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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, finally got the KFX out to the dunes this past weekend. It ended up being a great weekend, Sandornothing, shocker, guywiththetruck, and pinkyfz were all there to participate in the testing.

Day1 was a completely stock KFX and Day2 was airbox lid off and baffle out with the PowerCommanderIII installed and mapped for alterations.

Day1:
In stock form this quad is just that, a stock quad. Riding it it was comfortable for me. I am 6'-3. The riding position was narrow and felt like you sat over the quad almost. The quad feels narrow, but then I am used to my wide YFZ. The suspension felt ok. I am a big guy at 300lbs and the shocks were decent for me. The lighter riders of the group thought is was stiff. There was some bump steer, but some of that was taken away with airing down the tires. Most of it could probably be tuned out with suspension adjustments.

Power was ok. It felt like most any other stock quad, very restricted and corked up. The power delivery is extremely smooth and predictable. The fuel injection produces a very usable powerband. The quad does seem to be geared rather low.

Day2:
As I became more comfortable with it, the more I liked it. We removed the exhaust baffle and airbox lid. We then installed the power comander III with the appropriate fuel map. WOW! Big difference. Very nice power delivery. More than enough power for an average rider. I got used the narrowness of it, but it still wants to be wider.

Conclusion:
This is a very nice quad. I thought it was comfortble. The handle bar height was decent for being 6'-3. They did not hit my knees like my stock 06 YFZ did. The quad will benifit tremendously from some +2 a-arms. The rear suspension I think could be tuned pretty well to suit alot of riders.

I really like the power band on this quad. The power delivery is smooth and controlable. The only couple negatives are:
Narrow, needs wider arms.
Tranny and valvetrain is very noisy, but then the exhaust is so quiet you tend to hear alot more.
stock seat is fairly stiff.
Pros:
Great power delivery
great power with a couple simple mods.
Very comfortable overall.

A couple pics from the weekend:

KFX450 with Front Fenders removed:


PDR
 

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Nice report. I hope I gain some with the power programmer when I get it this week and my exhaust. It is a tad on the slower side but soon well have gears. I felt like the handlebar height wasnt bad, Im only 6 foot. I did get soem handle bar risers comming. I do feel that when im on it I am actually one with the quad other than with my YFZ im just sitting on it and the handle bars are right in my face. When Im in the trails, I dont even see the front of the machine.


Jeff
 

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I have to admit, when I first saw the Kawasaki, I fell in love with it. The frame was awesome (A Work Of ART) , and its looks were great. The first weekend they were released my cousin bought one (White on black). He broke it in and at about 20 hrs of break-in I got to ride it. I must say that I was not at all impressed by its power. I am 6'2" 225lbs, and I couldn't get that thing to move at all. I was riding in El Paso, TX at a place called Red Sands, they are dunes 1/10th the size of Glamis, but none the less, still dunes. I don't kow if the dunes bogged the motor too much or what but I was really unimpressed with its overall power, especially out of corner acceleration. So, I marked it up as being something pertaining to that one specific quad. A week later, one of my riding buddies shows up on another white on black Kawasaki. I rode his, an came to the same conclusion!

Now let me say that I own a Raptor 700, LT-R450, and YFZ 450. I also had a chance to drag race the new Kawasaki on asphalt. I was on my LT-R450( fi2000 EFI, Yoshi Slip, K&N filter and intake) and my buddy (140lbs) was on his Kawasaki. We were riding in a group with six other people. When they took off I had started about 4 to 5 bike lengths behind the Kawasaki because I was last in the line coming out of a trail. We raced roughly 1/2 mile and I ended up catching the Kawasaki and passing him rather easily. I have run my L-TR against the YFZ's, Raptors, and the Honda, I have never been able to chase down, pass, and walk away from ANY 450 the way I did with the Kawasaki 450. I hope that the upgrades for the Kawasaki will give it the gains it needs to be competitive with the other bikes. Because I really want to buy one, but they need to get it to run strong first.

Just my thoughts and experiences.
 

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You are right, it is corked up. Thats why I bought the exhaust, cams, programmer and soon a air intake if anyone can start selling them. Oh and my rear gear too. Well see. I dont think it wil eat up my yfz with the wr450 engine but it should be a competitor.


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (gino @ Apr 17 2007, 12:12 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1273
I have to admit, when I first saw the Kawasaki, I fell in love with it. The frame was awesome (A Work Of ART) , and its looks were great. The first weekend they were released my cousin bought one (White on black). He broke it in and at about 20 hrs of break-in I got to ride it. I must say that I was not at all impressed by its power. I am 6'2" 225lbs, and I couldn't get that thing to move at all. I was riding in El Paso, TX at a place called Red Sands, they are dunes 1/10th the size of Glamis, but none the less, still dunes. I don't kow if the dunes bogged the motor too much or what but I was really unimpressed with its overall power, especially out of corner acceleration. So, I marked it up as being something pertaining to that one specific quad. A week later, one of my riding buddies shows up on another white on black Kawasaki. I rode his, an came to the same conclusion!

Now let me say that I own a Raptor 700, LT-R450, and YFZ 450. I also had a chance to drag race the new Kawasaki on asphalt. I was on my LT-R450( fi2000 EFI, Yoshi Slip, K&N filter and intake) and my buddy (140lbs) was on his Kawasaki. We were riding in a group with six other people. When they took off I had started about 4 to 5 bike lengths behind the Kawasaki because I was last in the line coming out of a trail. We raced roughly 1/2 mile and I ended up catching the Kawasaki and passing him rather easily. I have run my L-TR against the YFZ's, Raptors, and the Honda, I have never been able to chase down, pass, and walk away from ANY 450 the way I did with the Kawasaki 450. I hope that the upgrades for the Kawasaki will give it the gains it needs to be competitive with the other bikes. Because I really want to buy one, but they need to get it to run strong first.

