We didn’t touch the 2016 Kawasaki KX450F’s ignition map,
but we added fuel across the board at low rpm.
MY 2016 KX450F POPS
My 2016 KX450F is a great bike, but it pops when
I chop the throttle and seems like it pings when the
engine gets hot. I read MXA’s KX450F test, and you said
you were working on a better map to stop the pop. Can
you help me?
Our 2016 KX450F test bike pinged under a load, and
when it didn’t ping it suffered from some of the loudest
popping on deceleration we’ve every heard. The “decel
pop” was so irritating that riders finishing behind us in
motos would come over to complain. Decel pop is normally caused by an air leak or overly lean jetting. We
had Kawasaki come with us to attempt to iron out the
decel pop. We tried all seven pre-programmed maps in
their Calibration Controller, and Kawasaki even gave us
three additional maps. In the end, our best solution was
to run the richer black plug-in coupler. The black coupler
mimics the richest map in the Calibration Controller. It
stopped the pop and the ping but produced a mellower
style of power. We asked the factory Kawasaki race team
for help, and they sent us a very simple map that fixed
the problem and gave us better throttle response. We
put the stock green coupler back in the bike, hooked up
the Calibration Controller and added the new fuel map,
which is not only richer at the smallest throttle opening
but across the complete rpm range. We left the ignition
map stock, which meant “0s” in every box.
The numbers in the boxes represent the percentage
richer that we installed in our KX450F. For example,
except for the first box (upper left), we went 15 percent
richer all the way across the board. We were happy with
our new fuel map because it solved our original problem; however, the Kawasaki Calibration Controller costs
$699.95. And every time we went to use our Controller,
the rechargeable battery was dead. We finally realized
that we needed to charge it the night before we wanted
to map the engine with it at the track. Luckily for us,
Kawasaki sent IT manager Patrick Flynn, a racer himself, out to help us—and his Calibration Controller was
charged up. Although 10 times more complicated to use
than GYTR’s $290 Power Tuner, the Kawasaki tool has
lots of options for riders who are tech savvy (and can
house up to 200 different maps). Your best bet is to find
a friendly dealer or borrow the Controller from a friend.
Reading KTM shock springs is as easy as pie. This is a 54
N/m spring that is 260mm long.
WHAT’S MY NUMBER?
One day, while adjusting the shock spring on my
KTM, I noticed a row of numbers. I had never seen them
before. I asked my buddy what they were, and he said it
was a serial number, but another guy said they were
the spring rate. He didn’t know why there were two
numbers, but guessed that one number was kg/mm and
the other inch-pounds. What are they really?
You were as close as you could get while still being
totally wrong. See the 54-260 on the spring above? The
first two-digit number is the spring rate. The spring
rate is 54 Newton/meters. The second number is the
free length of the spring, which in the photo would be
260mm long. KTM does not use kg/mm, but if it did, this
spring would be a 5. 5 kg/mm spring. The idea that the
second number represents inch-pounds doesn’t work for
two reasons: (1) No one in Austria has ever heard of an
inch, let alone an inch-pound. ( 2) A 45 N/m spring would
be 477 inch-pounds.
Link arms don’t change the shock’s rising rate, they change
the starting point of the rate change.
BORROWING KX450F SHOCK LINKS
I have heard that it is possible to swap Kawasaki
KX450F links between model years. I have a 2013
KX450F, and my friend has left-over links from his
2006, 2007 and 2008 KX450Fs. He said he would give
them to me. Would any of these links work on my 2013
No. Your 2013 KX450F has a 135mm shock-linkage
arm. Your bike benefits from an aftermarket 136mm link.
The 2006 KX50F has a 132.5mm link, while the 2007 and
2008 have 131.5mm links. Free or not, your friend’s links
will not work on your 2013 KX450F.
2016 KAWASAKI KX450F FUEL MAP
20 30 40 60 80 100 x100 deg
7 15 15 15 15 15