2008 Kawasaki KX Review


The 2008 Kawasaki KX is a series of motocross bikes that range from the Kawasaki KX65 and KX85 youth motocross bikes to the four-stroke engine Kawasaki 250F and 450F bikes. With the unveiling of the 2008 model lineup, the Kawasaki 250F and 450F bikes have been updated, while the KX65, KX85, KX100 remain unchanged from the 2007 models.

The 2008 Kawasaki KX65 is the entry-level mini-motocross bike offered by Kawasaki for those young riders who want to enter the motocross ring. The high-performance two-stroke engine provides plenty of power for those riders who are looking to learn the skills of motocross riding on the track. The engine is coupled with a six-speed transmission and automatic clutch to ease the rider into learning to control the bike over the demanding motocross course.

As a rider grows, both in skill and size, the next step is the 2008 Kawasaki KX85. The 84cc engine provides that much more power, and is also equipped with plenty of high-end technologies. This bike was designed for riders of varying skill levels and is equipped with a six-speed transmission, the Kawasaki integrated power-valve system, and a tuned exhaust pipe.

The 2008 Kawasaki KX100 was designed to provide a link between those riders who have outgrown the mini-motocross ranks, but may not be ready for a full motocross bike. As well as having a larger, more powerful two-stroke engine, the KX100 is equipped with larger wheels and tires and a high-tensile steel frame with a low center of gravity to provide an appropriately sized bike for teens. The goal of the design was to allow more skillful riders to continue to focus on skill improvement, without having to worry about controlling too much power.

The 2008 Kawasaki KX250F sees a host of refinements for the launch of the new model year. The engine remains the same as found in the 2007 model, with the redesign of the crankcase, shift lever, and suspension leading to improved shifting, better reliability, and improved handling of the KX250F motocross bike. The adjustments to the rear shock give the rider a slightly higher ride height, so handling is quicker and the overall ride has a more aggressive feel.

The improvements to the 2008 Kawasaki KX450F mean that the motocross bike is easier to ride and handle, and more reliable. The changes made to the engine resulted in reduced vibration and better low rpm performance, which meant that rider fatigue is reduced, and riders can travel faster for more laps. Reliability of the engine was also improved with the refinements made to its components. Changes to the chassis and suspension lead to quicker turning and overall better handling of the KX450F.

New For 2008

  • New crankcases for the 2008 Kawasaki KX250F provide increased rigidity, while new engine mounts reduce torsional rigidity.
  • A new shift lever is positioned three degrees higher on the KX250F to provide more accurate and positive shifting.
  • The suspension of the 2008 Kawasaki KX250F has been tuned.
  • The engine of the 2008 Kawasaki KX450F was tuned to provide smoother low rpm throttle response and torque delivery.
  • Intake efficiency and throttle response of the KX450F was improved by the addition of a new smooth coating on the intake ports.
  • New engine mounts reduce the torsional rigidity of the KX450F.
  • The overall suspension of the 2008 Kawasaki KX450F was retuned.

2008 Kawasaki KX Specs

  • Model: KX65; KX85; KX100; KX250F; KX450F
  • Engine Type: 64.7cc, two-stroke single; 84cc, two-stroke single with KIPS; 99cc, two-stroke single with KIPS; 249cc, four-stroke single with DOHC and four valves; 449cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke single with DOHC and four valve cylinder head
  • Bore and Stroke: 44.5 x 41.6 mm; 48.5 x 45.8 mm; 52.5 x 45.8 mm; 77 x 53.6 mm; 96 x 62.1 mm
  • Compression ratio: 8.4:1; 10:1; 9.6:1; 13.5:1; 12:1
  • Valve Train: N/A
  • Induction: Four-petal reed valve; Crankcase reed valve; Two-petal reed valve
  • Ignition: Digital CDI; Multi-map digital CDI with K-TRIC throttle position sensor; Multi-map digital CDI with throttle position sensor (K-TRIC)
  • Transmission: Six-speed; Five-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch; Five-speed
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.0 gallon; 1.5 gallons; 1.9 gallons
  • Estimated Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Brakes (Front): Hydraulic disc; Single semi-floating 250mm petal disc with dual piston caliper; Semi-floating 250mm petal disc
  • Brakes (Rear): Disc; Single 240mm petal disc with single-piston caliper; 240mm petal disc
  • Suspension (Front): 33mm leading axle conventional fork with four-way rebound damping; 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping; 36mm inverted telescopic cartridge fork with 18-way compression damping; 47mm inverted Showa twin-chamber telescopic fork with 16-way compression and rebound damping; 48mm inverted, Kayaba AOS with DLC coated sliders, 22-position compression and 20-position rebound dampening adjustment
  • Suspension (Rear): UNI-TRAK single shock system with four-way rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload; UNI-TRAK single-shock system with four-way compression and 16-way rebound damping, plus adjustable spring preload; UNI-TRAK single shock system with four-way compression and 18-way rebound damping plus adjustable spring preload; UNI-TRAK linkage system and Showa shock with 13-way low-speed and stepless high-speed compression damping, 17-way rebound damping and fully adjustable spring preload; UNI-TRAK linkage system and Kayaba shock with 22-position low-speed and stepless high-speed compression dampening, 22-position rebound dampening and fully adjustable spring preload
  • Wheelbase: 44.1 inches; 49.4 inches; 50.8 inches; 57.8 inches; 58.5 inches
  • Rake: 27 degrees; 27.7 degrees; 27.1 degrees
  • Trail: 2.4 inches; 3.5 inches; 4.1 inches; 4.7 inches; 4.6 inches
  • Seat Height: 29.9 inches; 33.1 inches; 34.3 inches; 37.8 inches; 38 inches
  • Curb Weight: 125.6 lbs.; 143.3 lbs.; 149.9 lbs.; 204 lbs.; 220 lbs.
  • Tires (Front): 60/100x14; 70/100x17; 70/100x19; 80/100-21 51M; 90/100-21
  • Tires (Rear): 80/100x12; 90/100x14; 90/100x16; 100/90-19 57M; 120/80-19


  • A non o-ring chain with a green finish exclusive to Kawasaki, constructed from chromoly steel with seamless rollers and bushings is available for the KX85, KX100, KX250F, and KX450F.
  • Billet throttle tubes made from billet aluminum with a Teflon coating are stronger and more durable than the plastic throttle tubes that are standard.

Key Competitors For The 2008 Kawasaki KX

  • 2008 Yamaha YZ
  • 2008 Honda CRF
  • 2008 Suzuki RM