2014 Kawasaki KX85
The KX85‘s new more-powerful 85cc two-stroke engine boasts numerous improvements to increase its already potent peak output by 20%, with better low-end and mid-range torque. No doubt, the KX will nab more holeshots than ever before, but the improved torque also makes it more suitable for riders whose motocross skills are still in development. Other race-proven features, such as an advanced perimeter-frame chassis package, 36mm cartridge fork up front with 20-way compression damping adjustability and a fully adjustable Uni-Trak® shock out back provide excellent handling characteristics and superior tracking to tame the nastiest, most challenging racetracks.
The KX85’s engine bristles with performance- and reliability-improving changes that are sure to keep it ahead of the pack. Starting at the top, its cylinder head features a smaller squish band with a narrower angle and a shallower combustion chamber for increased power, while a new cylinder head gasket with a 1mm increase in bore surface height is held in place with an additional dowel pin to prevent detonation and increase engine reliability. The KX’s durable, Nikasil-plated cylinder also features a larger exhaust port that is optimally shaped for better flow, improving peak power at wide open throttle. A new piston with a longer piston pin improves durability, while the piston’s new single-ring design reduces cylinder wall friction for even better engine response.
All of this added power goes hand in hand with changes to improve the KX85’s factory-racer replica character, such as new carburetor jetting specs for its 28mm Keihin PWK carburetor, which features a crescent-shaped slide that positions the needle closer to the intake ports for optimized fuel atomization and smoother fuel delivery throughout the powerband. Further enhancing the KX85’s mid-range and top-end power is a revised Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve System (KIPS®) with new independent slider valves for each port that replace the previous 3-piece design, reducing maintenance and further improving reliability.
More durability improvements can be found in the KX’s crankshaft, which is now 83mm, 2mm larger than the previous model, and features a precisely shaped resin block added to the crankshaft to close the gap around the machined area near the crank pin. The resin block reduces the volume of the bottom-end to increase intake transfer. The result? A design that not only boasts increased rigidity and durability but that also helps to further increase power to boot. More power usually generates more heat, but the KX85’s new radiator increases cooling capacity by nearly 52% to improve engine life and reduce the chance of engine overheating during grueling motos.
The KX85’s six-speed transmission delivers smooth and positive shifting along with extreme durability thanks to its hard chrome-finished shift fork ends, a thick base on the clutch basket housing and an additional bushing on the input shaft.
It takes a race-proven suspension package to put all the KX85’s horsepower to the ground, and the new Uni-Trak® linkage equipped KYB reservoir shock and re-tuned inverted KYB 36mm forks are up to the task of tackling the roughest motocross terrain. Just like its big brothers, the KX85’s fork now features shim-type valving and firmer damping for faster riders while also offering superior bottoming resistance, but a wide range of adjustability allows it to be tailored for precise damping to fit a variety of riding styles as well as track conditions. Out back, the new shock’s black-anodized aluminum body is 150 grams lighter, while a new clicker-type adjuster makes fine-tuning the rear suspension damping quick and easy.
New petal-type brakes improve the KX’s stopping power, too. The 220mm front and 184mm rear rotors deliver strong, efficient braking performance while the shape of the petals helps clean the brake pads—a real plus in muddy conditions. The front brake hose is now routed behind the axle for better protection, and it also gets new hose guides that are just like the guides on the big KX models. The KX85 also wears new Dunlop® Geomax MX51 intermediate tires that provide optimal grip over varying terrain and riding conditions.
The KX85’s high-tensile steel perimeter frame is reinforced in key areas to maintain Kawasaki’s legendary handling traits and work in perfect harmony with the more potent engine, improved suspension and more powerful brakes, but significant ergonomics and styling changes greatly improve the KX’s overall look and feel. Its 32.7” tall seat height is .4” lower than the previous model to best fit a wide variety of growing inseams. More adjustability than ever before is available on the KX85, thanks to a new wider and taller handlebar, three-position handlebar risers and two-position handlebar clamps that offer a total of six different handlebar positions to custom tailor rider ergonomics for a comfortable fit.
Of course, if you ride anything but a KX85, the only time you’re likely to see one at the track is when it is standing still, and the KX’s bold new styling gives it a championship-winning look even when it is parked. A new fuel tank with a 20mm lower fuel cap, slim radiator covers and side panels blend harmoniously with a new, flatter two-tone seat that features a seamless cover and gripper material to expand cockpit room and increase rider comfort. A new angular front fender, number plate and white rear fender not only match the big KX models, the front fender also help to reduce mud accumulation, while new wrap-around fork guards protect the inner fork tubes and seals. Last but not least, a new brushed finish on the aluminum swingarm matches the big KXs and helps keep the KX85 looking fresher longer.
Completing its factory-racer styling, the KX85 is finished off in Kawasaki’s signature lime green with eye-catching detail appointments such as blue alumite coatings on the adjusters and black alumite coating on the rims, just like Villopoto’s factory KX450F.
Those who race their KX85 at designated events are eligible to receive support from Team Green™, Kawasaki’s amateur racing support program. For over 30 years, Team Green has provided regional support vehicles and highly trained technicians at more than 100 events per year throughout the United States, offering technical information and assistance to those who race Kawasaki products. Kawasaki also offers a comprehensive contingency program for amateur and professional riders who place well at designated events.