How does your 06 or 07 handle in tight corners?

Hey guys,

I currently own a 06 yz250F and will probably be going back to a 450 late this year. I will be considering the 08 kawi, the motocross tracks i normally ride on are fairly tight, i have ridden the 07 KTM which corners on a dime and the front end sticks, i was just wondering how you guys find your kawis to be in this area? I had read a couple times that it didn't turn quite as easily as some of the other bikes, and also read that it had a rearward bias that could affect its handling. However i really like all the other things i have heard, but i need to be competitive on these tight mx courses and your info is greatly appreciated. Let me know what your findings are with the bike for mx and what you may have done to improve (if you made any changes at all). Thanks

if you think the ktm turns good youll be blown away by the kawi, also just rode the 07 yz450 handled like total shit in the turns with the suspension done!

i been doing alot of corner training on my kx450 07 lately, trust me when i say this, u will be cornering very fast in no time - even in the wet i can still be super agressive and just rail a hair pin alot faster than i can on a kato. Ive been riding with some guys who have raced alot longer than me and theyre blown away by how fast i corner, im faster than them (i mean alot). I'm 6'2 and 91kgs, though. Ive heard small riders whinge about the kawi, and tall riders love it - im not short so i can only tell you my experience :thumbsup:. When i first started riding it i didnt see the cornering potential the bike had, i jsut keep pushign it harder and harder into corners and it just holds. The rmz is a good cornering bike also, but with the kawi i found u can unleash a big hit of power while exiting and it wont let the back end go like the rmz does. Either way, if ur looking for a bike for tight tracks i woudl def choose the kawi or rmz, the kawi has way better rear wheel traction and stability (harldy any headshake) at high speeds aswell as a more punchy motor. if ur a smaller build / lighter guy then the rmz might be better (softer suspension, easy to use motor, but u will get headshake). Hondas and yamis cornering is bad.

i'm 5'9-5'10 so i'm not tall but i have been riding mx my entire life. If the kawi corners like the KTM then i am sold. Did some of you really find it cornered better than the other 450s? I knwo the YZF is supposed to be the lightest bike out of the bunch, why didn't you like the YZF?

seems like the yz450 geometry or something is way off , evn with proper sag set up the bike dosent want to settle into turns at all. real bad in flat turns, not sure exactly what it is but the kawi really turns alot better, not to mention the motor! no contest there. as for the lightest of the bunch youll never notice that except putting it on the stand they pretty close

The Kawi is a dead ringer in fast sweepers for me with no doubt. I have yet to be caught in any fast sections. As for the tight stuff, the bike turns as quickly as I tell it to. I'm 6'2" and about 220lbs so I'm no stringy featherweight but I have yet to have this bike push on me. Raise the forks between7.5-15mm up depending on taste and rip.

That's it.

rock on.

Go with narrow tires and the bike will handle much better.

Go with narrow tires and the bike will handle much better.

I got to ride the 07 Kawi yesterday. It was amazing! I currently ride an 06 YZ250F but when i got on the kawi i felt comfortable right away. I normally don't like to push it too much when i'm riding someone elses new bike but on the second lap i was hitting the largest double on the track and it simply felt like i had owned the bike in a previous life or something. The only thing i found was that it didn't quite want to lay over in the corners as easily as i would have liked but i'm pretty sure its because my yz250F is ultra light and the kawi is a 450 after all.

Anyway, about the narrow tires, do you mean to run a 110 on the rear instead of the 120?

I think that he is talking about the front tire. I run a 80/100-21 on the front with offset triple clamps(20mm) and i can turn on a dime. The tightest rutted corners are know problem. I have never ridden a 450 that turns like it( and I have ridden almost all of them)sweeper,tight,rutted, it just doesn't matter. I is truely awesome.

I haven't rode the KTM or Yamaha, but I can tell you the Kawi corners very well. I also know 2 people who switched from Yamaha to Kawi this year and both are blown away at how much better the Kawi corners.

I haven't rode the KTM or Yamaha, but I can tell you the Kawi corners very well. I also know 2 people who switched from Yamaha to Kawi this year and both are blown away at how much better the Kawi corners.

What model year yamahas did they swtich from? 06s or 07s? Because if they switched from the 2005 model, i would imagine anything is better than that thing.

What model year yamahas did they swtich from? 06s or 07s? Because if they switched from the 2005 model, i would imagine anything is better than that thing.

They were switching from an '06 YZ450F to an '07 KX450F. They said the same thing about the 250F's but they still rave how much they like the KX450 handling.

Yes, I run a 110 on the rear and a 80 in the front now. I noticed a big difference.

The Kawi is a dead ringer in fast sweepers for me with no doubt. I have yet to be cought in any fast sections. As for the tight stuff, the bike turns as quickly as I tell it to. I'm 6'2" and about 220lbs so I'm no stringy featherweight but I have yet to have this bike push on me. Raise the forks between7.5-15mm up depending on taste and rip.

That's it.

rock on.

