Kawasaki has created the KX85 for riders who aim at improving their skills in or out of designated competitions and it also achieved the best bang for the buck in this class. It intends on keeping things this way for 2010, so it carries on producing the entry-level dirt bike, which is also the one reviewed by us today.
The Kawasaki KX85 Monster Energy remains a 2009 model year, but still brings a fresh feel among all that green. Still affordable, but definitely a change, the Monster Energy offers nothing different but color. See it yourself!
Kids that feel like moving on from 50cc dirt bikes and onto the real thing are very likely to choose the KX85 from various reasons: first, it doesn’t appear to be a beginner’s bike and, secondly, it has plenty of power.
29-hp carbureted single-cylinder two-stroke engine
We’ll start with its most important component, which is the engine. Powered by a liquid-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder 84cc motor, it is excellent at providing that pulse of power when needed and that is exactly what people look at a bike that stands as an evolutionary step (or the first) in their riding careers. Backed-up by the electrofusion-coated cylinder with a narrow band and large volume combustion chamber, you know that there is a big chance for kids to win, even though dealing with some pretty stiff competition.
In 2010, they’ll be experiencing an even stronger bang as there has been some retuning done to the exhaust in order for it to let the engine breath freely at any rpm range. Also, a Kawasaki feature and one that doesn’t miss on the KX85 is the Kawasaki Integrated power-valve system. Now the engine could be mated to the six-speed gearbox and get the best out of it.
Kawasaki has easily provided the new small motocrosser with a racing powerplant as it inspired on its bigger siblings. It did the same with the high-tensile steel perimeter frame that allows the gas tank to be positioned well down into the frame. This resulted in a lower center of gravity and more confidence inspired to an uninitiated rider.
Next on the revision plan were the suspensions. These units have a dreadfully important role on keeping the bike in control through corners and stable at higher speeds. Sorting that out on the new KX 85 is the compression damping adjustable 36mm inverted cartridge front fork and the fully-adjustable UNI-TRAK rear suspension.
It is nice knowing the technical achievements of a bike, but even nicer is finding out about its evolution and roots.
In this case we would have to refer at the old dust-spreader, the KX80. This is a bike that competed with the Suzuki RM80 back in the days as before ending its production in 2000 it had more that twenty years on the market. This gave it time not only to become a really well known piece of machinery, but also to provide a strong heritage for the bike that was to replace it starting with the new millennium.
By its name, the Kawasaki KX85 (sounds familiar?) had much to learn from the previous version. Frankly, it was a bored-out model and it could easily keep its name, but that wouldn’t have attracted the same number of customers wouldn’t it? The plan was to breathe life into the old by inspiring on those bigger green machines that dominated the motocross racing tracks. The result was a machine that perfectly blends the traditional easy-to-deal-with powerband with a healthier top end rush.
What do you think, has Kawasaki done a good job or not?
Have it put up against the other 2010 model years in its class and find out. The Yamaha is definitely competitive with its YZ85 and Suzuki riders also won’t stay behind on their RM85 ’s. Simply click on the model name and find out everything on Kawasaki’s competitors.
And even if you do fall in love with the competition, there’s no possibility you won’t appreciate the Kawasaki design if you’re into this kind of dirt bikes.
It simply stands out from the crowd as it is the most distinct replica of big track machines. Now, don’t get me wrong…the Yammie and Suzi are great too, but the Kawi brings an accented big-bike feel.
Advanced engineering and attention to detail are everywhere, making the KX the harmoniously-built machine you’ll be racing every day. The front fender and number plate blend perfectly in and bring an aggressive feel, strangely, with the help of that small decal making it “knitted”. I thought it was suppose to be a smile, at least an ironic one addressed to the competition.
Moving on, the side number plates aren’t part of the gas tank like on the RM85. In this case, the frame allows for a very low position of the gas tank, leaving designers with more goodies in their sleeves, one of them being the semblance of the side panels. Also the seat is perfectly incorporated between the tank and rear fender, allowing the rider to sit in an adequate riding position and keep the machine in control at all times.
Depending on the version you choose, the color can be either Lime Green (simple version) or Ebony (Monster Energy version).
But what you must know is that this will also reflect on the price tag, with a few more bucks. Priced at $3,849 the green little beastie is pocket change for sponsors, not to mention the 2009 special, the Monster Energy. This comes with a price tag of $3,499.
You’ve probably noticed by checking out the Yamaha and Suzuki that the Kawasaki – in its cheapest version – is the easiest approach for your pocket. The approach towards the podium will only require talent and determination and you’re set.
