The latest version of the Kawasaki KX250F is more or less an all-new machine. The engine is new from the cases up and the frame bears only a passing resemblance to previous models.
That said, there's nothing wrong with an older KX either. The 250F is a four-stroke mid-capacity machine and it sells into the incredibly hotly-contested 250 motocross market. How competitive? Well, manufacturers will do just about anything to gain an edge on the rest of the market. In the latest Kawasaki's case, that extends to titanium-coated fork inner tubes (upside-down forks, of course) for reduced friction. Plenty of work has been done to maximise the engine's power but, more importantly, how it delivers that power. Just piling on the horses doesn't always make for an easier-to-ride bike, so careful attention has been paid to making the motor tractable and predictable. Oh, and very, very powerful.
On The Road
In previous KX250s, you more or less sat 'in' the bike. With the new model, you sit 'on' it, making it easier to climb around on the thing and adjust your weight. It leads to a greater feeling of control and it's the first thing riders notice.
Kawasaki has done pretty much everything it can think of to make the bike a crosser to be reckoned with including a hot-start circuit to ease restarting after a mid-race stack and improved ergonomics generally.
Whether you think the KX250F is better than the equivalent four-stroke 250cc from Honda, Yamaha, KTM or whoever else is probably going to come down to personal preference. But one thing's for sure; even in this most competitive of market segments, the Kawasaki is in there punching.
What to look for in a used Kawasaki KX250F
Nobody ever bought a bike like the KX250F to run around a paddock in first and second gear. Nope, you can pretty much go to the bank on the fact that any KX motocrosser has been ridden hard. And not just occasionally, every time the engine's been started. So, check the condition of all filters and the colour of the oil to get an idea of how it's been maintained. Don't be too concerned about a bit of missing paint or scuffed plastics, it just means you won't have to worry about it when you take your first tumble. Lock-wired drain plugs usually mean an ex-race bike, but, again, we wouldn't let that put us off.
Engine size: 250cc
Fuel system: carburettor
Standard transmission: 5-speed
The Final Verdict
+ Green screamer with one thing in mind
+ Light and easy to throw about
+ Four-stroke engine makes life easy
- Most have been ridden hard