“The Kawasaki KX450F will not be released as a 2005 model,” said Kawasaki’s Russ Brenan. “It will be released sometime during the 2005 model year, but it will be labeled as a 2006 model. Whether it will be early in the year or late in the year is still up in the air, but of course we are all hoping that it will be earlier than later.”
When asked what the reasoning behind the delay was, considering the fact that the prototype version of the KX450F has been raced with great success in Japan, Brenan replied, “A lot of people speculated that because the bike is being raced in Japan this year, it would be a production bike next year, but we are actually right on schedule with our plan for the bike. We have accomplished some pretty substantial things with the prototype bike, but we want to produce the best bike in the 450cc four-stroke division, and to do that we need to do it right.”
Brenan did confirm that we could see the bike in action in the 2005 Supercross and National Championship series under the AMA’s one-time four-stroke prototype rule, but that would ultimately be up to the rider. “There have been talks in racing about someone campaigning the bike in 2005, but that would depend on the rider. We’ll not force anyone to race the bike, but if the rider would like to race it, it is a very real possibility.”
While we must admit that we are disappointed about the lack of a 450cc four-stroke in the 2005 Kawasaki lineup, we were happy to learn that an all-new Kawasaki KX250 two-stroke is headed our way in 2005. The new bike maintains the same bodywork, but everything else is new and improved. “The new KX250 has an all new chassis, suspension, and a brand-new motor,” said Brenan.
Stay tuned to www.transworldmx.com for photos and specifications of the 2005 Kawasaki KX250 this Friday.