When climbing aboard the brand new 2009 KX250F for the first time, I must admit to a bit of that eerily familiar ‘big guy on a little bike’ feeling. Being 6-foot 2 and 215-pounds pounds, hopping on a small displacement bike often leads to the suspension sagging nearly to the ground. Fortunately, Kawasaki was on hand as journalists tested the thoroughly new bike at an equally new test track in California and Team Green had brought the suspension experts from Showa with them to tune things for each rider. After a few quick turns of the wrench, the KX250F lost that lowrider feeling.
After kicking the beast to life it was time to set off for the track. From that point on, the new KX proved extremely impressive, as it had plenty of power to clear the doubles of the track - even with this mildly-tubby rider on board. More about that later; first, what makes the '09 KX250F new?
Seriously, nearly every single piece of the '09 KX250F has been redesigned. Starting with the (take a deep breath) 249cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, four-valve, DOHC 'thumper' engine, a new cylinder head keeps the titanium valves from last year but enlarges them and casts them from a revised material. Along with a straighter intake tract, the new head allows the engine to take much deeper breaths from its single lung. That lone piston spins a new crank which is completely new and has more weight down low - a feature that is immediately felt and provides very smooth operation with little vibration, even at high revs. Also noticeable is the extremely smooth shifting action, which can be chalked up to the stronger gears and new cast-in clutch cable holder.
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