The most interesting change of all is the inclusion of
Launch Control. This first came out on the 2012 KX450
and is designed to make the bike easier to control when
blasting off. When you push the Launch Control button, it
temporarily retards the ignition so the bike doesn’t wheelie
or spin off the gate. As soon as you shift into third gear,
the ignition returns to the original curve. On the 450, almost
everyone agrees that the feature works well. On the 250,
it’s a harder sell at this point.
As far as the chassis goes, there are only a few small
differences between the 2014 model and its predecessor. There are the usual unquantifiable suspension valving
changes, as well as new front motor mounts that are thinner and said to alter the overall stiffness of the frame. The
grips are new, and the rear fender is white. Topping the
list of things that haven’t changed is the overall design of
the fork. Showa calls it SFF, which stands for “Separate
Function Fork.” The left leg handles all the damping duties,
and the right leg contains one big fork spring. This is similar to the fork used on Suzuki’s motocross bikes, but it has
its own specifications and feel.
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES
At the risk of sounding cliché, if you liked the old bike,
you’ll like this one—and everyone liked the previous
KX250F. First on the list of stuff to like is the motor output.
It’s fast. It makes great bottom-end power and it screams.
On the track, it creams most other 250Fs from corner to
corner. Oddly enough, its dyno numbers don’t reflect this—
Kawasaki brought the KX250F back for 2014 with very few changes. It got a slicker shifting gearbox, Launch Control, shorter
grips, thinner motor mounts and revised suspension valving.