Kawasaki revealed the 2014 KX450F today. It returns unchanged aside from new grips. The big KX still has all the same features that allowed it to win the 2013 Dirt Bike 450 shootout. That includes the 48mm Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork, which has no fork springs. Launch Control also returns as well as the color-coded couplers that allow you to alter the motor's power characteristics for different terrain. What follows is the official Kawasaki press release:
2014 KAWASAKI KX™450F
Climb Aboard a Motocross Dynasty
It’s no wonder that Kawasaki’s KX™450F has amassed an enviable championship record in AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross. Having a great rider definitely helps, and Monster Energy® Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto’s credentials are impeccable, including double-up titles in AMA Supercross and Motocross titles in 2011, followed by another AMA Supercross title in 2012. And in 2013, Villopoto made it three straight Supercross championships in a row, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back-to-back AMA Supercross titles since the great Ricky Carmichael, another rider whose career blossomed aboard Team Green™ machines.
A common denominator in these performances is the machinery, and the KX450F consistently delivers the most sophisticated technology with the highest degree of rider adjustability and the most progressive electronics package ever seen on a production motocross bike. The pattern for Kawasaki’s success is obvious.
The 2014 KX450F features a 48mm Kayaba 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 offers superior 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 better bottoming resistance, quicker, easier and more effective tuning using nothing more than the included Kawasaki Genuine PSF Air Fork 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.
Out back, a 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. The KX450F’s swingarm complements the shock by incorporating a large front casting, combining forces for maximum strength and rigidity.
Enhancing the rider interface in both the ergonomic and engine departments, the KX450F offers a choice of four different handlebar positions, two footpeg positions, and virtually unlimited ignition mapping capabilities with the optional KX FI Calibration Kit. These adjustments make the KX450F 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 standard with three pre-programmed ignition maps which are easily changed 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 immediately activate an ignition mode to match different track conditions. The ECU is also fully re-programmable and custom maps can be created 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 overrev performance, but ups the ante with impressive torque from ultra-low revs all the way through the upper mid-range. The intake valve lift, piston crown and ignition tuning provides a smooth powerband with significant “area under the curve,” aka usable power. The KX450F’s works-style bridge-box bottom piston allows for optimum strength and high rev durability.
Narrower grips for 2014 help reduce arm-pump and feature a softer material that makes things easier on the rider's hands. Minimalist bodywork, 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 2014 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.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, Side x Sides, and personal watercraft through a network of more than 1,200 independent retailers, with an additional 7,400 retailers specializing in Kawasaki power products and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with 300 of them located at KMC's Irvine, California headquarters.
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.™”, is recognized worldwide. For five decades, the Kawasaki brand has become synonymous with powerful, stylish and category-leading vehicles. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of powersports products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at www.kawasaki.com.
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2014 Kawasaki KX™450F
Features and Benefits
At a glance…
Launch Control helps to reduce wheelspin on slippery starting gates
Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) uses compressed air to reduce weight, compared to traditional metal-coil fork springs, providing effective tuning and bottoming resistance
Includes a free Kawasaki Genuine PSF Air Fork Pump and removable adjustment valve for quick and easy tuning of fork spring pressure
Engine is tuned for optimum power delivery all the way from basement revs through the upper rpm range, this results in impressive thrust that continues from corner-exit to the end of the straights
Piston crown shape allows for superior ultra-low to mid-range engine response
Intake cam features slightly less lift, to promote better low-rpm throttle response
Front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for excellent feel and superbly consistent performance
Pre-programmed ignition maps are interchangeable trackside, no PC required
Adjustable 4-position handlebar and 2-position footpegs allow riders to fit the KX to match their personal preference
Black anodized aluminum rims for a factory look
NEW Narrower grips are softer and more comfortable for 2014
449cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single with legendary Kawasaki power!
