2023 Kawasaki First Look
Kawasaki released some of their 2023 models with a bit of a twist. Many speculated the current KX450 was on its last year of its cycle, and ’23 would see a newly updated 450cc motocrosser. Instead, Team Green flipped the script and updated the KX250 and KX250X, leaving the KX450 and KX450X unchanged.
The 250cc four-stroke engine sees a host of new updates including “a 1.5mm narrower pitch for the intake valves and increased clearance at the valve seats” which are claimed to increase efficieny and improve combustion. For reliability purposes, the intake valves are now 1mm smaller to go along with the narrower pitch. An updated bridged-box piston with a dry film lubricant on the piston skirts is designed around the new head and valves, to increase lower RPM performance.
A redesigned airbox and boot features a straighter, tapered intake with the second fuel injector moved to the bottom of the boot (from the top) for a “downstream” flow. These changes are aimed at improving the already impressive high RPM performance of the KX250 engine. Other notable engine performance changes include updated mapping, a 100mm longer header for better low-mid range power, a heavier flywheel, and some hydraulic clutch component updates. The transmission ratios are altered with a longer first gear and new second gear to accomodate the longer first.
Suspension updates include new settings front and rear, with an aim to help cornering performance, something that KX didn’t always excel in. The rear linkage is new and allows for a longer stroke while matching the linkage ratio of the KX450.
Some of the smaller, but still significant, changes to the 250cc models include MX33 tires with a 110-90-19 now mounted (on the MX model), new footpegs, and of course bold new graphics. Retail price is $8,499 for the KX250 and $8,599 for the KX250X and are available in dealers now.
Both 450cc models mainly feature some bold new graphics for the new year.