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2021 Kawasaki KX450 and KX450XC revealed

Following the release of the 2021 KX250 line, Kawasaki NZ has confirmed details for the 450 models which also includes a brand new KX450XC.

While pricing is yet to be announced we expect to see the new Kawasaki 450s arrive either late August or early September.

Engine-wise there wasn’t much Kawasaki needed to change moving into 2021 after the heavy update of the 2020 model year. In fact, the most noteworthy change is the adoption of a dry film lubricant coating on the piston skirt which reduces friction between the piston and cylinder wall and contributes to increased performance.

Kawasaki has also spent time to refine the hydraulic clutch in order to deliver a lighter clutch actuation when the lever has been pulled in, and provide a wider clutch engagement range, replacing the traditional coil spring arrangement has been replaced by coned-disc springs. 

In the same area, Kawasaki engineers have revised both the friction material of the clutch fiber plates and the size of the driven, steel plates. Driven plates move up in size from ø139 mm >> ø146 mm while a new friction material contributes to increased fade resistance.  

Finally, in terms of changes, a Renthal Fatbar is now part of the standard specification. With a ø28.6mm tube diameter, the all-aluminium bar helps reduce vibration and shocks for the rider.

Electronics remain the same. Electric start, changeable maps and launch control to chase the holeshot.

Into The Cross Country Domain

Bringing Kawasaki into the cross country world is the all new KX450XC, which along with the KX250XC is designed to take Kawasaki’s MotoX dominance out into the open world. 

Based heavily on the new motocrosser, the KX450XC takes the potent new package and gives it cross country-specific upgrades.

XC-specific tuning includes maps for the engine, refined suspension with different settings better suited to cross country work and brakes, a 21”/18” wheel combination fitted with Dunlop AT81 tyres out of the crate. 

Kawasaki has also added convenient standard features like a side stand and skid plate make the new KX450XC even more attractive for racers and high-performance trail riders alike.

Both the new XC models also feature electronic tricks based from the motocross scene, albeit with a few tweaks to improve them for use in cross country racing, but otherwise, the features remain the same.


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