( 3) Brakes. The Japanese brands may have dragged
their feet into the wonderful world of KTM-style braking
power, but the KX250F was one of the first to jump in with
a 270mm front rotor.
( 4) Adjustable footpegs. Kawasaki remains the only
manufacturer that has footpeg brackets that can be moved
up and down on the frame to better fit a variety of body
types and leg lengths. When you add in the four-way
adjustable bar mounts, the ability to get comfortable is one
of the KX250F’s best attributes.
( 5) Coil-spring forks. Let’s not get too misty about the
coil spring (and we mean spring, not springs) in the 48mm
Showa SFF forks. They have been standard fare on the
KX250F since 2011 and have gone from less than stellar
to workmanlike over their six-year run. Although we are
in an age when consumers look at air forks with a gleam
in their eyes, the promise of a simpler life—sans pumps,
gauges and Apple Store apps—is appealing. The best
thing about six-year-old forks is that they have six years of
aftermarket fine-tuning behind them. Don’t forget that the
world-leading Yamaha SSS forks have springs in them
and are 11 years old.
( 6) Electronic aids. The KX250F was one of the
first 250cc four-strokes to embrace adjustable maps and
launch control. The three plug-in map couplers are easy
to use, and every MXA test rider prefers the aggressive
white coupler. As for launch control on a 250cc four-stroke,
we have our doubts about its effectiveness for a
talented rider, and not even the Vet test rider opted to
run it, but it might be of use for Beginners and concrete
to the Yamaha YZ250F but well ahead of the Suzuki,
Honda, KTM and Husqvarna offerings. We aren’t talking
about chopped liver here. This is a competitive motocross
bike that still exudes considerable bravado, even if it has
been the subject of benign neglect for 2016 by the
powers that be at Kawasaki.
We accept that benign neglect is the way of the world
in year four of any production cycle. Look no further than
the 2016 Honda CRF450 and Suzuki RM-Z450 to see that
the Kawasaki KX250F isn’t the only bike being left alone.
However, it has been proven over and over again that
bells and whistles, electronic gizmos, air forks and whiz-bang graphics don’t guarantee a better machine. The
MXA wrecking crew knows first hand that a solid-per-forming machine with modest revisions often outperforms
bikes that are new from the ground up. There is a lot to
like about the 2016 Kawasaki KX250F. Here’s a quick list.
(1) Powerband. The KX250F’s potent powerband
has served it well over the last decade. It may not be
changed for 2016, but it is still a 40-horsepower 250cc
motocross bike, and that is something that neither Honda
nor Suzuki can claim. Plus, the KX250F powerband is
well-positioned and targeted at the sweet spot.
( 2) Dual-fuel injectors. The main reason the engine
is so broad is due to the secondary upstream injector,
which delivers fuel at a progressive rate as the engine
rises from 7000 to 13,000 rpm. The upstream injector
delivers fuel at a progressive rate at high rpm, while
the downstream injector handles fuel delivery at lower
rpm. This is a creative idea that may smack of the Rube
Goldberg School of Design, but it actually works.
2016 Kawasaki KX250F: If
you look closely, and are well
educated in Kawasaki color
schemes, you might notice the
differences between a 2016
KX250F and the 2015 model.