Kawasaki NZ have released their new KX and KLX off-road bikes for 2020, including a very thoroughly updated KX250, as well as all-new KLX230, KLX230R, and KLX300R models.

Kawasaki’s new MX2 bike, the 2020 KX250, is being hailed as ‘the most powerful’ to date, featuring a revised bore and stroke for high RPM engine characteristics, as well as a new finger-follower valve train designed by Kawasaki’s World Superbike engineers, aimed at enabling a higher rev limit, and working in tandem with more aggressive cam profiles for harder-hitting power. The chassis has been slimmed down, constructed from lightweight forged, extruded, and cast parts to enable light and nimble handling. Optimized rigidity and a new front engine mount contribute to smoother rear suspension performance, as well as maximum forward drive from the rear wheel. The bike also features ‘Ergo-Fit’, with four-way adjustable handlebar positioning, and two footpeg positions, to allow riders to set up their bike to fit their individual ergonomic requirements.

The 2020 Kawasaki KX250 features new suspension front and rear, with larger 48mm diameter coil-spring KYB forks, and a Uni-Trak / KYB rear shock. The forks have been fitted with large 25mm damping pistons to provide smooth action and firm damping, with improved action at the initial part of the stroke. The rear shock offers dual compression adjustability (high-speed and low-speed damping) to soak up all manner of bumps and ruts.

The brakes have been beefed up too, with a 270mm semi-floating front disc clamped by a dual-piston caliper, fitted with new brake pad materials to offer solid control, while the rear is a larger (than 2019)  250mm petal disc and lightweight master cylinder to give even better rear-end stopping power.

All-new for the trails and adventuring, the 2020 KLX range features bikes to suit all ages and skill levels. The KLX230 is road-legal, featuring responsive power from the 223cc fuel-injected, air-cooled single cylinder. Tuned for low-to-mid range power, the SOHC motor is compact and lightweight and requires low maintenance. It includes an electric start button, allowing for hassle-free performance regardless of altitude or air temperature. The dual-purpose bike also features a large 60/55W headlamp, providing excellent illumination at night or in low-light conditions, as well as an easy-to-read LCD screen displaying all-digital instrumentation.

The KLX230 is built on a rugged chassis, with an all-new compact frame, short wheelbase, and low seat height to allow great handling and confident trail riding to suit a wide range of riders. The long-travel 37mm front forks and Uni-Trak rear shock contribute to a comfortable ride whether on bumpy streets or rough trails. Braking is provided by the 270mm front and 240mm rear petal discs, fitted with Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS system, developed with Bosch. The ABS system provides excellent stopping performance on low-friction surfaces, and offers reassurance to both new and experienced riders. The full-size 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels allow for easy and confident riding over any terrain.

The off-road only KLX230R and KLX300R models take the performance to the dirt, with the KLX230R technically showing the same stats at the road-legal version, but tuned to allow extremely confident and exceptionally balanced trail handling. The KLX300R features a 292cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine, delivering crisp response, quick-revving power, and strong low-end torque. Built tough for enhanced reliability, the engine is desinged for many long hours on the trails. Bridging the gap between a ‘weekend play bike’ and a full race bike, the KLX300R is fitted with an electric starter for hassle-free riding. It is also fitted with a smooth-shifting transmission and a short final-drive gearing to compliment the engines low-to-mid range focus, allowing riders to maintain momentum when navigating technical off-road trails.

Suspension is taken care of with 43mm inverted front forks, fitted with lower spring rate internals to allow damping to work over a wider stroke range. The Uni-Trak rear shock features full adjustability to allow riders to tune for a range of different styles and terrains preferences. The lightweight and slim chassis is designed to allow riders to grip the bike better for increased control, while the KX-inspired seat design offers great freedom of movemtent for any type of off-road riding. The full-size 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels are slowed by a 270mm petal disc and dual-piston caliper up front and 240mm petal disc at the rear.

The 2020 KLX300R also features Kawasaki’s ‘Ergo-Fit’ adjustable handlebar and footpeg positioning for increased rider comfort.