Works-based bridged-box bottom piston has optimum rigidity for maximum high-rpm power and durability
A forward lean angle of 3° puts the engine in the ideal position for maximum traction
Highly balanced crankshaft, on par with Villopoto’s factory racer, creates minimal vibration and has a high inertial mass to help maximize rear wheel traction
Compact cylinder head is only 100mm tall
Double valve springs help ensure stable valve operation and also allow for a short cylinder head height
Camshafts, lobes and tappet surfaces feature a soft-nitride treatment for long wear and high-rpm reliability
Automatic cam chain adjuster is maintenance-free
Crankshaft and connecting rod feature a special carburizing and quenching treatment to maximize rigidity, boosting long-term reliability without adding weight
Digital Fuel Injection
Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) self-adjusts to atmospheric changes for easier starting, sharper throttle response and accessible power for jumping
It is not necessary to re-tune or change any jets to suit climatic conditions like carbureted models
Ultra-fine atomizing injector with 12 holes sprays particles with a droplet size of 60μ for smooth power delivery and engine response throughout the throttle range
43mm throttle body uses a progressive throttle linkage to deliver airflow in much the same way as an FCR carburetor
Using two linked shafts, the throttle body opens more quickly after reaching the 3/8 open position
Fast-idle knob on the throttle body allows riders to increase engine speed when starting a cold engine
Fuel injector set at 45°, the optimum angle for mid-range power
High-performance Multi-map ECU
Ignition timing boosts response when re-opening the throttle after deceleration (when landing jumps, etc.)
ECU programming is easily selectable via interchangeable DFI coupler caps that provide three preprogrammed maps for standard, hard (terrain) and soft (terrain), without the need for a separate programmer or laptop
The engine can be started with only three rotations of the crankshaft using the electricity generated by a single kick of the starter, no battery needed
The system delivers electricity to the bike’s electronics in sequence: first the ECU, then the fuel pump, and finally the injector for quick, easy starting
The compact, lightweight ECU, located on the front of the steering head behind the number plate, was designed specifically for motocross use. The fuel pump relay is integrated with the ECU to help cope with the shocks and vibrations of tough racing
Launch Control Mode
Factory-style launch control system is an industry first and increases the ability to get good starts by maximizing available traction
Push-button activation of the Launch Control Mode retards ignition timing in first and second gears, giving the greatest effect within the first few seconds of releasing the clutch
Launch Control can be activated in neutral, first or second gear
Shifting into third gear automatically deactivates Launch Control Mode and returns the ignition to normal mapping
Strong output from the large ACG rotor provides enough electrical power for the battery-less FI system to enable true one-kick starting without using a battery
Equipped with an automatic compression release (ACR) system for quick and easy starting. The dual-weight centrifugal decompression system is fitted to the exhaust cam
Compression release features 1.0mm of valve lift, to minimize the required kicking power
Bridged-Box Bottom Piston
Piston crown shape tuned for excellent low to mid-range engine response
Same design as used on our factory racers; offers optimum performance at all rpm
Lighter and more durable than traditional piston designs
Short piston skirt features low-friction coating to minimize mechanical losses
Reinforced external ribs enhance strength and durability
PSF Front Fork
48mm Kayaba Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) uses compressed air as a spring. The reduced weight and inertia of the air spring improves smoothness and enhances the fork’s ability to follow terrain contours
Air spring significantly reduces friction and cuts weight by 1.7 lbs. per set, while also providing better bottoming resistance, less oil contamination, plus easier and more effective tuning compared to traditional springs
Large 32mm diameter internal damping cartridges help provide consistent performance and bottoming resistance
A removable spring pressure adjustment valve and free Kawasaki Genuine PSF Air Fork Pump, are included for quick and easy tuning of fork spring pressure
Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating on the outer surface of the inner fork tubes offers minimum stiction when the fork is exposed to lateral forces that would usually hamper slide action. The result is improved fork response, especially during cornering
Friction-reducing Kashima Coat on the inside of the fork’s outer tubes contributes to smooth suspension action (especially at the initial part of the stroke)
Wrap-around fork tube guards offer effective protection for the sliders
Lower triple clamp features integrated locating pins to help simplify installation and removal of the front number plate
