Ride On: 2020 Kawasaki KX250

PUT simply, the 2020 Kawasaki KX250 is about as much fun as you can have in the dirt with your pants on.

From the moment you twist the throttle and experience the glorious 4-stroke 250cc motor, you realise you’re on a seriously capable machine that will have you grinning nervously, like a virgin on prom night, under your lid.

Built on the Kawasaki KX design philosophy to put mid-level to expert riders on the top step of the podium, the new KX250 lives up to its mantra. To do that, it features a new engine, with increased power, a lightweight chassis, new forks and stronger brakes.

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We need to talk about that engine. So, before we get all technical with motor performance numbers it is important to tell you that for us, the throttle response was hands down the most impressive part of the ride.

The green beast is an absolute animal, with sharp throttle response and no dead spots in the power band. The KX250 is ready to attack as soon as there is a slight twist with your right wrist.

This bike wants to be ridden and it wants to be ridden hard. Maneuvering as much body weight over the front of the bike as possible to attempt to keep the front from lifting and letting rip with the accelerator is a blast.

As you flick through the gears, the back wheel breaks traction at will, and the bike just becomes exhilarating, totally addictive and all-consuming. Boasting 2.4kW more power than the previous model, the KX250 features a more focused high-rpm range.

New bore and stroke offer the space for larger intake and exhaust valves, while finger-follower valve actuation like the KX450, enables a higher rev limit.

Dual injectors, more aggressive cams, a downdraft style intake and race-inspired tuning gives the KX250 a competitive edge on the track, or in our case on the trails. It comes loaded with launch control too.

2020 Kawasaki KX250

Based on the factory race bike’s launch control system, a simple touch of the button engages a separate engine map designed to retard ignition timing and ensure efficient race starts or take offs in slippery conditions.

Bigger stronger brakes form part of the new package as well, with a larger diameter 250mm rear disc matched to an oversized 270mm front disc. New front brake pad material also enhances stopping power, and the brakes work an absolute treat.

The other standout feature we liked here at Exhaust Notes Australia is the lightness of the bike. Weighing in at 105.2kg, a slim aluminum perimeter frame helps with weight reduction.

Keeping the lightness and performance orientation, Kawasaki did not even give a second thought to installing an electric start. There isn’t one. However, the KX250 was easy to kick, even for a fat bastard like myself.

Suspension gets a massive tick as well. 48mm inverted telescopic forks with adjustable compression and damping handled the bumps and crevices of our trails comfortably.

New Uni-Trak dual adjustable rear suspension with adjustable rebound damping and pre-load added to ride comfort and performance.

Motorbikes are an emotional attachment for those who ride them. You want something that makes you feel alive, something exciting. You want a bike that makes you want to get into the saddle and grab the handlebars when you get out of bed in the morning.

In a nutshell, that is exactly what the Japanese bike maker has delivered with the new 2020 Kawasaki KX250. Pitched against longtime rivals Yamaha (YZ250) and Honda (CR250), this bike is the new contender in the battle royal for your MX dollar.

The 2020 Kawasaki KX250 is definitely worth a look. It offers something special for MX riders, and the traditional Kawasaki green paint scheme only adds to the bike’s animalistic demeanor.

Our test bike was provided by Kawasaki Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Kawasaki KX250, contact your local Kawasaki dealer.

2020 Kawasaki KX250


Ride experience
Styling and comfort
Braking and handling
Technology and connectivity
Overall bike performance


Pros - pure racing machine; clean throttle range; that Kawasaki green colour scheme; great handling and suspension that leaves you wanting more.
Cons - not street legal; no electric start.
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> pure racing machine; clean throttle range; that Kawasaki green colour scheme; great handling and suspension that leaves you wanting more.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> not street legal; no electric start.Ride On: 2020 Kawasaki KX250