2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight
2016 Kawasaki K450F

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight
2016 Kawasaki K450F

With a claim to 32 AMA Supercross titles while piloted by legends such as Ricky Carmichael, Jeff Ward, Jeff Emig, Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Villopoto, the Kawasaki KX is racing icon.

The Kawasaki KX’s latest achievement is four back-to-back AMA SX titles in the 450 class with Villopoto at the controls of the KX450F (2011-2014). This latest performance can be attributed to constant development, which continues for the 2016 KX450F.

The 2016 KX450F is totally new, providing more power and a loss of 7.5 lbs. thanks to the redesigned engine and new aluminum perimeter frame.

Kawasaki says its new KX450 was designed for “improved rider adjustability as well as electronic upgrades aimed at maximizing performance for a variety of riders in any situation while giving the rider supreme confidence.”

Following are the main features and specs for the 2016 Kawasaki KX450F, which retails for $8,799.

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Features:

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight front At a Glance

  • NEW Lighter, more powerful engine with new engine cases
  • REVISED Bridged-Box bottom piston based on AMA Factory race bikes for greater power
  • NEW Intake ports, intake valves, cam timing and cylinder offset (moved 8.5mm forward) for increased power across a broad powerband
  • NEW High-flow airbox with rear intake channels to improve flow and reduce intake noise
  • Plug & play DFI® couplers allow easy engine maps changes
  • Launch control based on factory race bike system to help riders get the hole-shot
  • NEW Header with integrated resonator chamber for crisp throttle response
  • NEW Mass-centralizing exhaust muffler to reduce sound and weight
  • NEW Slimmer, lighter perimeter frame and swingarm improve rider feel, increased rigidity with new swingarm design
  • Industry-leading Showa SFF-Air TAC (Separate Function front Fork, Triple Air Chamber) separates damping and spring duties into each fork tube. It also replaces heavy coil spring with air chambers to improve response and reduce weight
  • NEW Low-friction fork seals for easier movement, pus new fork inner tubes with reduced rigidity are perfect complements for the new chassis
  • Kawasaki Uni-Trak® rear suspension gives good suspension travel and works with adjustable Showa shock
  • NEW Aggressive factory styling and flatter seat for easier rider movement
  • 4-way adjustable handlebar and 2-way adjustable footpegs fit a wide range of riders
  • NEW Light curb weight after a 7.5 lb weight reduction for 2016
  • Adjustable 4-position handlebar and 2-position footpegs allow riders to fit the KX motorcycle to match their personal preference

Engine Overview

  • 449cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single with legendary Kawasaki power
  • Factory race-derived 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
  • Balanced crankshaft creates minimal vibration and has a high inertial mass to help maximize rear wheel traction
  • Compact cylinder head is only 100mm tall
  • NEW Intake ports, intake valves, cam timing and cylinder offset for increased power across a broad rev range
  • 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
  • NEW High-flow airbox with rear intake channels improve flow and reduce intake noise
  • Crankshaft and connecting rod feature a special carburizing and quenching treatment to maximize rigidity, boosting long-term reliability without adding weight


Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®)

  • Digital Fuel Injection self-adjusts to atmospheric changes for easier starting, sharper throttle response and crisp power delivery at all engine speeds
  • 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
  • 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

High-performance Multi-map ECU

  • ECU programming enhances traction by diminution of ignition when excess wheelspin is detected by a sudden surge in RPM.
  • 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 pre-programmed maps for standard, hard or soft (terrain), without the need for a separate programmer or laptop
  • 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

2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight launch controlLaunch Control Mode

  • Factory-style launch control system is an industry first and 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

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 1mm of valve lift, to minimize the required kicking power

Bridged-Box Bottom Piston

  • Piston crown shape tuned for excellent low to mid-range engine response
  • Same design as used by 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

Showa SFF-Air TAC Front Fork

  • Showa SFF-Air TAC (Separate Function front Fork, Triple Air Chamber) with triple air chamber uses 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
  • The left fork tube contains the damping assembly, and the right fork tube contains the air spring
  • Air spring significantly reduces friction and cuts weight while also providing better bottoming resistance, less oil contamination, plus easier and more effective tuning compared to traditional springs
  • Large diameter internal damping cartridges help provide consistent performance and bottoming resistance
  • NEW Material trimmed from the fork inner tubes results in lower rigidity, optimized for the new chassis
  • NEW Low-friction seals, and revised valve settings for reduced damping deliver easier fork movement, matching the pitching characteristics to the lighter chassis.
  • A removable spring pressure adjustment valve and free 0-300psi digital Kawasaki Genuine Air Fork Pump are included for quick and easy tuning of fork spring pressure
  • Wrap-around fork tube guards offer effective protection for the sliders
  • Lower triple clamp features integrated locating pins to help simplify installation and removal of the front number plate
  • One-piece front fender attachment screws feature-integrated grommets to simplify installation and removal


2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight frameRear Shock

  • 22-position rebound damping adjuster allows precise fine-tuning of the rebound circuit
  • Easy adjuster access allows trackside suspension tuning with a minimum of hassle or lost time
  • Rear shock features dual compression adjustability, allowing 19-position low-speed and 4 turns of high-speed damping adjustments to be made independently
  • NEW Lower spring rate offers better rear suspension action
  • NEW Linkage ratios were adjusted to suit the new, lighter chassis

