Photos by @air_d617
It's no secret that we've been nuts about the 2019 Kawasaki KX450 ever since we first threw a leg over it back in June, and since then we've been excited to try different products that the aftermarket has developed for the all-new machine. First on our wish list was an aftermarket exhaust—not so much for performance—but for aesthetic reasons. The standard aluminum muffler is an eyesore, as it's large rectangular mass looks like something that was designed more for a V-twin flat track bike, not a 450 cc MXer. FMF Racing was first to market with its Factory 4.1 RCT system and in addition to looking better, it allowed the green machine to pull further in each gear and smoothed out the bike's big low-end punch. You can't tell externally, but a Rekluse Torqdrive Clutch Pack lurks behind the engine cover. Low-end throttle response is so much stronger with the kit installed that many testers swore there was more done to the powerplant. We added an oversized Pro Taper Fuzion 1 1/8" handlebar for more front-end precision, and run them in the open crossbar setting for comfort. Aesthetically, D'Cor whipped up these custom graphics—which fit perfectly, by the way—and SDG USA wrapped our seat in a nice gripper cover.
Kayla Fitzgerald came our way as a pleasant surprise as a last-minute fill-in for our friends Tyler and Bradi Bowers. Our intentions are to shoot Bradi alongside Tyler's personal race bike, but when the 2017 TransWorld SLAM and four-time Arenacross Champion couldn't put his graphics on without bubbles in the side panels, he asked to postpone. That's when Bradi phoned her long-time friend Kayla to shoot in her place (with a better-looking bike). Originally from Clermont, Florida, Kayla has been a full time model ever since she won a local bikini contest and landed a cosmetics line contract. At 22, she moved to SoCal and has been a member of the Monster Energy Girls for nearly four years now. "I don't follow motocross religiously, but I've worked plenty of Supercross races and have learned a lot about the riders and the racing," she says. "The Monster Energy Cup is my favorite race of the year because of the million-dollar purse and the excitement that surrounds it." In her spare time, Kayla enjoys yoga, boating, and…tequila!