2012 Kawasaki KX 450F | Features

2012 Kawasaki KX450F

For 2012, Kawasaki took a championship-winning motocross/supercross dirt bike, and improved on it.

The 2012 Kawasaki KX 450 F features many new upgrades, including the Japanese manufacturer’s new Launch Control Mode, assisting with the holeshot.

Following are the features & benefits of the 2012 Kawasaki KX 450F:

2012 Kawasaki KX450F: At a Glance

  • All-new Launch Control Mode increases the chance of nailing the holeshot
  • New pre-programmed ignition maps, interchangeable trackside, no PC required
  • Upgraded engine with more top-end thrust and a wider powerband
  • New adjustable bar and footpeg positions
  • New slimmer frame and minimalist bodywork
  • Upgraded transmission for easy, reliable shifting
  • New pipe and silencer help centralize mass
  • 50mm AOS forks with DLC coated inner fork tubes
  • Black Alumite coated rims

Kawasaki KX450 F Engine Overview

  • 449cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single
  • Works-based Bridged-box Bottom piston has revised rigidity for improved high-rpm power
  • Revised intake cam and all-new exhaust result in wider powerband
  • A forward lean angle of 3° puts the engine in the ideal position for maximum traction
  • Highly balanced crankshaft, on par with Villopoto’s factory racer, creates minimal vibration
  • Maintenance-free automatic cam chain adjuster
  • Large airbox flap helps prevent mud and water from entering

Kawasaki KX 450 F Bridged-box Bottom Piston

  • Thinner top ring and revised surface treatment of oil ring reduce friction
  • Same design as used on our factory racers; offers optimum performance at all rpm
  • Lighter and more durable than traditional piston designs
  • Short piston skirt features low-friction coating to minimize mechanical losses
  • Reinforced external ribs enhance strength and durability

Kawasaki KX450F Cylinder Head

  • Compact head is only 100mm tall
  • Intake camshaft profile revised to increase intake for better low- and mid-range power
  • 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

Kawasaki KX450F Crankshaft

  • Crankshaft with high inertial mass helps maximize rear wheel traction
  • 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
  • Net result is 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

Kawasaki KX450F Digital Fuel Injection

  • Self-adjusts to atmospheric changes for easier starting, sharper throttle response and optimized power and stability when jumping/landing
  • 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 12 holes sprays particles with a droplet size of 60μ 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
  • Fast-idle knob on the throttle body allows riders to increase engine speed when starting a cold engine
  • Fuel injector set at 45°, the optimum angle for mid-range power

Kawasaki KX450 F Launch Control Mode

  • Factory-style launch control system increases chance of getting a good start by maximizing traction on a slippery surface
  • Push-button activation of the Launch Control Mode retards ignition timing in first and second gears, giving the greatest effect within the first few seconds of releasing the clutch
  • Launch Control can be activated in neutral, first or second gear
  • Shifting into third gear deactivates Launch Control Mode and returns the ignition to normal mapping
  • System is designed to same specifications as factory Kawasaki AMA machines

Kawasaki KX450 F High-performance ECU

  • New ECU programming offers three preprogrammed maps: Standard, Hard (conditions) and Soft (conditions)
  • Maps are now easily selectable via DFI wire coupler caps, no computer necessary
  • 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 starter
  • The system delivers electricity to FI system in sequence: first the ECU, then the fuel pump, and finally the injector for quick, easy starting
  • 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

Kawasaki KX 450 F Optional User ECU Setting Tool

  • KX FI Calibration Kit allows racers to reprogram the ECU’s data maps for volume of fuel injected and ignition timing to alter engine characteristics to suit rider preference
  • 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
  • 2012 software program is updated for compatibility with 64-bit operating systems such as Windows 7

Kawasaki KX450F Easy Starting

  • Revised shape of kickstart ratchet enables lever to return to start position more smoothly
  • 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 power

