Japan Spy Photos | 2017 Kawasaki KX250/450F
Presented by O’Neal
Round one of the 2016 All Japan National Championships kicked off this weekend in Kumamoto, Japan, and as always, TransWorld Motocross was on hand to check out the racing and machinery. More often than not, the bikes of the Japanese series are a very good indicator of what's to come the following year in production. In the past, we've seen several all-new models in action on the Japanese race tracks, as far as two years before they hit the showroom floors in America.
In stark contrast to the exotic Suzuki team bikes we featured yesterday, the works Kawasakis of the All Japan National MX Series are made to look as close to stock as possible, even down to the exhaust system. In reality, the factory machines of Hiroaki Arai and Takase Tanaka, and Green Club/Pure Tech Racing’s Makoto Ogata are fine-tuned machines that boast performance far greater than a standard KX450F.
While the 2016 production KX450F received an all-new chassis and bodywork, and a revised powerplant, the KX250F remained the same basic machine. As is normally the case in production, an all-new design like that of the current KX450F is usually implemented on the 250 the following production year. Though we’ve heard reports that this will indeed be the case with the 2017 KX250F, there was no pre-production machine on hand, as the Kawasaki factory team in Japan does not employ an IA2-class rider. The Green Club Kawasaki team (similar to the Kawasaki Team Green support program in America) fields a couple riders on production-based KX250F. For now, we will have to wait until one of the Green Club riders is selected to field the bike in Japan – if at all – or for the information release of the 2017 models later this year.