2024 Kawasaki KX450 Stage 1 Build

2024 KX450X Off-Road Race Build Stage 1

Story by Trevor Hunter, Photos by Trevor Hunter/Mark Kariya


We spent all of last year testing and working with Kawasaki’s KX450X to race the AMA National Grand Prix Championship and we were pretty happy with the overall bike. For 2024, Kawasaki gave us an all new platform to work with and with a little over 10 hours and a few races on the stock platform, we learned what areas we wanted to focus on immediately and rounded up a few parts before going racing at Round 4 of the NGPC Series in 29 Palms, CA. While the stock KX has some good traits, we were looking for a little more performance out of it for a Pro level rider on-board.

TCS Powersports handled the suspension duties for us with stiffer springs front and rear and stiffer valving. The stock KX valving is pretty good, but lacks some performance and hold up for a faster racer so we stuck with a similar setting, just beefed up on both ends.
Another big ticket item is a FMF 4.1 Slip-On Muffler. The stock muffler is quite restrictive stock, and the FMF unit helped boost power from top to bottom. The power delivery was a little more aggressive, pulled harder and further, and gave it a crisper throttle response. We ran the muffler with the quiet insert in for more back pressure and to save our ears.
We used this map that gave it a more aggressive delivery, but we’d like to see if we can get make this bike a free-er revving engine or get some more power in the bottom to mid so we don’t have to ride the bike so hard.
DT-1 Filters sent us their screenless cage and domed air filter setup. Similar to the pipe but not as drastic, it gave the bike better puller power from top to bottom and increased throttle response.


Drilling holes in the airbox gave the bike additional pulling power, very similar to the DT-1 Filter setup. Additonally, we ran a Corner Coach seat bump to keep us in place on the high speed track.
To keep the bike as stock as possible, we ran a Precision Racing Products Steering Stabilizer that retains the stock triple clamps and simpy mounts to the frame and handlebars. IMS’ 2.8 Gal tank transferred over from the 2019-2023 model.
Because of the fast desert track and all of the rocks, we ran some mesh over the radiator louvers to protect them from rocks and roost. Supprt DBT and Purchase this mesh HERE.
P3 Carbon is one of the first companies with a skid plate for this bike and they did a very nice job with this piece. They utilized the stock mounting tabs so you don’t have to deal with any extra brackets or hassles, and it conforms around the frame and engine cases for a sleek design.
Dunlop’s AT82 tires were our choice front and rear. The front in particular is our go-to tire from Dunlop, and the rear has a lot of good characteristics to it as well. The tires were stuffed with Airmousses to keep us flat free.
Some key setup points on our bike is we’re running our forks at flush and the rear axle nearly all the way back in the swingarm by adding an extra link to the chain. All of this adds up to better stability.


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