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KX™450 Special Racer is Loaded With Real Changes

Jul 03, 2023Jul 03, 2023

These days a lot of brands have trotted out what we would call “edition” motorcycles, be it Factory Edition or Works Edition or some other combination of words to denote a special bike. These bikes run the gamut, some offering just special graphics and looks, and some packing real upgrades. Kawasaki’s KX450SR, or Special Racer, is part of the second group, with real upgrades you can actually feel on the track. In fact, we asked our own Racer X testing guru Kris Keefer for his thoughts, and he explained that of all the “edition” bikes, the Kawasaki KX450SR is the one that has the most meaningful, real changes that you can actually feel on the track.

It starts with the engine. In comparison to the regular KX450, the SR packs a modified cylinder head with polished intake ports, a Pro Circuit titanium exhaust system, and ECU tuning that brings it all together. That head/exhaust/ECU combo really makes a difference. Keefer says there’s a noticeable increase in torque that you can really feel coming out of the corners, but yet the SR also continues to rev and build power as the RPMs climb. He says it feels more like a race bike engine compared to other stock 450s.

Then there’s the suspension and chassis. Upgrades include the high-end Xtrig ROCS-Tech triple clamps, which feature the Progressive Handlebar Damping System. These clamps, kind of like the Pro Circuit exhaust, would be a pricey addition if you bought them on their own. Then there’s the Showa suspension, which is upgraded over the standard KX450 with special TIO coatings and revamped valving. Again, Keefer says the bike feels more like a race bike, with what he describes as more “performance oriented” damping. If you’re pushing hard on this bike, you’ll notice better hold up because of these settings, for example. Combine that with the coating, and, again, there’s a noticeable difference over the standard KX450.

Of course there’s some bling, too, like the Monster Energy® Kawasaki team replica graphics, a Renthal rear sprocket with D.I.D. gold chain, and the clamps and exhaust certainly look the part, too. The whole idea is that you get to roll up to the track looking and feeling like you’ve got a bike like Jason Anderson or Adam Cianciarulo. Most importantly, those changes actually can be felt out on the race track. Check out for all the details on the KX450 Special Racer. As far as “editions” go, this is a pretty special edition.

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