Kawasaki Releases 2013 Off-road Models2012-05-26 17:42
Kawasaki has already released some of their 2013 models. Their KLX off-road bikes and KX motocross line are now up on their website. Most appear unchanged for 2012, but the KX 450F and KX 250F have significant revisions and upgrades. See details of the the updated models below.
2013 Kawasaki KX 450F
The KX™450F has been updated for 2013 to help continue its back-to-back string of recent championships. The string began with Monster Energy® Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto winning both the 2011 Supercross and 2011 Motocross titles, followed by leading the U.S. team to an overall victory at the Motocross of Nations, then Villopoto’s absolute domination of the Monster Energy Cup —which also earned him the Monster Million. Last but not least, Villopoto recently defended his Supercross title by winning the 2012 championship on his KX450F!
The KX450F’s best-in-class performance is delivered through the highest level of rider adjustability and the most progressive electronics package ever seen on a production motocross bike. Get the picture? Don’t blame the bike if you can’t win on a KX450F!
Headlining the 2013 upgrades for the KX450F is a switch to the new 48mm KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF), which uses pressurized air to eliminate the traditional metal-coil fork springs. The reduced weight and inertia of an air spring improves smoothness and enhances the fork’s ability to follow terrain contours. The Pneumatic Spring Fork also significantly reduces friction and cuts weight by an amazing 1.7 lbs. per set! Other benefits of the air spring include providing better bottoming resistance, quicker, easier and more effective tuning using nothing more than a hand pump, and reduced oil contamination due to the lack of microscopic metal particles caused by fork springs rubbing against the inside of the fork tubes. The super-hard Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating on the outer surface of the inner fork tubes and high-tech Kashima Coat treatment on the inner surface of the outer fork tubes significantly reduce drag compared to a standard fork assembly and help deliver supple, fade-free action.
A new swingarm compliments the new front fork and features a larger front casting that extends further down the spars for maximum strength and improved rigidity. The Kayaba rear shock features a beefy 50mm piston and a top-shelf Kashima Coat surface treatment on the inside walls of the shock body. Ample adjustability helps ensure smooth, reliable and consistent action of the rear suspension that not only offers superior performance, but also helps the rider relax and conserve valuable strength on the way to the finish line. Kawasaki offers an optional rear suspension tie rod that is one millimeter longer than stock, which can be used to reduce seat height by four millimeters.
No other production motocross bike offers a higher degree of adjustability to the rider interface or engine character than the KX450F. With a choice of four different handlebar positions, two footpeg positions, and virtually unlimited ignition mapping capabilities, the KX450F is uniquely able to adapt to changing track and surface conditions and meet the needs of a wide range of riders.
The Digital Fuel injection (DFI®) system comes with three pre-programmed ignition maps which are easily selectable without the use of a laptop computer or any other electronic devices. Maps can quickly be changed between three settings – standard, hard (terrain) and soft (terrain) – by swapping the DFI wire coupler cap clipped to the side of the steering head. Easy access to the coupler cap means no additional accessories are needed to alternate between pre-preprogrammed maps – simply connect the appropriate coupler cap to activate an ignition mode to match track conditions. The ECU is also fully re-programmable and custom maps can be created by using the accessory Kawasaki Racing Software Calibration Kit, the same tool used by Kawasaki factory and privateer teams in AMA and FIM racing.
The KX450F’s engine provides proven top-end and over-rev performance, but ups the ante with improved torque from ultra-low revs all the way through the upper mid-range. Revised intake valve lift, a revised piston crown and tweaked ignition settings provide the increased torque and improved throttle response for 2013. The end result is a smoother powerband with more “area under the curve,” AKA usable power. The KX450F’s works-style bridge-box bottom piston allows for optimum strength and high rev durability.
New, longer grips for 2013 extend further toward the center of the handlebars, allowing riders to slide their hands up to 20mm closer together, for a more compact feel than last year’s bike. The grips also feature a taller pattern and are molded from lower density material to make life easier on the rider’s hands. Minimalist body work, shrouds and number plates contribute to the slender feel and sleek looks of Kawasaki’s flagship motocross machine. Sparing no attention to detail, the seams between the radiator shrouds, seat and side covers are very flush fitting, which help prevent snags and allow the rider to change position and maneuver more freely on the bike. The compact fuel tank also forms a smooth and nearly straight line with the seat to allow maximum rider movement.
A blue finish on the oil cap and two caps on the generator cover highlight the factory appearance of the KX450F motor, and match the blue anodized finish on the suspension adjusters. An embossed logo on the clutch cover features a trick design and is painted silver to help hide the normal signs of wear.
