THIS MONTH I decided to line up behind the startgate on the Kawasaki KX250F and see how I went against a field of 250Fs.
With the birth of my daughter, I haven’t been able to do many races so it has been quite a while. I told myself to take it easy and not be too disappointed with my results but as soon as the gates dropped on the first race instinct took over and I found myself battling for the lead on the first few laps. As the race went on I managed to work my way into the lead and to my surprise started to clear out.
Every race of the day after that seemed to pan out the same way. Something just clicked and I started feeling super comfortable on the bike and was really surprised about how I was riding.
I guess staying fit made it that much easier to jump back out there, and having the bike set up to my liking made everything extremely comfortable. I’m 90kg and I don’t think you’ll find anyone that will disagree with me when I say that’s a little on the heavy side to be racing a 250F.
Yet I managed to pull holeshots on the KX-F against guys half my size and was even passing guys up hills which technically shouldn’t be done. I was even asked what I had done to the motor to make it so fast to which was met with a look of disbelief when I said nothing, it’s stock.
The truth is apart from the modified header pipe, derestricted silencer and suspension work the KX-F is stock. I am thrilled with how hard the little motor can pull up top, especially with a guy of my size on board. My modified exhaust system has really unleashed the full potential of the KX-F power.
The stock pipe holds the engine back but once this is fixed the motor really comes alive. It’s crazy to think but the 250Fs I raced back in the early Noughties were simply no comparison to the power the same capacity bike can make today.
The suspension is working great and along with the stiffer springs and modified valving the bike is staying well planted and steering great. For such a small, light-feeling bike I am surprised at how planted the bike stays to the ground.
Normally a smaller, lighter bike will deflect more and like to wander on the track but the KX-F is very easy to control and point in the right direction. I am having a ball on it because I am finding it so easy to control.
The front end sits a little higher than I am used to. This is just a Kawasaki trait and I am starting to grow fond of it. When cruising around at slower speeds it would be easy to interpret this as indicating a hard bike to turn but once you start to push the bike along and push the wheel into the turns, the front end gives great feedback and stays planted as well as being nimble and sharp. It’s not what I expected when I first sat on the bike but it is certainly a surprise package that keeps me smiling long after every ride.
Maintenance wise, the KX-F is in top shape. Another few rides and it will be due for another service, along with a valve clearance check. The Topline Upholstery seatcover is holding up nicely and performing great and the Bridgestone tyres are still hooking up nicely, even though the rear is starting to show a little wear.
All in all, the bike is still in perfect shape and I can’t wait for the next chance to be back on board and out on the track.
Tech Editor Mat Boyd
Mods This Month: None
Mods Next Month: None
This long term update was published in ADB issue #451 – April 2017