Just my thoughts and experiences.

I am not bashing here, but come on. You cant compare a totaly stock quad to one with modifications. Manufacturers are corking these things up sooo much just to me emissions. The bike with the PCIII and uncorked was a completely different machine. Of course a quad with $1000.00 in aftermarket go fast parts is going to be faster.

PDR

QUOTE (PCMamerica @ Apr 17 2007, 12:22 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1274
You are right, it is corked up. Thats why I bought the exhaust, cams, programmer and soon a air intake if anyone can start selling them. Oh and my rear gear too. Well see. I dont think it wil eat up my yfz with the wr450 engine but it should be a competitor.
Jeff

The trinity intake will be the first available. Should be this or next week.
PM me for details!

PDR
 

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Picked up my KFX on Tuesday. Only got about 20 minutes of riding on some hard and soft pack dirt. Like many people have already said...it handled like a dream but it didn't exactly bolt out from underneath me. It felt really balanced on climbs and when I threw it into corners. This thing wants to slide. It moves horizontally with almost no effort and it never seemed to tip. It turns great, but actually oversteered if anything in some corners but that might be because I'm not used to riding on dirt (way better than having it plow anyway). Regardless, that was easily overcome by countersteering - and it's extremely stable in a ralley car style "power slide." I'll wait for the shocks to loosen up and for me to get used to it before I think about cheating a tire offest in the front or something. Too early to decide though.

On the power side... it defintely felt smooth but subdued, almost like it feels when a clutch is slipping. Of course it's not broken in yet so the rings probably aren't seated yet plus I'm staying completely away from the top end. My first impression though is that it's comparable to how my 400 felt when it was stock. Without being able to directly compare, I'd say that my slightly modded 400 (high comp pistons + pipe) is probably more torquey. Sometimes just the noise of a modded bike throws you off though.

I'll almost definitely go with a good pipe, ECI controller, and K&N for the KFX soon. But I feel pretty good about buying this bike just because it handles so well.

I'm going to the Dunes this weekend to finish breaking it in. That will be the true test for me...steep and soft. I'll report back.

 

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great write up very true facts i am 6'6" its a little uncomfortable but it is my wifes bike
 

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Alrighty. Just got back from the Dunes...

This bike was a whole different animal in the sand. Already had paddles and razors on rims laying around so I threw those on the KFX. The fronts have an offset that puts the centerline about 2" out from the rear centers. That took care of the oversteer that I was noticing on the stock dirt tires.

First order of business was the whoops...the most nerve racking part of any dune trip. My head just about bounced off on the first pass. Pretty much fixed that in two adjustments. Ended up going about 14 clicks softer on rear rebound and maybe 9 clicks softer on the front rebound. Sailed over the whoops in 3rd gear.

Next I went to turning. To my dismay the front of the bike wanted to tip like hell around hard turns. Seemed like the front was too stiff to allow the front end to roll. In other words it was acting like a solid axle. So I tried to cheat it as much as possible by taking pretty much all of the rebound and compression out of the front shocks and then letting as much air as I felt was safe out of the front tires (about 2lbs left). This helped prevent tipping tremendously, but caused it to float a lot in the corners. It made all of my turns go wide, not like understeer...just lateral movement. Like I said before...this bike moves horizontally with ease and now it was just doing it on its own. It was a much better scenario than tipping though.

After that I started hitting some jumps. If I didn't hit the throttle just right at take-off then the rear would buck and force me into a nose dive landing. It really had me rattled for a while. So I took pretty much all of the compression out of the rear and put an end to that.

So basically I was almost all the soft all the way around the bike after all of this.

After the break-in period I wanted to see how it would do against some competition up "Test" hill. I was with a group of 4 other 450s - 2 Hondas 2 Suzis - and a raptor. To my surprise, I actually beat a few of them up the hill. There was a Honda with a piston, cam, pipe, port+polish, K&N and a good rider and I couldn't touch him. There was a Suzi with a pipe, filter, Cherry Bomb (port+polish?) and a good rider and she only had a slight advantage on me. I beat or matched each of the other bikes at least once. One of the Suzis was stock and I don't think it ever beat me.

Later I removed the baffle from the muffler. It's hard to tell, but it seemed to wake up that bike a little. Went back to the hill to check it out again. Pretty similar results, but it felt like I was going faster this time.

The bike wanted to be in 3rd by the time I hit the whoops at the bottom of the hill (a few seconds after takeoff). Then it shot through the whoops like they were flat. Keep in mind that rain and wind had leveled the whoops a bit before we got there, but other people were still getting bogged down a bit. It pulled all the way up the hill like a bandit with 3rd pegged. But the fast bikes would catch me or pull away a little bit toward the top. The funny thing is that I was really tempted to hit 4th on that damn bike. It felt like it could go another gear but I just figured that was insane so I didn't do it. Maybe the rear sprocket needs to come down a tooth or two.

So my experience in the sand was opposite of what it was on dirt. This time I was impressed with the power and not with the suspension. If anyone has any ideas about how to make the front end roll more rather than tip I'd like to here it. I was thinking softer springs but after looking at other bikes that turn well I don't think that's the cause. I was thinking that the flatter than normal a-arm geometry in the front might be transferring loads into the frame too far below the center of gravity, but I have to think about that more before I'm convinced.

Looking forward to doing some mods by next desert season to really punch it up the hills though.
 
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