Kawasaki KFX 450R Review

 
Kawasaki's contribution to the ATV 450 quad bike class is an advanced racing bike.  It's a fun ride and is available in 3 styles: black and white, black and lime green and a special edition with black plastics and wheels with tribal graphics.  It comes with electric and kick start and even has a reverse gear for those 'rammed into a tree' situations. It looks unique.  It looks fast.  It looks powerful.  It is all three.
 
The engine is built along the lines of the KX450, incorporating an electronic fuel injection system.  This does away with carburettors and results in a rapid throttle response.  Not only that, but it includes a sensor which shuts off the fuel should the bike overturn.  The first two gears are too close together for my liking, but generally, the power is there when you need it. 
 
Front braking is provided by 2 hydraulic discs, (163mm). Back brakes have a single piston calliper, (200mm), with a petal style rotor, which reduces weight and helps keep the pads clean.  I found that they were more than capable of bringing things to a controllable halt when they were needed.  It even comes with a parking brake. 
 
The Kawasaki KFX450R quad bike has AT21x7-10 tyres up front and AT20x10-9 in the rear, the rims of which have reinforcing plates which, unfortunately, tend to collect leaves and rocks thrown up from the track.
 
The KFX 450R shocks handle the bumps and bounces efficiently, all being adjustable regarding compression and rebound, so you may want to take some time to set things to your own personal specifications. 
 
The Kawasaki KFX quad handles well, exhibiting very little bump steer.  I found it responsive and quick to deliver the power when needed.  At speed it coped well with rough ground.  The single tube front end layout allows for lower, longer a-arms which really can make a difference to the handling. 
  
How could it be improved upon?  I felt that the front fenders needed attention.  Part of them make an awkward covering around the fuel tank; in just the right place to bang against your knees.  They also come back just a bit too far.  After a long ride I felt that the seat needed a little more padding.  Also, the shift lever does have a tendency to be in the way.
 
Don't let these minor points put you off.  The Kawasaki KFX 450R is a solid, powerful and unique quad bike.  Kawasaki has thought long and hard to produce a bike with such potential.  Watch this space.  You'll be hearing from the KFX 450R again.
 
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