After introducing an all-new KX450F last year, Kawasaki left its smaller brother, the 2016 KX250F, relatively untouched aside from a few minor improvements. For 2017, the KX250F has received a full makeover, with a new chassis, improved suspension settings, increased power delivery, and comfortable ergonomics.
Last year’s KX-F wasn’t a bad bike, but it did have its shortcomings, namely in the handling and weight departments. When we pulled this bike off the stand, however, we could already tell it was a different machine than its predecessor.
On the track, the chassis—1.3 inches slimmer than ’16—gives the rider a more connected feel to the bike, while the overall lighter weight makes it easier to plant the bike wherever you want. Complementing the chassis are revised suspension and linkage settings. And while the settings worked well, removing preload and adding compression in the fork helped the bike remain planted in corners without sacrificing straight-line stability.
Changes made to the already-strong engine help give the bike a slight advantage over the ’16 machine as well; the power comes on strong off the bottom and continues to pull into the top-end. The various electronic ignition couplers—hard, soft, and standard—also aided in fine-tuning the power delivery to our liking. In this case, we installed the soft terrain coupler, which gave the bike a harder hit down low, allowing it to dig out of deep soil with ease.
For more experimenting, we tried the KX-F’s lower footpeg mounting position and found that the change opened up the rider compartment without creating an awkward feel.
Overall, we’re impressed with the ’17 KX250F and can’t wait to see how it stacks up against the competition. Kawasaki has officially made things very interesting for 2017.
|ENGINE TYPE||Liquid-cooled, DOHC single|
|SEAT HEIGHT||37.0 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY||1.7 gal.|
|CLAIMED WET WEIGHT||230 lb.|