Photos: Kawasaki Media


Husqvarna have unveiled their range of Enduro bikes for 2020, with developments to chassis, suspension, and engines in the TE and FE range to further improve upon their reputation as one of the top manufacturers.

Aimed at delivering exceptional levels of performance, class-leading power throughout the range, and equipped with updated WP suspension, all of the 2020 models feature updated ergonomics to go with their progressive designs. New chassis technology is the base for a complete redesign, allowing for new shock linkages, updated bodywork, improved fork and shock settings, and premium components to be used as standard.

2020 Husqvarna TE 300i

The new 2020 range continues the brand’s approach to innovation, with the biggest feature across all the new bikes being the hydroformed, laser-cut, robot-welded chassis’, and composite carbon fiber subframes. Along with the extra torsional strength the frames provide, they remain extremely lightweight. New aluminium cylinder head mountings improve handling, added to the updated 48mm WP XPLOR front forks and WP XACT rear shock offering full adjustability, with more consistent damping and better resistance to bottom-out. The forks are split duty, with one side offering damping control and the other providing rebound. The new rear shock linkage system offers reduced seat height, better traction, and improved stability, meaning riding over technical terrain has never been easier.

2020 Husqvarna TE 150i

The all-new TE 150i features TPI fuel injection, adapted from the TE 250i and TE 300i, sharing the same proven 2-stroke technology. Providing all the convenience and simplicity of a modern 4-stroke at a fraction of the weight, the TPI system eliminates the need for re-jetting for ambient changes, as well as including a pump-driven oil mixing system, meaning riders no longer need to worry about premixing fuel. The TE 150i also includes an electric starter, for added ease of use. Combining a nimble, lightweight chassis with a compact and powerful engine, the TE 150i delivers maximum performance.

2020 Husqvarna FE 350

Both the TE 250i and TE 300i benefit from updated cylinder design, for superior 2-stroke performance, as well as a 1-degree lower engine mounting for improved front-end traction. The entire 4-stroke range features extensive upgrades as well, for increased performance and rideability. The FE 450 and FE 501 both receive new cylinder heads, and the FE 250 and FE 350 both receive extensive revisions, similar to their 2-stroke brethren. The entire Enduro range also features new exhaust systems, for optimal performance and durability.

2020 Husqvarna TE 300i

The entire range features new distinctive slimmed down bodywork and bold new graphics, showcasing Husqvarna’s attention to detail and pioneering design direction.

What’s New For 2020:

  • New frame on all models offering increased longitudinal & torsional rigidity
  • TE 150i featuring electronic fuel injection
  • New 250g lighter 2-piece subframe across the model range
  • Updated WP XPLOR fork with new mid-valve piston & setting
  • Updated WP XACT shock with new main piston & setting
  • New shock linkage dimension providing reduced seat height & added control
  • All-new exhaust systems for optimal performance & durability
  • New seat that places rider 10mm closer to the ground
  • Improved cooling circuit with radiators placed 12mm lower
  • Progressive new bodywork design offering new and improved ergonomics
  • Updated 4-stroke engines offering improved performance & rideability
  • 1° lower mounting on TE 250i/300i engines for improved front end traction
  • Updated TE 250i/300i cylinder for superior 2-stroke performance

Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Press

For 2020 the all-new YZ450F comes with less weight, more power, and sharper handling, making it the most competitive 450cc model that Yamaha has ever produced.

In order to create a motocross bike that can race and win at every level against the toughest opposition, Yamaha’s engineers have analysed every single component and made a wide range of major and minor improvements wherever possible.


As a result of this intensive part-by-part analysis the entire motorcycle has been subject to an extensive redesign, and the team of engineers has succeeded in achieving significant weight savings together with power gains and enhanced handling performance for the 2020 YZ450F.


More powerful and compact new 450cc engine

Already renowned for its enormous power output, the YZ450F engine has been thoroughly redesigned for 2020 to deliver stronger and more controllable performance. The new engine is significantly more compact and lighter, and the revised configuration enhances the bike’s mass centralized design to make it one of the easiest-handling open class motocross machines.

