Kawasaki KX65: Serious Weapon for Future Stars
Kawasaki used to have the mini motocross market all to itself. The KX60, according to Kawasaki, has existed for 16 years (most of it virtually unchanged).
KTM changed all this. Three years ago, KTM introduced the KTM 65SX. KTM's 65cc motocross bike was designed as a step-up from its 50cc bikes (which were already quite popular). Rumor has it KTM is working on a 80cc motocross bike to bridge the gap to its full sized 125cc MX machine.
Kawasaki sat back and watched KTM until it lost a huge share of the mini-motocross market. Kawasaki could wait no more, and responded with the 2000 KX65.
Beauty is only skin deep, but Kawasaki didn't overlook the important fact that youngsters want their bikes to look like the big motocrossers. The look of the KX65 is deliberately like Kawasaki's full size machines.
The KX65 also received an upgraded, larger capacity (obviously) engine housed in a new chassis with a new linkage-type rear suspension and bigger front forks.
The larger engine is courtesy of a 1.5mm increased bore, which is electrofusion-coated for strength and longevity. Combined with larger airbox, aircleaner and intake duct, the new motor pumps out significantly greater horsepower and torque.
Kawasaki actually moved the cylinder to the left in the frame to accommodate the new exhaust port and exhaust pipe - tucking the pipe in where it won't burn the rider's leg. The new pipe comes with a removable, aluminum silencer.
More horsepower means more heat, so Kawasaki provides the KX65 with a new, larger radiator and a redesigned water pump.
With aluminum rims and disk brakes both front and rear, the KX65 completes a package designed for the serious young racer -- not the trail rider.
In a future article, we'll try to give you a fair comparison between the KX65 and the KTM 65SX. From what we know now, however, you couldn't go wrong with the KX65. Kawasaki clearly took careful steps to refine and improve the KX60 to be competitive with, if not superior to, KTM's 65cc motocrosser.