2020 Kawasaki KX450

A 450cc MXer that is remarkably well-rounded in stock trim.

KX450 right front
2020 Kawasaki KX450Kawasaki

The 2020 Kawasaki KX450 enters the second year of its current production cycle following a complete overhaul in 2019 in which the brand’s flagship motocrosser received an all-new electric-starter-equipped engine, a hydraulic clutch, Showa 49mm coil-spring fork, and an updated twin-spar aluminum frame. The revisions made to this year’s model include new radiator-shroud graphics, and the color of the number-plate backgrounds has been changed from white to green. Although the KX450 received no mechanical modifications for MY20, the extensive updates made to it in 2019 were more than enough to keep the green machine at the front of the 450cc motocross-bike class for the second year in a row.

The engine is very lively yet easy to use, the suspension offers a great balance between plushness and performance, and the frame combines just enough flex to absorb impacts comfortably with sufficient stiffness to deliver nimble handling characteristics. Kawasaki upped rear brake rotor size from 240mm to 250mm in 2019, and the larger-diameter disc makes the brake a little too touchy and easy to lock up, but the Nissin hydraulic clutch has a remarkably easy pull.

Cycle World's Annual Ten Best Bikes

Motocross is about building the most focused tool for speed, period. There are times when an amazing engine stands out. Or plush suspension. Or razor-sharp turning ability. The new-for-2019 Kawasaki KX450—no more "F"—is about balance, a highly desirable trait that helped earn it the title of Best Motocross Bike.

KX450 right side
Kawasaki KX450Kawasaki

2020 Kawasaki KX450 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

KX450 left side
2020 Kawasaki KX450Kawasaki

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $9,299
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder
Displacement 449cc
Bore x Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 5-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 37.6 in.
Rake 27.6°
Trail 4.8 in.
Front Suspension 49mm fully adjustable; 12.0-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 12.1-in. travel
Front Tire 80/100-21
Rear Tire 120/80-19
Wheelbase 58.5 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.6 gal.
Claimed Dry Weight 242 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 38.0 in.
Wet Weight 244 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 51.9 hp @ 9,200 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 32.9 lb.-ft. @ 6,800 rpm
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A