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Kawasaki attempts off-road with KX250/450 XC.

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what are internal gear ratios?  5spd and torquey broad powerband can work on a trailbike 450

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Looks like they are trying to compete with the orange bikes, the weights were kept down it looks like, but $9600 for a 450? 

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3 minutes ago, Charles De Mar said:

I’m impressed with the added rental handlebars. 

A2C680E7-7FFA-4EFE-8DD1-E2DD096DC6A1.jpeg

So  you buy the bike and rent/lease the handlebars?  

Sounds like any other new vehicle with the wifi, satellite radio, onstar, etc that quit working after thirty days unless you pay them more money on top of the $60k......

Lame.

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Transmissions are identical between the regular KX and the XC versions: i.e the same close ratio 5 speed.  The KX-XC just has a larger rear sprocket to make 1st gear a little lower for "off-road" use.

So to sum it up, these are the differences from a normal KX:

  1. ECU tuning to make it "more tractable"
  2. bigger rear sprocket 
  3. softer valving
  4. 18" wheel
  5. kickstand
  6. different brake pad material (more durable in wet conditions?)
  7. AT-81 meats
  8. cheesy "skid plate" that doesn't even protect the frame rails

What they should have had in addition to the above:

  1. A 2.25 gallon/8.5L tank (really, 1.6?)
  2. 6 speed for the 250
  3. handguards from an old KDX200/220 (may be just sentimental reasons on my end)
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Definitely would have liked to see a larger tank, juice clutch and six speed gearbox on the 250. I’ll have to see if I can con some sucker into letting me try his or her new Kawasaki 250XC to see what they are like. 😆

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9 minutes ago, Grimlock said:

Definitely would have liked to see a larger tank, juice clutch and six speed gearbox on the 250. I’ll have to see if I can con some sucker into letting me try his or her new Kawasaki 250XC to see what they are like. 😆

The new KX250 engine in both bikes (regular and XC) has a hydraulic clutch the same as the 450.  Kawasaki has also further copied KTM in that the clutch uses a Belleville style spring instead of the individual coil springs.

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7 minutes ago, eastreich said:

The new KX250 engine in both bikes (regular and XC) has a hydraulic clutch the same as the 450.  Kawasaki has also further copied KTM in that the clutch uses a Belleville style spring instead of the individual coil springs.

When I read the spec sheet on the Canadian website, it just said Manual Wet Muliti-Plate. I assumed it would list hydraulic if it were juice. However, a hydraulic clutch is still manual. 

EDIT - Seems it lists it as hydraulic right under the image. Good thing I can read. 😆

Edited by Grimlock

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It’s an XC bike with common changes people make to MX bikes to ride XC. Some people don’t like big tanks or also ride mx and xc. Stop mid race and fuel up. Or-buy an IMS tank they have a 2.5 gallon tank for the 450 so I’m sure they will have one available for the 250xc since it’s based on same frame. Funny how everyone wants these WR trans when guys have raced mx bikes with close ratio trans for ages. Sprockets are cheap. If you ride desert-gear for speed. Ride tight woods-gear to crawl. Think how many yz250,rm250,cr250,KX250, etc. are and have been raced with close ratio trans and no complaints. First attempt they did good IMO. It’s a dirtbike-if it has a good chassis,motor and suspension...it can be whatever you want. I’d sooner gripe about an air fork on a woods bike.

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3 hours ago, kdxyardsale said:

Looks like they are trying to compete with the orange bikes, the weights were kept down it looks like, but $9600 for a 450? 

It'll be $6499 a year later on the used market. The 19/20 demo KX450 sell for this all day long. To say that the XC model has significant additional worth is silly.

2 hours ago, Charles De Mar said:

I’m impressed with the added rental handlebars. 

so them Craigslist ads were right!

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1 minute ago, shrubitup said:

It'll be $6499 a year later on the used market. The 19/20 demo KX450 sell for this all day long. To say that the XC model has significant additional worth is silly.

so them Craigslist ads were right!

I've still got my 08 KLX450R in the shed for a snowbike. I mounted a big tank, KX head and pipe, but it's a pig.....so the lesser weight would be welcome. I haven't ridden it offroad since I've bought newer bikes, but I flogged that thing for a few years and it took it. 

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Nice to see Kawasaki enter the off-road market but like Honda with their RX models, it's aimed at competitive racing versus recreational off-roading

as it's mostly off-the-shelf parts added to their MX race bikes with no new R&D put into them, meaning still using a close-ratio gearbox.

 

Even if it didn't have e-start, I think a similar off-road version of the Suzuki RMZ250 would fare better with it's less 'rev happy' engine and sharper turning capabilities.

