Kawasaki have just released the first look at their updated 2022 KX450, featuring plenty of parts developed from their factory teams available to the public on the updated model...
Kawasaki say the KX450 was designed with mid-level to expert riders in mind, and that it has always been built with one simple goal: to put riders on the top step of the podium – something that KX brand have been extremely successful at doing for over 40 years.
Kawasaki say the engine design boasts awesome power, while a flat torque curve makes it easier to get on the gas. Finger follower valve actuation (a valve train designed by Kawasaki’s MotoGP & World Superbike engineers) enables larger-diameter valves and aggressive cams. Downdraft style intake and reduced friction loss (care of plain bearings for the connecting rod big-end) further contribute to the power. Kawasaki’s electric start makes restarting the engine as easy as pushing a button.
- High-performance piston, featuring the same design used on Kawaski factory racers, contributes to strong performance at all rpm.
- Plain bearings for the connecting rod big-end reduced mechanical loss.
- The engine is almost upright to help place the bike’s centre of gravity for maximum traction.
- Cylinder is offset, reducing friction and enabling more efficient power generation.
- ECU settings include programming that enhances traction by retarding ignition when the rear wheel speed increases too quickly (i.e. from sudden, excess wheel spin).
- Downdraft-style intake routing allows an even straighter approach for intake air.
The KX450 has hydraulic clutch which offers more direct feel and lighter lever action with it offers less play as the clutch heats up during heavy use results in more consistent feeling. The clutch works in conjunction with launch control mode. The launch control system increases the chance of getting a good start by helping riders maximise traction when starting on a slippery surface.
The frame is rigid and includes the engine as a stressed member. The swingarm also contributes to the rigidity, balance and rear traction. While electric start and the return to a coil-spring fork add weight, efforts were made to keep the weight gain to a minimum. The result is the KX450’s lean chassis, and a low overall weight of only 110.2kg.
A large diameter front axle helps at the front gain traction, while the rear suspension layout and linkage ratios benefit the rear. The suspension duties up front are handled by a high-performance 49mm inverted coil-spring fork. The large-diameter inner tubes enables the use of large damping pistons, delivering smooth action and firm damping.
A super-hard titanium coating on the outer surface of the fork inner tubes helps prevent wear abrasion. The increased surface hardness of the dark navy blue coating also helps to prevent scratches and damage to the tubes. Because the surface remains smooth for a longer period, sliding friction (and stiction) is reduced and action is improved, contributing to a smoother ride.
A large-diameter 250mm rear disc complements the oversized 270mm front disc, while a front brake master cylinder contributes to overall braking performance. The ultra slim bodywork was designed to facilitate rider movement. Kawasaki claim the long, smooth surfaces make it easy to slide.
Initial settings for the three engine maps are: Standard, Hard (conditions) and Soft (conditions). Using provided DFI couplers, riders are able to easily switch between the three maps to suit riding conditions. Plugging in each of the 4-pin couplers activates the corresponding engine map. (Plug is conveniently located on the right side of the head pipe for easy access without having to remove any parts.) Maps can now be changed while the engine is running.
2022 KAWASAKI KX450 SPECIFICATIONS
Colours: Lime Green
Claimed power: N/A
Claimed torque: N/A
Wet Weight: 110.2kgs
Fuel capacity: 6.2L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder, 449cc, DOHC, four-valve, 96 x 62.1mm bore x stroke, 44mm DFI, 12.5:1 compression
Clutch: Wet multi-disc Hydraulic
Chassis: Perimeter aluminium frame
Suspension: 49mm inverted telescopic Showa fork with adjustable compression and rebound, Showa rear shock, Uni Trak with adjustable dual-range (high/low-speed) compression damping, adjustable rebound damping and adjustable preload
Brakes: Semi-floating 270mm petal disc, dual piston caliper, single 250mm rear petal disc, single piston caliper.
Wheels & Tyres: Spoked wheels, Dunlop tyres.
Seat height: 955mm
Overall height: 2185mm
Ground clearance: 340mm
Electronics: Changeable engine maps, launch control, electric start.