premium pump gas. It’s a race motor,
not some mild trail quad engine, and
it responds like it. It revs instantly and
keeps revving, and makes serious
power until the rev limiter cuts in. The
thing is a rocket, even with the quiet
stock exhaust and intake, but it can be
$6899. The MX-width YFZ450R goes
for $8799. Can-Am’s DS450 is $7799.
WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD?
A fuel-injected, double-overhead-cam, four-valve engine. The
compression ratio is 12:1, so it needs
WHAT KIND OF RACE QUAD IS IT?
The KFX is a woods-width quad.
You can add a wider axle and A-arms
for motocross for around $1200.
Showroom-ready, MX-width machines
like Can-Am’s DS 450 M xr and
Yamaha’s YFZ450R are the easier, less
expensive way to get a motocross-width machine.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE
It’s all cosmetic stuff, but it’s cool.
A striking graphics package, Metallic
Blue shock springs and black-anodized
wheels are the key differences from last
year’s regular edition, and the visual
effect is impressive. The coolest thing
about the Special Edition is it doesn’t
cost a dime more than last year’s
regular model. The weirdest thing about
the Special Edition is there’s no regular
edition for 2014.
IS THE PRICE COMPETITIVE?
At $8299, the Kawasaki’s price
is right in there with other high-performance 450s, but it has a bunch
of features other 450s lack, like reverse,
removable outer fenders, reinforcing
rings in the rear wheels and Renthal
handlebars. You can get a Honda 450R
for $7799. Yamaha’s base YFZ450 is
At times, having the force of 450
power in a featherlight machine with
reverse will seem too good to be true,
but you’ll get used to it.
The KFX’s fuel-injected, four-valve, double-overhead-cam engine makes serious power
stock, and performance parts can turn it into
a monster pros can win nationals with.
You may fall in love with the KFX at first
touch. Great grips; strong, high-quality
Renthal Fatbars; a quick-adjust clutch lever;
adjustable front brake lever; an easy-to-use
parking-brake flip lever; a light throttle; and,
our favorite, the thumb lever for reverse.