With its 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels, Kawasaki’s KX100 nestles right in between the KX85 mini and the KX250F four-stroke in both size and performance. Its 99cc liquid-cooled two-stroke kicks out a surprising amount of power, which is also pretty tractable thanks to the KIPS exhaust power valve, electronic ignition mapping wizardry, and a six-speed transmission. The KX100 is far from common at the track, and that’s because it is fairly singular in purpose, which is to suit young racers segueing between minis and full-size bikes. And as we all know, that’s a fairly short time window as riders grow. (Helpfully, though, like the KX85, the KX100 has six-way-adjustable handlebar mounts.)
But while they’re aboard the KX100, they’ll learn a goodly amount about suspension setup; the inverted cartridge fork has 20 compression damping settings, and the Uni-Trak monoshock has 24 compression- and 21 rebound-damping settings, plus adjustable spring preload. Best of all, though? The KX100 weighs just 170 pounds brimming with premix, making it feel more like a downhill mountain bike compared to a 250cc four-stroke. Game on!
Likes: Featherweight physique, raucous performance, teen focused
Dislikes: Since the KX125 is extinct, how about a big-wheel KX100, please?
Verdict: The top level in Kawasaki's impressive three-bike "mini" range