One-piece front fender attachment screws feature integrated grommets to simplify installation and removal
33-position rebound damping adjuster allows precise fine-tuning of the rebound circuit
Easy adjuster access allows track-side suspension tuning with a minimum of hassle or lost time
Rear shock features dual compression adjustability, allowing 22-position high-speed and stepless low-speed damping adjustments to be made independently
Kayaba rear shock features a large 50mm piston and a Kashima Coat treatment on the cylinder wall for reduced friction and smoother suspension action
Tapered “D” shape swingarm is lighter than a comparable box-section unit and provides superior rigidity for its weight
Features tapered hydroformed spars and forged chain adjusters
Uni-Trak® rear suspension linkage is mounted below the swingarm to allow precise tuning and maximum rear suspension stroke
Fuel Tank and Lightweight Aluminum Fuel Pump
Compact 1.6-gallon fuel tank is formed using a blow molding process
Fuel pump features a one-piece filter cover and body, eliminating the need for fuel return tube from pressure regulator
Features a plastic fuel filter cover that wraps around the inlet port and acts as a fuel trap to help ensure a stable fuel supply during vigorous motocross riding
High-capacity Denso radiators feature tightly packed cores and a fin design that deliver superior cooling efficiency
Shroud shape features a slim profile and large cooling outlet hole to help keep excess heat to a minimum
Radiator louvers feature four small blades set at a shallow angle for minimum overlap and maximum air flow
Strong and Durable Clutch
Clutch assembly provides a direct feel and superb control of engagement
Excellent oil drainage reduces power loss caused by excess oil around the clutch basket
Friction plates with substantial friction material contribute to fade resistance and long service life
Clutch case cover features embossed logo and is painted silver, making scuffs and normal wear less noticeable
Close-ratio 5-Speed Transmission
5-Speed transmission and the engine’s broad torque curve gives riders more gear options for maximum drive on a wide range of tracks
Thick first gear offers excellent durability for launching off the line in high-traction situations
Powerful Disc Brakes
Front master cylinder features a knocker-style lever-to-piston interface for excellent feel and superbly consistent performance
Front brake pads offer a strong braking force and feel
Lightweight 250mm front rotor is squeezed by a powerful twin-piston caliper and features an aggressive petal design to help clear mud and debris
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
Rider Interface and Styling
NEW Narrower grips are softer and more comfortable for 2014
Slender frame helps the bike feel compact and nimble, but tapers to become wider near the rider’s ankles to offer optimum grip and control
Wide 50mm footpegs can be adjusted to alternate position, 5mm lower than stock
Dual injected 2-tone, one-piece plastic shrouds and side number plates are great looking, compact and lightweight
Black triple clamps and black anodized rims – just like Kawasaki’s factory teams
Blue finish on suspension adjusters and engine plugs look like the factory race parts
Slim seat design uses urethane foam designed to retain its original shape and provide optimum durability
Skid plate made of resin material offers great protection without excess weight
Clutch cable boot features a large quick adjuster, making it easy for riders to adjust clutch play on the fly
Rear caliper guard helps protect the caliper from damage
Ribless rear hub and butted spokes offer light weight and excellent durability
Optional KX Accessories
KX DFI Calibration Kit allows racers to reprogram the ECU’s data maps for volume of fuel injected and ignition timing to alter engine characteristics to suit rider preference. An ECU setting is available, which can also be used as a data logger, recording up to six hours of data, including engine rpm, degree of throttle opening, engine boost, coolant temp, air temp, ignition timing, fuel adjustments, gear position and system voltage
Kawasaki recommends a 0-60 PSI air pump with bleeder valve and no-loss Schrader valve connector, Kawasaki part# K5609-060A for adjusting fork air pressure with maximum accuracy and ease of use
2014 Kawasaki KX™450F Specifications*
Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four-valve cylinder head
Bore x stroke:
96.0 x 62.1mm
DFI® with 43mm Keihin throttle body
Rake / trail:
26.9 degrees / 4.4 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel:
48mm inverted, Kayaba PSF with DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound dampening adjustment / 12.4 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel:
UNI-TRAK® linkage system and Kayaba shock with 50mm piston, 22-position low-speed and stepless high-speed compression dampening, 33-position rebound dampening and fully adjustable spring preload / 12.4 in.
Single rigid-mount 250mm petal disc with dual-piston caliper
Single 240mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, California 92618