The Torture Test - 2009 Monster Energy Kawasaki KX250F (AKA Endurocross Race Bike) - Dirt Rider Magazine

About the bike:
This 2009 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team 250F is based on last years Endurocross championship winning machine that Ricky Dietrich and Damon Huffman contested the series on, and it is the bike they will be running in the 2009 series.The bike is not your typical off-road race machine. It was purpose built for the tight technical Endurocross courses. Therefore, not only is it durable, but it also is light weight and it has great torque for getting out of the gate and concurring tough, tight obstacles.Although this bike is not geared towards your typical long distance endurance type off-road adventure, we felt that it truly is the ultimate off-road bike. One that you are sure to have fun on, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.Parts and modifications:****Acerbis:; 800-659-1440
Plastic Kit (complete): $129.95
Uniko vented hand guards: $38.95
Front Disk Cover (carbon Fiber): $169.95
Footpeg Mud Guards: $24.95
Skid Plate: $79.95Braking:
Bat Fly Front Rotor (270mm): $237.90
Front Caliper Bracket: $75.00
Rear Rotor: $142.89BRP:; 800-834-9363
Chain guide: $69.95
Chain Slider: $89.95Dunlop:
Dunlop MC713FA 90/100/21: asdf dirtrider.wordpress.2012-04-30-final.xml tmp wordpress.2012-04-20.xml wordpress.2012-04-30.xml Not a production tire.
Dunlop 745 120/90/18 $112.88 asdf dirtrider.wordpress.2012-04-30-final.xml tmp wordpress.2012-04-20.xml wordpress.2012-04-30.xml GroovedGPR Stabilizer: 619-661-0101
V4 Low Boy Pro Stabilizer Kit: $650.00Hinson Racing:; 909-946-2942
Clutch Basket: $274.99
Pressure plate: $189.99
Inner Hub: $309.99
Clutch cover: $169.99IMS Products:; 951-653-7720
Pro Series Footpegs (10mm Back): $96.99Kawasaki Racing Team Modifications:
Welded Radiators: N/A
Engine Modifications: N/AMaxima Oil 619-449-5000
Premium 20/50 Oil: $ 7.80 per litter
Coolanol Coolant: $15.39 per 64oz
Chain lube: $10.00NGK: 248-926-6313
CR9E Spark Plug: See Dealer for PricingN-Style: 800-831-9043
Graphic Kit w/ Seat Cover: $189.99Pro Circuit: 951-738-8050
Ti-4RExhaust: $999.95
Suspension modifications: Call for Personalized Quote
Launch Controll: $109.95Renthal:; 661-257-2986
997 Black Twinwall bars: $119.99
13T front sprocket: $25.95
51T rear sprocket: 64.95
Kevlar tapered dual compound grips (G166): $19.95RK/Excel:; 760-732-3161
RK 520MXC4 Gold chain: $97.97
Excel 21" Front Rim (Black): $162.00
Excel 18" Rear Rim (Black): $182.00Trick Racing Fuel: 800-444-1449
Trick Shot Fuel: See Dealer Official Dealer for PricingUni Filter: 714-535-6933
Air Filter NU-2399ST: $28.95Works Connection:; 530-642-9488
Elite Clutch Perch w/ Hot Start: $179.95
Throttle Tube (aluminum): $49.95Zip Ty Racing: 760-244-7028
Aluminum Engine Plug Kit: $49.95
Shark Fin: $130.00
Front Axle Pull: $14.95
Magnetic Drain Plug (Engine): $19.95
Magnetic Drain Plug (Carb Float Bowl): $19.95
Chain Adjuster Block kit: $98.00
Wheel Spacers (Locking Rear): $34.95
Wheel Spacers (Locking Front): $34.95
Case Saver: $28.95
Master Cylinder Extender: $44.95
Hot Start Carb Nut: $14.95
Oil Filter Cover: $106.95

Setup-wise, this racer-specific factory machine isn't for everyone, but that's not to say that everyone didn't want to do a few laps on it! They all had to get past Damon Huffman first.

