2009 KX 450 Ride Report

Stats: 180 lbs. mid pack Vet racer coming off an 05 RMZ 450 with Pro Works suspension, high compression piston and White Brothers slip on exhaust.

I rode both Saturday and Sunday at two different tracks, putting 1.0 hour on the bike Saturday and 1.4 hours on the bike on Sunday.

Track conditions:

Saturday – Moist, tacky some mud and lots and lots of ruts.

Sunday - Track prep was a 5 on a scale of 1 – 10 with the track drying out and lots of large dirt clods from too much tilling and not enough water.

Motor: In a nut shell, you twist the throttle and the big KX leaps forward with no hesitation, stumble or qualms about what it should do. There is a lot of torque with the overall power being a solid curve right up the RPM range. Someone else reported 2nd gear is awesome and I concur. This is a fun motor to ride. First start of the day takes 4 or 5 kicks to start the KX. The rest of the day was a 1 or 2 kick affair. I even tipped over in a slow tight right hand corner on Sunday. Picked the bike back up and it started 1st kick.

Suspension: I checked all clickers to ensure they were at the factory settings. The left compression setting on the forks was off by one. I’ve not check sag yet and with only 2 hours on the bike, the suspension is not broke in fully. As an overall statement, the suspension felt good, didn’t do anything funny and has good promise with more break-in and some spinning of the dials and setting the sag.

Handling: Coming off a RMZ I’m used to a bike that turns and this was my area of most concern. The KX does turn good and felt more planted Saturday verses Sunday, but this is due to track conditions and the stock front tire. Sunday was moist and tacky and the bike turned very good. Inside, outside, were ever I wanted and felt more settled then the RMZ. In comparison, Sunday I struggled with my turns. Track conditions were dry, loose and few ruts with this track being much faster with more and larger obstacles. The font tire just wanted to wash out and I didn’t feel the same confidence I had on Saturday. Part of this could be that I’ve not set the sag yet and 90% of the track conditions I ride, the stock front tire is not the correct type. This will be settled with proper set up, a new tire and additional break in time with the suspension.

Odds & Ends:

• I don’t care for the stock handlebars as they are slightly narrower then the bars I had on the RMZ and look to have less pull back. I need to figure out what the stock RMZ bend is so I can order a set for the KX. Unfortunately the RMZ had fat bars, so I can’t swap them out. I do like the stock grips which is a shocker.

• Front brake, what a beast, very strong. Back brake is strong too and felt very progressive in its nature.

• Why did Kawasaki use a 10 mm bolt for the seat and an 8 mm for the side covers? No reason why the seat bolts shouldn’t be 8 mm like the side covers.

• Owner’s manual, good information, but lacks information to rebuild the motor yourself. I guess you have to purchase the “shop manual” which is BS.

• I lost the two bottom rear fender bolts on Sunday, this after even checking both of them Saturday night.

• On Sunday the track I rode has a fast whoop section that I was hitting faster then I ever did on the RMZ. With less then two hours on the KX I was jumping into the 3 whoop were on the RMZ I would only jump into the 2nd whoop going into the section.

• Again on Sunday, there is a table top out of a left hand corner that on the RMZ I always came about 5 or 6 feet short of clearing. On the KX, I was clearing it by the fourth lap due to the insane throttle response.

Overall with 2.4 hours on the bike, I’m very happy with my decision and want to say thanks to Open Class, Happy Camper and VETMX808 as all of your reviews help in my decision to go with the KX. :lol:

Hard on the brakes or hard on the gas

Sawblade

Stats: 180 lbs. mid pack Vet racer coming off an 05 RMZ 450 with Pro Works suspension, high compression piston and White Brothers slip on exhaust.

I rode both Saturday and Sunday at two different tracks, putting 1.0 hour on the bike Saturday and 1.4 hours on the bike on Sunday.

Track conditions:

Saturday – Moist, tacky some mud and lots and lots of ruts.

Sunday - Track prep was a 5 on a scale of 1 – 10 with the track drying out and lots of large dirt clods from too much tilling and not enough water.

