LISTEN 04:11

The race-winning heritage of the Kawasaki KX450F is a testament to the motocross bike’s outstanding capabilities, not just with its superb power, but also with the kind of confident handling that riders enjoy. Racing has always been at the forefront for the KX450F, and the 2012 model ads plenty of technical innovations that have been developed from the factory know-how of the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team, with the end result suggesting an unmatched combination of cutting-edge innovation and race-proven components.

The 2012 highlights of the KX450R start with the Supercross-winning DNA of last year’s bike. The advanced design of the aluminum perimeter frame and dominating motor receive a host of modifications, creating a more squeezed-in and mass-centralized chassis that produces more power than at any other time in the bike’s esteemed history.

The design of the bike also plays into the various features that are included in the overall package. For instance, the 2012 KX450F comes with a choice of four different handlebar positions, two footpeg positions, and virtually unlimited ignition mapping capabilities that are owed to the Kawasaki’s advanced Digital Fuel Injection system.

Inside the KX450F lies a powerful and reliable 449cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single engine that delivers improved mid- to high-end power and a wider powerband, thanks to numerous upgrades.

A new wrinkle added to the KX450F is the Launch Control Mode, a feature that’s been tuned to maximize traction out of the starting gate. Activating the Launch Control mode is a unique key that can be turned and used before a push-button system is activated by a touch of the switch on the left handlebar. The Launch Control’s effectiveness is further enhanced by a chassis designed to maximize suspension performance and rear wheel traction.

Find out more about the Kawasaki KX459F after the jump.

  • 2012 Kawasaki KX 450F
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single engine
  • Displacement:
    449 L


2012 Kawasaki KX 450F Drivetrain
- image 429706
  • 449cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-stroke single
  • Works-based Bridged-box Bottom piston has revised rigidity for improved high-rpm power
  • Revised intake cam and all-new exhaust result in wider powerband
  • A forward lean angle of 3° puts the engine in the ideal position for maximum traction
  • Highly balanced crankshaft, on par with Villopoto’s factory racer, creates minimal vibration
  • Maintenance-free automatic cam chain adjuster
  • Large airbox flap helps prevent mud and water from entering


2012 Kawasaki KX 450F High Resolution Exterior
- image 429699
  • Rear suspension settings and linkage ratios derived from extensive rider testing
  • Kayaba rear shock features a large 50mm piston
  • Rear shock features dual compression adjustability, allowing high-speed and low-speed damping to be tuned separately
  • Also features Kashima Coat treatment on the cylinder for reduced friction and smoother suspension action
  • Easy adjuster access for track-side suspension tuning

Additional Features

2012 Kawasaki KX 450F Exterior
- image 429696
  • Skid plate made of resin material offers great protection without excess weight
  • Clutch cable boot features a large quick adjuster, making it easy for riders to adjust play in the clutch cable on the fly
  • Rear caliper guard helps protect the caliper from damage
  • Ribless rear hub and butted spokes offer light weight and excellent durability

Powerful Disc Brakes

2012 Kawasaki KX 450F Exterior
- image 429703
  • New front disc features an aggressive petal design
  • Powerful twin piston hydraulic front caliper squeezes 250mm rotor
  • Lightweight rigid-mounted front disc reduces unsprung weight by 80 grams
  • Single piston hydraulic rear caliper squeezes lightweight 240mm petal-type rotor


2012 Kawasaki KX 450F Exterior
- image 429692
Engine Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four-valve cylinder head
Displacement 449cc
Bore x stroke 96.0 x 62.1mm
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Fuel Injection DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition Digital DC-CDI
Transmission Five-speed
Rake / trail 26.9 degrees / 4.4 in.
Final Drive Chain
Frame Aluminum perimeter
Front suspension / wheel travel 48mm inverted, Kayaba AOS with DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound dampening adjustment / 12.4 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel Uni-Trak® linkage system and Kayaba shock with 50mm piston, 22-position low-speed and stepless high-speed compression damping, 22-position rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload / 12.4 in.
Front tire size 80/100-21
Rear tire size 120/80-19
Front brake Single 250mm petal disc with dual piston caliper
Rear brake Single 240mm petal disc with single-piston caliper
Overall length 85.8 in.
Overall width 32.3 in.
Overall height 50.2 in.
Wheelbase 58.3 in.
Ground clearance 13.0 in
Seat height 37.6 in.
Curb weight 249.1 lbs.
Fuel capacity 1.64 gal.
Color Lime Green
2012 Kawasaki KX 450F Exterior Drivetrain
- image 429697


Ultimate MotorCycling----"2012 KX450F riders can easily activate the new Launch Control mode - a key feature never before seen on a production motocross bike. The push-button system is activated by a touch of the switch on the left handlebar, and optimizes off-the-line acceleration by altering ignition timing in first and second gears to help maximize grip and reduce the chance of excessive wheelspin."

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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