Sizzling 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’ll discover it appears to be like like final yr’s mannequin. Nonetheless, Kawasaki progresses the KX250 with varied updates to boost engine efficiency, suspension, and transmission. Oh, and regardless of no modifications to its look, the KX250 is maybe the sexiest bike in its class. However, that’s 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 larger 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. In consequence, 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 enhance the elevated engine efficiency. The fork internals, together with a brand new oil peak, are up to date to ship firmer compression motion. The objective is to supply 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 normal engine map, with constant energy all through your entire rev vary. Lastly, the white coupler is the aggressive setting that provides a handy guide a rough punch to the underside finish and revs a lot faster. Nonetheless, the aggressive white coupler loses slightly 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 any proper or fallacious alternative with these couplers. It relies on the monitor’s character, driving circumstances, and your driving fashion. In the event you’re racing at an extended, quicker monitor the place you’ll be driving within the excessive finish of the rev vary, then the inexperienced normal coupler is probably going the best way to go.
- As I jumped onto the monitor for my first sight lap, the entrance finish felt very fast and lightweight in motion. It’s easy to show the motorbike, 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 doesn’t really feel too inflexible regardless of the stiffer suspension settings.
- Standing via corners or lengthy sweeping turns, the 2023 Kawasaki is gentle on the toes. It was virtually as if the bike would go wherever my eyes would look. Gripping the midsection firmly with my knees, the chassis is conscious of my instructions—a serious plus. Negotiating ruts and bumps on the lengthy straights on the deep tilled clay-like dust at Perris Raceway is straightforward, and the extremely regarded Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires did their half.
- Kawasaki’s manufacturing facility spec for sag is ready at 100mm, which is a little bit of a shock to me, as I’m usually within the 103 to 105 vary. With the manufacturing facility sag lifting the rear, the entrance finish is possibly slightly too nimble. It’s fast to react and generally jerky on the quick straights at Perris. There have been a couple of instances the bars bought slightly wobbly on me. At decrease speeds, the KX250 tracked nicely via the tough stuff. If we spend extra time on the 2023 KX250, I’ll 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 sometimes gradual the rebound on my fork settings, the manufacturing facility fork rebound settings felt wonderful all day. I stiffened the compression by two clicks to go well with my choice. Regardless, the manufacturing facility 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 affords extra usable energy for tight cornering and technical conditions. Second gear maintains a robust pull via the excessive revs for a easy transition to third gear. The taller gearing permits extra energy to the bottom via your entire rev vary. The 2023 stiffer shock settings preserve traction via the acceleration bumps on the nook exits.
- Perris Raceway is a decent 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 via 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 facility 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 at all times a pleasant contact. The hydraulic clutch additionally appeared to have cable-like traits when actuating the clutch round corners. Typically a hydraulic clutch system might be extra of an on-off really feel reasonably 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 package deal, the refined suspension tuning is easy off the soar takeoffs. As I discussed, the taller 2nd gear carried me via 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 have been combating towards me within the air. Moreover, the KX250 is straightforward to right within the air ought to your takeoff not be so excellent. On the landings, the suspension soaks up the affect properly with out bouncing.
- The improved motor package deal affords unimaginable energy at excessive rpm, so you’ll be able to hold that throttle vast 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, apart from the Yamaha YZ250F, are bought with a 100 rear tire to save lots of weight. Nonetheless, 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’d change instantly if I owned the 2023 KX250, it will be the levers. They really feel virtually sharp and hit a strain level on my fingers.
- The up to date KX250 focuses on the racer, whereas nonetheless providing rider-friendly options. With the flexibility to experience the KX250 excessive within the rev vary, lowering shifting, the powerplant is a racer’s dream. Newbies 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 graceful engine map setting, plus the customizable controls and footpegs, will aid you be taught 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 shortly and with much less effort.
Motion pictures 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
- Ultimate 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 totally 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 CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
- Rake: 27.1 levels
- Path: 4.6 inches
- Seat peak: 37.8 inches
- Floor clearance: 13.6 inches
- Gasoline Capability: 1.6 gallons
- Moist weight: 238 kilos
- Coloration: Lime Inexperienced
2023 Kawasaki KX250 Value: $8499 MSRP
2023 Kawasaki KX250 Evaluation Photograph Gallery