Featuring a high compression reverse cylinder head as well as a durable forged piston and aggressive cam profiles, the compact new 450cc engine is designed to deliver the best balance of race-winning performance together with ultimate controllability.

All-new rearward-slanted cylinder

One of the key engine improvements for 2020 is the new rearward-slanted cylinder that is both lighter and more compact. Because this innovative design is positioned closer to the bike’s mid-section it helps to achieve an idealized mass centralization, and this contributes enormously towards the YZ450F’s dynamic handling characteristics. The new rearward-slanting cylinder is equipped with a high compression bridge-box design piston, and together with the high-efficiency reverse cylinder head with its long and straight inlet, this industry-leading design produces a fine balance of 450-class power combined with exceptional controllability.

YZ250F: Tune, Race, Win

Following its complete redesign for 2019, the YZ250F is proving to be one of the most competitive 250cc 4-strokes, with Dylan Ferrandis winning the AMA Supercross West Championship. In the 2019 MX2 World Championship Yamaha YZ250F riders Jago Geerts and Ben Watson are amongst the main contenders, and at local and national level the YZ250F continues to impress.

Sporting an electric start, and a 250cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine housed in an aluminum bilateral beam frame, as well as being suspended by industry leading KYB spring type forks and KYB rear shock, the 2020 YZ250F provides the ultimate balance of race-winning performance, rideability and comfort. It also continues to feature Yamaha’s advanced racing technology including dual-mode switchable engine mapping and wireless connectivity for the Yamaha Power Tuner App.

Other models in the 2020 Off Road range

Yamaha’s 2020 range is designed to give everybody the chance to enjoy the thrill of leisure riding and off-road racing, whatever their age or experience level.

In addition to the YZ65, YZ85 and YZ125 youth MX bikes and the YZ250F, YZ450F and YZ250 adult race bikes, the 2020 Off Road range also includes the PW and TTR kids’ bikes. Aimed at younger riders from 4 years upwards, the PW and TTR models are the ideal way to get into two wheels, and many of today’s champions started with one of these user-friendly models.

Words and Photos: Yamaha Media Europe


Kawasaki New Zealand have just sent us through details about the all-new, purpose-built KLX230, a learner-approved street legal trail bike, with an ABS system, jointly developed with Bosch, that has been optimised for both on and off-road applications.

The KLX230 fits in the Kawasaki product line-up above the KLX140, with a quiet fuel injected SOHC, 233cc 2-valve single with electric start. It doesn’t, however, replace the KLX250S. The new KLX230 is designed from the ground up with trail riding in mind. The single-cylinder motor provides ample low-to-mid range torque, and its simple construction makes it ideal for trail runs. The all-new compact frame has been designed to offer stable handling, which is necessary for confident trail riding. Fitted with an 18-inch rear and 21-inch front wheel, and equipped with Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS system, the bike is light, powerful, and maneuverable, making it perfect for attacking the trails.

The long-stroke engine offers robust low-to-mid range torque, pulling strongly and facilitating low-speed control. Fuel injection delivers precise response and linear acceleration. The air-cooled motor requires fewer parts than a liquid-cooled variant, contributing to a lighter, more compact chassis. The all-new perimeter frame has been designed after extensive feedback from Kawasaki test riders, taking great care to optimise the engine height and frame line, to achieve an ideal rigidity balance as well as keeping the seat height at an appropriate level. The bikes relatively short wheelbase contributes to the easy-handling and maneuverable nature, a welcome feature for new and intermediate riders.

Long-travel suspension front and rear (250mm front, 251mm rear) greatly contributes to the KLX230’s ability to soak up bumps on the trail. And, with 300mm of ground clearance, riders are more easily able to clear obstructions they encounter. The 37mm telescopic forks and the new Uni-Trak® mono-shock rear suspension provides superb road-holding and outstanding shock absorption for excellent off-road performance. The relaxed riding position makes the bike easier to ride and control. The footpegs are positioned close to the bike’s centreline for a slim riding position, conducive to both on and off-road riding.

Styling cues have been taken from Kawasaki’s KX motocross range, giving the bike an agile and aggressive image to match its trail-riding prowess.

