2015 Kawasaki KX65, Long Haul Update

We have had more than a few spills, thrills, and chills watching our test pilot Aden ride the 2015 Kawasaki KX65 over the past eight months. Check out how the little green ripper is holding up inside our Long Haul update.

Primary Use: Learning the basics of riding motocross and having fun with dad.

Moment of Glory: Ripping a holeshot in Aden's very first race.

Forgettable Experience: Swapping out and crashing resulting in a broken growth plate in arm.

Hours: 28

Aftermath: Two broken clutch levers, one broken brake lever, two sets of Dunlop MX32 tires, 50 gallons of VP C50 race fuel, 10 air filter changes, two sets of Pro Taper half waffle grips, and one set of Pro Taper Micro handlebars.

“Watching dad ride dirt bikes almost everyday can get to a child”. Imagine my surprise when I heard this from my nine-year-old son, Aden. He proceeded then to ask if he could step up from his CRF50 to a Kawasaki KX65 to ride “real” tracks? As I sat there worrying about my son getting the “motocross bug” at that moment I realized it already existed and told him “if you come home with straight A’s on your report card” a KX65 was his. Long shot right? Wrong! Aden came home a few weeks later with a report card with straight A’s! Gulp, here we go!

Aden Keefer on 2015 Kawasaki KX65
We have had more than a few spills, thrills, and chills watching our test pilot Aden ride the 2015 Kawasaki KX65 over the past eight months.Photo by Preston Jordan

Coming off of a mellow mannered small bore four-stroke with minimal suspension travel, Aden carefully rode the 2015 Kawasaki KX65 around the desert near our home, to get familiar with its power. Several tips from dad later, he was shifting gears correctly, starting the little green machine on his own (after crashing), picking up the KX65 all by himself, and taking off without any assistance from dad. The little KX wasn’t as intimidating to him, as it was to dad. So what does a proud dad do when he sees all of this happening? Get him in a photoshoot of course! Dirt Rider wanted to do a mini bike test for the little guys on the Kawasaki 2015 KX65 and 85, so I signed up Aden and his friend Carter Dubach to test the green screamers. The photoshoot went well, but riding with his buddy afterwards Aden took a hard spill and broke his growth plate in his arm. No fault to the machine, as Aden got a little too big for his britches and tried to double out of the corner like his buddy carter did. Six weeks later and with the cast cut off Aden is out putting in the laps with dad once again and even did his first motocross race ripping the second moto holeshot!

Aden Keefer on 2015 Kawasaki KX65
Aden Keefer enjoying the KX65 at the MX track.Photo by Preston Jordan

Over the course of the eight months he’s ridden the Kawasaki KX65 we have had zero issues. It starts up quickly, all the hardware is still intact, and the plastic that took a beating still looks decent. The only part we had to replace (after the BIG crash) was the stock handlebar. We switched to Pro Taper’s Micro mini bar, which is stronger and has less sweep to it than the stock bend. It seemed to fit Aden small stature better. I have done four transmission oil changes with Maxima’s MTL 80wt transmission fluid, replaced two clutch levers, and one brake lever. The only real performance modification was pouring in VP’s C50 race fuel. When Aden was first learning how to ride the Kawasaki two-stroke, the KX65 would load up on him (then would clean out and have an un-expecting hit to the powerband) on slower parts of the track. I tried changing the oil/fuel mixture several times, leaning out the pilot jet, but the problem still arose. VP C50 is a pre-mixed 50:1 unleaded/oxygenated race fuel that is sold in five-gallon pales, so I thought I would give it a go to see if it helped clean out the little two-stroke engine. After a couple tanks of the VP C50 fuel, I began to notice the Kawasaki KX65 with less oil seepage out the back of the silencer. Upon inspection of the spark plug, the plug had a nice brown look to it. Hearing Aden ripping around the track, I could tell the KX65 was crisper to the little guy’s throttle hand (without having that mid-range cleaned out hit). It is a little pricey compared to standard super unleaded fuel, but it makes the KX65 burn crisper and cleaner. We are continuing to go out as a family on weekends and on the occasional after school trail ride. We will come back with another update in a coupe months and see how the top end looks after another 20 hours or so.

Aden Keefer on 2015 Kawasaki KX65
Aden is learning the basics of riding motocross on the green mini bike.Photo by Preston Jordan