Motor: In a nut shell, you twist the throttle and the big KX leaps forward with no hesitation, stumble or qualms about what it should do. There is a lot of torque with the overall power being a solid curve right up the RPM range. Someone else reported 2nd gear is awesome and I concur. This is a fun motor to ride. First start of the day takes 4 or 5 kicks to start the KX. The rest of the day was a 1 or 2 kick affair. I even tipped over in a slow tight right hand corner on Sunday. Picked the bike back up and it started 1st kick.

Suspension: I checked all clickers to ensure they were at the factory settings. The left compression setting on the forks was off by one. I’ve not check sag yet and with only 2 hours on the bike, the suspension is not broke in fully. As an overall statement, the suspension felt good, didn’t do anything funny and has good promise with more break-in and some spinning of the dials and setting the sag.

Handling: Coming off a RMZ I’m used to a bike that turns and this was my area of most concern. The KX does turn good and felt more planted Saturday verses Sunday, but this is due to track conditions and the stock front tire. Sunday was moist and tacky and the bike turned very good. Inside, outside, were ever I wanted and felt more settled then the RMZ. In comparison, Sunday I struggled with my turns. Track conditions were dry, loose and few ruts with this track being much faster with more and larger obstacles. The font tire just wanted to wash out and I didn’t feel the same confidence I had on Saturday. Part of this could be that I’ve not set the sag yet and 90% of the track conditions I ride, the stock front tire is not the correct type. This will be settled with proper set up, a new tire and additional break in time with the suspension.

Odds & Ends:

• I don’t care for the stock handlebars as they are slightly narrower then the bars I had on the RMZ and look to have less pull back. I need to figure out what the stock RMZ bend is so I can order a set for the KX. Unfortunately the RMZ had fat bars, so I can’t swap them out. I do like the stock grips which is a shocker.

• Front brake, what a beast, very strong. Back brake is strong too and felt very progressive in its nature.

• Why did Kawasaki use a 10 mm bolt for the seat and an 8 mm for the side covers? No reason why the seat bolts shouldn’t be 8 mm like the side covers.

• Owner’s manual, good information, but lacks information to rebuild the motor yourself. I guess you have to purchase the “shop manual” which is BS.

• I lost the two bottom rear fender bolts on Sunday, this after even checking both of them Saturday night.

• On Sunday the track I rode has a fast whoop section that I was hitting faster then I ever did on the RMZ. With less then two hours on the KX I was jumping into the 3 whoop were on the RMZ I would only jump into the 2nd whoop going into the section.

• Again on Sunday, there is a table top out of a left hand corner that on the RMZ I always came about 5 or 6 feet short of clearing. On the KX, I was clearing it by the fourth lap due to the insane throttle response.

Overall with 2.4 hours on the bike, I’m very happy with my decision and want to say thanks to Open Class, Happy Camper and VETMX808 as all of your reviews help in my decision to go with the KX. :lol:

Hard on the brakes or hard on the gas

Sawblade

Good honest review :p I'm glad they fixed the front brake up from the 08, i hope the rear chain guard got the same treatment :lol:

The fat bars on my sons 07 RMZ250 were the RC bend, likely the same on your 05 450.

Nice write up. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

During brake in I found that running the clickers almost all the way out makes the rider better.

So I would run the compression click on the forks and the shock way out 14 - 16 rear and 16-8 forks.

Set the rebound to you liking. Then as the suspension starts to break in you turn the clicks in.

Works well for me and something you might consider to make the ride a little better during the those first 4-5 hours.

Congrats!

Nice review. I know it takes time to write it up and everyone will appreciate it. The more feedback everyone gets, the better we can make our bikes perform. Have fun and enjoy the new ride!

probly a question that has been answered many times before

but, how long do you normally consider suspension break in period?

no doubt different for every bike and rider

so how about a b rider on an 09 kx450

winters almost here and i only have time for one more ride and was hoping to do some tuning, but i only have 2 hours on the bike so i wasnt sure if it would be a waste or not

oh also awesome write up

probly a question that has been answered many times before

but, how long do you normally consider suspension break in period?

no doubt different for every bike and rider

so how about a b rider on an 09 kx450

winters almost here and i only have time for one more ride and was hoping to do some tuning, but i only have 2 hours on the bike so i wasnt sure if it would be a waste or not

From my experience with other new bikes, I would say in the 3 – 6 hour range. I can tell you there was a noticeable difference from 1 to 2 hours with my KX.

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