2021 Kawasaki KX250

The 2021 Kawasaki KX250 is a four-stroke motocrosser that has experienced a major overhaul this year.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Kawasaki/)

Ups

  • Well-rounded performance
  • Now has electric start
  • Praiseworthy chassis
  • Updates galore

Downs

  • Drawbacks with preprogrammed settings of EFI mapping
  • Engine character and power delivery leaves a bit to be desired
  • Overly stiff suspension with little comfort

Verdict

For 2021, the Kawasaki KX250 is one of the most improved models. These updates make it an even more competitive four-stroke for intermediate to pro-level riders.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Jeff Allen/)

Overview

The Kawasaki KX250 is a four-stroke motocross bike that takes after its bigger stablemate, the KX450, in chassis, EFI mapping system, hydraulic clutch, and front brake setup for 2021. The smaller KX also sees a multitude of other improvements, making it one of the most revamped models this year.

As a well-rounded machine in stock form, the 2021 Kawasaki KX250 offers a nice mix of trickled-down improvements and a higher revving four-stroke 250cc engine. This model ranked fourth among the other 250 four-strokes in ’s 2021 250 Four-Stroke Motocross Bike Comparison Test where it was praised for its neutral-handling chassis, great ergos, competitive top-end power, and smooth clutch pull.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Jeff Allen/)

Updates for 2021

The Kawasaki KX250 sees major updates for 2021, namely an electric start, the latest-gen aluminum frame, new brakes, new bodywork, as well as updates to the engine internals such as the cylinder head, camshafts, valve springs, piston, cylinder, crankshaft, and connecting rod. Peak rpm has also been increased to 14,500. The hydraulic clutch is a welcome change and the clutch assembly is also new, Kawasaki replaced the previous coil-spring system with the cone-disc spring.

Pricing and Variants

The 2021 Kawasaki retails for $8,299 and is available in Lime Green.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The KX250 is powered by the 249cc, four-stroke, DOHC liquid-cooled engine. This dirt bike recorded 39.60 hp at 13,220 rpm and 18.38 pound-feet at 9,440 rpm on our rear-wheel in-house dyno.

The engine’s internal components have seen quite a few updates, but characteristics are very similar to what was seen in 2020. Now it has a little more over-rev because of the increased rev limit, and power delivery is better if you keep the revs up. The 250 four-stroke comparison test did find that the engine characteristics and power delivery did still leave a bit to be desired though.

Second gear will be used in most corners. Third is not needed until corner exits and is overall very useful. Fourth only needs to be used on faster straightaways, we reported in our First Ride Review. Further, shifting under load was reasonably easy with only a small amount of clutch lever input needed thanks to the new hydraulic clutch.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Jeff Allen/)

Handling

The 2021 Kawasaki KX250 is one of the best-handling 250F motocrossers on the market, being praised for its balance of cornering ability and straight-line stability. At 238 pounds fully fueled, it is the heaviest bike in its class, but feels nimble on the racetrack. A gripe? Showroom suspension settings are on the stiff end of the spectrum, especially for those who are lightweight or novice level in ability.

Brakes

The brakes are updated with the front brake setup being carried over from the KX450 and the rear brake rotor decreasing by 10mm to 240mm. Overall, our rider liked the brakes, especially the thinner front brake lever and its easy modulation.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Jeff Allen/)

Fuel Economy and Real-world MPG

Claimed or measured currently not available.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

The KX250 is known to have a well-laid-out, neutral rider triangle that is adjustable via Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit system. The handlebars feature four-way adjustability, while the footpegs have two positions. The chassis is narrow between the legs and, combined with a flat seat, gives off a comfortable sit-on-the-bike feeling,

Electronics

Technology on this model includes the Kawasaki Launch Control Mode as well as the new electric starter. Power delivery can be tuned via EFI mapping couplers located near the steering stem, which is an inconvenience in relation to the handlebar-mounted, on-the-fly mapping adjustments available on some of the KX250′s competition.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Warranty not available.

Quality

With the addition of electric start and other major improvements, the KX does have a lot more to offer than the last generation. One change we wish occurred was a handlebar-mounted engine map select button instead of EFI couplers.

2021 Kawasaki KX250
2021 Kawasaki KX250 (Kawasaki/)

2021 Kawasaki KX250 Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $8,299
Engine: 249cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 52.2mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: DFI w/ 44mm Keihin throttle body and dual injectors
Ignition: Digital CDI
Frame: Aluminum perimeter
Front Suspension: KYB 48mm coil-spring fork, compression and rebound damping adjustable; 12.4 in. travel
Rear Suspension: KYB shock, spring preload, high-/low-speed compression, and rebound damping adjustable; 12.4 in. travel
Front Brake: Nissin 2-piston caliper, 270mm disc
Rear Brake: Nissin 1-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked; N/A
Tires, Front/Rear: 80/100-21 / 100/90-19
Rake/Trail: 28.0°/4.6 in.
Wheelbase: 58.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 13.2 in.
Seat Height: 37.4 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal.
Wet Weight: 237 lb.
Contact: kawasaki.com

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height: 37.0 in.
Wet Weight: 238 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 39.60 hp @ 13,220 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque: 18.38 lb.-ft. @ 9,440 rpm
Source : Motorcyclist More