine speed when
starting a cold engine
• Fuel
injector set at 45 degrees, the optimum angle for mid-range power
High-performance ECU
• New ECU programming and revised settings offer improved
response at low-to-mid rpm
• No battery
needed; the engine can be started with only three rotations of the
crankshaft using the electricity generated by a single kick of the
• The system
delivers electricity to FI system in sequence: first the ECU, then the
fuel pump, and finally the injector for quick, easy starting
• Starting
can be accomplished in a single kick
• The
compact, lightweight ECU, located on the front of the steering head
behind the number plate, was designed specifically for motocross use.
The fuel pump relay is integrated with the ECU to help cope with the
shocks and vibrations of motocross riding
Optional User ECU Setting Tool
• Allows racers to reprogram the ECU’s data maps for volume of
fuel injected and ignition timing to alter engine characteristics to
suit rider preferences
• The tool
can also be used as a data logger, recording up to six hours of data,
including engine rpm, degree of throttle opening, engine boost, coolant
temp, air temp, ignition timing, fuel adjustments, gear position and
system voltage
Lightweight Aluminum Fuel Pump
• Located in the fuel tank but at a new angle to help prevent
damage in extremely rough riding conditions
• Features a
rubber fuel filter cover that wraps around the inlet port and acts as a
fuel trap to help ensure a stable fuel supply during vigorous motocross
• 1.9-gallon
fuel tank is formed using a rotational molding process
Easy Starting
• Strong output from the large ACG rotor provides enough
electrical power for the battery-less FI system to enable true one-kick
starting without using a battery
• Equipped
with an automatic compression release (ACR) system for quick and easy
starting. The dual-weight centrifugal decompression system is fitted to
the exhaust cam
• Compression
release features 1.0mm of valve lift, to minimize the required kicking
Efficient Cooling
• High-capacity Denso radiators feature tightly packed cores and
a fin design that delivers superior cooling efficiency
• Radiators
don’t need reinforcing brackets, which results in lower overall weight
• Shrouds
feature a slim design that melds with the radiators’ design
• Radiator
louvers feature four small blades set at a shallow angle for minimum
overlap and maximum air flow
Strong and Durable Clutch
• Clutch assembly provides a direct feel and superb control
• Excellent
oil drainage contributes to more direct feel
• Friction
plates with substantial friction material contribute to a more direct
• Large
operating plate pusher reduces the clearance between the pusher and the
input shaft hole, improving clutch operation
Close-ratio 5-speed Transmission
• 5-speed transmission and low-rpm engine response combination
offers riders more gear options for traversing rough sections or getting
into the rhythm of a course easily so they can focus more on racing
• Thinner
inner-link chain is light and strong

Sprocket-style chain drive roller reduces the effect of driveline lash,
helping smooth engine braking and facilitating additional corner entry
• Short, one-piece stainless steel exhaust pipe contributes to
optimum mid-high rpm performance
• Optimized
exhaust routing contributes to improved ergonomics
• High-volume
silencer helps meet noise regulations
• currently 94dB
• Right side
panel has special passageway to help cool the silencer
Powerful Disc Brakes
• Rear brake pad material offers strong braking performance
• Powerful
twin-piston hydraulic front caliper
• Lightweight
semi-floating 250mm petal-type front brake rotor
• Single
piston hydraulic rear caliper squeezes lightweight 240mm petal-type
Light, Slim Chassis
• Revised engine mount brackets optimize frame rigidity for
better handling
• Lightweight
steering stem shaft contributes to light, nimble handling
• Main frame
spars are 68mm tall and 24mm wide to provide an ideal balance between
stiffness and compliance

Weight-saving features include a slim head pipe, narrow cross-section
and a downtube formed with a swaging (squeezing and hammering) process
• Swingarm
pivot is located high in the frame to maximize rear wheel traction
Aluminum Swingarm
• Cross-section design contributes to light handling
• Tapered “D”
shape swingarm provides ideal rigidity for excellent stability, and is
lighter than a comparable box-section unit
• Alloy
swingarm features a cast front section, tapered hydroformed spars and
forged chain adjusters
• Uni-Trak®
rear suspension linkage ratio maximizes rear traction performance
• Suspension
arm is mounted below the swingarm to allow a longer rear suspension
stroke and more precise tuning
Front Fork
• Race-oriented suspension settings offer maximum overall
• Revised
damping settings offer improved action and increased comfort during the
initial phase of the suspension stroke
• Kayaba
Air-Oil-Separate (AOS) fork keeps oil and air in separate chambers for
stable damping performance during long motos. Low-friction fork seals
contribute to smooth action

Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating on the outer surface of the inner fork
tubes offers minimum stiction when the fork is exposed to lateral
forces that would usually hamper slide action. The result is improved
fork response, especially during cornering

Friction-reducing Kashima Coat on the inside of the fork’s outer tubes
contributes to smooth suspension action (especially at the initial part
of the stroke) and a superb ride feel
• Wrap-around
fork tube guards offer effective protection for the sliders
Rear Shock
• New damping settings contribute to increased stability and
improved impact performance when landing from jumps
• Rear
suspension settings and linkage ratios derived from extensive rider
• Kayaba rear
shock features a large 50mm piston
• Rear shock
features dual compression adjustability, allowing high-speed and
low-speed damping to be tuned separately
• Also
features Kashima Coat treatment on the cylinder for reduced friction and
smoother suspension action
• Easy
adjuster access for track-side suspension tuning
Rider Interface and Styling
• Dual injected two-tone, one-piece plastic shrouds and side
number plates
• Optimized
exhaust routing contributes to improved ergonomics
• Right side
panel has special passageway to help cool the silencer
• Black
plastic covers, triple clamps, engine covers, and black alumite-coated
rims – just like Kawasaki’s factory teams
• Wide 50mm
footpegs provide excellent feel and a comfortable platform
• Frame is
wider at the ankles to offer optimum grip, narrows below the seat to
allow a slim riding position
• Slim seat
design uses firmer urethane foam that keeps its original shape longer
for the best possible ergonomics and feel
• Seat has a
slip-resistant top surface for good grip when seated and a new material
along the sides for extra grip when standing
Additional Features
• Skid plate made of resin material offers great protection
without excess weight
• Clutch
cable boot features a large quick adjuster, making it easy for riders to
adjust play in the clutch cable on the fly
• Increased
front axle collar diameter transmits more feedback from the contact
patch to the rider
• Ribless
rear hub and butted spokes offer light weight and excellent durability
• Rear
caliper guard helps protect the caliper from damage