Completely redesigned from the ground up last year, the KX450 motorcycle returns for 2020 as the flagship model in the Kawasaki KX™ lineup. Tuned to best suit race-experienced riders, the 449cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine, slim aluminum perimeter frame, Showa A-KIT technology suspension, hydraulic clutch and electric start are the ultimate combination of a championship winning package.
The KX450 is built with race-winning components to help Kawasaki riders get to the top step of the podium. From the showroom to the racetrack, the performance of Kawasaki’s KX™ family of motorcycles is proof of its engineering pedigree. It truly is the Bike that Builds Champions.
The four-stroke, single cylinder, DOHC, water-cooled 449cc lightweight engine package utilizes input derived directly from the factory race team, producing peak power and a torque curve that makes it easy to get on the gas early. The potent KX450 engine features an electric start, which is activated by the push of a button and powered by a compact Li-ion battery.
Kawasaki brought top-level road racing technology to the KX450 valve train, using designs from Kawasaki World Superbike engineers. It uses finger-follower valve actuation, enabling larger-diameter valves and more aggressive cam profiles. The intake and exhaust valves are formed from lightwight titanium, while a bridged-box piston uses the same design as the Monster Energy® Kawasaki race team’s factory motorcycles.
A close-ratio five speed transmission features lightweight gears and shafts to keep weight down, yet retain strength, while contributing to the motorcycle’s winning performance. The transmision is paired with a hydraulic clutch that is designed to provide a consistent feeling through minimal change in play as the clutch heats up during heavy use.
An industry-leading slim aluminum perimeter frame provides precise cornering through excellent front-end feel and the ultimate agility when riding at high speeds. The frame’s lightweight construction is composed of forged, extruded and cast parts, while the engine is used as a stressed member and adds to the frames rigidity balance. A lightweight alloy swingarm is constructed of a cast front section and twin tapered hydro-formed spars in a raw aluminum finish, complementing the frame. Engineers carefully placed the dimension of the swingarm pivot, output sprocket and rear axle locations, helping to focus on center of gravity and balanced handling.
High-performance Showa 49 mm coil spring front forks with A-KIT technology can be found up front, featuring large diameter inner tubes that are the same size as those found on Kawasaki’s factory racing team’s machines. The forks enable the use of large damping pistons for smooth action and firm damping.
On the rear, a Kawasaki Uni-Trak® linkage system is designed to work in conjunction with the Showa shock, aluminum frame and swingarm. The linkage, which is mounted below the swingarm, allows for a longer rear suspension stroke and more precise rear suspension tuning. The Showa Compact Design rear shock boasts A-KIT technology with bigger diameter compression adjuster, improving on the high frequency movements found on today’s motocross tracks.
An oversized 270 mm, petal-shaped front brake rotor from the renowned manufacturer, Braking®, is fitted to keep up with the powerful engine of the KX450. The rear is equipped with a 250 mm petal-shaped Braking rotor that matches the large front disc.
Kawasaki continues its umatched commitment towards providing riders with class-leading ERGO-FIT™ comfort thanks its adjustable handlebar mounting system and footpegs to fit a variety of riders and riding styles. The handlebars feature four-way adjustable mounts. The multi-positition handlebars offer two mounting holes with 35 mm of adjustability, and the 180-degree offset clamps boast four individual settings to suit different size riders. The footpegs feature dual-position mounting points, with a lower position that reduces the standard setting by an additional 5 mm. The lower position effectively lowers the center of gravity when standing, and reduces knee angle when tallers riders are seated.
Complementing the championship proven technology, the 2020 KX450 features aggressive styling along with in-mold graphics on the radiator shrouds that result in an ultra-smooth surface and racy look needed to finish at the top of its class. The sleek bodywork has been molded to mach the V-mounted radiators and narrow chassis design. Each piece of the bodywork has been designed to help facilitate riders movement with long, smooth surfaces tha make it easy to slide back and forth.