The smallest, but definitely not weakest motocrosser out there comes from the green team and brings the excitement of racing to an even younger category or riders. Kawasaki introduced the KX65 specifically for those who feel like skipping off-road beginners bikes and get to the real thing as soon as possible. This is the best real thing you’ll get at an early age.
Kawasaki engineers knew that although a starters bike, the KX65 must feature the same quality engineering, performance systems and attention to details that the bike’s bigger siblings feature and there wasn’t a long way between idea and reality.
The green team can be proud of fitting a liquid-cooled, 64cc two-stroke engine on such a versatile package and of attaching a racing six-speed transmission to it.
Keep in mind that this is no race-inspired motorcycle, but a real racer so the competition frame and wheels, long-travel suspensions and disc brakes are well at home on it and actually give a real idea of what a rider should expect when it decides to head towards even larger bikes. Until then, it can head on closed-course tracks and gather up some skills.
Kawasaki had long produced the KX60 mini motocross model, something that made it a class leader or THE class, if you want. That happened for some good 13 years (1984-1997) and the bike doesn’t feature many changes from that period.
But after the KTM assault on the class, Kawasaki had to come up with an answer and they had to do it quickly as the KTM 65SX started getting its fair share of the market.
The answer came together with the new millennium and it was named KX65. Practically an upgraded KX60, the new bike in the lineup featured a larger displacement engine, new chassis, linkage-type rear suspension and bigger front forks. The idea was to get it as close as possible to those large motocross bikes that kids craved on getting and now they didn’t see it as a compromise solution.
Kawasaki had where to inspire as the 65 SX was a trendsetter for the class. Now revised, the 64.9cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine fed through the Mikuni VM 24-505 make a real blast out of the small motocross machine and, as you can expect, the six-speed transmission backs it up as effectively as possible.
The only and fiercest competitor for the Kawasaki KX65 doesn’t miss a chance to prove its racing capabilities out on closed-course tracks and you will very often see the two bikes one against the other from start to finish line.
Packed with racing bodywork and graphics, it is no wonder Kawasaki had troubles recovering a piece from its share of the cake.
And which better way than designing the KX65 like the racer that it is? With a ground clearance of 12.0 inches and 29.9 inches seat height, it is truly capable of dealing with bumps, but it will indeed require a pair of long legs to flatfoot the ground.
Featuring sharp bodywork and modern styling, the 2009 KX65 is an immediate attraction, especially due to the Lime Green coloring that stands out easily. Graphics also contribute to that.
For 2009, the Monster Energy version enters the scene. Especially painted in an awesome Ebony coloring and Green hubs, the Energy model is an even more aggressive looking motorcycle. Also, both models feature black bodywork, frame and wheels.
Even though not mechanically different, these two bikes feature different prices. The normal version, the one that is Lime Green painted, comes with an MSRP of $2,999 while the Monster Energy version goes as high as $3,199. A good bang for the buck compared to the 50cc motocross bikes.
Kawasaki seems to have recovered well after the SX65 fever from the late 1990s and the bikes now feature similar evolutionary graphics even though the Austrians are practically kings of the tracks and trails, something that give the Kawasaki an even more interesting aura.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Two-stroke single
Bore x stroke: 44.5 x 41.6mm
Carburetion: Mikuni VM24SS
Induction: Four-petal reed valve
Compression ratio: 8.4:1
Ignition: Digital CDI
Final drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Semi-double-cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake / trail: 27 degrees / 2.4 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 33mm leading axle conventional fork with four-way rebound damping / 8.3 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® single shock system with four-way rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload / 9.4
Front tire: 60/100x14
Rear tire: 80/100x12
Front brake / rear brake: Hydraulic disc / Disc
Overall length: 62.6 in.
Overall width: 29.9 in.
Overall height: 37.6 in.
Ground clearance: 12.0 in.
Seat height: 29.9 in.
Curb weight: 132.2 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 1.0 gal.
Wheelbase: 44.1 in.