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Find My brake – Kawasaki KLX450R

August 1, 2022 Tips & how-to guides
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We look at the Kawasaki KLX450R model range from 2007 to the present, and what braking system parts Bendix supplies for these motorcycles.

Back in 2007 when Kawasaki introduced the KLX450R, based on the successful KLX450F Motocrosser, to the enduro market it easily matched the established competition in the 450 enduro class. Its eight-litre fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, sidestand, electric start, wide-ratio gearbox, and user-friendly engine, immediately attracted Australian offroad riders to the newcomer. The KYB fork and monoshock were well matched to enduro conditions riders typically encounter when out riding trails over the weekend. The 450R was also available fully equipped to comply with Australian Design Rules.

In short, it had everything needed to be a capable off-road endurance racer or leisurely Outback trail-riding machine.

At the heart of the Kawasaki KLX450R was an engine lifted directly from the KLX450F. The 41.5 kW 449cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine had been a winner in the motocross arenas around the world, and fitted with a heavier flywheel and softer cam timing, and housed in a chassis with a lower seat height and revised suspension, the 450R was equally competent in every day trail-riding conditions. Like all modern enduro bikes the KLX450R was fitted with an electric start, but still retained the kick start option in case of a flat battery.

For enduro-riding, Kawasaki tuned the engine for better low-mid range torque than the motocross version, with an emphasis on improved control at the low speeds often required in the tight sections of a trail. The modifications included a ‘softer’ cam timing, exhaust valves that were 1mm smaller in diameter, and a flywheel that was double the weight of that fitted to the MotoXer. This allowed for a wider spread of gearbox ratios that better-suited enduro riding. The exhaust header was also made longer to help bottom-end power delivery, whilst to dampen the sound, out on the trail, the exhaust note was significantly throttled.

The 450R breathed through a Keihin FCR 40mm flat-slide carburetor equipped with a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) and an accelerator pump for quick throttle response. To ensure durability, the titanium exhaust valves of the KLX450F were replaced with steel items (the intake valves remained the same). Cooling was also made more rugged, with the 450R getting a reservoir tank.

As with the engine, the chassis was also based on the KLX450F motocross model, but with revised suspension and geometry settings to suit off-road riding.

Like its motocross sibling, the lightweight aluminium perimeter frame was a composite structure made up of forged, extruded, and cast components. This construction offered rigidity with just the right amount of flex that a light handling and quick turning enduro bike demands. The alloy swingarm was designed with a cast front section and tapered hydroformed spars, shaped to match the balance of flex and rigidity required by the aluminum frame.

Borrowed from the KLX450F the Kayaba suspension featured a fully adjustable 48 mm inverted telescopic front fork - minus the diamond-like coating (DLC) on the fork tubes - with 305 mm of travel, and a mono-shock suspension with dual compression adjustment that allowed high-speed and low-speed damping to be tuned separately at the rear. The fully adjustable AOS (Air-Oil-Separate) front fork, with the oil and air kept in separate chambers for stable damping performance during long rides, was fine-tuned for off-road riding with a noticeably softer ride than the motocross version

Like the KLX450F, the KLX450R featured petal brake discs front and rear. In addition to helping reduce unsprung weight, the wave shapes of the petal discs help clean the brake pads for more efficient braking performance.

Whilst the Kawasaki KLX450R has undergone several minor updates to the engine, chassis, and aesthetics over the past 15 years the basic configuration remains largely unchanged. The 450R also qualifies for Australia’s Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme, meaning that it is approved for use by novice riders.

With the Kawasaki KLX450R fulfilling a wide range of roles – from a novice’s training platform to, a competitive enduro competition on the weekend – the brake pads must perform flawlessly at all times. For this reason, Bendix has developed the Bendix Moto line of brake pads that covers a wide range of bikes and riding applications.

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Bendix Brake Pads For The Kawasaki KLX450R

As Australia’s largest automotive friction material manufacturer, Bendix has been at the leading edge of braking technology for close to 70 years and has now taken that expertise to the world of motorcycling with the Bendix Moto line of brake pads.

Bendix Moto currently offers two brake pad types – Ultimate+ and Street Road Track. Each pad type covers the needs of a range of motorcycles and how they’re used, from putting around on the daily commute to full-blown track use. Bendix Moto’s extensive catalogue also covers an enormous range of different motorcycle types including Kawasaki’s KLX450R.

Ideally suited to the 450R’s versatile enduro credentials, Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads have been developed for bikes that spend time commuting in daily traffic but are also capable of tackling a trail. They offer exceptional stopping power, low dust, and low noise, whilst offering high resistance to brake fade at higher temperatures thanks to a high friction ceramic formulation.

Whilst Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads are made to handle the stresses of stop-start traffic they also offer the high braking performance required for tackling higher speeds often encountered on enduro trails in the Outback.

Bendix Moto Street Road Track Brake Pads, on the other hand, offer the kind of braking performance required for high-performance applications such as those encountered in off-road competition. Designed to adjust to your riding style, Bendix Moto Street Road Track Brake Pads deliver consistent braking performance, with low fade, low wear, and high friction over a wide range of conditions even in the wet. This is particularly important in competitions where frequent hard braking under unpredictable conditions really tests the performance of the brake pads.

Whether you are a novice getting to understand how to safely control your Kawasaki KLX450R or pushing the bike to the limits in an off-road enduro race, the Bendix Moto line of brake pads puts you in control, no matter your level of experience or the riding conditions.

Never get caught out by brakes that aren’t quite up to the job. Fitting a set of Bendix Moto line brake pads to your Kawasaki KLX450R means you can brake with confidence - anywhere, anytime, in all conditions.