Editor's Note
This year's Dirt Rider Torture Test was set it up like a screening for a reality TV show: Bring what you have and prepare for whatever happens. The idea was to show up at the Torture Test with the best all-around, one-bike-does-it-all off-road dirt bike, with no guidelines or requirements from our side. It was wide open, but everyone knew going in that it would be tough to make the cut to get into the final group of bikes you see in the magazine. Of course, they didn't all make it to the pages of Dirt Rider. Some missed out ever so slightly, some by a longer ways. This is a full test of one of the bikes that missed the final cut. The competition was tough but lurking in this field of bikes you can likely find an example of the perfect bike that fits your needs, or learn what other riders or people in the industry think is the best bike in the whole world. For the people and companies that built each of these bikes, it was the best bike they could deliver.-Jimmy Lewis, Editor Dirt Rider MagazineDirt Rider Post Torture Evaluation: The best all-around bike because:
This bike has a good motor with strong snap that is a blast to ride. The delivery is strong and much beefier than stock, making it a tried-and-true race bike. The protection modifications may be some of the smartest that we've seen. In terms of suspension, the fork could take the hardest hits that we could find.Not the best all-around bike because:
Although we dug the motor's aggressive temper, poor jetting kept its true potential at bay. Also, it took a lot of energy to ride this bike like it needs to be ridden. The suspension has some good points, but didn't quite mesh with what our testers wanted-too soft in the rear and too harsh in the front made it feel a little odd. The low-boy setup wasn't for everyone.Dirt Rider Says
When Kawasaki decided to build the ultimate all-around 250F for our Torture Test, they turned to a source that had plenty of experience in this category: their very own Monster Energy Kawasaki race team. With a championship-winning Endurocross season under their belts (courtesy of factory racer Ricky Dietrich), the Kawasaki crew decided that the best race bike to submit would be a full-on Endurocross race replica bike designed to handle the tight, technical courses on the EX series while still being capable of taking on faster terrain. They spared no expense in assembling their ideal lightweight machine, and it looked too good to ride when it arrived at the Torture Test.When Ryan Orr, Alexander Smith, Steve Hengeveld, Jerry Bernardo and myself hit the trails aboard the Monster Energy Kawasaki EX bike, one thing was made apparent: this motor is NOT stock! A quick glimpse at the parts list doesn't reveal much information about the top-secret power plant, but we did gather that this motor has been modified to around 280ccs. When coupled with the Pro Circuit exhaust, the little machine creates a wealth of low-end power that snaps, shoots and launches onto, over or through any obstacle in its path. The 450 riders in our test unit struggled a bit in getting used to how the motor wanted to be ridden, but once you got used to shifting more and riding it right in the power the bike was a blast. Despite the serious potential of the power, we couldn't get over some odd jetting quirks that caused the delivery to be too blubbery and poppy throughout. Whereas a clean, smooth carburetion could have made this the perfect all-around motor, our testers struggled to keep the bike in its ideal power. However, the modifications present were still plenty noticeable behind the less-than-perfect jetting.The rear suspension on the Kawasaki was what could be expected of an Endurocross bike: slightly soft with good bottoming resistance. However, the forks didn't follow suit and instead had an overly harsh feel that bounced the rider around quite a bit. That said, the benefit to the harshness was that the front wheel could be driven hard into nearly any obstacle and would not bottom out or blow through. Our test riders varied in size, weight and speed, yet all generally agreed that the fork didn't need to be so stiff for off-road applications. Even for moto, it was overly harsh in big chop.The setup of this Monster Energy Kawasaki was slightly low in the rear with pulled-back bars. This was a point of contention among our test riders, as half of the group felt super comfortable with the bike's ergos while the other half couldn't come to grips with the handlebar feel. Generally, the shorter riders preferred the current setup, while taller guys yearned for something with more height. The rest of the machine was built to withstand the insane level of damage that Endurocross can inflict on a machine, and we were happy to report that it held up to the rigors of Rynoland quite well. If you were to build a 250F for gnarly off-road riding, the protection level on this bike would be a smart setup to imitate.After riding this bike for several hours, we came to the conclusion that it was an awesome machine. The solid production of power and smart armament are two things that any of us would want in a personal bike. Yet the suspension and ergo setup was simply too narrow and specific to make it the ideal all-around bike. Many riders out there prefer big motors that can be lugged and ridden easily, and the aggressiveness that it took to ride this bike properly just wouldn't sit too well with the average Joe. Of course, the Endurocross Race Bike is a fine piece of equipment fit for the likes of Ricky Dietrich and Damon Huffman, but in terms of something that fits those of us who ride at mortal levels, it doesn't quite fit the bill. That said, our test group unanimously agreed that if this trick factory bike showed up in our garages one morning, we could easily cast aside our complaints and have a blast squirting the motor around for a day! -Chris DenisonThis motor is really good! Aside from the tuning issues, it's super fun to ride off-road. The suspension was, for me, a little too soft in the rear, and the forks felt harsh and rigid, deflecting on acceleration when I really got on it. In my opinion, the handlebar setup was too far back on the bike, and I couldn't get up front to turn. This doesn't mean it was bad, just not my setup. - Ryan Orr / 5'10"/ 175 lbs./ ProThis is a good bike. It's really easy to handle, but it has no power compared to a modified 450-you just sort of ride it. In my opinion, it needs more power to be competitive for racers, big guys and vet riders. But for being a 250F I think it did well... really well! - Steve Hengeveld/ 5'7"/ 155 lbs./ ProAlthough this bike didn't lug very well, it had a lot of juice and wanted to be ridding in an aggressive fashion. I thought it had good ergonomics and was fairly comfortable, but I would like a taller handlebar. Overall, it feels than 450, but somewhat low. The brakes were good. -Alexander Smith/ 6'1"/ 155 lbs. / Expert

In its native environment (rocks), the KX-F rocks.
When ridden aggressively, this Kawasaki provides strong snap that requires plenty of shifting and a generous right hand to properly contain. Hold on to your helmet!