Kawasaki KX 125 — First Test — Review — Dirt Rider — Dirt Rider Magazine

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Kawasaki KX 125 – First Test Review – Dirt Rider

February 24, 2009

Kawasaki’s and KX250 have had a reputation for than stellar performance in the couple of model years. The had no huge faults, but they stand above the pack in any performance, ergonomics, suspension, quality or even value. The perception the bikes were off the ran so deep that even a of championships from Ricky Nathan Ramsey and Mike haven’t erased it.

There was no the KXs could be made into weapons at the factory level, but the wasn’t so rosy in the average garage.Kawasaki has the same creative at hand as it did in 1997 and 1998 the KX250 was winning shootouts In the end, it all comes down to

The brilliance of the available engineers and the knowledge of the testing departments and aren’t worth much if the department doesn’t let the money financial officers are stingy but not so getting the bucks would be if there was an absolute direct relationship between money and number of new bikes sold. But motocross buyers are fickle it comes to brand loyalty, and don’t buy a bike merely it is “new.” The accounting department always say, “Show me the but dirt riders are responding their own mantra: “Show me for money!”Maybe we can’t blame the men for being reluctant.

Recent has proven that pouring man-hours and cubic dollars a new design is no guarantee the buying will show you love in the Witness the popularity plunge took from 1996 to and Kawasaki mimicked in 1998 to

The truth is that the industry has more “new” models radical plunges in the moto order than cases one year’s lemon morphed the next year’s object of now the 2003 models are here, and the and KX250 are not only all new, but improved. It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see bikes at the head of their classes. For sure we wouldn’t in front of the door of your Kawasaki dealer when he these bikes in.

If the money-waving customers coming in run you over, the new owners wheeling out will. These bikes are good.

Kawasaki knows it had barriers to scale with the new as well as a tide of current to turn. No doubt public was one of the reasons it chose the scenic National motocross track to the new machines. There is no way it would chosen a track with like Washougal if it didn’t absolute faith in the power of the new

And if the looks and their moves any hotter, the bikes would G-strings to tuck bills in. The of money was never more ’03 Kawasaki KX125 is a race-winner as delivered, and it’s been a since we felt that way a KX125. Both the all-new and the slim new chassis are unbelievable from the 2002 model, or any of the several years.

The first you feel is the chassis, since the in feel is so vast that it a strong impression before you start the engine. The bar position a little high at first, and the feels as if it might be a little Certainly you feel as if you are sitting the bike rather than on top of it. The is all-new and, along the frame, it looks clean and narrow and smooth.

Nothing your gear or boots you are getting the feel of the machine. you put your feet on the pegs. did that pipe come

The body of the expansion chamber is and it makes firm contact the rider’s right boot

Kawasaki’s Mike Fisher no apology, though, saying, “We can the pipe in, but we’d lose We wanted the power, and when Stewart rode the bike he we should choose the power.” The and low seat didn’t bring the response, though. “We are asking the production bikes come firmer foam,” Fisher “But it won’t be any taller.”Firing the brings another pleasant

There is very little and the powerplant doesn’t even like a typical Kawasaki. The new has an exhaust valve angled up the YZ125; and the valve is lighter, responsive to rpm changes and seals so the engine has a definite snap and to the note. The motor on the new KX125 is powerful with plenty of to pull the Washougal hills ease.

The motor is a little right off idle (a place the ’02 was pretty good), but once you get the into the midrange, hold on! It hard in the middle, and novice got a bit sideway in turns until got a handle on the hit. The bike through the mid and continues all the way to the top, it pulls the distance. The power is and crisp and very usable.

We had an Team Green semi with technicians, and even who changed jetting or gearing or it to stock. The bike ran crisp and and didn’t sputter for even a This engine should be competitive and make the KX a high-stakes in Dirt Rider’s 2003

The suspension on the new KX also gets two from the DR staff. If anything, felt the suspension action was a hindrance to the stock 125 than the but the ’03 suspension is very balanced and The fork takes the big hits ease yet is plush enough to up the choppy braking bumps well. The bike jumps evenly, and that gives you a of confidence almost immediately.

Neither the suspension nor the chassis to kickers on takeoffs, and no doubt encourages the confidence the rider has in the

At the same time, the bike was responsive to rider input in the air and in The fork had to be one of Kawasaki’s biggest Remember when KXs were for fork action?

