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2021 MX

Inside the 2021 Kawasaki KX450



The 2019 Kawasaki KX450 was an all-new machine and it was very well received thanks to its excellent suspension package, powerful engine, and predictable handling character and it swept through our Transworld MX shootout with five out of six test rider votes as bike of the year. In 2020, it returned unchanged save for all green plastic. For 2021, Kawasaki refined the already great machine by adding an all-new coned disc-spring clutch with larger diameter plates for greater durability, and a dry film lubricant coating on the piston skirt for a significant reduction in internal friction. The short list of changes is capped off with the addition of oversized 1 1/8″ Renthal Fatbar handlebars. Having spent plenty of time aboard the 2020 bike, we are very excited about the updated clutch system as the unit it replaces definitely left us wanting more. The new handlebars are also an awesome update as the Kawasaki was the only bike that still came with 7/8″ handlebars in 2020 and switching to the stronger oversized design is something we immediately did in previous years anyway.

But what do the changes really mean? We cornered Kawasaki’s Brad Puetz for answers and explanations in this technical breakdown video of the new 2021 Kawasaki KX450!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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