Kawasaki KX 250 Review (Top Speed, Specs, and Features)

For many seasons of motocross racing, one of the most dependable workhorses and a leader in the sport has been the Kawasaki KX250. The KX250 is a lightweight, fast motorbike designed to take on any terrain. It distinguishes itself on the track with race-bred shocks and aggressive geometry, both of which were developed specifically for racing.

The KX250 is designed for dirt-racing enthusiasts, with dual compression adjustment, knobby tires, and race-grade wheels from Kawasaki’s factory racing crew. And, as proof of its dependability, the bike dominated motocross, winning the world championship ten times.

But does the newest iteration of the KX250 retain the same level of quality as previous models? Is it still deserving of the renowned reputation it has earned for its unrivaled handling or has the time come for an adjustment? In this article, we will look in depth at the KX250, describe its key features and specifications, and answer any questions that may arise from our examination of these questions.


Kawasaki KX 250 Overview

Since its introduction in 1974, the Kawasaki KX250 has consistently ranked among the most popular, best-selling small motocross bikes in the United States. Due to its incredible handling, lightweight frame, and potent four-stroke engine, it continues to be one of the most coveted motorbikes in the motocross industry, even in present day.

Interestingly, the KX250 is known for finishing races first and winning championships at all levels. It has two AMA Supercross and Motocross titles tied to its name.

Its high-tensile steel single-spine design contributes to an extraordinarily stiff yet amazingly lightweight frame that dirt riders regularly praise for its great handling. This is primarily owing to the fact that the frame geometry is exceptionally rigid. As a consequence, it enables you to make swift transitions through bumps and turns, which is not something that can be said about other motocross bikes currently available.

Kawasaki engineers have improved the engine over the years, with new features introduced with each new model to increase its power and improve its dependability (or both).

These modifications include reed valve spacer plates, which help to improve airflow into the cylinder and to redesign the exhaust ports to get better low-RPM torque. In 2004, they also installed fuel injection, which helped reduce emissions, and an ignition system that can alter timing based on the rider’s RPM and the inputs from the throttle position sensor. Both of these improvements were made to help reduce emissions.

Kawasaki KX250 Features and Specifications

Throughout its production, the Kawasaki KX250 has undergone several modifications, each of which improved its predecessor in one or more aspects. The following is an outline of the primary features of the most recent baseline model of the KX250.


The 249cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke engine delivers steady power across the rev range, with a power output range of 6,300 to 13,000 rpm and a maximum rear-wheel torque of 18.38 lb-ft at 9,440 rpm. The engine has a piston skirt coating for increased durability, a connecting rod for greater strength and reduced weight, and also a lightweight piston that has been improved.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The KX250’s transmission features a five-speed cable-operated gearbox. The clutch on this bike is a wet multi-plate design that enables smooth shifting and simple operation. The cable-operated system employs six friction plates and two regular steel plates to improve heat dissipation. The final drive on the KX250 is a 520-pitch, 120-link chain.


The KX250 has a digital CDI ignition system with a digital AC-CDI system for more stable and strong sparks. Digital CDI systems also enable smoother rpm and increased combustion efficiency, providing the rider with a more responsive throttle. The system is also more reliable since a digital CDI box is less susceptible to water damage than its analog version.


The front suspension is a 48mm inverted Showa cartridge fork with both 16-position compression damp settings and 12-position rebound damp settings. The New Uni-Trak shock in the rear provides dual compression adjustability, rebound damping, and spring preload through the linkage system.


The KX250 has disc brakes in the front and at the back. In contrast to the rear disc, the front has two hydraulic discs.

The front brakes are actuated by two independent hydraulic circuits, including an anti-lock braking system (ABS) which is the standard. The ABS monitors wheel speed, and if it senses that one wheel is likely to lock up when braking, it automatically reduces brake pressure to allow the wheel to turn again.