 

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1 hour ago, ac717 said:

It’s an XC bike with common changes people make to MX bikes to ride XC. Some people don’t like big tanks or also ride mx and xc. Stop mid race and fuel up. Or-buy an IMS tank they have a 2.5 gallon tank for the 450 so I’m sure they will have one available for the 250xc since it’s based on same frame. Funny how everyone wants these WR trans when guys have raced mx bikes with close ratio trans for ages. Sprockets are cheap. If you ride desert-gear for speed. Ride tight woods-gear to crawl. Think how many yz250,rm250,cr250,KX250, etc. are and have been raced with close ratio trans and no complaints. First attempt they did good IMO. It’s a dirtbike-if it has a good chassis,motor and suspension...it can be whatever you want. I’d sooner gripe about an air fork on a woods bike.

That used to apply, it doesn't anymore.  Many modern desert race course these days (at least at the Nationals I do) will have a section in the second loop that is basically an Extreme Enduro section, if not multiples of them.  Gear the bike up to get the top speed, and you will smoke your clutch and boil the bike over in the technical sections and climbs.  Not very many of us can ride a geared up stock MX trans like the top pro riders do out in the desert.  Typically guys will leave it stock geared and deal with not going as fast so they don't kill the bike (or themselves) in the technical sections.  I can start dead last on my wave and still be in the middle of the field by the first wide open sand wash because I've got a 6th gear in my 450 and lots of guys don't have a wide ratio box.  For just a local or district race, where they don't put in a "pro" section, sure, gearing it up can suffice.

A 1.6 gallon tank probably won't even get you around the first loop at a Hare and Hound.  A 2 gallon tank would be borderline if you are fast.

At least put a bigger tank on it.  The Yamaha FXs have a bigger tank, as do the Austrians.  They aren't much bigger, but they are enough.

Yamaha puts a wider box in their FXs, and the Austrians at least do a 6 speed box in the 250/350s.  They SHOULD make the 450 a six speed off the showroom floor too, as the 5 speed 450XCF/FX has spacers on the transmission shafts where the 6th gear parts go.

Am I glad that someone else is playing in the sandbox?  Unequivocally, yes!  As someone that raced Kawasakis for a LONG time, and would love to race one again, they missed the mark (as did Honda with their RXs).  Kawasaki was targeting Honda, and built a similar bike.  They should have been targeting Yamaha.

Honda guys out in the desert are racing the 450X (old and new) and not the RX.  It isn't because they would rather be on a trail bike...

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If the 450xc gets the klx450r gearing I’m in, don’t understand why they wouldn’t.    Klx is more XC spread than wide ratio.   

The kx250 is too high strung, wouldn’t wanna be to far into the backcountry unless they tame down the CR a bit. 

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1 hour ago, eastreich said:

That used to apply, it doesn't anymore.  Many modern desert race course these days (at least at the Nationals I do) will have a section in the second loop that is basically an Extreme Enduro section, if not multiples of them.  Gear the bike up to get the top speed, and you will smoke your clutch and boil the bike over in the technical sections and climbs.  Not very many of us can ride a geared up stock MX trans like the top pro riders do out in the desert.  Typically guys will leave it stock geared and deal with not going as fast so they don't kill the bike (or themselves) in the technical sections.  I can start dead last on my wave and still be in the middle of the field by the first wide open sand wash because I've got a 6th gear in my 450 and lots of guys don't have a wide ratio box.  For just a local or district race, where they don't put in a "pro" section, sure, gearing it up can suffice.

A 1.6 gallon tank probably won't even get you around the first loop at a Hare and Hound.  A 2 gallon tank would be borderline if you are fast.

At least put a bigger tank on it.  The Yamaha FXs have a bigger tank, as do the Austrians.  They aren't much bigger, but they are enough.

Yamaha puts a wider box in their FXs, and the Austrians at least do a 6 speed box in the 250/350s.  They SHOULD make the 450 a six speed off the showroom floor too, as the 5 speed 450XCF/FX has spacers on the transmission shafts where the 6th gear parts go.

Am I glad that someone else is playing in the sandbox?  Unequivocally, yes!  As someone that raced Kawasakis for a LONG time, and would love to race one again, they missed the mark (as did Honda with their RXs).  Kawasaki was targeting Honda, and built a similar bike.  They should have been targeting Yamaha.

Honda guys out in the desert are racing the 450X (old and new) and not the RX.  It isn't because they would rather be on a trail bike...

What is the lure of the new X? I only know one guy here who bought an RX, they have been a sales failure here. Have never seen one of the new X models.

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1 minute ago, Piney Woods said:

What is the lure of the new X? I only know one guy here who bought an RX, they have been a sales failure here. Have never seen one of the new X models.

For desert guys, the appeal of the new X is the 6 speed transmission and a chassis that doesn't get knocked off line when you hit a hidden rock at 60+ mph.  Lots of us refused to give up our XR650Rs for the old carbed 450X, but the new one with EFI and the 6 speed?  It is as purpose built of a desert bike as Honda can make with all the EPA/lawyer restrictions they have to follow.

I don't know if I could ever sell my 650R, but the only bike that I would replace it with and expect to keep going for 20 years like my XR is a 450X.

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