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Good info on the ride, right here. Author unknown...

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Well, jet lag and from the riding I'm too dead to go over everything right now but will do my best.

Handling: At a little over 46" wide, it still handled amazingly well. By far better than a YFZ or 450R. The LTR has the edge for the added width in the corners, but I was quite surpised. If the backend gets away or starts to get loose, it's very easy to correct. No matter where you turn it, it'll go. W/it at 50" wide and setup, it will be a HUGE challenge to tune another machine to match or beat it. I still couldn't believe how well it did.

Suspension: stock suspension is good like others, but nothing to go crazy about. Rear shocks felt nice but rebound kept popping me up. Kaw guys adjusted it and nothing changed really. Front shocks were WAY too stiff on the small stuff but bottomed out on the big stuff. Only single compression adjust and they said the stock shocks are valved for about a 160lb rider. So anyone bigger's going to want a revalve immediately on them. But has dual compression rear adjust w/rebound and single on each front setting.

Power: I loved the way the machine made power. It had a huge hit and you had to rev it. If you let off the revs it'd fall on its face. You have to really rev/clutch it alot. Works very well after some ride time though. In stock mode the torque seems quite low and they claim the machine at 29-30lbs torque and 43hp rear wheels. It definately has a lot of mid to top but the low end lacks. It also falls flat on its face near the rev limiter.

Shifting: The shifting is the smoothest of the 450's I've felt. very quick and nice. Way too short of gearing for 1st/2nd but super tall the last 3. The reverse gear is very easy to use, functionable, and came in handy a lot in the woods. Gearing is like all quads w/1st gear being lowest but then below that is reverse. Flip switch and kick down and you're there. Quick and simple.

EFI: The settings worked well but was not C'Dale system. They bragged about the responsiveness but to be honest, it did not have the instant hit the Dales have. Had some hesitation and that was one thing I made sure to let them know when they asked to compare the two. One thing I LOVED was the starting. I have never seen a quad start so easy. Even after running full blast for well over a half hour on a high speed MX track, it would start instantly upon the start button. It was ridden harder than anything I've ever ridden b/c I didn't have to worry about breaking it, and it never failed or had trouble starting.

Problems: I bent a rear wheel in the first hour on a rock on the track, but nothing to worry about. Another rider had a HARD collision w/a rock in the woods and completely bent up an a-arm, broke plastic in the front, etc. I flipped my test quad end over end down a hill once and not a problem. Renthal fat bars held up fine. Oh, I did knock off a sticker, lol.

Cosmetics/ergos: The look is much better IMO in person. However, this is not going to be a comfortable play quad. I am about 5'11 and I felt cramped on the thing. In corners I was tearing up my knees on the front plastics leaning in. The seat makes a YFZ's feel like a pillow too. You might as well sit on the plastic. Racing it doesn't matter but boy was it bad in the woods. The handlebars need to be raised IMO as well b/c they were very low from factory. Also, the clutch is so stiff that it was a pain to use. Powershifting was easy and flawless though.

Air control: Jumping the KFX is probably the easiest quad I've ever tried. You can whip the thing all over. If you make a mistake or go sideways, you won't regret it. It flies w/ease and lands w/ease.

Conclusion:
Power-wise I think they are still behind. A stock everything Asso pistoned stroker will still pull one or put up a good battle, but still dominate the low end. The KFX shines elsewhere. Confidence and ease on the track were way higher than on the Dale. Places where I would normally hesitate I would fly through on the Kaw. It really did impress me that much. I can pretty well guarantee that on the track when equally setup, you will cut off several seconds per lap on the KFX over the Dale. I hate to say it but I truly believe after putting quite a few hours on one that it would. It might not have the power but the way it handles, flies, and is so nimble, it just boosts your confidence and improves your riding.