The KLX230 is expected to arrive at Kawasaki dealerships in August 2019, with pricing to be announced closer to that time. For more information, check Kawasaki’s website.

Words and Photos: Kawasaki New Zealand

Performance updates to CRF250R highlight extensive CRF lineup

From the fire-breathing, high-flying CRF450RWE all the way down to the friendly, cute CRF50F, Honda’s off-road motorcycle lineup is the most all-encompassing and versatile on the powersports market, a fact that was driven home when American Honda today made its first new-model announcement of the 2020 model year. With eight and four machines respectively, Honda’s CRF Performance and CRF Trail families offer something for everyone, whether they be pro-level racers looking to give Ken Roczen and Cole Seely a run for their money, youngsters preparing for their first two-wheel forays, or anyone in between.

The newest iterations of Honda’s proven full-size motocross models—the CRF250R and CRF450R, as well as the elite CRF450RWE—all receive important upgrades to raise performance levels even higher, while the CRF150R mini is back again in 2020. The CRF450RX and CRF250RX closed-course off-road racers benefit from the same improvements as their track-focused siblings, while the CRF450X off-roader and CRF450L dual-sport machine return for the new model year with updated graphics. At the other end of the spectrum, the approachable, fun 2020 CRF250F, CRF125F, CRF110F and CRF50F await recreational riders with trail-focused performance and proven reliability.

“For generations, Honda has demonstrated its commitment to the dirt bike market, and that’s never been truer than now,” said Chris Cox, American Honda’s Manager of Experiential Marketing/Press. “Our 2020 lineup of off-road models, including the CRF Performance and CRF Trail families, comprises machines that are top-of-class for motocross, off-road competition, trail riding and, in the case of the CRF450L, even using streets to extend off-road adventures. With such a capable and diverse collection of motorcycles, you can once again expect to see a lot of red on tracks and trails from coast to coast.”

Last year saw Honda significantly expand its CRF Performance family to include machines for riding applications including motocross, closed-course off-road, pure off-road, and even dual sport. For 2020, a number of models in the lineup get important upgrades to keep Red Riders running at the front of the pack.

For 2020, Honda’s flagship CRF450R—the same platform raced by Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely—puts more engine-management choices at the fingertips of racers, with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, the system maximizes rear-tire hookup to keep all of the Unicam® engine’s horsepower driving the bike and rider forward, improving racing success regardless of track conditions. In keeping with racing-body regulations, the system measures rate of rpm increase and adjusts delivery accordingly, and a handlebar-mounted switch enables selection from three levels of delivery (most in class). In addition, the CRF450R’s front-rear balance is refined and handling is improved thanks to internal suspension updates, and a new battery position that lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Improved rear-brake pad performance and durability, and the exclusive specification of Dunlop Geomax® MX3S tires round out a machine that’s ready to take riders to the next level.

Following a successful debut year in which it quickly caught the eye of performance-hungry enthusiasts who demand the absolute best, the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) gets even better for 2020, with updates based on the machines in the Team Honda HRC factory race shop. Already a dominant force when it comes to lap times, this exclusive model now features a full titanium Yoshimura exhaust system, as a lightweight Ti header (the first of its kind on a Honda motocross model) joins the titanium Yosh muffler, all specifically designed to work with the model’s hand-polished ports. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, now comes standard, enabling three levels of intervention via a handlebar-mounted switch, and a new battery position lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Rounding out the changes are internal suspension updates, improved rear brake-pad performance and durability, new dual-compound Renthal grips and graphic updates.

Ridden to the 2018 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) by JCR Honda’s Trevor Stewart, the CRF450RX returns for 2020 with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), improving rear-wheel hookup in the limited-traction situations so common in closed-course off-road racing. A new battery position lowers the center of gravity for improved handling, and internal suspension updates yield improved machine balance. Just like the 2019 platform campaigned by Stewart, SLR Honda’s Ricky Dietrich and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Andrew Delong, the 2020 CRF450RX maintains its off-road pedigree with a model-specific ECU and 18-inch rear wheel, aluminum side stand and large fuel tank.

