expensive at $7699. The KTM 250SXF is $800 more at $8399. The
Husqvarna FC250 cost $900 more at $8499.
Q: WHAT DOES THE 2016 KX250F WEIGH?
A: Tipping MXA’s scales at 226 pounds, the KX250F is 5
pounds heavier than the KTM 250SXF and Yamaha YZ250F, 3
pounds heavier than the Husqvarna FC250, 2 pounds heavier than
the Honda CRF250 and the same weight as the Suzuki RM-Z250.
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Shifting. Kawasaki has gone ’round and ’round trying to
improve the shifting traits on the KX250F. Unfortunately, the
KX250 doesn’t readily shift under a load. Use the clutch or breathe
the engine to get it to upshift at speed.
( 2) Triple clamps. We installed 22mm offset triple clamps. The
different trail made cornering more precise in all situations.
( 3) Shock linkage. We ran a longer pull rod to stiffen the
initial part of the stroke while lowering the seat height. We aren’t
the only ones doing this as virtually every KX250F on the National
circuit has a longer Pro Circuit link on it.
( 4) Clutch. At the very least, add stiffer clutch springs.
( 5) Chain guide. We run a T.M. Designworks chain guide kit on
every Kawasaki we test. If you don’t replace the stock chain guide,
your chain will saw right through it.
( 6) Grips. The grips are small and hard (just like your
ex-girlfriend’s cheating heart).
( 7) Handling. The 2016 KX250F is not the best-handling bike in
the class—not even close. That should go without saying, because
the same thing has been true with every KX250F since the original
Suzuki/Kawasaki Alliance machines of 2004.
( 8) Tires. We were surprised to find old-school Dunlop MX51
tires on both ends of the 2016 KX250F. Not pleasantly surprised.
( 9) Decibels. When you turn the throttle wide open, you know
it. You can hear it loud and clear—so can the scientists at Cal
Tech, because it produces a 7 on the Richter scale.
( 10) Brakes. Word of warning. We had to bleed the front brake
after the first hour of riding. It got spongy quickly. New fluid
perked it up.
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list:
(1) Engine. This engine rocks. Every MXA test rider has an
unhealthy infatuation with the way the KX250F runs. The power
is right where you need it—with a solid blast that doesn’t hesitate.
A two-minute ride on a KX250F will leave you in love with the
KX250F powerband. Yes, the engine design may be getting long in
the tooth, but it still has plenty of bite left.
( 2) Upstream injector. The main reason the engine is so
broad is due to the dual injectors, which can cover the engine’s
fuel needs from off-idle all the way to 13,000 rpm.
( 3) Couplers. Riding a loamy track? Plug in the white coupler.
Are you racing across hardpack? Simply install the black coupler.
It’s that easy.
( 4) Ergos. The four-position bar mounts and adjustable footpeg
height make the ergonomics easy to dial in. This is the only 250
that caters to tall riders.
( 5) Rear axle nut. We always hated the cotter pin on the
KX250F’s rear axle. Thankfully, in 2015, they upgraded to a
self-locking rear axle nut. It’s the little things in life that mean
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: The Suzuzki RM-Z250 is defined by its ability to turn, the