2023 Kawasaki KX450SR Special Rider

I was all Pavlov dogging when I read that the KX450SR “featured elite-level race components, special tuning and design elements inspired by the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team”, only to suffer a slight cottonmouth when I learned it was just new SHOWA suspension components front and rear. I mean, obviously great suspension is essential for bikes that jump 40 feet in the air, but I felt like I was led to believe there would be more. In fact, the rest of the 2022 package was already so brilliant that there wasn’t much more for Kawasaki to add. It even has a push button start.

Kawasaki press release:


After finding abundant success on its 2022 debut, the new KX450SR makes its highly anticipated return for 2023. Previously reserved for Kawasaki’s first factory race machines, the “SR” or Special Racer naming convention represents the pinnacle of Kawasaki racing bikes. The KX450SR is purpose-built from high-value parts that have been proven by the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team competing in the Monster Energy Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross championships.

Based on the KX450 concept, the new KX450SR model has been designed to suit riders seeking race victories and features elite-level racing components, special tuning and design elements inspired by the Monster racing team Energy Kawasaki to further elevate its performance and factory racer looks.

For 2023, this limited-edition, high-performance Special Racer now features SHOWA front and rear suspension components.


  • NEW SHOWA front and rear suspension components



The lightweight 449cc engine uses data straight from the Monster Energy Kawasaki racing team. Just like the KX450, the KX450SR engine features electric start activated at the push of a button and powered by a compact lithium-ion battery. A lightweight finger-follower valve actuation design is derived from top-level road racing technology from Kawasaki and World Superbike engineers, allowing for larger diameter valves and more aggressive cam profiles. The KX450SR features polished intake ports that provide smoother airflow, contributing to improved engine performance. A close-ratio five-speed transmission is paired with a high-capacity hydraulic bevel disc clutch that aids control and provides a consistent feel even under heavy use.

Just like the Monser Energy Kawasaki factory race team, a lightweight Pro Circuit Ti-6 Pro titanium race exhaust has been fitted and helps increase engine performance. The engine ECU’s fuel injection settings are exclusive to the KX450SR and match the characteristics of the more powerful engine, providing controllability and high-performance, factory-spec ride for a wide range of motocross riders.


A slim aluminum perimeter frame provides precise cornering with excellent front-end feel and agility when riding at high speeds. The frame’s lightweight construction is comprised of forged, extruded and cast parts, while the engine is used as a stressed member and adds to the frame’s rigidity balance. Engineers carefully selected the size of the swingarm pivot, output sprocket and rear axle locations to focus on center of gravity and balanced handling.


  • NEW SHOWA front and rear suspension components

The KX450SR gets new SHOWA front and rear suspension components with a TiO (titanium oxide) on the inner fork tubes that improves wear resistance and reduces friction. Large-diameter inner fork tubes are the same size as Kawasaki’s factory race team and allow the use of large 39mm compression damping pistons and a cartridge cylinder of 25mm, providing smooth action and firm damping. The inner surface of the outer fork tubes feature SHOWA’s Dimplush™ texture, which has a wavy finish to help retain a film of oil for smoother action. The Dimplush texture also has a Kashima coating to create a low friction surface that helps prevent wear so sliding surfaces stay smooth for a long time. Suspension settings have been optimized on the KX450SR for higher performance, smoother suspension action and plush feel. The SHOWA rear shock offers dual compression adjustment so high-speed and low-speed damping can be adjusted separately. Using feedback from Kawasaki factory race teams, the 22mm front axle improves front end traction. New Uni-Trak rear suspension linkage ratios were selected to match the chassis.

The SHOWA front fork is supported by a set of XTrig ROCS (Revolutionary Opposed Clamping System) technology triple clamps that help improve the flex action of the fork for more optimal fork function. The upper triple clamp features XTrig’s PHDS (Progressive Handlebar Damping System) handlebar mounts that are lightweight and improve fork responsiveness, and are backed by elastomers designed to absorb engine and chassis vibrations. This system also helps dampen the forces acting on the handlebars in the horizontal and vertical directions, resulting in increased steering precision for the rider. With this system, the handlebar can be adjusted in 12 different positions for total rider customization.


The KX450SR is adorned with a pair of DID DirtStar wheels, improving strength and durability in the harshest conditions on the track. The black coating on the rims mimics the look of a factory race machine. The championship-proven combination of a DID 520ERT3 gold chain mounted to a black Renthal Ultralight aluminum rear sprocket further adds to the eye-catching appearance of the KX450SR.

Managing the stopping functions is an oversized 270 mm petal-shaped front brake disc from the well-known manufacturer Braking. The rear features a 250mm petal-shaped braking rotor coinciding with the large front disc.


Kawasaki continues its unparalleled commitment to providing riders with industry-leading ERGO-FIT® adjustable components to accommodate a variety of riders and riding styles. The footpegs feature dual position mounting points, with a lower position that reduces the standard adjustability by an additional 5mm, reducing knee angle when taller riders are seated.


In addition to the already sharp and aggressive styling of the KX450, the KX450SR features special colors and graphics that resemble those of the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team. Also adding to its true race machine look is a Hinson Billetproof clutch cover with the Kawasaki Racing Team logo that improves heat dissipation as well as a Pro Circuit Ti-6 Pro titanium exhaust that features a special green decal .


Colour: lime green

MSRP: $12,699

Availability: end of autumn 2022

Comments are closed.