For Ultimate Motorcycling‘s first ride of the 2021 Kawasaki KX450, I headed to the world-famous Glen Helen Raceway to put a few hours on the 2021 model. This bike was all-new in 2019, so 2021 is more of a fine-tuning year. This is a positive thing as Kawasaki has been refining a very popular and highly rated motocrosser. For 2021, the key changes are in the clutch and handlebars—we provided a full rundown of the 2021 KX450 updates earlier this month. Now it’s time to hit the track, one that has been used for AMA Nationals and MXGP racing.

1. The 2021 Kawasaki KX450 has an all-new clutch design for 2021. About the only criticism of the KX450 in recent years was towards the clutch. The KX450 now features what Kawasaki calls a coned disc-spring hydraulic clutch—basically a diaphragm-spring clutch rather than the traditional coil spring design.

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