Today was MXA‘s first ride on the 2019 Kawasaki KX450F at Pala Raceway. We were greeted with a row of fresh KX450Fs. If you have noticed that Kawasaki dropped the “F” in KX450F, it is no mistake. They have done this purposely as they feel they do not need to designate it as a four-stroke any longer as Kawasaki no longer produces a 125cc or 250cc two-stroke. For now, we will leave the “F” attached so it doesn’t confuse you or us for the time being.
How was the bike? For Kawasaki riders, it still feels like a Kawi. Just a refined version of the previous generation. The electric start works like a charm and the hydraulic clutch seems flawless. Although it didn’t need to be used much as the low-to-mid power on the KX450F has been bumped up significantly so you didn’t need to use the clutch much. Most of the time the clutch was used to keep the front wheel on the ground (we used the richer black coupler to help manage the power better). The engine reminded us of the playful, yet potent 2015 KX450F engine that we once adored. For a breakdown of the initial impression, check out MXA‘s 2019 KX450F first ride video.