With wins in 21 of the last 22 Baja 1000s (including 12 with the CRF450X), it’s no secret that Honda rules the legendary off-road race, and in the Baja debut of the model’s new iteration, SLR Honda kicked off the 2019 SCORE International series with a win in the San Felipe 250. A true off-road machine, the CRF450X is 50-state off-road legal and is suitable for year-round racing and trail riding. With off-road appropriate features like a sidestand, 18-inch rear wheel, headlight, sealed chain and six-speed transmission, it’s ready for desert expanses or tight woods, and it gets new graphics for the 2020 model year.

Having taken the dual-sport world by storm since its debut last year, the road-legal CRF450L expands customers’ off-road possibilities by enabling access to the best riding trails on public lands, even when that means connecting them via asphalt roads. Based on the CRF450R, the CRF450L is a performance off-road machine, but it also has the comfort and durability to make riding it and owning it a pleasure in the long run. Already armed with features like a titanium fuel tank, six-speed transmission and LED lighting, the CRF450L gets new graphics for 2020.

The machine that took Jace Owen to the 2019 Kicker Arenacross title victory and powered Amsoil Honda’s Jo Shimoda to the win at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Star race gets a host of important updates for 2020, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal front-and-rear suspension updates.

Campaigned in national championship off-road racing by JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell, SLR Honda’s Tallon LaFountaine and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Austin Lee, the CRF250RX features closed-course off-road specific components like a large fuel tank, aluminum sidestand, and 18-inch rear wheel, and for 2020, it receives a host of important updates, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal suspension updates.


CRF150R (above)/ CRF150R Big Wheel (below)
Honda’s smallest motocrosser delivers smooth, ample torque across the rev range thanks to its Unicam four-stroke engine—unique in the mini MX world. Showa suspension components include a rear shock working through a Pro-Link rear suspension system, and a 37mm inverted fork. The CRF150R is offered in both standard and Big Wheel versions, the latter featuring larger wheels, a taller seat height, and more rear suspension travel to better suit larger riders.


Motorcycling is armed with legions of riders who got their start on Honda trail bikes, and with the 2020 lineup of CRF Trail models, that trend is sure to continue long into the future.

The flagship of Honda’s CRF Trail line, the CRF250F can take riders from their first time on dirt to tackling challenging trails. Electronically controlled Keihin fuel injection, it’s 50-state off-road legal, and and the SOHC long-stroke, air-cooled engine delivers quality power for smooth acceleration and excellent rear-wheel hookup. A steel perimeter frame and Showa suspension deliver confidence-inspiring handling and a compliant ride, both at speed and through technical sections. Add it all up and the result is a fun-but-capable trail bike that’s ready for anything—and any rider.

CRF125F / CRF125F Big Wheel
A mid-sized trail bike with power for full-sized trail obstacles, the CRF125F is available in both a standard version and the Big Wheel, which accommodates taller riders via larger front- and rear wheels, longer-travel suspension and a higher seat. The SOHC 124cc engine delivers its power smoothly, and Keihin electronic fuel injection offers dependability and clean running for 50-state off-road legality, while the steel twin-spar frame and Showa suspension deliver a smooth, nimble ride. With their fun performance and CRF Performance line looks, both versions of the CRF125F promise years of recreational trail-riding enjoyment.

No model more perfectly encapsulates Honda’s proud heritage—extending all the way back to the 1973 XR75—of offering four-stroke dirt bikes that are kid-sized but full-featured, and that beckon new riders to experience the trails. With a clutch-less four-speed semi-automatic transmission and a predictable power delivery, the CRF110F makes learning a breeze. Of course Honda’s proven durability means the machine will continue delivering smiles long after riding skills develop, so there’s no telling where it could take generations of youngsters.

The modern version of the classic, beloved, Z50, the pocketsize CRF50F delivers kids’ first riding thrills (and lifelong memories!) via a 49cc air-cooled engine with an automatic clutch. Ten-inch wheels enable a low seat height and facilitate spirited, nimble handling, helping pack more fun per cubic centimeter into this kids bike than any motorcycle around.