2013 Kawasaki KX450F | Preview

2013 Kawasaki Motocross

In the past two years, Ryan Villopoto has more than proven the worthiness of Kawasaki’s KX450F.

In 2011, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider took both the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships, following that with leading Team U.S.A. to an overall victory at the Motcross of Nations and then completely dominating the inaugural Million-Dollar Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas.

And this year, Villopoto once again brought the Kawasaki KX450F to the top by taking the AMA Supercross Championship at Round 13 – the earliest AMA SX clinch in history.

Following on this success, Kawasaki has updated its KX450F for 2013, attempting to remain ahead of the competition.

The biggest change is the new 48mm Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF), that is said to shave around 1.7 lbs. off the bike and offer more optimal tuning. The Japanese motorcycle marquee also chopped some weight through the use of lighter items, such as the 240mm petal-type rear rotor.

Kawasaki also made some minor refinements to its 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke single. And like last year’s model, the KX450F will feature Kawasaki’s highly-appraised Launch Control.

Following are the highlights, specs, color option and MSRP for the 2013 Kawasaki KX450F.

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Highlights:

  • New Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) replaces the main fork springs with compressed air to reduce weight, provide easier and more effective tuning and improve bottoming resistance
  • Revised engine tuning offers more power and smoother delivery from basement revs through mid and into the upper rpm range; this provides more thrust while exiting corners and all the way down the straights, while also enhancing rider confidence
  • Revised piston crown improves ultra-low to mid-range engine response
  • Revised intake cam features slightly less lift, to promote better low-rpm throttle response
  • New front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for improved feel and more consistent performance than the old piston-type unit
  • New longer, lower density grips make life easier on the rider’s hands. They also extend further towards the center of the handlebars, allowing riders to move their hands up to 20mm closer together
  • New lightweight 240mm petal-type rear rotor features the same aggressive petal style as the front rotor and is gripped by a single piston hydraulic rear caliper
  • Launch Control improves low-gear acceleration by helping to reduce wheelspin during the run to the first corner
  • Pre-programmed ignition maps are interchangeable trackside, no PC required
  • Adjustable 4-position handlebar and 2-position footpegs allow riders to fit the KX to match their personal preference
  • Black Anodized Aluminum rims for a factory look

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Engine Overview:

  • 449cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single with legendary Kawasaki power!
  • Works-based Bridged-box Bottom piston has optimum rigidity for maximum high-rpm power and durability
  • 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 and has a high inertial mass to help maximize rear wheel traction
  • Compact cylinder head is only 100mm tall
  • Double valve springs help ensure stable valve operation and also allow for a short cylinder head height
  • Camshafts, lobes and tappet surfaces feature a soft-nitride treatment for long wear and high-rpm reliability
  • Automatic cam chain adjuster is maintenance-free
  • Crankshaft and connecting rod feature a special carburizing and quenching treatment to maximize rigidity, boosting long term reliability without adding weight

2013 Kawasaki KX450 Digital Fuel Injection:

  • Digital Fuel Injection (DFI) self-adjusts to atmospheric changes for easier starting, sharper throttle response and accessible power for jumping
  • It is not necessary to re-tune, or change any jets to suit climatic conditions like carbureted models
  • 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
  • Revised airbox flap helps prevent mud and water from entering, but has enlarged access hole to simplify air filter maintenance

2013 Kawasaki KX450F High-performance Multi-map ECU:

  • Revised ignition timing boosts response when re-opening the throttle after deceleration (when landing jumps, etc.)
  • ECU programming is easily selectable via interchangeable DFI coupler caps that provide three preprogrammed maps for Standard, Hard (terrain) and Soft (terrain), without the need for a programming computer
  • The engine can be started with only three rotations of the crankshaft using the electricity generated by a single kick of the starter, no battery needed
  • The system delivers electricity to the bike’s electronics 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 tough racing

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Launch Control Mode:

  • Factory-style launch control system increases the ability to get good starts, by maximizing available traction
  • 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 automatically deactivates Launch Control Mode and returns the ignition to normal mapping
  • System is designed to same specifications as factory Kawasaki AMA machines

2013 Kawasaki KX450F 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 power

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Bridged-Box Bottom Piston:

  • Revised piston crown improves ultra-low to mid-range engine response
  • 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

2013 Kawasaki KX450F PSF Front Fork:

  • New 48mm KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) eliminates the main fork springs by using compressed air as a spring. The reduced weight and inertia of the air spring improves smoothness and enhances the fork’s ability to follow terrain contours
  • Air spring significantly reduces friction and cuts weight by 1.7 lbs. per set, while also providing better bottoming resistance, less oil contamination, plus easier and more effective tuning
  • Larger 32mm diameter internal damping cartridges allow the use of pistons with approximately twice the surface area as last year’s 24mm AOS damper pistons. This provides more consistent performance and enhances bottoming resistance
  • A removable spring pressure adjustment valve is included to simplify connection of an air pump
  • 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)
  • Wrap-around fork tube guards offer effective protection for the sliders
  • New lower triple clamp features integrated locating pins to help simplify installation and removal of the front number plate
  • New one-piece front fender attachment screws feature integrated grommets to simplify installation and removal

