From MOTO Issue 94 – August 2013
Words by Joe Wyse. Photography by Danny Wyse.
Total Riding Hours: 22
Tracks: Apex, Pontrilas, Toddington, Canada Heights, Enysham
Mods so Far: Talon carbon wheels, Galfer oversized brake discs, Yoshimura RS-4 exhaust, Renthal 998 Twinwall bars, Renthal medium compound grips, Boyesen Supercooler
The first big update to the MOTO Kawasaki KXF450 this month has been the re-mapping of the ignition and fuelling, courtesy of Kawasaki. It’s given the bike exactly the power delivery I have been looking for and makes it much more raceable. Happy days.
After talking things through with Kawasaki’s electronics gurus it was decided that the route to go to tame down the initial hit of the motor out of turns was to retard the ignition the power curve right the way through to six thousand revs before releasing the awesome power of the KXF’s standard power curve. We made these changes with the black plug-in coupler fitted that was just too strong for me to ride in fully stock trim, keeping back the standard green and the soft white plug in case the new setting just didn’t suit what I was looking for. All told it took the Kawasaki technician mere minutes to dial in.
Heading straight out to test the new settings at Enysham, it was immediately clear that Kawasaki got the mapping just right. Retarding the ignition all the way up to 6,000rpm seemed quite extreme when talking about what to do, but out on track it is perfect and I could just roll on the power through the turn with much more confidence. Immediately the KXF felt so much more useable and raceable. The feeling of being on an untamed stallion had gone and the power delivery out of turns was so much smoother.
My plan was to return to the standard 49 tooth gearing for the testing but in my keenness I left my race wheel in with a 48 tooth sprocket and I could ride the entire circuit in second and third gear, which felt really smooth. Slow speed control felt just fine and after opening the throttle mid-turn the delivery had what felt like a second and a half of mellow power before it built really strongly but smoothly.
As a side effect of the easier power delivery I also moved my bars back to the rear position on the top clamp as I don’t have the need to try and climb over the front anymore and with the bars set forward it occasionally shake its head, which I didn’t enjoy.
Also new this month is a Boyesen Supercooler water pump as used by almost every single Kawasaki team, including the full factory KRT team and Ryan Villopoto. It’s no secret that the big Kawasaki can get very hot, which not only puts strain on the motor but robs power too. The Supercooler helps combat this by replacing the OEM water pump system with a superior design unit.
Firstly the Supercooler replaces the small plastic impeller with a larger, improved shape and stronger machined one, housed in a new larger pump housing, which pumps coolant round the motor at a higher rate and more volume. Secondly the system features a high quality gasket too, which offers much improved from Boyesen and once fitted it really does do its job very well indeed. On track I can actually feel that there is less heat being generated by the motor and checking the coolant levels after a day’s racing confirms it. The Supercooler is doing its job and anything that lowers a bike’s running temperature and helps extend engine life and efficiency is a great product in my book.
Lastly this month I bolted on a RFX holeshot device to further help me get out of the gate, something I should probably have done earlier. The billet item is good quality at a very good price and my start procedure is much improved after fitting it, allowing me to get my head over the front much easier. Two holeshots from three starts at my last race was a good return after fitting it. My race fitness was off after an illness but the KXF450 is now perfectly dialled for me and ready for a successful summer, hopefully.