The big news with the 450 is a switch back to Showa
forks—and they are the new SFF Triple Airs! The Showa
Separate Function Fork (SFF) uses a Triple Air Chamber
(TAC) that separates the damping forces into
the left fork tube, while the pneumatic
spring is housed on the right tube
for less friction, better movement
and a lighter fork. The TAC
fork is derived directly from
Villopoto’s race bike and
weighs less. The iner-
tia of the pneumatic
spring keeps the
wheel in contact
with the terrain,
thanks to very
little resistance during rebound compared to conventional
spring forks. These high-tech forks are also suppler over
small bumps while offering more resistance to bottoming.
As its name says, the Triple Air Chamber features three
separate chambers with individual air volumes that allow
incredible adjustability. These replace the heavy, friction-inducing spring for the ultimate in function and tuning.
There is also less oil contamination from the metal-on-metal wear suffered by conventional internal fork springs.
A titanium coating on the inner tubes improves fork action
with less friction. Every KX450F owner gets the Kawasaki
Genuine Accessories 0–300-psi digital air pump, which is
crucial for adjusting the high-pressure SFF Air TAC forks.
Out back, the Showa shock with Uni-Trak linkage has
revised valving for stronger damping. The suspension is
finished in “works black”; the Kashima coating inside the
shock body reduces friction and improves suspension
For interested riders looking for an edge, Kawasaki
offers an optional rear suspension tie-rod that is
1mm longer than stock. This simple yet
effective modification can be used
to reduce seat height by 4mm
to give the rider greater
ENGINE & LAUNCH CONTROL
Power-wise, the KX450F has held an edge for the last
few years, as it is broad, light-feeling and extremely potent.
It has a revised Bridged Box piston for increased durability and a higher compression ratio ( 12.8:1 from 12.5:1 in
This valve controls
the initial travel.
Showa SFF Triple Air fork
2015 KAWASAKI KX450F