2014-2018 kx450f issues/fixes, new bike question

Create New Tag

2/3/2019 2:10 AM

So I posted a few months back about ditching my yzf for a KTM/Husky.

Haven't gotten to ride one yet, but I threw a leg over a 2016 kx450f today (first time I've actually ever even sat on a Kawi surprisingly). I'm 6'6" and it is without any doubt the best fitting bike I've ever sat on. Instantly felt very comfortable on it.

I will admit that I am one of the crowd who buys into Kawasakis being cheaply built and unreliable. I have absolutely zero reason to reach this conclusion.

That being said, is there ANYTHING that is a weak point or problem areas to look out for on either the chassis or motor?

To reword this, what needs to be or should be done to make these bikes bulletproof? Any little thing you guys can think of?

I'm not worried about suspension, chances are whatever I get I'm converting to KYB SSS fork and a kyb shock since I'm very familiar and comfortable working on kyb stuff myself.

Lay it on me. Be nitpicking about it. Any owner feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I'm very sold on these bikes because my back isn't getting any better, my legs can actually grip the bike properly and I'm not getting any shorter


A wise man once said nothing

2/3/2019 3:02 AM

My 16 was bulletproof 165 hours when i sold it. Changed Piston at 84 hours and oil every 5th hour. Cheaply built? Never noticed that i think they are good built and very durable, they dont look old quick if you wash them.

Ill post a pic of my 16 at 165 hours.



2/3/2019 5:16 AM

Youre flat out wrong on kawis being cheap and unreliable. Only fault on that bike is the air forks. Also that entire generation of engine (09-18), the coolant temp sensor is located on the back of the cylinder. Its prone to being destroyed by dirt and grime simply because of where its located on rhe bike.

Otherwise let it rip. Theyre solid.


2/3/2019 5:24 AM

I’m OCD and check my valves after the first 5 hours and then every 10 hours after that. In a combined 120 hours between 2 bikes (a 16 and 17), I’ve only ever had to make 1 adjustment and it was at the first check at 5 hours. It was barely snug so I loosened it up to be on the safe side. Convert the forks to spring, consider a remap and enjoy. Great bikes.


2/3/2019 7:06 AM

I have a 17 and love it. As many would agree, the suspension is the “issue” with the bike. I went ahead and went ahead with A kit. Love this bike!


2/3/2019 7:25 AM

Ive had four 16-18 kx 450's and the only issue I could complain about is the chain slider and rear guide wears out faster than other bikes. I swapped out air forks for a set of 12 kx450 KYB spring forks, bike is great


2/3/2019 9:12 AM

Sweet. Thanks, gents ?


A wise man once said nothing

2/3/2019 9:15 AM

Good bikes IMHO

I've seen a smattering of head gaskets on pros - who do long hot motos consistently. That's about it....

Oh, and they like to crack pistons if you try to get the aggressive map to work well on poor pump gas. The 16 was terrible about it - map was so lean, but 17-18 not bad.

I personally think that bike was under rated - the 2009-12 forks bolt right up and are the SSS (yes - they really are)
And the shock is TOP notch stock - just needs to be valved however you like.


2/3/2019 8:42 PM

I rode KX450F's from the carb days until just last year, have had a bunch of them, probably 10+ bikes. almost all got 200+ hours on them and were incredibly reliable/absolutely bulletproof.

If somebody tells a horror story about a KX450F, it is either because he is an idiot and does not know how to maintain a bike, or bought the troubled bike from an idiot who did not know how to maintain a bike


After nearly ten years of bulletprook KX450f's, I switched to a YZ450FX about 6 months ago for the off road factor and the E-start. great bike, but at about 75 hours it fragged its 5th wheel gear , which demolished a shifting fork and dinged up some other gears....not off to a great start lol

I put an entire YZ450F trans in because I hated the wide ratio anyway, so a blessing in disguise.



2/3/2019 8:45 PM

oh, and if you like the 2014 style bike because you are tall, try the previous generation 09-11. fantastic bike for a larger rider. Not that you are likely looking to ride a ten year old bike, but a low hour 09 KX450F will run with anything out there today and make you wonder what's so great about the new ones.