2016 Kawasaki KX450F | Long Haul Update

DR test rider Nick Evennou checks in with us after six months of riding our 2016 Kawasaki KX450F and gives us a long haul update on the bike.

Primary Use: Weekend Warrior Track Riding

Main Mods: Dunlop MX32 tires, FMF Racing 4.1 System, Limited Decal Custom Graphics, Race Tech Fork Spring Conversion System, Ride Engineering Front Brake Caliper System

Moment of Glory: Battling with some Top Pros at Chaney Ranch MX

Forgettable Experience: Over jumping a 160FT kicker at Pala Raceway

Hours: 52

It’s been about six months since I have had the 2016 Kawasaki KX450F. This is one bike that is one of the easier machines to get comfortable on in my personal opinion. Since I have a full-time job, it’s a bit more difficult for me to get out and ride during the week, so most of my riding gets done on the weekends, when I am not putting in the overtime.

Nick Evennou | 2016 Kawasaki KX450F | Long Haul Update
Nick Evennou | 2016 Kawasaki KX450F | Long Haul UpdatePhoto by Preston Jordan

I was able to get out to Cahuilla Creek on a few weekends and burn quite a few laps. The biggest benefit of this bike for me thus far is having the Race Tech Fork Spring Conversation Kit. Once I get to the track, it’s unload the bike and ride. I do not have to worry about checking the air in the forks and the hassle of making sure everything is perfect before I go strap on the helmet. While all my other friends are going through the motions of checking their air and putting their tools away, I have already burned 10 to 15 laps. If you are bit pressed for time when you go out to the track like myself, it’s a huge difference having the “Race Tech Spring Conversion” on your Kawasaki 450F. I have a better front end feel with the spring conversion kit and when the track changes over the course of the day, I don’t have to adapt to a new feeling front end every time I get back on the track. With Cahuilla MX being such a high-speed, sandy track, you can really open the green monster up and see what the engine is capable of. I was fortunate enough to have a friend on stock 2016 KX450F, so I wanted to ride his stocker back to back to feel the difference. One of the biggest differences (other than the suspension having more comfort) was the exhaust. The FMF Racing 4.1 System makes a noticeable difference on the low to mid range power coming out of corners. You can really feel the bottom end hit and since I like a strong hit off idle (and I am running the lean coupler), this exhaust works very for me.

A couple weeks later a few of my buddies and I decided to hit Pala for another weekend of fun. Seeing how this track has the most jumps on it in California, it’s more of a track I have fun on. I always like to go here to hit the jumps and throw a couple whips on the Kawasaki. This is also a great place to test your braking power out on, since there are a ton of jumps immediately followed by tight corners. When I swapped out the stock OEM front brake system for the Ride Engineering System, I have noticed an improvement on the stopping power and the precision in which I am able to get into corners. I am the type of rider who likes a real touchy feel of the brake and want it to react immediately. If there is one thing I hate, it’s a spongy brake! The Ride Engineering set up really gives me more confidence coming into the corners and dragging it through the ruts (to keep my front wheel from popping out) leaves me with a more progressive, yet controlled feel at the lever.

Nick Evennou | 2016 Kawasaki KX450F | Long Haul Update
Nick Evennou | 2016 Kawasaki KX450F | Long Haul UpdatePhoto by Preston Jordan

So far I have had no major issues or problems with the 2016 Kawasaki KX450F. I change the oil every other weekend of riding and have only had to put one clutch in it as it was starting to drag out of corners. I have went through another set of tires since my last update, but besides that she has been a great machine for my weekend warrior lifestyle. This will probably be the last update as the 2016 gets ready to make way for the 2017 model. I have had a great time on this bike and look forward to riding the new model coming soon.