New KX250F and KX450F
KAWASAKI'S first 2013 machines have broken cover in the form of the firm's latest crossers.
Starting with the KX450F, the big news there is the introduction of pneumatic forks – reviving a technology that was all the rage in the 1980s and getting rid of those pesky coil springs. Claimed to be a first on a production crosser, the Kayaba forks use pressurised air instead of normal springs giving different characteristics and virtually infinite adjustment. You literally plug in an air pump and adjust the stiffness by adding or removing air.
Beyond the forks, the 2013 machine gets a more powerful engine (of course) with a new piston and ECU settings, a launch-control system and three reprogrammable engine maps, Adjustable pegs and bars, revised rear suspension and new brakes complete the changes.
The KX250F also gets clever forks, albeit different ones. This time it's Showa that supplies the suspension, with separate function forks (SFF) “type 2” - using a spring (of the old, metal type) in one fork leg and packing all the damping into the other. The “type 2” version is reckoned to have the same internals as the factory race bikes.
Like the 450, it gets three engine maps, while other changes include dual injectors, a straighter intake for more power, a slimmer frame and the same new brakes as the 450. Both machines are also restyled.
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