2018 KAWASAKI KX250F
REPORT CARD #5
Low-end: C With stock mapping
and gearing, we had to downshift
twice coming into corners. Going up
one on the rear and using a different
map improved bottom-end, lessened
shifting and allowed the KX250F to
exit corners with more power.
Midrange: B We still miss the
excitement of the 2016 KX250F
engine. For 2018 Kawasaki made
some refinements that boosted midrange power. It is solid, but we still
Top-end: B This engine is actually
not as powerful as the YZ250F on
top, but it feels like it on the track.
The KX250F engine’s power ramps
up slower, making the powerband
longer, so the shift points can be used
Over-rev: B This engine may not
rev as far as the CRF250, but it pulls
every second of the way, unlike the
Torque: B This engine offers
decent torque numbers, but it needs
more to make it exciting again.
Clutch: D With the added midrange power over the 2017 KX250F
engine, the power increase makes the
clutch work harder. It doesn’t last.
Overall powerband: B It is
smooth, easy to ride and doesn’t have
any major weak points. It also doesn’t
have any strong points.
Overall usability: B This is the
easiest engine for any rider to get the
most out of.
Notes: This engine has mapping
issues. The stock map is too lean, and
no test rider liked it. We found a map
that works great. You can find MXA’s
2018 Kawasaki map in the November
2017 issue. If you don’t want to spend
the money to buy the tool, your autho-
rized dealer should be able to map it
Ergonomics: B This bike feels
like you sink into it when you sit
down into a corner. The seat height
feels low and the bars feel high in
comparison to the other bikes. It
seemed to help in the corners as
the center of gravity is low. Other
than that, the KX250F chassis is very
adjustable. You can adjust footpegs
to two heights and the bars to four
Turn in: A The forks make it hard
to get into your lines, but, once in,
this bike carves.
Apex: A It flows through the apex
Corner exit: A No issues at all.
Overall turning: A We love the
way this bike turns from in to out.