Review Kawasaki KLX 450 R

Review Kawasaki KLX 450 R
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Review Kawasaki KLX 450 R

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The surprise at the Cologne trade fair Intermot in October 2006 succeeded. Without prior notice, Kawasaki presented with the KLX 450 R a sports enduro based on the motocrosser KX 450 F. However: Although the first KLX service took place in Europe, the Greens have ?? like Yamaha with the WR models ?? especially the huge off-road scene in the USA in sight.

This is already indicated by the sound of the four-stroke engine. The single blows its exhaust gases out of the thin tailpipe in the voluminous muffler in an extremely cautious manner, staying well below the limit value of 94 dB (A) permitted in enduro competitions. A fact that generally has a drastic effect on the performance characteristics of single-cylinder engines. And this is how the KLX engine works in contrast to the aggressive, aggressive cross engine ?? also because of the changed tax times ?? Easy as a lamb and buttery soft on the gas, finds traction even on slippery terrain and remains easy to control even at higher speeds. The other side of the coin: Compared to the Cross model (see diagram), the KLX not only loses nine horsepower, but also significantly less torque in the middle and upper speed range.

But what about? Connoisseurs know that? does not necessarily have to have a negative effect on the lap times on the mostly narrow special stages, as the drivability benefits from this design in tricky terrain. After all, apart from the exhaust system, the KLX is clearly committed to enduro racing through a few modifications (see box) to the engine and chassis.

This is not just proven by the moderate noise level: Instead of the laborious step on the kick starter, pushing the button on the electric starter creates sympathy on the Enduro. Which continues on the first few meters. Because the Kawasaki technicians chose the chassis design to match the homely engine characteristics. The remarkably softly coordinated spring elements swallow every wave, no matter how small, and even absorb nasty acceleration edges with almost no residue.
But no effect without side effects. In the standard state, the rear of the KLX 450 hangs too low and can only be brought to a just acceptable level by raising the spring base as much as possible (negative spring deflection without driver: 30 millimeters, with the driver sitting on: 110 millimeters) ?? which incidentally does little to detract from the formidable comfort. Ultimately, however, the sporty KLX pilot cannot avoid a harder spring.

Raising the rear also helps with handling, making it easier to put enough load on the front wheel in turns. Nevertheless, the Kawasaki still has the tendency to understeer known from the Crosser, especially on terrain without residents. For that it can be ?? at least for amateur pilots? live with the fork vote. For faster drivers or motocross excursions, switching to harder springs creates reserves here as well.
With which the KLX has to modest not only with its role as a play bike for the American deserts. The high-quality workmanship, the technology that has already been largely tested in the Cross model, or the abundance of enduro-specific detailed solutions such as tool-free access to the air filter, the smartly integrated rear light in the fender or the practical engine tuning make the new KLX an attractive alternative in the enduro business.

Enduro instead of crosser

The motocross model KX 450 F (photo below) serves as the basis of the KLX 450 R. The Crosser has been adapted for enduro sports in the following areas:

Electric and kick starter (KX 450 F: only kick starter)
Valves made of steel (KX 450 F: titanium)
Diameter of the inlet and outlet valves reduced by one millimeter
Changed valve timing for easier controllable use of power in the lower speed range
Increased centrifugal mass of the crankshaft
Wider gearbox (first gear shorter, fifth gear longer)
Longer manifold for smoother response at low engine speeds
Quieter muffler
Air filter accessible without tools
Tank capacity 8 liters (KX 450 F: 7.2 liters)
18-inch rear wheel (KX 450 F: 19-inch)
Weight *: 117 kg (KX 450 F: 105 kg)
Price: 8795 euros (KX 450 F: 7995 euros)

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