Riding And Maintaining The 2018 Kawasaki KX450F


Primary Use: Practice at local SoCal motocross tracks
Main Mods: TM Designworks SX Factory Edition Slide-N-Guide Kit (chain slider and rear chain guide)
Moment of Glory: Riding a bike with a good balance of stability and a peppy engine package
Forgettable Experience: Blowing a fork seal and having the oil leaking down onto the front brake disc and contaminate the brake pads
Hours: 24
Aftermath: One TM Designworks SX Factory Edition Slide-N-Guide Kit (chain slider and rear chain guide), two OEM fork seals, one OEM chain, one OEM sprocket, and three oil changes

Since my last Long Haul update on the 2018 Kawasaki KX450F, I’ve logged another five hours and have enjoyed spending more time on the big green machine. Around the 20-hour mark, I noticed the left fork seal had started to leak and the chain guide and slider were showing some serious wear. Sure, they could have lasted a little longer, but I figured it was a good time to give the bike a refresh. Kawasaki was kind enough to install a new fork seal, front brake pads, grips, sprockets, and a chain. All the parts that Kawasaki replaced were OEM, which I’m a huge fan of, but I installed a TM Designworks SX Factory Edition Slide-N-Guide Kit as it’s known to last longer than the OEM chain slider and rear chain guide. The TM Designworks unit will be the next product I test on the bike. Aside from having to replace the aforementioned parts, the bike still feels tight and new.

RELATED CONTENT: Riding the 2018 Kawasaki KX450F

I’ve mainly used the bike for practice at local motocross tracks here in Southern California, but I rode trails at a friend’s private property after we received some much-needed rain. To my surprise, the bike felt extremely comfortable and nimble on the single-track trails. Next week, I’m racing motocross on the KX450F at sandy track in the desert. This will be my first “real” race on the Kawasaki and I’m looking forward to it. On practice days, I typically cruise and tend to ride the bike a little more mellow and smooth. Under race conditions, the bike will be ridden at a higher level of speed and intensity. I’ll take some notes on how the bike works and keep playing with the suspension for different track conditions. Check back for more updates on the KX450F in the following weeks!.