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Rear Shock:

  • New rear suspension settings have been tuned to compliment the new PSF forks
  • New 33-position rebound damping adjuster allows more precise fine-tuning of the rebound circuit
  • Easy adjuster access allows track-side suspension tuning with a minimum of hassle or lost time
  • Rear shock features dual compression adjustability, allowing 22-position high-speed and stepless low-speed damping adjustments to be made independently
  • KYB rear shock features a large 50mm piston and a Kashima Coat treatment on the cylinder wall for reduced friction and smoother suspension action

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Aluminum Swingarm:

  • New swingarm features a larger front casting that extends further down the spars for maximum strength and improved rigidity
  • Tapered “D” shape swingarm is lighter than a comparable box-section unit and provides superior rigidity for its weight
  • Features tapered hydroformed spars and forged chain adjusters
  • Uni-Trak rear suspension linkage is mounted below the swingarm to allow precise tuning and maximum rear suspension stroke
  • Optional linkage tie rod is 1mm shorter, creating a 4mm reduction in seat height

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Fuel Tank and Lightweight Aluminum Fuel Pump:

  • Compact 1.6-gallon fuel tank is formed using a blow molding process
  • Fuel pump features a one-piece filter cover and body, eliminating the need for fuel return tube from pressure regulator
  • Features a plastic 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

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Efficient Cooling:

  • High-capacity Denso radiators feature tightly packed cores and a fin design that deliver superior cooling efficiency
  • Shroud shape features a slim profile and large cooling outlet hole to help keep excess heat to a minimum
  • Radiator louvers feature four small blades set at a shallow angle for minimum overlap and maximum air flow

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Strong and Durable Clutch:

  • Clutch assembly provides a direct feel and superb control of engagement
  • Excellent oil drainage reduces power loss caused by excess oil around the clutch basket
  • Friction plates with substantial friction material contribute to fade resistance and long service life
  • Clutch case cover features embossed logo and is painted silver, making scuffs and normal wear less noticeable

2013 Kawasaki KX450F 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 on racing
  • Thick first gear offers excellent durability for launching off the line in high-traction situations

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Powerful Disc Brakes:

  • New front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for improved feel and more consistent performance than the old piston-type unit
  • New front brake pads offer a higher coefficient of friction for stronger braking force and enhanced feel
  • New front brake hose is 30mm longer than last year
  • Lightweight 250mm front rotor is squeezed by a powerful twin-piston caliper and features an aggressive petal design to help clear mud and debris
  • New lightweight 240mm petal-type rear rotor features with the same aggressive petal style as the front rotor and is gripped by a single piston hydraulic rear caliper

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Rider Interface and Styling:

  • New longer grips are made of lower density material and feature a taller pattern to make life easier on the rider’s hands. The new grips also extend further towards the center of the handlebars, allowing riders to move their hands up to 20mm closer together
  • Slender frame helps the bike feel compact and nimble, but tapers to become wider near the rider’s ankles to offer optimum grip and control
  • Wide 50mm footpegs can be adjusted to alternate position, 5mm lower than stock
  • Dual injected 2-tone, one-piece plastic shrouds and side number plates are compact and lightweight to help mass centralization and enhance rider comfort
  • Black triple clamps and black anodized rims – just like Kawasaki’s factory teams
  • Blue finishes on suspension adjusters and engine plugs match blue accents in the graphics
  • Slim seat design uses urethane foam designed to retain its original shape and provide optimum durability

2013 Kawasaki KX450F 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

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Optional KX Accessories:

  • KX DFI 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. ECU setting tool available with programming software updated to match 2013 engine and intake upgrades. 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
  • Kawasaki recommends a 0-60 PSI air pump with bleeder valve and no-loss Schrader valve connector, Kawasaki part# K5609-060A for adjusting fork air pressure with maximum accuracy and ease of use

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Specs:

  • Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four-valve cylinder head
  • Displacement: 449cc
  • Bore x stroke: 96.0 x 62.1mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.5:1
  • Fuel Injection: DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle body
  • Ignition: Digital DC-CDI
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Rake / trail: 26.9 degrees / 4.4 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 48mm inverted, Kayaba PSF with DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound dampening adjustment / 12.4 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® linkage system and Kayaba shock with 50mm piston, 22-position low-speed and stepless high-speed compression dampening, 33-position rebound dampening and fully adjustable spring preload / 12.4 in.
  • Front tire size: 80/100-21
  • Rear tire size: 120/80-19
  • Front brake: Single rigid-mount 250mm petal disc with dual-piston caliper
  • Rear brake: Single 240mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
  • Overall length: 85.8 in.
  • Overall width: 32.3 in.
  • Overall height: 50.2 in.
  • Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
  • Ground clearance: 13.0 in
  • Seat height: 37.6 in.
  • Curb weight: 248.0 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 1.64 gal.

2013 Kawasaki KX450F Color Option/MSRP:

  • Lime Green/$8,699


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