Kawasaki KX450F Lightweight Aluminum Fuel Pump

  • Fuel pump now features a one-piece filter cover and body, eliminating the need for fuel return tube from pressure regulator and contributing to weight reduction
  • Features a plastic (formerly 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 riding
  • New 1.6-gallon fuel tank is formed using a blow molding process

Kawasaki KX 450 F Efficient Cooling

  • High-capacity Denso radiators feature tightly packed cores and a fin design that deliver superior cooling efficiency
  • Changed left side radiator upper pipe angle for new shroud design
  • New shroud shape features a slimmer profile and larger cooling outlet hole
  • Radiator louvers feature four small blades set at a shallow angle for minimum overlap and maximum air flow

Kawasaki KX 450 F Strong and Durable Clutch

  • Clutch assembly provides a direct feel and superb control
  • Heavier clutch springs give a more positive feel to the rider
  • Excellent oil drainage contributes to more direct feel
  • Friction plates with substantial friction material contribute to a direct feel
  • New clutch case cover features embossed logo, designed to be revealed as rider’s boot wears away black paint

Kawasaki KX 450 F 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
  • Revised number of gear dogs (3 dogs/3 holes to 4 dogs/4 holes) improve shift feel
  • Thicker first gear offers greater durability for launching off the line
  • Shorter shift fork (5.3mm to 4.4mm) reduces the shift force necessary to change gears
  • New shift lever moves the pedal 3mm farther from the footpeg and offers greater durability
  • New polyurethane resin drive chain roller reduces weight

Kawasaki KX 450 F Exhaust

  • New tapered header pipe is shorter in length and features a smaller overall diameter
  • Tapered mid-piece is new for 2012 KX450F
  • New silencer is 60mm shorter, but thanks to a new cross-section, features same overall volume as ’11 model to help meet current 94dB noise regulations

Kawasaki KX 450 F Powerful Disc Brakes

  • New front disc features an aggressive petal design
  • Powerful twin piston hydraulic front caliper squeezes 250mm rotor
  • Lightweight rigid-mounted front disc reduces unsprung weight by 80 grams
  • Single piston hydraulic rear caliper squeezes lightweight 240mm petal-type rotor

Kawasaki KX 450 F Light, Slim Chassis

  • New main frame spars are 4mm slimmer to help reduce overall width at the rider’s knees
  • Increased rigidity in the swingarm bracket area helps increase rear wheel traction and provide a more solid feel when landing jumps

Kawasaki KX 450F 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 altered for improved traction, utilizing a revised tie-rod unit which is less rigid
  • Suspension arm is mounted below the swingarm to allow a longer rear suspension stroke and more precise tuning
  • New optional linkage tie rod is 1mm shorter, creating a 6mm reduction in seat height for shorter riders

Kawasaki KX 450F AOS Front Fork

  • Race-oriented suspension settings offer maximum overall performance
  • Revised lower triple clamp locates the clamp opening in the rear as opposed to the side for increased rigidity and improved fork action
  • 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

Kawasaki KX 450F Rear Shock

  • Rear suspension settings and linkage ratios derived from extensive rider testing
  • 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

Kawasaki KX 450F Rider Interface and Styling

  • Dual injected 2-tone, one-piece plastic shrouds and side number plates minimized for mass centralization and rider comfort
  • Upgrades bodywork features more flush seams for easier rider movement
  • Lower-capacity fuel tank is shorter and narrower, creating a straighter line from the seat
  • Black plastic covers, triple clamps, engine covers, and black alumite-coated rims – just like Kawasaki’s factory teams
  • Blue alumite finish on suspension adjusters and engine plugs match new graphics accents
  • Wide 50mm footpegs can be adjusted to alternate position, 5mm lower than stock
  • Frame is wider at the ankles to offer optimum grip, narrows below the seat to allow a slim riding position
  • Slim seat design uses new urethane foam designed to retain its original shape longer

2012 Kawasaki KX 450 F 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
  • Rear caliper guard helps protect the caliper from damage
  • Ribless rear hub and butted spokes offer light weight and excellent durability