Wheels and Tires

The wheels of the KX250 are lightweight and durable, with a front hub that is 15mm lower in diameter than its predecessor. The rear hub is smaller and lighter, and the spokes are now three-cross instead of two-cross. Excel, the same firm that makes hubs for Kawasaki’s factory racing team, makes the aluminum alloy rims.

The KX250 is equipped with standard Dunlop D756 tires. The front tires are 2.75 inches wide, while the rear tires are 4.5 inches wide. These knobby tires are built for off-road racing but can also be used on the street.


The Kawasaki KX250 has an overall length of 85.8-inches which distinguishes it from other motocross bikes. The bike measures 49.8 inches in height from the ground to the top of the handlebars. It is 32.3 inches wide and has a 1,485 mm wheelbase. It has a ground clearance of 13.2 inches and a turning radius of 3.8m. It features a seat height of 37.4 inches, a dry weight of 226.4 pounds, and a fuel capacity of 1.64 gallons.


The brand-new KX250 has a completely redesigned frame and swingarm, which results in enhanced maneuverability and straight-line stability. A reinforced steering head tube, a broad front section with tapered edges, an upsized main-spar cross-section, a gusset-less design in the lower cross member, and enhanced thickness in the central perimeter spars all contribute to the structure’s firmness and rigidity.

Kawasaki Launch Control Mode (KLCM)

Launch Control Mode ensures the engine revs stay at 9,000 rpm throughout the starting process. Riders of the KX250F can focus on gaining traction from the rear wheel during the take-off phase because they control the engine output. As soon as the vehicle is in the second gear, the Launch Control Mode is turned off, and the engine returns to its regular mode of operation.

Dual Injectors

The KX250F is the only commercial motocross bike with this technology, and it comes equipped with two unique injector settings. Depending on the terrain you are riding on, you can adjust the mapping of the fuel injection system to utilize a more “rich” or “leaner” strategy with this technology. This characteristic contributes to the Keihin DFI 44mm throttle body’s ability to give its maximum possible level of performance.

ERGO-FIT Chassis Management Technology

The KX250 motorbike has three different changeable handlebar mount options, three different footpeg settings, and four ergonomically positioned handlebar positions. Riders of various sizes can achieve the optimal fit in the bikes thanks to various adjustability options.

Kawasaki KX 250 Max Speed

The Kawasaki KX250 is a motocross bike known for its high-revving engine and has a top speed of approximately 87 miles per hour. Despite the fact that the KX250 is capable of reaching this range, it usually travels at a speed that is closer to 74 miles per hour on average.

Due to the high rpm necessary for the KX250 to reach its maximum speed, it is difficult to maintain that top speed for extended periods. Additionally, it can change depending on a number of different circumstances, such as the rider’s weight and the amount of gas already in the tank at any particular time. Due to the limited capacity of the fuel tank, the latter scenario is often the case.

If you are of average size, ride most of the time on flat terrain, and always have a full tank of gas, then it is likely that your maximum speed will be in the region of 71 miles per hour. However, if you weigh more than 200 pounds and frequently ride uphill with low fuel, you should anticipate a lower speed of 62 mph.

This bike, in general, is a decent choice for beginner riders who don’t want anything particularly fancy but still want to have fun. In terms of speed, it is not as spectacular as some of Kawasaki’s more recent models, such as their KLX450R or KX450F, but it performs well enough that most dirt riders will be content with it.

How to Improve the KX250 Top Speed

The KX250 is designed to be lightweight and quick, allowing it to function excellently at high speeds. However, your KX250 could feel like it lacks sufficient boost power whenever you are not on track.

There are a few different ways you can boost the top speed of your KX250 without compromising too much on performance or spending excessive money. Here are some practical suggestions.

Change the Gear Ratio

You can adjust the gear ratio on your rear sprocket and add one or two teeth to it. If you do so, you will notice an increase in acceleration, and you will also be able to switch to higher gears faster. If you have already raised the number of teeth on the sprocket to its maximum amount, consider using an aluminum one instead of a steel sprocket because metal is lighter and will decrease the rotating weight.

