Once the shocks were dialed in, we were pleased with their overall performance. We were able to attain a decent amount of bottoming resistance for G-outs and poorly landed jumps, while making the rear shock supple enough to respond to small imperfections in the trail. We got the front shocks working far better than stock, but couldn’t get them quite as plush as the rear for small bumps. Braking performance on the Kawasaki is extremely good, and we could tell they have excellent power, feel and control. You can’t ask for much better brakes then these. The stock front tires tended to wander a bit, which was improved upon by the Kenda Kutters. We also noticed there is a bit more vibration felt through the bar thanks to the aluminum frame than found in most comparable 450s, but it wasn’t intolerable.
With the machine having been around for a while, we contacted a few of our most trusted engine and chassis builders to inquire about potential issues. All agreed the KFX450R has a very durable chassis and a reliable engine, as long as you don’t get too carried away with performance upgrades.
The Kawasaki KFX450R has all the ingredients to make it a great choice for any recreational rider. For racers, the KFX offers a chassis that is capable of handling the abuse associated with racing, and with the right chassis setup it’s one of the best-handling quads on the market. There are plenty of top-notch engine builders who know what it takes to extract the necessary amount of performance for your application. Whether you are building the ultimate motocross weapon or want a superb trail machine right out of the box, the 2011 Kawasaki KFX450R should be high on your list of candidates. ATVR
|+||Great handling after dialing in the OEM components|
|-||Better tires needed to get a good feel for the machine|
|=||A fast and fun machine for track and trail with minimal out-of-pocket expense|