Scorching on the heels of Jo Shimoda’s run of moto wins and podium within the 250MX class at this yr’s AMA Nationals on a Monster Vitality/Professional Circuit/Kawasaki KX250 comes the 2023 Kawasaki KX250. We ripped some sizzling laps at historic Perris Raceway in California’s broiling Island Empire to take a look at the newest model of this profitable support-class racebike.
- Strolling as much as the 2023 Kawasaki KX250 and seeing it for the primary time, you may discover it seems to be like final yr’s mannequin. Nevertheless, Kawasaki progresses the KX250 with numerous updates to reinforce engine efficiency, suspension, and transmission. Oh, and regardless of no adjustments to its look, the KX250 is probably the sexiest bike in its class. However, that is all about rider choice.
- Extra motor efficiency begins with higher airflow for 2023. Beginning with engine efficiency, Kawasaki engineers targeted on enhancing combustion by rising cylinder-filling effectivity. The downdraft-style consumption duct has been straightened for higher airflow, and the injector is repositioned to the underside of the consumption duct to create a straight shot into the motor for extra environment friendly cylinder filling. So proper off the bat, the general consumption system has been superior for optimum airflow. Everyone knows that elevated airflow contributes to increased efficiency.
- The consumption valve pitch has modified from 37mm to 35.5mm, bringing it nearer to the middle of the cylinder. When the consumption valve opens, it isn’t as near the cylinder wall as final yr. Consequently, the air/gas combination is extra evenly displaced across the cylinder, in keeping with Kawasaki.
- For extra torque at low rpm and thru the midrange, the exhaust header pipe has been lengthened 100mm in comparison with the 2022 mannequin.
- The 2023 Kawasaki KX250’s suspension has been fine-tuned to enrich the elevated engine efficiency. The fork internals, together with a brand new oil top, are up to date to ship firmer compression motion. The aim is to offer the rider with larger front-end suggestions and contribute to a extra planted really feel.
- Kawasaki maintains the “plug and play” ECU map choice system with the three couplers. The black coupler is the graceful setting that gives a extra linear acceleration off the underside finish with much less of a success on the crack of the throttle. The inexperienced coupler is the all-around or customary engine map, with constant energy all through the whole rev vary. Lastly, the white coupler is the aggressive setting that provides a quick punch to the underside finish and revs a lot faster. Nevertheless, the aggressive white coupler loses a bit of energy on the highest finish.
- At Perris Raceway, the aggressive white coupler serves a racer nicely with that low-to-mid punch. There isn’t a proper or flawed selection with these couplers. It is determined by the monitor’s character, driving circumstances, and your driving model. If you happen to’re racing at an extended, quicker monitor the place you’ll be driving within the excessive finish of the rev vary, then the inexperienced customary coupler is probably going the way in which to go.
- As I jumped onto the monitor for my first sight lap, the entrance finish felt very fast and light-weight in motion. It’s easy to show the bike, and it’s agile between the legs. This era of the KX250 could be very slim. With the optimized updates for 2023, the bike handles obediently. The chassis would not really feel too inflexible regardless of the stiffer suspension settings.
- Standing by corners or lengthy sweeping turns, the 2023 Kawasaki is gentle on the toes. It was nearly as if the bike would go wherever my eyes would look. Gripping the midsection firmly with my knees, the chassis is attentive to my instructions—a significant plus. Negotiating ruts and bumps on the lengthy straights on the deep tilled clay-like dust at Perris Raceway is simple, and the extremely regarded Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires did their half.
- Kawasaki’s manufacturing unit spec for sag is about at 100mm, which is a little bit of a shock to me, as I am usually within the 103 to 105 vary. With the manufacturing unit sag lifting the rear, the entrance finish is possibly a bit of too nimble. It’s fast to react and generally jerky on the quick straights at Perris. There have been a number of instances the bars received a bit of wobbly on me. At decrease speeds, the KX250 tracked nicely by the tough stuff. If we spend extra time on the 2023 KX250, I will set the sag to maybe 102 or 103 to get extra weight on the rear finish and settle down the response on the entrance.
- Though I usually gradual the rebound on my fork settings, the manufacturing unit fork rebound settings felt nice all day. I stiffened the compression by two clicks to go well with my choice. Regardless, the manufacturing unit suspension settings are spot-on.
- The transmission gear ratios for 1st and 2nd gear have been up to date to supply a extra racer-friendly energy supply. 1st and 2nd gear are longer to easy the transition between gears from 1st to third. First gear provides extra usable energy for tight cornering and technical conditions. Second gear maintains a robust pull by the excessive revs for a easy transition to third gear. The taller gearing permits extra energy to the bottom by the whole rev vary. The 2023 stiffer shock settings keep traction by the acceleration bumps on the nook exits.
