As the king of sport ATVs from Kawasaki, the 2012 KFX450R is ready to hit the track straight out of the factory. The manufacturer indeed claims that it requires no modification to excel in competition.
All about performance
Kawasaki engineers borrowed the 449cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine from the KX450F dirt bike and added a Keihin fuel injection system, durable forged piston, electric starter, and reverse. They also strived to achieve an ultra-low centre of gravity by tilting the cylinder bank angle forward to 9 degrees, and increased output in order to handle the weight of this ATV (392 lbs or 178 kg).
The intake system has been improved with the addition of a large-capacity airbox, while the exhaust system has received a high-performance titanium header pipe.
The liquid-cooled DOHC powerplant of the 2012 KFX450R generates plenty of low- and mid-range torque, which results in quicker takeoffs, climbs and corner exits.
Let's not forget the 5-speed transmission with chain final drive, the wet multi-plate clutch, and Kawasaki's Automatic Compression Release (KACR) system which makes starting easier, whether you use the optional kick starter or the standard electric starter.
|The liquid-cooled DOHC powerplant of the 2012 KFX450R generates plenty of low- and mid-range torque. (Photo: Kawasaki)
Kawasaki insists on the fact that the 2012 KFX450R is the first sport ATV in its class to be built on an all-aluminum chassis. The high-rigidity double cradle frame enhances stability and handling in corners while allowing the suspension to be easily set up to suit course conditions.
Incidentally, the front suspension consists of long lower A-arms (which minimize camber changes) as well as dual shocks with piggyback reservoir and dual-rate springs. Meanwhile, the Uni-Trak rear suspension relies on a cast aluminum swingarm and a single shock with piggyback reservoir that offers dual compression adjustment (high-speed and low-speed) plus rebound damping adjustment.
Braking is taken care of by a pair of 163mm discs with dual-piston calliper up front, and a 200mm disc with single-piston calliper in the back.
Engineers also wanted the KFX450R to be low-maintenance. For example, the front and rear lapped fenders feature a two-piece construction making it possible to replace them separately in the event they are damaged. As for the tiny headlights, they can easily be removed for closed-course races.
|The front suspension consists of long lower A-arms as well as dual shocks with piggyback reservoir and dual-rate springs. (Photo: Kawasaki)
Available exclusively in Lime Green, the 2012 Kawasaki KFX450R retails for $9,999. This sport ATV promises superior performance on the track and should continue to fight for the lead against the Yamaha YFZ450
, Honda TRX450R, and Suzuki QuadRacer R450.