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"Dirt", December 1, 2012

MAKE ME FASTER

IF YOU WANT MORE FROM THE KLX450R SO YOU CAN RIDE SOMETHING THAT’S MORE OF A BEASTIE THAN A BESTIE, THE PROCESS IS ALL LAID OUT HERE AND IT’S SIMPLER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

SUSPENSION

We took a previous project KLX450R to Axis Motorsports last year and they did a great job at turning the trail feel into a more versatile and race-oriented setup.

We’ve also ridden a KLX that had been tooled up by Kawasaki Australia and they went for one rate stiffer springs front and rear. The fork scored 20mL more oil with the standard valving retained.

If you want to ride or race the KLX hard, the stock suspension won’t cut it. You have to have it tooled to make it work.

ENGINE

First port of call if you’re looking to get more response and overall strength is to address the jetting. This is the quickest and easiest way to get an improvement, but if you want to go all out there’s another solution that breathes fire into the KLX.

The stock cylinder head can be replaced with a 2008 KXF head and that will up the grunt across the board but you don’t lose the smooth delivery altogether. A Pro Circuit T4 pipe is a brilliant match (and much lighter than the original) but it’s also extremely loud. For that reason, I’d recommend it for closed-circuit racing alone but not for trailriding. The cylinder head and T4 pipe make a huge difference to the midrange and also extend the top end.

Kawasaki offers a KLX450R top end kit from its Genuine Accessories catalogue. The RRP is $1155 and the part number is 999A336. Check with your local dealer for availability.

By doing this you’ll have a faster bike, but we recommend you start with the suspension and then look at the engine if you still need to.

BITS ’N’ PIECES

• Take off the coolant catch bottle.

• Clean the air filter after every ride.

• Pony up for some larger footpegs.

• Fitting a full new exhaust system like a Vance & Hines XCR eliminates having to remove the stock exhaust to get to the oil filter. It saves weight as well as the stock system weighs a tonne.

• Get a bashplate because the bush hates you sometimes.

• Ditch the big speedo. Look at a smaller Trail Tech replacement.

• If you don’t get a graphics kit, you can never truly be fast.

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