Given the cylinder capacity, I would normally say that as long as it completes with the purpose of its creation, it is a very fine bike. But this is a special case. Kawasaki has dedicated as much work and sweat as it did with the bigger KX models, so you make the deduction.
Engine and Transmission
- Type: Two-stroke single with KIPS®
- Displacement: 84cc
- Bore x stroke: 48.5 x 45.8mm
- Cooling: Liquid
- Carburetion: Keihin PWK28
- Induction: Crankcase reed valve
- Compression ratio: 10.0:1 (low speed) – 9.2:1 (high speed)
- Ignition: Digital CDI
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Final drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: High-tensile steel perimeter design with subframe member
- Rake / trail: 27 degrees / 3.5 in.
- Rear suspension / wheel travel: UNI-TRAK® single-shock system with 4-way compression and 16-way rebound damping, plus adjustable spring preload / 10.8 in.
- Front tire: 70/100x17
- Rear tire: 90/100x14
- Front brake / rear brake: Hydraulic disc / Disc
- Overall length: 71.7 in.
- Overall width: 28.9 in.
- Overall height: 41.5 in.
- Ground clearance: 13.4 in.
- Seat height: 33.1 in.
- Curb weight: 152.1 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 1.5 gal.
- Wheelbase: 49.4 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping / 10.8 in.
Features & Benefits
Liquid-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder 84cc Engine
- Lightweight Electrofusion-coated cylinder improves heat transfer while resisting abrasion and seizure
- Bridges between intake and exhaust ports are machine finished for less wear and improved reliability
- Liquid-cooling means even-running temperatures and consistent power output
- Rotor comes with rare-earth magnets the unitized piece is small, light and more efficient with low inertial moment improves low-rpm response
- Connecting rod big-end bearing has more rigid cage for improved durability
- Intake port shape and cylinder skirt allow cooling air into the crankcase chamber
- Primary gear is secured using a lock-nut to help reduce mechanical noise
- Metafoam gaskets for the generator and water pump covers improve sealing
Kawasaki Integrated Power Valve System (KIPS)
- KIPS system varies exhaust-port height for increased horsepower and torque at all rpm
- Produces a broad powerband with more low-end torque and mid-range, while retaining excellent top-end power
- Breather in KIPS cover improves high-rpm and overrun performance
- Thick base clutch hub rides on needle bearings for smooth action
- Large clutch plates are 119mm in diameter for durability and control
- Clutch-release lever ratio is designed for light clutch lever action
- Clutch plate service cover simplifies maintenance and utilizes a metal-carbon composite gasket
28mm Keihin PWK carburetor
- Large crescent slide carburetor positions the needle closer to intake ports for excellent throttle response and improves power
- Adjustable for various conditions
- Large right-side cutout improves airflow for increased power
- Reusable foam air filter
- Features large-diameter O-ring and groove on exhaust pipe for improved durability and easy installation
- Aluminum silencer is re-packable like larger KX models
- Positive shifting action and rugged durability
- Fifth and sixth gears on the input shaft ride on bushings for added reliability
- Shift forks are hard chrome finished to resist wear and seizing
- Convenient oil level window
- Bushings on the second, third and fourth gears on the output shaft increase durability
High-tensile Steel Perimeter Frame
- Wide footpegs for better control, made of cast steel for strength
- Thick footpeg mounting brackets withstand today’s rigorous tracks
- Engine and chassis bolts have rust-resistant coating
- Gas tank design lowers center of gravity for improved handling
UNI-TRAK Rear Suspension
- The swingarm uses large cross-section beams for improved rigidity and control
- Cast-aluminum drive chain adjuster sections for easy chain adjustments
- Shock is fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping and spring preload
36mm Inverted Cartridge Fork
- Inverted forks are rigid, providing better steering response and control
- Compression damping is 18-way adjustable
- Aluminum upper fork tubes measure 49.5mm in diameter for flex-free performance
Front and Rear Disc Brakes
- Front brake lever shape offers better feel
- Forged-aluminum rear brake pedal is strong, lightweight and features two seals at the pivot for smooth operation and increased durability
- Strong braking power is achieved with minimal effort
Front and Rear Wheels
- Rear hub features two wheel bearings on the drive side of the hub for durability
- Rear-axle diameter is large for more rigidity
- Aggressive Kawasaki Lime Green and Black graphics just like larger KX models