2009 Kawasaki KX250F Web Impression - Dirt Rider Magazine

We just spent our first day with the 2009 KX250F, and we could hardly wait.Honda is keeping their models secret for the moment, but everyone else has announced specs for their 250Fs, and Kawasaki is far and away the most changed and exotic model in the class. It is arguably an entirely new model, since the engine is new from the cases out, the chassis and subframe have only similarities to the 108 and earlier units, and all of the bodywork and suspension is upgraded as well. Can you blame us for being anxious. We didn't even whine about the drive across 10 or more area codes to the new Rynoland track in Anza, CA.The Rynoland track is the brainchild of Ryan Hughes for the benefit of his students, but is also available for private rentals. As you can imagine, the track is not for beginners, and it features a stadium-type section joined to natural terrain hillsides with some of the deepest sand in SoCal: And all at 4200 feet of elevation. Nice!Kawasaki rolled out a full tech showing complete with parts to eyeball up close and pages of technical specs, but the eye-grabbers are the new-look bodywork and that Showa fork with a first-in-class Titanium coated inner fork tubes. The Showa coating is more of a dark Navy than the carbon black that the Kayaba fork on the KX450F, but it boasts the same friction-cheating trickness. On the touchy-feely side, that first showroom bounce will reveal a chassis with a more universal feel to the cockpit and less of the 3sitting in2 feel the KX models have busted out for the last few years. We like it.We'll cover all the changes in our full test due up on dirtrider.com soon, for now, these are the biggies.Kawasaki started with already strong power, but with a new head design, a straighter shot on the ports and a tapered header pipe, the power comes on stronger, lower and with a great deal more muscle to the roll-on. From the mid-range up to the very top the engine feels the same as an '08 meaning pretty strong but at the very top of the rpm range the '09 pulls harder and longer before going flat. Shifting is also more positive with a new shifting mechanism design. There isn1t just more power that could make the bike harder to ride, there is better power. It actually makes the bike easier to manage, and will help the average guy the most. The overall balance of the chassis and suspension is much improved. It feels lighter and easier to maneuver while riding, and turns quicker with a more positive front end feel. Bottoming resistance is good, and the chassis never has a 'too-rigid' hard feel to it. The bike tracks off-cambers and handles other tests of a too-stiff chassis with aplomb. Naturally, with better response and power and a lighter feel, jumping is big fun as well.Add in the more harmonious ergonomics and you have a Kawasaki that has a serious lust factor. If you ride it, you will want it. No doubt. Any complaints? Well, the exhaust note and sound level is better for 2009, but still on the barky side, and louder than the new Yamaha. And the black parts still look old, but black is the new in color, so we doubt our opinion will stop these from blowing out of showrooms and onto tracks.That should give you a taste of the new bike. That is really all we have with just one day on a strange track, but look for more to come soon! Keep checking back to dirtrider.com for more 2009 motocross and off-road bike introductions as new bike season gets under full swing.Want to know more? Help us test this bike for you by telling us what else you want to know about the bike. Click here http://forums.dirtrider.com/70/7013177/general-discussion/2009-kawasaki-kxf250-the-test/index.html to go directly to our message board thread set up for these questions.

With more boost and a lighter feel, the KX250F is fun in the air, and the fun doesn't end with the landing.
With new chassis and suspension changes you would expect better action and bottoming resistance, and the KX-F has it.
Kawasaki's efforts to centralize mass and improve chassis feel and geometry pay off nicely in turns. The KX-F cuts a fine line, but isn't too busy.