Kawasaki brought a real winner to the table. I guess time will tell to see what happens.
I know if I was looking to get into racing and didn't have a quad I wouldn't even consider going elsewhere for the ease. The people at Kawasaki were amazing as well. First-rate everything, helpful, knowledgable, and just good people. Even the engineers from Japan were on hand and I even got to watch guys like Yokley ride around. Luburgh and Creamer are fast to say the least and definately deserving to be on Team Green. So all in all I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity and they're definately in it for the long haul. Manufacturing all the 450's here in the US and putting some big money into racing.
Additional info:

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And the quads were ridden very hard. Hour after hour we all pounded on them. Guys from ATV Scene, Harlan from ATV Riders, etc. There were a couple crashes including my end over end one as mentioned, but they held up well. Some very fast riders on a fast track and huge wooded park too. Was at Carolina Adventure World which isn't even open to the public yet. And I'll say this; that park w/its plans is going to be something to go to. Big money being spent to make it the ultimate offroad park.

As for competition on it compared to the other 450s: I really think it has an edge. It is corked out of the box of course but the handling was suppurb. Brakes I would rate up there w/the best I've ever tried, especially the fronts. It is very comfortable, or was for me for the riding position. Just can't see bigger riders enjoying it. But either way it is definately more worthy than a YFZ or 450R. The LTR would be a good model to compete w/on equalization, but I've never ridden something w/such little bumpsteer. The front end design has to be the reason for that.

One bit of information that was funny. The opening thing that was bragged about during the opening night presentation was the FIRST all aluminum framed quad. Funny enough, the guy doing the announcement was talking w/me shortly after and I mentioned I'd been racing on aluminum framed Cannondales for a couple years. The only thing said was "oh really?", and then a subject change, lol.


EDIT: In response to needing to keep up w/the new quads. I honestly think that in time the Japanese will have a superior quad. IMO that time has not come. The way the KFX was designed makes it a much better competitor on the track, but power delivery, responsiveness, and durability I don't think has been met yet. Kaw has the upper hand on the track now I believe. Until this quad, I would not have given any other manufacturer an upper hand. Others will have to step up. And I don't recall saying about the EFI. You can buy an EFI tuner to use yourself. It is VERY limited but you can adjust the fuel rate and such. The SINGLE fuel injector pumps at 42psi and the control system costs up near a whopping $1000! That's insane IMO but required by racers. Otherwise the pipe manufacturers will be selling their own kits to match certain engine/pipe combos.
 

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Conclusions = LTR still the way to go for MX, 700r for the all around riding king, KFX450, spend more money to do either type of riding.
 

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QUOTE (I own You @ Mar 19 2007, 09:02 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=602
Conclusions = LTR still the way to go for MX, 700r for the all around riding king, KFX450, spend more money to do either type of riding.
What? They're all priced the same! The LTR has a wider wheel base so you would probably need some longer a arms for mx but the 700r has nothing on the Kawi. Anyways from what I've read the kfx 450 takes the corners crazy fast because of the new front end geometry.
 

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I'm the one who wrote that report and it was posted at C'DaleRiders.com. Thanks for posting it here too. If it says anything, I am awaiting delivery of my own KFX now to compliment my Cannondales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (Psychosis @ Mar 27 2007, 02:25 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=733
I'm the one who wrote that report and it was posted at C'DaleRiders.com. Thanks for posting it here too. If it says anything, I am awaiting delivery of my own KFX now to compliment my Cannondales.
Didn't want to dime you out, man - send a BUNCH of PMs your way, if you know what I mean. I also didn't want to send a bunch of people to C'DaleRiders looking for KFX info... I hope you understand. Wasn't trying to pimp your work - which is SWEET!
 

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No problem, I posted it to be read by people so no worries.
 

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Psychosis,

Thanks a million for the review. I had been searching for reviews every day for a while. Finally found yours on the other site the other day.

I plan on mostly dune riding so I'm not quite as worried about a-arms bending. I am a little worried about the fact that the first 2 gears are short and your comments about being cramped. I'm about your size. I couldn't tell from sitting on it how it would feel in action but I did notice that the handle bars felt awkwardly low. Based on your comments it doesn't sound like you need to be way up on the bars all the time anyway. I might go up 1" on some bars.

I'm also bummed about the shock comments. Nothing worse than hitting whoops and getting ejected off your seat. I'm stoked about the lack of bump steer though and I guess shocks are easier to fix than geometry.

Mine comes in Monday so I guess I'll go through with it. Thanks again for the first real review.
 

