Here it is! The 2013 Kawasaki KX250F introduction takes place at the Spring Creek National track in Millville, Minnesota.
By John Basher
By now I’m sure that you’ve memorized the literature provided by Kawasaki on the 2013 KX250F. However, in case you haven’t, I’ll provide a brief synopsis. For starters, I feel it necessary to tip the visor of my orange helmet to Kawasaki for pushing development forward and not standing pat. Truth be told, the green crew could have decided to tread water for the 2013 model year, and they still would have had a great motocross bike. The 2012 KX250F won MXA’s coveted 250 Four-Stroke Shootout. No small task, the KX250F had an unbelievable engine matched with excellent suspension and a decent chassis.
Kawasaki's engineers changed the cylinder head intake routing, intake tract, intake valve seats, intake cam timing...do you see a pattern forming here?
Fast-forward a year. Kawasaki upped the ante by massaging every aspect of the KX250F. They didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, rather they focused their attention on several problematic areas. What did Kawasaki’s engineers tune? They took a multi-prong approach. Here’s what they went after: (1) More top-end power. (2) Improving the chassis. (3) A narrower frame. (4) Greater engine tunability. (5) Upgrading the Showa SFF forks.
The muffler is 30mm shorter than last year. The decreased length is said to improve mass centralization, while meeting the 94dB AMA sound level requirement.
In total, Kawasaki made more than 30 changes to the 2013 KX250F. At a time when updates are hard to find on many new model bikes, Kawasaki stepped up its game. It’s impressive that their engineering team listened to the grumblings of the consumer, as well as MXA, and addressed these problematic areas. Need proof? For the first time since the Stone Age, the KX250F comes with a throttle side grip that isn’t welded on. It might not seem like a monumental improvement, but imagine having to buy an aftermarket throttle tube because you want to change the stock throttle grip. Now you don’t have to!
See the green coupler? Look familiar? This design, along with two optional couplers, first appeared on the 2012 KX450F. It's now on the 2013 KX250F. There is a soft terrain setting, as well as a hard-pack plug-in map.
Excited for the chance to MXA test riders throw a leg over the 2013 KX250F, Kawasaki invited MXA to Rochester, Minnesota, for the grand unveiling of the 2013 KX250F. Why Rochester? Anyone who lives in Minnesota, or is a whiz at geography, understands that Rochester is a mere 45-minute drive from Millville, Minnesota. Still not ringing a bell? Millville is the site of the Spring Creek National track. The pride of track owner John Martin, Spring Creek is a world class establishment. It’s famous for the old Holy Schmit jump, the picturesque first turn, and most recent, the jump that nearly cost Chad Reed serious peril.
The KX250F again comes with Showa's Separate Function Fork (SFF) system, only for '13 the inner tubes have been beefed up for greater rigidity.
As a rule, MXA doesn’t conduct full-blown test of production bikes based on a few days of testing. So, although you’re probably thirsting for all the information that we’re used to providing in conventional tests, you will not find such hard-hitting opinions here. We have a lot more testing to do and you will have to wait for that comprehensive test in an upcoming issue of MXA. For now hold tight. I will provide a riding impression after tomorrow’s riding session, when chief tester Dennis Stapleton and I get more time on the bike. In the meantime, check out some of the photos from today, and look for a video soon.
There are over 30 changes made to the 2013 KX250F. That's a lot!
Notice the different upper engine mount? How about the generator cover?
MXA's Dennis Stapleton punishes a Spring Creek berm during Tuesday's testing. Those berms will have nightmares, because tomorrow it's more of the same. No corner is safe from the 2013 KX250F.
The frame is 4mm narrower, and rigidity in the front end as been improved. The 2013 KX250F is ready to fight, but it's also capable of flight.
Here's proof that MXA was at Millville today. Our alibi is rock solid.
Look for more information on the 2013 KX250F in the days to come.