2004 Kawasaki KXF250As you may have already heard the new Kawasaki KXF and Suzuki RMZ are coming off the same production line. Rumors led some to believe that the suspension on the two bikes was going to be Kayaba for the Kawasaki and Showa for the Suzuki. Well this happens to be false; the new thumper's are identical with the exception of the color of the plastic. Suzuki designed the basic layout of the motor and the rest of the machine was designed and tested by the guys at Kawasaki.The chassis has that traditional Kawasaki feel. The ergonomics are still a bit tight for taller testers, but most of our testers liked the overall layout of the new machine. The bike feels extremely light and nimble and was big fun to ride. The bikes ability to jump into virtually any line with ease was instantly notices by our test staff.As mentioned before the suspension on the KXF and RMZ is Kayaba suspension. The fork uses the Kayaba bladder set up. The fork felt a bit harsh in the small chop, yet seem to maintain a balanced feel when jumping. The rear end seems to be dialed fairly well and has great bottoming resistance. Between the super smooth power and shocks ability to soak up square edges the bike tracks like a bloodhound. Overall the suspension is well balanced and aids in the light and nimble feeling of the thumper. With limited test time, we still have some small issues with the fork.The motor's initial snap seems weak compared to Yamaha's 250F and there is no real big hit in the power band. The brunt of the power lies in the top end. We felt the new thumper worked best when ridden like a 125 two stroke. By this we mean keeping the bike in the top of the power band. This was just our initial test, and there will need to be much more testing along with some back to back comparison to Yamahas proven mini thumper for us to make any final decisions on where this bike stands.Look for a more in-depth testing on the newest green machine inside the pages of MXr.****SPECIFICATIONSEngine: Four-stroke single cylinder with DOHC, four valves
Displacement: 249cc
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 53.6
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin FCR37 with hot start circuit
Ignition: Digital AC-CDI
Transmission: Five-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch
Frame: Perimeter style, high-tensile steel with D-section upper frame rails
Suspension type, front: 48mm inverted, cartridge-type telescopic fork
Suspension adjustments, front: 16-way compression and rebound damping
Suspension type, rear: UNI-TRAK single shock system
Suspension adjustments rear: 16-way compression and rebound damping, spring preload
Wheel travel, front: 11.8 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 12.2 in.
Tire, front: 80/100-21 51M
Tire, rear: 100/90-19 57M
Brakes, front / rear: Single semi-floating 250mm disc, dual-piston / single 240mm disc, single-piston
Compression Ration: 12.6:1
Rake/Trail: 26.5 degress/110mm
Overall length: 85.4"
Overall width: 33"
Overall height: 50"
Ground clearance: 13.4"
Seat height: 37.4"
Dry weight: 204 pounds
Wheelbase: 58"
Fuel capacity: 2.0 gal.
Color: Kawasaki Lime Green
*Specifications subject to change

Brad Daugherty
Jason Webb