Kawasaki Durability

vincefriese
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156
Joined
2/9/2022
Location
portland, OR US
11/24/2022 10:08am Edited Date/Time 11/27/2022 12:04am
Thinking about getting another kawi, either 250 or 450. It was the best platform i've ridden back in 2014 and i've only heard positive minor improvements from there. Only negative I can point out was the durability.
I've had a couple bolts strip, prongs for the seat bolts get worn out, gear box issues, had the throttle stick wide open...
What's the consensus on the current gen bike and its durability?
1
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11/24/2022 10:43am
Not as good as Suzuki.
Sandusky26 wrote:
I'm on chain slider number 4 at 22 hours.
That’s crazy. The stock one wasn’t great but aftermarket ones are fine. Over 200 hours on my 19 kx450 with three sliders used. To answer the op, I’ve had no issues.
3
jevyguy
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463
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12/1/2011
Location
Nephi, UT US
11/24/2022 10:44am
Not as good as Suzuki.
Sandusky26 wrote:
I'm on chain slider number 4 at 22 hours.
Buy a TM Design Works and it will last over 100 hours
1

The Shop

Sandusky26
Posts
2002
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7/28/2021
Location
Eastern, NC US
11/24/2022 10:50am
Not as good as Suzuki.
Sandusky26 wrote:
I'm on chain slider number 4 at 22 hours.
jevyguy wrote:
Buy a TM Design Works and it will last over 100 hours
I have the lower roller and it's so loud, that's the only reason I haven't bought one yet.
KirkChandler
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1647
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7/31/2015
Location
Oceanside, CA US
11/24/2022 10:52am
jevyguy wrote:
Buy a TM Design Works and it will last over 100 hours
They last forever, but are so loud. I’d rather replace stock ones every other ride.
skankhunt69
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141
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1/19/2020
Location
South Park, CO US
11/24/2022 11:05am
Kawi doesn’t have durability
2
19
11/24/2022 11:12am
I'm at 80 hours on my 2021 KX250. No issues. Air filter is a little difficult to change, but other than that I would buy another Kawasaki again. Original chain slider, but looks like it's time to change soon.
Cygrace74
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940
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7/2/2017
Location
Westport, MA US
11/24/2022 1:52pm
The 250 is a harder air filter to change than the 450, same filter but a smaller airbox. Stock chain and chain sliders aren’t great but that’s short term. Motor and chassis have been solid on all my kawis. Never done a clutch or top end on all my 450’s with some up to 100 hours. Never any engine failures of any kind.
1
motodad805
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141
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4/8/2021
Location
Reno, NV US
11/24/2022 3:18pm
Have about 90 hrs on my kids 21 kx250. He’s 16, B level off-road racer and he is hard on bikes. 1 piston at 40 hrs, 1 chain guide and 1 chain roller. Bike has been great, even with slightly bent radiators.
5
Dirt.Squirt
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1193
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The Low-Dez, OR US
11/24/2022 3:23pm
I’m considering another Kawi as well I absolutely loved my 2012 250f (when it ran Grinning )
cmotodad
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726
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12/18/2013
Location
Yorba Linda, CA US
11/24/2022 3:32pm
Only issue for us is the steering stem bearings. 85 hours on mine and going on #4 for steering stem bearings. I run mine a little tight but no more than other bikes I've owned.
2
bvm111
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8453
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7/1/2008
Location
Las Vegas, NV US
11/24/2022 3:40pm
I have never had a “durability” problem with any of my Kawasakis.
4
11/24/2022 4:14pm
My 450 has 90 hours on it with no big issues. I check the valves every 20 hours, but have never had to adjust them. I change the oil every 10 hours and the filter every 20. Never see any stuff in the filter, but change it anyways. I use Kawasaki synthetic oil. As everyone knows, the chain roller and slider are junk and need to be swapped for a TM Designs one. Not a big investment. I drop the lower triple clamp down (with the forks still attached) and grease the steering head bearings every 10 hours to keep the bearings in good shape. No big deal. As for reliability, I’ll take chain guides and sliders over Yamaha and KTM frame failures and YZ250F timing chain failures. Every bike has an Achilles heel, and I’ll take plastic part failures over metal part failures all day long.
8
RGaede
Posts
169
Joined
1/10/2014
Location
Albuquerque, NM US
11/24/2022 4:24pm
Just over 140 hours on my 2019 kx450. Oil every ~10 hrs with filter (5w-40 castrol full synthetic and kawi filter). 1 piston at 75 hours (looked fine when taken out), replaced the clutch because i glazed it like an idiot trying to bury the tire on a sand hill. A couple of sliders and rollers (acerbis slider was the shortest lived but the guide is great) currently have tm stuff on it. Have a spare set of steering bearings because of the reported issues, but in my arid climate they've been fine with an initial greasing and every ~50hrs regrease.
2
Moto520
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2996
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2/4/2013
Location
Schaumburg, IL US
11/24/2022 4:58pm Edited Date/Time 11/24/2022 4:59pm
165 hours on my 2019. I liked it so much I just bought another one (2022). Durability isn’t really an issue with the exception of minor components. Good bikes…….you know how in motocross no matter what your bike is the greatest thing……that’s not me. Listen to the newest Swapmoto shootout review……
We have a long thread on here about these bikes…..read through that
3
11/24/2022 5:12pm
cmotodad wrote:
Only issue for us is the steering stem bearings. 85 hours on mine and going on #4 for steering stem bearings. I run mine a little...
Only issue for us is the steering stem bearings. 85 hours on mine and going on #4 for steering stem bearings. I run mine a little tight but no more than other bikes I've owned.
I did forget I had to change mine out as well. When I replaced them they had next to no lube. I replaced with oem and added a ton of lube and they have been fine.
Mr. Afterbar
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2050
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5/13/2019
Location
Green Bay, WI US
11/24/2022 5:51pm
I’ve had 2013, 2016, and 2021 KX 450s. No durability issues with any of them. Will most likely get a ‘24 also.
1
Rickyisms
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3498
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10/5/2017
Location
FL US
11/24/2022 5:58pm
My best friend has a 2012 or 2011 250F that will absolutely not die. It probably hasn’t had a top end in 4-5 seasons, none the less rings, valve check etc. He’s an A level off-road guy and gets around a moto track pretty well. He highsided into a tree two years ago and put a crack in the frame right around the peg mount area and still rides the fucking thing. Doesn’t get anything other than an oil change every two rides and a filter every ride. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting about the poor thing but it’s impressed me.
2
adamw21
Posts
147
Joined
12/14/2020
Location
Martin, TN US
11/24/2022 6:01pm
21 kx250 bought new Chain slider block and lower roller chain and rear sprocket was changed before it was ever rode.