- Perris Raceway is a good course with many jumps and turns, and 1st gear is now usable due to the brand new ratios. There have been a few tight corners the place 1st gear performed out nicely. The taller 2nd gear pulls me by successive jumps, and nonetheless has extra energy left. As stated earlier than, Kawasaki targeted on optimizing the KX250 for racers. The gearing updates are nice for racing—the much less shifting, the higher. The ability supply to the dust is optimized due to easy transitions between gears.
- The hydraulic, cone-disc clutch really feel is gentle and easy. All through the day on the KX250, I used solely my index finger to intensify the clutch, but fatigue didn’t set in. A buttery easy clutch is all the time a pleasant contact. The hydraulic clutch additionally appeared to have cable-like traits when actuating the clutch round corners. Generally a hydraulic clutch system will be extra of an on-off really feel slightly than a exact cable really feel. However the Kawasaki hydraulic clutch system was easy and predictable.
- This 2023 Kawasaki KX250 delivers easy corner-to-jump transitions. With the improved mixture of the taller gears and better peak efficiency of the 2023 motor bundle, the refined suspension tuning is easy off the soar takeoffs. As I discussed, the taller 2nd gear carried me by the soar sections near the nook exits. With out the necessity to upshift to third gear earlier than the soar takeoff, I can focus extra on bike management and dealing with.
- Within the air, the newest KX250 is as gentle as a feather. It’s comfortably controllable, particularly flying over Perris Raceway’s 90-foot jumps. Mixed with well-balanced ergos and placement of the controls, the bike by no means felt as if it had been combating towards me within the air. Moreover, the KX250 is simple to right within the air ought to your takeoff not be so good. On the landings, the suspension soaks up the impression properly with out bouncing.
- The improved motor bundle provides unimaginable energy at excessive rpm, so you may maintain that throttle broad open for days in every gear. In third gear on the lengthy straight part at Perris, I used to be ready for the motor to hit the rev limiter, however I used to be already on the subsequent nook.
- The 2023 Kawasaki KX250 comes with a 110 rear tire—lastly! All of the Japanese 250 four-strokes, except the Yamaha YZ250F, are bought with a 100 rear tire to save lots of weight. Nevertheless, with Kawasaki’s elevated motor, the 110 rear tire works wonders for the KX250.
- The hand levers are approach too skinny for my liking. If there was one factor on the bike I might change instantly if I owned the 2023 KX250, it will be the levers. They really feel nearly sharp and hit a stress level on my fingers.
- The up to date KX250 focuses on the racer, whereas nonetheless providing rider-friendly options. With the power to experience the KX250 excessive within the rev vary, lowering shifting, the powerplant is a racer’s dream. Rookies or novice riders contemplating a brand new 250 four-stroke machine for the pure pleasure of driving, don’t be deterred from the Kawasaki platform. The sleek engine map setting, plus the customizable controls and footpegs, will enable you study the artwork of setup. The general dealing with is fluid and nimble, including to the motor’s rideability. The chassis corners with ease and is steady down the straights. The 2023 Kawasaki KX250 offers the rider confidence that it’s going to go wherever the rider needs, and it will get you there rapidly and with much less effort.
Action photography by Ryne SwanbergRIDING STYLE2023 Kawasaki KX250 Specs ENGINE
- Sort: Single-cylinder four-stroke
- Displacement: 249cc
- Bore x stroke: 78.0 x 52.2mm
- Compression ratio: 14.1:1
- Beginning: Electrical
- Fueling: EFI w/ 44mm Keihin throttle physique w/ twin injectors
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Clutch: Hydraulically actuated w/ coned-disc spring
- Closing drive: Chain
- Body: Aluminum perimeter
- Handlebar: Tapered aluminum Renthal Fatbar
- entrance suspension; journey: Compression- and rebound-damping adjustable KYB 48mm inverted fork; 12.4 inches
- rear suspension; journey: Linkage-assisted absolutely adjustable KYB piggyback reservoir shock; 12.4 inches
- Tires: Dunlop Geomax MX33
- Entrance tire: 80/100 x 21
- Rear tire: 110/90 x 19
- Entrance brake: Semi-floating 270mm Braking petal disc w/ 2-piston Nissin caliper
- Rear brake: Single 240mm Braking petal disc w/ single-piston Nissin caliper
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITY
- Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
- Rake: 27.1 levels
- Path: 4.6 inches
- Seat top: 37.8 inches
- Floor clearance: 13.6 inches
- Gasoline Capability: 1.6 gallons
- Moist weight: 238 kilos
- Coloration: Lime Inexperienced
2023 Kawasaki KX250 Worth: $8499 MSRP
2023 Kawasaki KX250 Overview Picture Gallery
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