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QUOTE (spieslikeus @ Mar 28 2007, 03:20 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=761
Psychosis,

Thanks a million for the review. I had been searching for reviews every day for a while. Finally found yours on the other site the other day.

I plan on mostly dune riding so I'm not quite as worried about a-arms bending. I am a little worried about the fact that the first 2 gears are short and your comments about being cramped. I'm about your size. I couldn't tell from sitting on it how it would feel in action but I did notice that the handle bars felt awkwardly low. Based on your comments it doesn't sound like you need to be way up on the bars all the time anyway. I might go up 1" on some bars.

I'm also bummed about the shock comments. Nothing worse than hitting whoops and getting ejected off your seat. I'm stoked about the lack of bump steer though and I guess shocks are easier to fix than geometry.

Mine comes in Monday so I guess I'll go through with it. Thanks again for the first real review.
No problem. I just picked mine up today actually in white. The rear shock will buck you a little stock. The one I tested I adjusted all over and nothing really changed. Revalving should be cheap and easy though. The cramped problem could easily be fixed if you're under 6' by raising the bars and taking off the removable parts on the front fenders. However, I honestly don't see it being comfy if you're like 6'2" or taller. I would've liked to have the footpegs about an inch or so lower myself even, so would be a challenge.

The a-arms are very strong and built well. One bent b/c the guy was like throttle pinned going 30mph+ and slammed a rock. I'm thinking of going to Speedworld MX in AZ tonight actually for a night practice session to try it out and break it in.
 

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Hi all, first post here. First off, I just picked my KFX up last night and put in about 5-6 hard hours on it today. (1 1/2 tanks of gas) Read your review Psy...well written and good info. As I was reading it...I was sittin here nodding my head at most of what you wrote. I too am in the 5'11" range (200LBS) and I bought it for rippin around in the trails and hittin a MX track every now and then. I have also been seen sloggin thru the Ohio mud in Galion Harescrambles.
Anyway, to back up your stuff, the bike will be cramped for anyone much bigger then us. I too have a pair of sore knees from hittin the "bump" contour in front of the seat. I'll get used to it. The bars..way low. I stand up quite a bit when riding and towards the end of the day...my back was starting to feel it. I will have my friend machine me some new 2" taller bar clamps. Not buying a steering stem. The seat. ok, but I think I will be sending it to another friend at www.cosmicquads.com and have Tammy add an inch of foam and make me a new cover. My old (39yr) arse just needs a bit more cush.

The controls were great. Reverse...NICE. So simple to use and you never have to take your hand off the grip. Strange why no other Co did this sooner.

Brakes...at first...I was very dissappointed, but after some time on them, they came around. Guess they just needed used for a bit. Work REALLY great now.

Suspension...HARSH is a word that comes to mind. New, stiff and very uncomfortable. We have abandoned railbeds here and they get all whooped out. Miles of 1-2 foot deep with some deeper. On my Tecate4, I can run in the 40-50mph range and skip and jump most of them. I turned onto the tracks today...whacked the KXF..got up to speed ..hit the first series of whoops...DAMNNN!!! Had the backend packing and bucking me nearly over the bars. For about 2 minutes...I regretted buying, then common sense took over. Its new...needs broke in. Relax and enjoy it. I did. Got a couple hours and lots of whoops in...things started feeling a bit better. Still too stiff, but no longer HARSH, just too stiff for me. I got to a friends house and we decided to loosen up the shocks. The factory had the preload cranked down about 1 1/2 inches and the compression at 1/2. I took out all the preload on the springs and softened up the compression as far as it would go...too soft. Found 5 clicks up worked well. Rebound was fine. Out back, with my big ole arse on it...measured 5 1/2 of sag. bit too much, but hard to get to the rear shock preload stars, so left it alone. Softened up the compression a couple clicks and gave it some more rebound. Works nicely now. The combo of the adjustments and the breaking in process...I can bang thru the whoops now fast. No bucking. The only thing I need to work on now...stayin on the gas a bit more. With my T4, being a 2 stroke..it kinda freewheels a bit more. You chop the throttle and you don't feel the engine drag at all. Blip, front end up and over, real light feeling. With this...lots of engine braking. Chop the throttle as I would with my Tecate, not a good idea. Nose drops fast. Need to hold a bit more throttle to keep the nose up. Not a prob with the bike, prob with ME.