The 2013 KX450F is available in Kawasaki Lime Green, with black anodized rims, blue highlights and aggressive graphics inspired by the Team Monster Energy Kawasaki factory race bikes.
Racers who ride their KX450F at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green™, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program. For over 30 years, Team Green has been providing regional support vehicles and highly trained technicians at more than 100 yearly events throughout the United States, offering technical information and assistance to those who race Kawasaki products. Kawasaki also offers a comprehensive contingency program for amateur and professional riders who place well at designated events.
New for 2013:
New Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) replaces the main fork springs with compressed air to reduce weight, provide easier and more effective tuning and improve bottoming resistance
• Revised engine tuning offers more power and smoother delivery from basement revs through mid and into the upper rpm range; this provides more thrust while exiting corners and all the way down the straights, while also enhancing rider confidence
• Revised piston crown improves ultra-low to mid-range engine response
• Revised intake cam features slightly less lift, to promote better low-rpm throttle response
• New front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for improved feel and more consistent performance than the old piston-type unit
• New longer, lower density grips make life easier on the rider’s hands. They also extend further towards the center of the handlebars, allowing riders to move their hands up to 20mm closer together
• New lightweight 240mm petal-type rear rotor features the same aggressive petal style as the front rotor and is gripped by a single piston hydraulic rear caliper
2013 Kawasaki KX 250F
For almost a decade, no other bike has spent more time on AMA Supercross and Motocross podiums than the Kawasaki KX™250F. The race-proven technology of the quarter-liter motocross leader returns for 2013, with an all-new plug-and-play adjustable ECU, narrower new frame, upgraded Separate Function Fork (SFF) fork and slimmer ergonomics, so the KX250F is poised to continue its class dominance in 2013.
The KX250F continues to lead the way, on the race track and with the enthusiast publication critics, who consider it to be one of the best 250F’s to ever put a wheel on the race track. The KX250F offers cutting-edge technology right off the showroom floor, to give riders the winning edge on the circuit. Along with the KX250F’s race-proven performance, no other production motocross bike offers as much adjustability, fine-tuning capabilities and rider customization when it comes to motor and suspension. Right off the production line, the KX250F gives a factory advantage to the privateer racer – it could be the difference between qualifying for the main and making the podium.
Kawasaki maintains its title-winning formula by advancing the theory that slimmer means faster and better handling. So they made the new 2013 KX250F frame 4mm narrower across the main spars for improved ergonomics and enhanced rider control. Since a slimmer chassis allows the rider more freedom of movement on the motorcycle, the radiator shrouds are also significantly smaller and slimmer where they contact the rider’s legs. The side covers were made as small as possible as well and form a smoother line with the redesigned airbox for freer rider movement. Since a motocross racer moves around so much, Kawasaki incorporated a flatter design of the seat and tank interface to provide greater freedom of movement and facilitate sitting farther forward.
The slimmer new frame also has revised steering head gusseting, a new rear shock mount tower and a new curved left rear engine hanger bracket which all help to slightly reduce rigidity for lighter handling and increased rear wheel traction. Adding to the ergonomic enhancements the KX250F has new longer grips with a lower density compound for increased comfort. The longer grips allow the rider to mover their hands up to 20mm closer to the centerline of the bars, for a more compact riding position.
Kawasaki was the first to incorporate a dual-injector fuel injection system on a production 250 four-stroke. For 2013, Kawasaki’s Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) system with dual fuel injectors returns with enhancements. The second injector is located upstream of the throttle body and helps build a wider and more potent spread of power as rpm climbs. The two fine-mist atomizing injectors that feed the 250cc four-stroke power-plant have different body sizes, but deliver the same total capacity, per-cycle. Together, Kawasaki’s dual injectors pack a one-two punch, delivering a second dose of fuel on acceleration to maximize the high-rpm power and overrev capabilities of the KX250F.
Kawasaki engineers widened the intake ports and straightened the intake tract for more direct air flow from the airbox to the combustion chamber. The enhanced downdraft configuration contributes to stronger top-end performance.
They also shortened the cylinder by 0.1mm to increase the compression ratio and add to overall performance. Plus, the revised intake cam retards timing by four degrees to help boost top-end performance and a heavier rotor optimizes inertia to suit the new engine settings.
Performance is also enhanced via an all new exhaust system. The exhaust header is 30mm shorter for increased performance and now has a resonator chamber to help enhance low-end power and reduce noise. The reshaped, KX450F-style muffler is not only 30mm shorter but also features a 12.5mm larger cross section to help centralize mass while meeting sound requirements.