Have had zero issues besides the spark plug melting the tip off at 35 hours. Never had any recalls done either Oem battery lasted a year in a half

Did a top end at 40 hours. Bike has seen nothing but rotella t4 93 pump and a air filter after every ride. Valves were at the same spot every time they was checked. Bike is rode in sand and tracks only. Not a fast rider but a ok rider it gets revved out.





9
joe846
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92
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10/2/2017
Location
San Francisco, CA US
11/25/2022 2:22pm Edited Date/Time 11/25/2022 2:23pm
120 hours on my 2019 KX450 and still on stock slider (shot time to change), chain roller, rotors, rims and more. Haven’t lost a single bolt and other than consumables, top end and linkage bearings there doesn’t seem to be much to do.

Booked shockingly reliable for how cheaply made Kawasaki seemed 5-10 years ago.

Only things that are bothersome are the Meg mount holes rounding out, the thin and weak exhaust hanger and jumpy mapping in first and second at 5% throttle.

11/25/2022 3:35pm
the newer ones (2010+) are reliable

they arent the steel framed kxs of yesteryear
2
11/25/2022 3:50pm Edited Date/Time 11/25/2022 4:49pm
Can’t go wrong with any of the newer bikes, sure some of them have some small reliability issues, but if a chain slide/roller is a problem that stops you from buying a bike then maybe look in the mirror.
4
1
Sandusky26
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2002
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7/28/2021
Location
Eastern, NC US
11/25/2022 4:30pm
I looked in the mirror and my chain slider still wears quickly.
3
3
Cygrace74
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940
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7/2/2017
Location
Westport, MA US
11/25/2022 5:00pm
I think it’s funny people complain non stop about chain sliders you can upgrade for $50 and then have to pay 3K for decent forks for the ktm they have in the garage with every spoke falling out of the wheels with no rear brake spring.
Motoxdoc
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2402
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11/8/2009
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Steamboat Springs, CO US
11/25/2022 5:06pm
Kawi doesn’t have durability
But they have platforms!
731chopper
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3722
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1/2/2015
Location
DFW, TX US
11/25/2022 6:37pm Edited Date/Time 11/25/2022 6:38pm
Kawis don’t have durability problems. None of the Japanese brands do. The last Kawi to have an issue was the one from nearly two decades ago and, ironically, it wasn’t even a Kawasaki engine.

And for the record for any of the brand fanboys who don’t like my comment, my current favorite bike is my 2023 TC125 which is quite possibly the greatest dirt bike ever made.
5
1
Matt Fisher
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3916
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4/1/2008
Location
Visalia, CA US
11/25/2022 6:46pm
One of the local racers was having issues with the piston hitting the head and valves after just a short time riding his KX250. Turns out some of the OEM crank bearings are defective out of the box, with too much play in them. This allows the piston to close up the gap and contact the head.
1
Moto520
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2996
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2/4/2013
Location
Schaumburg, IL US
11/25/2022 9:43pm
The wheels are actually decent….they’ve held up better than some of my other bikes
1
11/26/2022 6:44am
One of the local racers was having issues with the piston hitting the head and valves after just a short time riding his KX250. Turns out...
One of the local racers was having issues with the piston hitting the head and valves after just a short time riding his KX250. Turns out some of the OEM crank bearings are defective out of the box, with too much play in them. This allows the piston to close up the gap and contact the head.
What did Kawasaki do about it? If that story is true, I would imagine that Kawasaki paid to rebuild the bike. I had a friend that had a clutch break on a KX250 and it ruined the engine and Kawasaki paid to have the entire engine rebuilt.

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