Kawasaki is the latest off-road motorcycle manufacturer to jump on the special-edition bandwagon with the introduction of the KX450SR. The “SR” stands for “Special Racer,” a name that until now was only used when talking about factory-built race machines for guys like Adam Cianciarulo, James Stewart and Jeff Ward. You, too, can now purchase a KX450SR from the local Kawasaki dealership, but is it really worth the $12,399 retail price tag?
Based off the 2022 KX450 motocross model, the KX450SR is basically a factory-built race replica that comes off the Japanese assembly line with a long list of engine, suspension and bolt-on performance upgrades.
The 2022 Kawasaki KX450SR is equipped with a ported head and a remapped ECU with multiple maps that are accessed through the color-coded coupler system. A complete Pro Circuit Ti-6 titanium competition exhaust system has custom Kawasaki green labeling. The suspension has specially prepared KYB components in contrast to the Showa-equipped standard-edition model. It has an Xtrig ROCS triple clamp with PHDS bar mounts, a Hinson clutch cover, and even the subframe is reinforced where the pipe mounts. A D.I.D gold chain, black D.I.D Dirt Star rims, rear Renthal sprocket and factory race team-inspired graphics top the KX450SR model off.
We are definitely excited that Kawasaki is now in the special-edition game, and they did a really good job right out of the gate. All the engine performance modifications improved power without making it difficult to handle, and compared to the standard model, it just has more everywhere. For our test riders, it was a toss-up between the white (aggressive) and the green (standard), with the white coupler producing more revs. The Kayaba suspension components have a livelier feel than the Showa units that come on the standard edition. One contributing factor to this is the coating that is allowing the internals to function with a lot less friction.
- Cylinder head with polished intake ports
- Pro Circuit Ti-6 complete titanium exhaust system
- Performance ECU/DFI settings
- KYB fork with DLC coating and rear shock
- XTRIG ROCS-Tech triple clamp with PHDS
- Hinson clutch cover
- D.I.D. Dirt Star ST-X black rims
- Renthal rear sprocket and D.I.D ERT3 gold chain
- Factory race team-inspired graphics
- Reinforced subframe
We had a limited amount of time for suspension testing, but overall, the setup took big hits really well without being harsh on small chop entering and exiting corners. The KYB engineers did their homework and provided a solid package. Xtrig’s ROCS split triple clamp system also provided some addition handling comfort with PHDS (Progressive Handlebar Damping System), along with multiple mounting positions. If you are a numbers person and look at the bottom line in cold-hard cash, then the items included on the 2022 Kawasaki KX450SR are worth far more than the $2800 price-tag difference over the standard model.