First Look: 2023 or 2024 Kawasaki KX450?

Spy Photo: 2023 Kawasaki KX450?

All New 2023 or maybe 2024 Kawasaki KX450?/h3>

UPDATE: With shots of a new KX450 in public, both Broc Tickle and Jason Anderson have been heard saying there will not be a new model out for 2023 and they will be racing the current model next year. So is this a 2024 KX450 or will Kawasaki release an early 2024 KX450SR early 2023 or mid 2023? Time will tell? But we do know Kawasaki does have a new KX450 in the works.

There have been photos floating around the internet of a possible new 2023 KX450 shown at the first Japanese MX National this past weekend. First maybe a FB post then a Vital MX member made a post, then it was picked up several place, from there the speculation started to fly.
The bike is still cloaked in current 2019-2022 plastic but underneath it’s very much different.
What might we see in 2023?

-First off, the head is all new and has a more downdraft intake track, maybe similar to the Honda CRF450R.
-Not sure, but we suspect Kawasaki kept the head design with a dual cam with a finger follower-style valve train but with updated intake and exhaust angles. The thin valve cover and exposed rubber grommets are the biggest external visual changes.
-The cases/engine covers look similar to the current offering.
-The frame has been updated and you can see the linkage and its mounting positions have been altered as well as the subframe mounting position. You can see the mount for the subframe are now way higher on the frame (similar to the YZ450F).
-The swingarm looks to also be updated as it tapers further in the rear section toward the wheel altering the flex and how the rear feels.
-The swingarm pivot also might appear as if it is adjustable for testing, can’t say for certain but looking close something does not look production and they might have asymmetrical inserts to raise or lower the engine for testing.
-The shock seems to be mounted lower (lower hanging linkage) and possibly a shorter shock to make room for the intake tract that possibly travels over the shock and into a downdraft intake with a straighter shot into the intake valves.
-Other notable changes are the electronics. You can see a production-looking engine shut off switch that also sports multiple buttons, most likley for multi maps, launch control, and maybe even traction control (we will have to see).

The bike shown at the race is for sure a pre-production or a full test mule. The engine hangers have several mounting positions for possible testing, and you can see the future exhaust mounting position is not utilized and the plastic is not what production will probably look like. The engine mount positions could also be for adjustments or for the KX250 configuration if they share a frame? The test bike also has a O2 sensor for data collection and we doubt this will be production, but you never know going forward. The test bike had Showa “Kit” suspension and XTrig clamps. Right now its not certain the 2023 will come with Showa or the KYB that the SR comes with this year. You can see from the test bike they have blocked off the view of the shock tower and the shock itself. Kawasaki let part of the cat out of the bag, yet has not given up any specs or any real detail other than what we can speculate from seeing a few photos.

It is for certain Kawasaki has a bike in the works and it looks pretty close to being done and all-new. Yes, they cloaked it with current plastic but when production, it will most likely have a new look and style.

Will this bike or a version of it be the real 2023 Kawasaki KX450? We think it’s a pretty solid yes. Especially since Kawasaki is now offing rebates to the current 2022 KX450 that’s currently on showroom floors. This alone is a good indicator that a new bike coming down the pike. When will it be here is the big question? From the photos it looks like they are still testing for production final specs or they have alreay finished the 2023 and have already moved to further changes. Normal launch for a new model could be May-July, but if this bike is not done, it might be latre in the year (Aug-Nov). Only time will tell. We could ask Kawasaki but we doubt we would get a straight answer at this time. LOL. Stay tuned search the WWW.

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