Aluminum Swingarm

  • 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 longer rear suspension stroke


Fuel Tank & Lightweight Aluminum Fuel Pump

  • Compact 1.66-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 racing

Efficient Cooling

  • High-capacity Denso radiator features 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 protection while having minimum overlap and maximum air flow

Strong and Durable Clutch

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

Close-ratio 5-Speed Transmission

  • 5-Speed transmission and the engine’s broad torque curve gives riders more gear options for maximum drive on a wide range of tracks
  • Thick first gear offers excellent durability for launching off the line in high-traction situations
  • NEW aluminum rear sprocket design contributes to sharp looks and saves 1.8oz


2016 Kawasaki KX450F Preview | More Power, Less Weight left sidePowerful Disc Brakes

  • Front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for excellent feel and superbly consistent performance
  • Front brake pads offer a strong braking force and feel
  • Lightweight 270mm “oversized” front rotor by Braking is squeezed by a powerful twin-piston caliper and features an aggressive petal design to help clear mud and debris
  • Lightweight 240mm petal-type rear rotor by Braking features the same aggressive petal style as the front rotor and is gripped by a single piston hydraulic rear caliper


Aggressive Styling and Improved Ergonomics

  • NEW Aluminum perimeter frame is 6mm slimmer to help the bike feel compact and nimble, but tapers to become wider near the rider’s ankles to offer optimum grip and control
  • NEW Lightweight minimalist bodywork including new number plates, shrouds, fenders, skid plate and engine water guard all featuring aggressive style
  • NEW Aggressive design of new front fender adds to racy looks and saves 1.8oz in weight
  • NEW The inward angle of the radiator allows the shrouds to be 1.2” slimmer than before. The minimalist shrouds were designed to be small and slim where they come into contact with the rider’s legs. The new two-piece construction and elongated design creates a smooth surface between the rider’s legs, facilitating easier movement
  • NEW Flatter seat design uses urethane foam designed to retain its original shape and provide optimum durability. Flatter design unifies with bodywork to help ensure the rider can move around freely
  • NEW Top of fuel tank is lower, allowing easier progression from the seat to the tank. Flatter design gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding position, allowing the rider to sit further forward
  • Black triple clamps and black anodized rims – just like Kawasaki’s factory teams
  • Green finish on suspension adjusters and engine plugs look like the factory race parts
  • 4-way adjustable handlebar and 2-way adjustable footpegs fit a wide range of riders
  • Wide 50mm footpegs can be adjusted 5mm lower than stock to lower the center of gravity and suit a range of riders


Additional Features:

  • NEW Skid plate made from resin material offers great protection without excess weight. Revised design has oval holes that facilitates easy mud removal and reduces weight further
  • Clutch cable boot features a large quick adjuster, making it easy for riders to adjust clutch play on the fly
  • Rear caliper guard helps protect the caliper from damage
  • Ribless rear hub and butted spokes offer light weight and excellent durability


Genuine Kawasaki Accessories

  • NEW Handheld Kawasaki Accessory FI Calibration Kit (sold separately) allows precise adjustment of fuel and ignition settings while eliminating the need for a laptop. The unit stores up to seven preset maps, allowing rider optimization of engine power delivery for multiple track layouts and riding conditions. Handheld device is PC-compatible
  • Kawasaki Racing Software 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. An ECU setting is available, which 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
  • Other Genuine Kawasaki Accessories available for the KX450F motorcycle include graphics kit, Pro-Circuit axle blocks, billet engine plugs, billet throttle tubes, thermo strips, complete exhaust, racing chain, seat covers and more


2016 Kawasaki KX450F Specs:

  • Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, water-cooled
  • Displacement: 449cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 96 x 62.1mm
  • Compression Ratio: 12.8:1
  • Fuel System: DFI® with 43mm Keihin throttle body
  • Ignition: Digital DC-CDI
  • Transmission: 5-speed
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Frame Type: Aluminum perimeter
  • Rake/Trail: 28° / 4.9”
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.66 gallons
  • Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 49mm Inverted Showa SFF-Air TAC Separate Function front Fork with Triple Air Chamber, DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound damping adjustment / 12.2”
  • Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Uni-Trak® linkage system and Showa shock, 19-position low-speed and 4-turns high-speed compression damping, 22-position rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload / 12.4”
  • Tire Size, Front: 80/100-21
  • Tire Size, Rear: 120/80-19
  • Brakes, Front: Single semi-floating 270mm Braking petal-style disc with dual-piston caliper
  • Brakes, Rear: Single 240mm Braking petal-style disc with single-piston caliper
  • Overall Length: 86.4”
  • Overall Width: 32.3”
  • Overall Height: 50.8”
  • Ground Clearance: 13.6”
  • Seat Height: 37.8”
  • Curb Weight: 239.6 lb
  • Wheelbase: 58.9”
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.66 gallons
  • Color Choices: Lime Green
  • MSRP: $8,799


2016 Kawasaki KX450F Photo Gallery:


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