Kawasaki has announced its offroad lineup for 2021, with some familiar machines returning, and the new KX250XC and KX450XC cross-country machines.
The new XC models are based on the existing KX250 and KX450 motocross bikes. There are several small changes to make the bikes better-suited for enduro-style riding. Both the KX250 XC and KX450 XC have 18-inch rear wheels, and Dunlop AT81 tires front and rear. The frame and swingarm are the same as the standard MXers, it seems, but the engine has been re-tuned for practicality, with “finger-follower valve actuation, enabling larger-diameter valves and more aggressive cam profiles.” Supposedly, Kawi pinched that tech from its World Superbike team. Hopefully Jonny Rea doesn’t mind. There’s also a larger rear sprocket, to bump up the torque.
The XC line’s suspension has also been changed up for cross-country riding, since you’re not nailing too many massive jumps in the woods. Kawasaki added a bit more engine protection, and a sidestand. All in all, the 250 and 450 XC models are obviously closely related to the motocross line, but the tweaks should be welcome for riders out there in the real world.
Speaking of the KX250 and KX450 motocrossers, both see some upgrades for 2021. Both bikes get a coned disk-spring hydraulic clutch and a new 1 1/8-inch Renthal Fatbar. The KX250 also gets a new aluminum perimeter frame and swingarm that are based on the 450’s chassis, with suspension updated to match. Both the 250 and 450 see some minor engine tweaks, but nothing too drastic, just some changes to the top end.
The rest of the lineup doesn’t change drastically: The KLX300R is back (basically a big-bore, offroad-only version of the KLX250), as well as the KLX140 and KLX110 series machines. The KLX230 dual sport is back, too (after all, it just got here). For more deets on the whole line, head over to Kawasaki.ca.