I'm am 5'11 and 220. Do you have any tips for me on setting up the stock suspension for local MX tracks?

I'm am 5'11 and 220. Do you have any tips for me on setting up the stock suspension for local MX tracks?

I would definitely get the right spring rates for your weight. You can run the stock stuff for a while but your suspension will always work better if your springs are correct. That allows for your rebound and compression valving to do their work more effectively. Depending on how quick ou are around a given track will determine what kind of settings you should start with. I'm a pretty quick intermediate rider and with the right springs, I run a slightly stiffer, i.e. 2-4 clicks, compression setting on both ends and a little less thatn stock rebound. If you aren't sure about your rebound settings, on a practice day, go out and keep back off the rebound under you feel it pogo-ing around after a jump, then go one or two clicks in. On the compression side, again at practice you should just ride around and change the compression from the stock settings up or down until the bike will only bottom on the biggest jump on the track. Then you should be pretty ok. Oh yeah, on the shock it is CRUCIAL that you get the sag set right. BTW I use Enzo for all of my suspension stuff since they are the head R&D people for Kayaba and always use the right parts and whatnot. If you need anything else lemme know.

rock on.

The Kawi is a dead ringer in fast sweepers for me with no doubt. I have yet to be caught in any fast sections. As for the tight stuff, the bike turns as quickly as I tell it to. I'm 6'2" and about 220lbs so I'm no stringy featherweight but I have yet to have this bike push on me. Raise the forks between7.5-15mm up depending on taste and rip.

That's it.

rock on.

I'm considering switching from a YZ450F to an 07 KX450F and I've read the Kawa is the best 450 for big guys. I just wondered what all you did to set it up (I'm 6'3" and 215lbs). New rear spring? Tall seat? :thumbsup:

Thanks so much Hiredgun,

Aaron

I'm considering switching from a YZ450F to an 07 KX450F and I've read the Kawa is the best 450 for big guys. I just wondered what all you did to set it up (I'm 6'3" and 215lbs). New rear spring? Tall seat? :thumbsup:

Thanks so much Hiredgun,

Aaron

For my 06, springs and a PC link on the rear suspension. You may want to consider a taller seat for sure and maybe a taller set of bar risers too. You should do the front and rear springs to match your weight to get the best balance.

I'm considering switching from a YZ450F to an 07 KX450F and I've read the Kawa is the best 450 for big guys. I just wondered what all you did to set it up (I'm 6'3" and 215lbs). New rear spring? Tall seat? :thumbsup:

Thanks so much Hiredgun,

Aaron

Sorry about the late response...

Yeah, I went with stiffer springs front and back, I think like a .49 in the front and a 5.8 in the back. I would call someone, like Enzo, and ask them about it. As far as a tall seat, I haven't done anything yet but I'm think about going to one but can't pull the trigger. I have been thinking since a lot of people cut down their seat and put a hump on that since I'm tall I can just put a hump on the back of a regular seat and it would act like a cut down for me. Does that make any sense?

I also bought some Renthal Twinwalls, Windham bend, and plan on putting those Applied mounts on to move the bars forward about 10mm to see what that's like since the stock bar mounts go 4mm forward. They are considerable taller than stock bars too so we'll see. I'm trying to just change things one or two parts at a time to effectively evaluate each change and make notes so I know what works for me. OCD.

rock on.

Sorry about the late response...

Yeah, I went with stiffer springs front and back, I think like a .49 in the front and a 5.8 in the back. I would call someone, like Enzo, and ask them about it. As far as a tall seat, I haven't done anything yet but I'm think about going to one but can't pull the trigger. I have been thinking since a lot of people cut down their seat and put a hump on that since I'm tall I can just put a hump on the back of a regular seat and it would act like a cut down for me. Does that make any sense?

I also bought some Renthal Twinwalls, Windham bend, and plan on putting those Applied mounts on to move the bars forward about 10mm to see what that's like since the stock bar mounts go 4mm forward. They are considerable taller than stock bars too so we'll see. I'm trying to just change things one or two parts at a time to effectively evaluate each change and make notes so I know what works for me. OCD.

rock on.

Thanks for the response guys. Do either of you have any idea of what it costs to have the suspension "done" like that? I put a stiff spring on my YZ (5.5 I think) for $100 but that was it. If I take the plunge and get an 07 KX450 I want to do it right (the YZ was used) for me.

Regarding the tall seat I highly recommend it because it's been great on the YZ450. It's hard to believe one inch can make it that much easier to get on and off the seat. I've never seen the hump thing you are talking about but I'm new to the dirt this year. My complete tall seat was about 100 bucks though so it wasn't too expensive. My heels feel like they're going to touch my hamstrings when I'm on someone else's bike now.

For my 06, springs and a PC link on the rear suspension. You may want to consider a taller seat for sure and maybe a taller set of bar risers too. You should do the front and rear springs to match your weight to get the best balance.

I forgot to ask what a PC link is? Once again: :excuseme:

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