Revised ECU settings compliment the new engine characteristics. And the piston profile features a softer arc at the point of greatest pressure for increased reliability. The bridged box-bottom piston and cylinder walls both feature special surface treatments to minimize wear and enhance long-term durability. Plus, stronger intake valve seat material increases durability. The result of all these improvements is increased overall performance and enhanced reliability.
The Digital Fuel injection (DFI®) system comes with three pre-programmed ignition maps which are easily selectable without the use of a laptop computer or any other electronic devices. Maps can quickly be changed between three settings – standard, hard (terrain) and soft (terrain) – by swapping the DFI wire coupler cap clipped to the side of the steering head. No additional accessories are needed to alternate between pre-preprogrammed maps – simply install the appropriate coupler cap to select your desired ignition mode and start winning. The ECU is also fully re-programmable and custom maps can be created by using the accessory KX FI Calibration Kit, the same tool used by Kawasaki factory and privateer teams in AMA and FIM racing.
The KX250F remains the only production motocross bike to feature Showa’s SFF fork, which separates damping and shock absorption duties into the individual fork legs. This has proven to be highly successful for riders at all skill levels. The 2013 KX250F features an upgraded SFF with a host of enhancements for even better suspension performance. The 1mm larger inner fork tubes increase rigidity, contributing to a more planted feel from the front wheel. The increased diameter of the inner fork tubes also allowed the damping components to be larger, with the 2mm larger main piston now measuring 30mm, and the 1mm larger sub-piston now at 35mm. The larger components allow the same damping force to be achieved at a lower internal pressure, this allows firmer damping response and increased riding comfort.
The upgraded SFF also features an inverted compression rod that locates the cylinder at the top of the fork and the rod at the bottom. This new configuration increases the volume of oil at the bottom of the fork for a more progressive increase in damping force, enabling bottoming resistance to be increased without sacrificing ride quality. The revised joint rod arrangement and larger components increase rigidity, especially in the right fork tube which contains the spring, resulting in more even flex characteristics between the left and right tubes. The more closely matched rigidity promotes better handling stability under hard braking and landing from jumps. The lower triple clamp now opens at the rear to increase rigidity and improve fork action.
The Showa-built shock perfectly complements the SFF forks. The shock features revised damping settings with dual compression adjustability, allowing high-speed and low-speed damping to be tuned separately. The rear shock also features the Kashima Coating on its cylinder wall, to help reduce friction and smooth the suspension action. These features improve rear wheel traction and allow the KX250F to put the power down more effectively, making it easier than ever to grab the holeshot.
Any machine built to go this fast needs to be able to stop just as quickly and the braking systems on the KX250F are excellent. The new pushrod-type front brake master cylinder and higher-friction brake pads provide stronger brake force and enhanced control, especially for the initial bite and initial mid-stroke characteristics.
The 2013 KX250F is finished with new fender and front number plate designs. The black rear fender, silver engine covers and new black muffler end cap maintain the factory racer resemblance. And quality race-proven components such as a Renthal aluminum handlebar and black anodized aluminum wheels that are both lightweight and incredibly strong are part of the overall package.
The factory team feel of the KX250F is augmented by the lightweight magnesium clutch, generator and cylinder head covers. Plus, the embossed design on the clutch cover is designed to gradually appear as contact from riding boots wears off the painted surface. A sleek, ribless rear hub and butted spokes further reduce unsprung weight. The blue finish on the oil filler, flywheel nut and timing inspection caps contributes to factory looks and sophistication of this class-winning machine, which is bound to top plenty of podiums in the coming year.
Optional parts available through Kawasaki dealers include lighter/heavier flywheels, front and rear sprockets, solid brake discs, handlebar holder for 1 1/8” handlebar, and stiffer or softer fork and shock springs.
Racers who ride their KX250F at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green™, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program. For over 30 years, Team Green has been providing regional support vehicles and highly trained technicians at more than 100 yearly events throughout the United States, offering technical information and assistance to those who race Kawasaki products. Kawasaki also offers a comprehensive contingency program for amateur and professional riders who place well at designated events.
New for 2013:
• Upgraded Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF) provides more progressive damping force and features larger-diameter 48mm inner fork tubes for improved rigidity and less stiction
• Dual injector Digital Fuel Injection system
• More robust high-rpm engine output extends deep into the overrev
• Stronger engine components improve reliability
Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story
Tags: 2013, kawasaki, new models, off-road, motocross
Tweets by @bikeland_org