Those are back.The pipe did turn out to be a in tight turns for one ride. His boot has a lot of protection in the shin and area, and the hard plastic plate would hit the pipe and his foot off the peg in the first few turns. you get used to it and it ceases to be an issue, but the on the pipe doesn’t last 10

Kawasaki probably doesn’t to hear its bike described way, but the KX feels like a 2002 Honda CR125R a Yamaha motor and a more feel to the chassis. That is high praise in our book. The are right there in Honda-land as and that’s a land right to heaven.

On one hand the Kawasaki handled everything Washougal had to at it, and that is impressive. On the other we had no other 125 to compare it to. A head-on to the class powerhouses will to wait, but we expect the KX will than hold its own.

KX250Our first outing on the was an eye-opener. We were trying to the engine too much and got major in 3.5 seconds. The thing is scary With our arms shot we forced to short-shift and attempted to a tall gear out of turns to the burden on our arms.

Big difference. You ride the KX like an Open to make the most of the power. It seem to have the off-idle of the YZ250 but has usable bottom, a and strong midrange and pretty top.

The engine revs the meat of the power too quickly for suspension performance if you scream it, but forget that last for the turns and the bike works!

If you are man to run and gun with this power, the and clutch will cooperate. is the best-shifting KX250 ever by a margin. No missed shifts, and it locked in gear under a either. You want to shift, it

Some of the K-TRIC/Keihin/Power Jet KX250 have been a little or tinny-feeling some place in the but not our test machine at Washougal. No or gearing needed, just the 125.

Even though the relationship was a bit tight for our riders near or over six feet the KX250 is slim and easy to around on in a way the bike hasn’t since before Kawasaki the perimeter frame. It doesn’t whether you are braking or accelerating.If it obvious by now, the KX250 is It appears Kawasaki targeted the toward lighter riders, and fast or heavy pilots a lot of the travel even while turns, the KX felt as if it may own the title of in Class” after a long dry spell.Whether it can win our 250-class shootout to be seen, but if the other brands worried now, they be.* Lighter, more engine cases, cylinder 6.2mm lower and leaned forward (16.5 to 21 degrees) to exhaust ports and improve

* Larger water passageways in cases and at each side of for improved and more even

* Lighter, more compact protects water pump

* crankshaft with lightweight web covers

* Lighter ignition for improved throttle response

* is tin-plated and has reshaped exhaust-side designed to reduce flexing and durability

* Straighter top edge of port and reshaped combustion

* Head gasket replaced O-rings

* KIPS valve is alumite-coated and its shape copies the guillotine-type

* Final gearing from 12/49 to 13/51

* clutch uses lightweight hub, lighter inner new one-piece thrust bearing ball bearing), actuating arm inside engine cover

* TMX 38mm carburetor with slide replaces conventional

* Reed valve body using different reed modified reed stop; 3-2 reeds replace 2-2 reed

What’s Hot!

* Smooth and suspension is well balanced to rear

* Smooth and powerful

* Comfortable bar bend

* Team comes through with a new and a completely rebuilt and redesigned and chassis

What’s Not!

* pipe interferes with in tight turns

* Short seat and pegs for taller

What’s New! KX125 AND Shared Changes

* Head moved from front of to rear for reduced vibration and compact design

* Chrome-composite-plated instead of electrofusion

* Revised ratios provide better and reduce ride height by for a lower center of gravity

* Shock high-speed compression gone

* Lighter, stronger hydroformed in tapered shape

* offset increased from 22 to for sharper cornering

* New 48mm fork with no bladders and rubbers replacing the oil-lock for

* Triple clamps have walls, aluminum steering is 6mm longer and top triple-clamp pinch thread from rear

* brake caliper uses 27mm pistons, operated by master cylinder piston

* master cylinder now one-piece rear rotor is 0.5mm 20mm larger (240 by and mounted with stepped bolts

* Compact new chassis has rake, 6mm-longer headpipe and perimeter tubes

* Single top used to attach aluminum subframe for easy access to the shock

* Raised chassis reduce paint wear on frame color now silver

* styling and smoother bodywork reshaped radiator shrouds, clear coating for the new graphics and a new shape

* Rear axle increased from 20 to 25mm to stronger swingarm and frame

* New hub

* New ratchet-type shift mechanism for shifting

* Black box mounted to headpipe to aid airbox service and

* Radiator capacity increased for cooling

* Smaller-diameter handlebar

Kawasaki KX 125
Kawasaki KX 125
Kawasaki KX 125

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