Handling...sweet. Turns great, amazing that it doesn't feel tiippy being only 46 wide. I railed it around some tight corners and it never gave me the feeling it was about to 2 wheel. Put on a set of beadlocks with an inch more offset and some MX tires, you are now at 48" wide and an inch lower. With that setup, I think this thing will REALLY corner. I Jumped it a bit...because of my riding style...felt nose heavy, but like I said before...not the bike, just me. Not going to be jumping it big anytime soon...need lots more seat time until I will be able to get my head around the throttle issue. With my T4, holding the throttle as long off a jump face as needed with these new 4 strokes will result in a ulta high front end jump...scarey.
As for working it in the air...the man said it flies great...I'll take his word. Great flier!


Power, hard to tell, but feels stronger than alot of the 450s I have ridden. ( 3 or 4 of my buddies that tossed a leg over it felt the same way) I rode alone all day, nothing to compare it to until I was ready to head home. A 15 yr old on a beat up looking 05 Honda 450R...all stock.. rolled up. Checked it out and then asked..."How fast is it?" Told him no idea, and then he asked if I wanted to find out. I did. Not the best news. Lost. I am not a newbie to drag racing, but not very familiar with this bike yet, so I'm sure that came into play a bit. The KFX jumped him outta the hole, but 2nd hit and just roasted the tires on the road. 3rd, 4th and 5th came so dang quick...topped out and he walked away. This bike NEEDS some gearing. It never felt like the engine wasn't pulling real hard...just ran outta gear so fast. Before ya could blink, you had to bang another gear. With some gearing and a pipe/airfilter, This thing is going to absolutely FLY!!!

One exception to his views....the clutch. My clutch can be pulled with ONE finger. BUTTER SMOOTH. No chatter, no slipping. Hondas usually have the sweetest clutch, and this thing feels WAY, WAY better than I could have imagined. All the guys who rode it today, (5) commented on the clutch and how light it was. 2 different guys asked if it was a Magura Hyd. No idea what's up with yours, but I am very happy with mine. BTW, it has a quick adjust perch too! Nice.


Fit and finish...without sounding like a salesman...it is really amazing. The welds on the BIG BEEFY frame look great and there is ALOT of welding. No small spot welds here...full end to end welding. Looking closely here and there you can see multiple gussets in lots of places that normally wouldn't be done from the factory. Even the subframe has some fairly large gussets here and there. Did I mention the frame looks BEEFY? EVERYONE that has looked at it in person made that same comment. They all didn't use that exact word (some did) but the same thought was expressed. Big, heavyduty, SOLID built.

My overall options...well, they are just that..MY opinions. I am happy I waited 3 years for the Kaw. With a few personal changes, this bike will make me a very happy camper for a long time.

Later all.


 

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EXCELLENT review! Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I can't wait to get mine. Sounds like the only thing I may need to try and fix will be the bar height. Everything else sounds great to me!
 

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I'll second everything you said as well SpeedBump, lol. Nice name btw. I put six 20 minute sessions on an MX track today on my new one. The one in the review was a Kawi test quad. My clutch still feels real heavy but I know think it's just b/c I'm used to Magura and not cable clutches.

The suspension takes some time to dial in and break in too. I couldn't stay on the track the first run I did, even adjusting them. By the time the 3rd run came it felt awesome but still bucking me a little. Didn't have enough time to stop and adjust really so still need to finish dialing in.

It DOES shift way too fast. Definately needs new gearing b/c 1/2 are worthless and like said, revs out way too fast. Overall it rides well for a stock quad but kneeguards will be required by racers for sure. I'm putting my MX rims/tires on which will give me 2" in rear but same in front on 18/8's back and 19/10's front. Will be interesting to see how it really does there. Check ATVSource.com for an updated and longer version of my review above and a TON of action photos here in a couple days.
 

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SpeedBump thanks for the review. It was very good and informative.

Psychosis, can't wait for the more detailed version. Keep us informed.
 
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