2006 Kawasaki KX250 - First Look & Review - Dirt Rider

Kawasaki supplied the 2005 KX250 with an extreme makeover, so 2006 is more like a return trip to the experts for maintenance. Kawasaki tuned up the makeover with a brighter look that includes blue accents. But the change-up is more than looks.The shock now has high-speed compression damping and the fork has a one-piece TCV sleeve for better bottoming resistance. Inside the engine are a handful of small changes to enhance reliability. Another most welcome upgrade is the Renthal aluminum handlebar that has a great bend and helps the suspension protect the rider from the track.The sum of the changes is a subtle but definite improvement in the look, suspension and performance of a model we rated the best of the 2005 two-strokes.Riding the new bike reinforced our decision awarding it our shootout win. The chassis is roomy and comfortable for tall riders without cramping the style of shorter pilots. It walks the fine line between stability and sharp cornering as well as any bike we've ridden, and now the Kayaba suspension has even better bottoming resistance for jump landings and big hits.Then there is the engine. It makes strong, meaty power from low in the rpm range. The hit is plenty strong to clear obstacles but not prone to excessive wheelspin in poor traction. In short, Kawasaki has another great package.It is less changed than the '06 RM, so we are eager to get all the bikes on the track again, and see if a tune-up is enough to keep the green machine on top.For more on the 2006 KX250, watch the pages of Dirt Rider for our full test and upcoming 250 two-stroke shootout.