Change the Stock Muffler

Aftermarket exhaust systems often have lesser back pressure than stock exhaust systems and should be used in place of the stock muffler. When there is more back pressure, the engine’s performance and the top speed are both reduced; however, if you lower the back pressure by installing a new exhaust system, you can raise the performance of the engine and the top speed.

Install a Turbocharger

Installing a turbocharger to your KX250 will increase its top speed, but this modification can be expensive. You can install a turbocharger on your own if you are skilled with tools.

A turbocharger functions by compressing air before it enters the engine intake manifold. This means that more air will reach the cylinders during each combustion cycle in the engine, which ultimately results in increased power and speed. However, because this method requires a significant amount of energy, you must exercise extreme caution so as not to render it useless by subjecting it to excessive strain.

Install a better Aggressive Chain

The needs of majority of riders should be satisfied by the stock chain that comes with a KX250, but you won’t get the maximum acceleration or top speed possible with it. Both of these aspects can be enhanced by installing a more aggressive chain with lower friction. The modification can be made most effectively by purchasing a new chain and sprocket kit that fits your bike’s specifications.

Remove the CDI Unit

Your KX250 has a CDI unit, which stands for capacitive discharge ignition. This unit restricts the number of revolutions the engine can make and lowers the amount of power made available by the engine. You will be able to acquire more power from your machine if you remove the restrictions from this unit, which will allow it to achieve a higher speed.

Detach and take apart the CDI unit from the bike. Inside, you will see a green wire commonly used for setting speed limit. Remove it and then swap out the CDI unit for one that does not have the limiting function. This mod can enhance your maximum speed by around five miles per hour.

Kawasaki KX 250 Review – Pros and Cons


  • Launch Control Mode
  • Rider-Focused Ergo-Fit Chassis
  • Better Handling
  • Standard Engine and Tuning
  • Constant Updates


  • Powerband: The new engine in the KX250 makes more power than ever before, but it’s hard to find a smooth powerband in any of the six gears. There are three modes—soft, medium, and hard—but none of them have a sweet spot where the motor pulls strongly without being jerky. At the end of the race, you feel like you have to fight with the throttle to get anything out of it.
  • Chain Roller That Wears Out Quickly: The chain roller on the KX250 tends to wear out faster in dusty places. This means that it needs to be replaced more often than other parts on the bike. So, this can be an expensive problem if it is used often.
  • Noise: Like many others in its class, the bike makes a lot of noise. It has a high decibel level at all RPMs and is not forgiving of rider mistakes because it doesn’t handle track flaws well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the KX 250 a good bike?

The Kawasaki KX 250 is a great bike for novice and experienced racers. It has a lot of power and feels good on the track. The KX offers smooth power delivery and simple controls.

What are the height and weight of KX 250?

The bike measures 49.8 inches in height from the ground to the top of the handlebars. The KX250 can weigh 237 pounds when fully charged, although its official base weight is 226.4 pounds.

How much does a KX 250 cost?

A KX250 will cost you $7,799. The cost varies depending on the year of manufacture, although in recent years, it has stayed around $7,500.

Is a Kawasaki KX250 a 2-stroke?

No, the most recent KX250 is a four-stroke. Kawasaki dropped the 2-stroke design in 2008.


Is it worthwhile to purchase a KX 250 at this time? The truth is that it’s difficult to speculate. The KX 250 has great prestige and a well-established performance record. In motocross racing, its dependability and durability are unmatched by anything else.

On the other hand, we can anticipate certain shifts in 2022 and the years that follow. At this point, it appears as though the Kawasaki KX 250 will continue to be manufactured for at least the next five years.

However, even in the modern era, it stands out as the top option for intermediate and beginner skill-level riders looking for the best.