can make it difficult to ride smoothly on slippery surfaces.
Kawasaki offers three EFI couplers that are preprogrammed for different conditions: standard, hard terrain
and soft terrain. These couplers can be swapped in seconds at the track and without the use of a laptop computer or any additional software. The soft-terrain setting has
lots of power right off bottom and mid, but goes flat on top.
The hard-terrain setting has a more linear power characteristic throughout the curve. Most test riders find the hard-terrain setting’s softer power delivery easier to ride than the
harder-hitting, standard setting. The clutch pull is pleasant,
and the clutch action is good. Introduced in 2012 and back
on board for 2013 is Kawasaki’s Launch Control System.
Launch control helps maximize traction on slippery surfaces
by retarding the timing when engaged in first and second,
and then returns to the regular EFI setting once shifted into
third gear. Kawasaki so far is the only manufacture to offer
launch control on a production dirt bike. Changing to a silver-colored ignition and clutch cover shows less wear than
the black color of years past. Keeping the bike looking
newer longer is always a good thing.
Ergos: No matter what size you are, the 2013 KX450F
NEW & OLD
can be made to fit your body type. With four separate bar
positions and two different footpeg settings, the KX450F is
one of the most adjustable bikes in its class. Kawasaki
finally listened to all the moans and groans from the DB
staff, making the grips 10mm longer, with a softer, more
rider-friendly compound. The throttle-side grip is no longer
vulcanized to the throttle tube, making complete grip
changes a breeze. With the new “minimalist” plastic
design for 2013, the KX450 feels slimmer, and we didn’t
experience any hang-ups of boots or pants on shrouds
like we had in years past. Kawasaki’s 2013 KX450F looks
great styling-wise, giving the consumer what they asked
for: black wheels, blue-anodized engine plugs, trick-look-
ing embossed logos on the clutch cover, and silver-cov-
ered cases to help hide the normal signs of wear.
When you add it all up, the new KX450 is just like the
old KX450, only better. The bike started off as the favorite
450 for the entire DB clan of editors and test riders, and
with the addition of the PSF front suspension, it’s even
higher on the food chain. It’s still not a perfect machine by
any means—and we don’t know if its glow will be as dazzling in the face of a new crop of 2013 machines—but
Kawasaki has made all the right moves to keep its winning
streak alive. ;
The KX450F triple clamps have four different setting
The 2013 KX450 has launch control.
The PSF forks save
weight and add major
adjustability on the fly.