Innovations 2004: Driving report Kawasaki KX 250 F


Innovations 2004: Driving report Kawasaki KX 250 F

Innovations 2004: Driving report Kawasaki KX 250 F

Late bloomer

With a significant delay, Kawasaki is now jumping on the four-stroke train that Yamaha had already steamed down years ago. Can the lead be equalized in one fell swoop??

Life does not necessarily punish those who come late. After all, he can calmly observe what the competition is presenting and use the grace of the late birth. In this case, however, doing better is not easy: The Yamaha YZ 250 F, the first four-stroke engine for the smallest class, was already included
its appearance at the end of 2000 a real hammer, which in 2004 is already in its fourth model year. Light, strong, balanced, and almost indestructible. Certainly one
real shock for the competitors, who are only now going to strike back. The KX 250 F, identical in construction to the RM-Z 250,
is the first jointly developed motorcycle from the Kawasaki-Suzuki Alliance. The yellow ones took on the development of the engine, while the greens took care of the chassis and practical testing. And at Kawasaki, the KX-F and RM-Z also roll off the assembly line.
Alliance or not, the appearance is more dominated by Kawasaki. Which kind of makes sense because the
stiff, Kawa-typical perimeter frames seem predestined for four-stroke engines. The new one stands tall and slim
KX there, 40 millimeters narrower in the footrest area than last year‘s KX-Crosser. The rear suspension with the reversed lever arrangement is completely new, which transfers the forces from the frame to the swing arm. By the way, this has long been common practice with the competition.
The four-stroke engine is of course also a new design. Not revolutio-
Yes, but based on the most modern knitting pattern: two camshafts driven by a timing chain, titanium valves, stroke and bore to a tenth of a millimeter as with Yamaha, balance shaft, five-speed gearbox. The housing appears shorter than that of the YZ-F, higher due to the nested waves, only a narrow disc remains of the cylinder. In addition to the usual features, i.e. a three-dimensional map with position sensor on the carburetor slide, the ignition electronics offer a novelty: When a gear is engaged, it increases the idle speed to 2000 rpm, which is intended to reduce the engine’s braking torque.
matic decompression and a hot start lever on the handlebars, optionally even a hand-deco lever. But nobody needs that, because the KX
is really extremely easy to kick off, whether hot or cold. The space is a little less spacious than on the Yamaha, rather tailored to smaller to medium-sized drivers. The testers agree on the criticism of the soft seat foam, as more rigidity is required.
Small, light, handy, these are the first impressions on the ?? except for a deep sand passage ?? fast, stony GP slope in St. Jean d’Angely, France. The KX can be thrown through the tight bends in a playful way and follows the targeted line exactly. Everything goes with astonishing ease and a touch more precisely than with the 2003 YZ. The outstanding handling is not bought at the cost of nervousness on the fast straights. On the contrary, the Kawa remains stable on course even on the hard braking waves of the starting straight without any tendency for handlebars to flutter. The effect of the
On the other hand, the reduced braking torque is kept within limits, rather one notes the improved feedback of the front brake through the brake hose that is now finally routed directly upwards.
Lightness also shapes the impression of the many downhill and uphill jumps. Kawasaki proclaims a weight just below the Yamaha, i.e. around 96 kilograms ready to drive without petrol, and that seems plausible.
Lots of magnesium on the engine, titanium manifold and consistent lightweight construction from Plas-
tik about the trains to the extra for
the KX-F developed Bridgestone tires, and it pays off.
The Kayaba spring elements are rather soft, suitable for lighter riders around 70 kilograms. With hard driving and heavier pilots, the shock absorber in particular sometimes sets a lot-
Lich rudely on the stop damper. Unfortunately, there was no time to experiment with settings during the presentation-
animals. But one thing is clear: the spring elements respond in an exemplary manner at the front and rear, the many edges and holes in the rock-hard driveways lost their horror after a few laps.
Now to the core question: Can the KX-F motor keep up with the class leader in terms of power? He can. Definitely at the top, that’s where it lies
Yamaha level. Without any effort, the novice turns the limiter with great vehemence at 13,100 revolutions. The characteristic is linear over the entire range. Therefore, the KX drive in the middle may not have quite the kick that the YZ offers. But, as I said, above-
out when the Yamaha has passed its zenith, the Kawa is still really going. Ultimately, only a direct comparison can show who is ahead on the track.
I.Overall, Kawasaki is making a remarkable four-stroke debut that has already shone with success: the KX-F factory machine is clearly ahead in the Japanese championship. So ignited late, but with a powerful spark.

Technical data – Kawasaki KX 250 F model 2004

Engine: water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, flat slide carburetor, Ø 37 mm, bore x stroke 77.0 x 53.6 mm, displacement 249 cm3, compression ratio 12.6: 1, rated output 32 kW (43 hp) at 11,000 rpm Chassis: double loop frame made of tubular steel, screwed aluminum rear frame, upside-down fork, guide tube diameter 48 mm, adjustable rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum profiles, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, front disc brake, Ø 250 mm , Rear disc brake, Ø 240 mm. Spoked wheels 1.60 x 21; 2.15 x 19 tires 80 / 100-21; 100 / 90-19 Chassis data: wheelbase 1475 mm, steering head angle 63.5 degrees, caster 110 mm. Dimensions and weights: Seat height 960 mm, dry weight 92.5 kg, tank capacity 7.5 liters. Color green Price 7095 euros Additional costs 105 euros

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