Kawasaki offers its own, unique solution to the translation from mini bikes to full-sized motocross machines: the KX100! With its 99cc engine and larger wheels, it is the purest blend of both worlds and it is not afraid showing it out on the track. Performance, handling and balance is what Kawasaki aimed at when created the new mid-sized motocross ride so it should receive great recognition for it.
For 2009, KX’s main components were revised, leading to an even better performing 99cc liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine. Much to do with that performance has the 28mm carburetor through which this high-revving unit is being fed. The carb was designed with a carbon-fiber intake reed valve for increased throttle response and Integrated Power-valve System (KIPS) which broads up the power band and makes the engine pull harder from down low, maintain that adrenaline rush all through the mid-range and keep it potent at top-end.
What is also worth mentioning is the fact that the engine is bolted straight into the frame. This last component has the gas tank located inside it so that the center of gravity would be kept low and.
You can rev it as much as you feel like before releasing the clutch and facing the dirt race as this competition two-stroker is liquid-cooled so it will never complain.
Transmission is nice and solid. It features six gears and the last two on the input shaft ride on bushing for added reliability. The unit manages to value the engine’s full potential and shows teenagers the way to advanced motorcycling.
The frame on which the engine is bolted is a high-tensile steel perimeter one. This offers great balancing and stability throughout the corners, something that wouldn’t be possible without the adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension. The swingarm was modified and now features large cross-section beams in order to keep things in control. It also features cast-aluminum drive chain adjuster section in order to make out of adjusting the chain the easiest thing. Up front, there is the 36mm adjustable inverted cartridge fork with 49.5mm aluminum upper tubes. This is what makes it handle the way it does, in case you were wondering.
Kawasaki would have initially produced the KX80 big wheel, but the market required a stronger bang so that teenagers will enjoy the benefits of an engine that is closer to the 125cc models that they hoped on competing in the near future.
The step from the KX80 towards the KX100 was made in 2001 and the striking differences were power, size and handling. The engine now displaced 99cc and the wheels measured 19 inches front and 16 inches rear.
This change is what individualized Kawasaki from the crowd and keeps the KX100 on top of the sales charts.
And if you were wondering for the most appropriate alternative for it, there is no reason to look for a two-stroke model as the Honda CRF150R comes as the solution to your wonders.
Even though Honda hasn’t released the 2009 model year, it is a well known fact that inspiration came from the CRF450R and the results are: the Unicam four-valve 149cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, light frame and Showa suspensions.
What is so good about the Honda is exactly what keeps the Kawasaki going strong. These are the large wheels and strong-pulling engine. You will very often find these two tuning up in order to face one another on the track and the finish line will hardly be ceded to either one or the other. Now that’s what I call competition!
Kawasaki knew how to work its magic on the KX100 and have the thing look like its bigger siblings. The wheels are big and make the bike look big, as well as the fenders. There are also the side panels which fill in the gap between the “gas tank” and the forks, covering up the exhaust and give the bike a stylish look, just like you would find on the KX450F.
The only thing making it unveil the slightly smaller engine capacity is, strangely, the seat. Teenagers don’t come with the full-size butt included so there was no need for a big seat, and this narrow, small version makes them more at home on the KX.
As on any other Kawasaki, the color is Lime Green with graphics on top and the number plates are white. Nicely done, Kawasaki!
Even though the KX100 was pumped up from the KX80, the price hasn’t undergone the same procedure and remains exactly at $3,499. If you are willing to go for the alternative, it is good to know that Honda’s MSRP situates significantly higher. At $4,199, the CRF150R offers the exact same thing only that translated in a four-stroke powerplant.
Kawasaki’s marketing department must have surely worked in close hand with the technical department and their motto probably was: you make it go faster than the Honda and we’ll keep it under four grand. That will surely be like a hit in the stomach for them. And it was, considering that the tracks are still two-stroke addicts when it comes to teaching kids how a big bike performs.
Engine and Transmission
Engine: Two-stroke single with KIPS®
Bore x stroke: 52.5 x 45.8mm
Carburetion: Keihin PWK28
Induction: Two-petal reed valve
Compression ratio: 9.6:1 (low speed) – 8.8:1 (high speed)
Ignition: Digital CDI
Final drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: High-tensile steel perimeter design with subframe member
Rake / trail: 27 degrees / 4.1 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping / 10.8 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® single shock system with 4-way compression and 18-way rebound damping plus adjustable spring preload / 10.8 in.
Front tire: 70/100x19
Rear tire: 90/100x16
Front brake / rear brake: Hydraulic disc / Disc
Overall length: 75.2 in.
Overall width: 28.9 in.
Overall height: 43.5 in.
Ground clearance: 15.0 in.
Seat height: 34.3 in.
Curb weight: 156.5 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 1.5 gal.
Wheelbase: 50.8 in.