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Kawasaki, the brand that introduced the motocross world to perimeter frames and awe-inspiring powerbands, has unveiled an all-new flagship in its leading-edge KX motorcycle line.
Every aspect of the 2006 KX450F, from its ultra-powerful four-stroke engine to the trick aluminum frame and suspension, reflects its purpose as a championship-winning race bike.
Kawasaki engineers stressed every detail on the new, liquid-cooled, 449cc four-stroke engine to ensure that it provides maximum power and traction. Featuring double overhead cams, four valves and a Keihin FCR40 carburetor, it combines amazing acceleration with smooth over-rev capability so the rider can use very ounce of its incredible power on the racetrack.
Hand-finished intake ports maximize intake efficiency, while lightweight titanium valves and aluminum valve retainers reduce reciprocating weight for reliable valve control at high rpm. Plus, double valve springs provide stable operation under intense racing conditions. To ensure quick and easy starting, the KX450F features both an automatic compression release and hot start system.
The KX450F utilizes newly designed, high-capacity Denso radiators, which provide superior cooling under racing conditions. With its tightly packed radiator cores and new fin design, the new radiators improve heat dispersion for consistent engine power characteristics and dependability.
The KX450F comes equipped with a tapered titanium exhaust pipe that expands in diameter from 38 to 41mm, contributing to its broad powerband, and the silencer features new, long-fiber packing.
Kawasaki engineers have matched the high-tech engine to a new four-speed transmission. Combined with a manual, multi-disc wet clutch, the four-speed transmission enables the rider to take advantage of the engines inherently broad powerband on the racetrack; from accelerating out of turns to high-speed straights, the rider can use the KX450Fs precise throttle control to adjust speed nearly instantaneously. And to protect the underside of the engine and transmission, the KX450F comes with a lightweight aluminum skid place.
The KX450F chassis has been designed to help the rider put the engines power to the ground. To do this, Kawasaki engineers combined their experience designing steel perimeter KX frames and techniques used to construct the Ninja ZX-10R sport bike chassis to create an all-new aluminum perimeter frame. Comprised of forged, extruded and cast aluminum parts, the strong twin-spar design gives the KX450F optimum balance of torsional and longitudinal rigidity.
The frame was designed so that the center of gravity and key chassis dimensions would work together to enhance the rear tires ability to drive the KX450F forward instead of squatting under acceleration. Additionally, the four-stroke engine sits in an upright position within the new frame to further aid overall traction.
Kawasaki then added complementary front and rear suspension to the KX450F. A Kayaba AOS (Air-Oil-Separate) fork keeps oil and air in separate chambers for stable damping performance during long motos. On the rear, the UNI-TRAK rear suspension system features an alloy swingarm with tapered spars and linkage ratios to maximize traction under acceleration.
Front and rear petal disc brakes provide stopping power for the KX450F. This design not only helps to reduce unsprung weight, but the petal shape of the discs helps to clean the brake pads for more efficient braking performance.
The slim profile of the KX450F frame, two-piece radiator shrouds that leave the upper frame spars exposed, and careful design of the remaining bodywork make the KX450F feel light and narrow beneath the rider.
The KX450F comes with a Renthal aluminum handlebar, while the seat uses a slip-resistant top surface for good grip when seated and smooth sides for enhanced rider mobility. The KX450F also features titanium footpegs and footpeg brackets for reduced overall weight.
Complementing the KX450Fs ultra-high-performance design is aggressive bodywork and graphics.
Kawasaki offers a number of optional parts for the KX450F, including a top mounting clamp for an oversized handlebar, aluminum and steel rear sprockets, solid petal disc brake rotors for wet racing conditions, optional springs for the front fork and rear shock, and a 20-inch front wheel.