's Ride-Net! 2002 Kawasaki Dirt Bikes - KX 65

Feb. 01, 2006 By ORC STAFF



The Kawasaki KX65 mini-motocross machine is ideal for experienced young riders interested in racing. Durable and competition-proven, it's also perfect for youngsters who want to improve their off-road skills before advancing to larger-displacement KX models.

Kawasaki bestowed the KX65 with a host of chassis and engine refinements for 2002. A liquid-cooled, high-performance two-stroke engine powers the KX65, and it's equipped with a 1.5mm-larger bore than the KX60.

A strong, lightweight piston resides in its Electrofusion-coated cylinder, which has reshaped exhaust and transfer ports for more power and performance at higher rpm. Also new is the CNC-machined finish on the bridge between the exhaust ports, which contributes to better engine reliability and staves off seizures.

Good for children accustomed to smaller, clutchless machines, the KX65 has a quick- and smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, whose clutch-actuating mechanism and shift drum ride on needle bearings. For this year, the shift drum bearings were replaced with better-sealing units to reduce oil drainage, and the shift fork ends were hard anodized to resist wear.

The engine itself rests in a redesigned semi-double-cradle steel frame with thicker-walled tubing on the upper-main and rear-down tubes, with the latter also reinforced with gussets along their length. Steering-stop thickness was increased, and engine mounts were reinforced. Additionally, the KX65 was given redesigned cast-steel footpegs and taller, metallic-colored handlebars with a straighter bend for better ergonomics.

The KX's swingarm was lengthened and given a steeper angle to increase overall ride height by 15mm, and wheelbase by 12mm. This is complemented by a longer swingarm guard, linkage pull rod and chain. The rocker arm, previously made of steel, is now forged aluminum.

Like the larger-displacement KX models, the 65 uses the bottom-link UNI-TRAK® system, which applies progressively stiffer damping and spring rates to the single rear shock as the suspension is compressed.

The front fork has large stanchion tubes that are longer, and four-way adjustable rebound damping improves handling.

Lightweight aluminum rims reduce unsprung weight to help improve suspension action. Both wheels feature hydraulic disc brakes that not only provide great stopping power, but also require little maintenance and easy wheel removal.

The tank, seat and side covers, all of which contribute to the KX65's slim, racy appearance, enhance rider maneuverability. New-for-2002 graphics match those of the other KX motocrossers.


Electrofusion Cylinder

  • Improves heat transfer for consistent power output
  • Features reshaped exhaust and transfer ports for increased power and performance at higher rpm
  • Bridge between exhaust ports is machined, for improved reliability and resistance to seizure
  • Allows closer piston-to-cylinder clearances for more horsepower

Liquid Cooling

  • Large radiator assures more even-running temperatures so that power output remains consistently strong
  • Assures greater reliability

24mm Mikuni Carburetor

  • Feeds a four-petal reed valve for excellent throttle response
  • Allows the engine to produce good power and torque at all rpm

Six-Speed Transmission

  • Positive action and rugged durability, with a gear for every situation
  • Is equipped with anodized shift-fork ends to resist wear
  • Features better-sealing bearing on the shift drum to reduce oil drainage and improve reliability

High-Tensile Steel Frame

  • The same strong, light, hi-tech material that's used on the bigger KX bikes
  • Exceptional torsional rigidity for superior handling
  • Reinforced, thicker-walled tubing for increased durability
  • New handlebars are taller and have a straighter bend, and come in metallic silver for improved ergos and style

KX80/100 Footpegs

  • Strong and wide to provide superior support

Bottom-link UNI-TRAK® Rear Suspension

  • Features rising-rate action: as the suspension compresses, the spring and damping strength increase progressively for a more controlled ride
  • Shorter pull rods help raise ride height
  • Nitrogen-Charged Shock
  • Stiffer spring and four-way adjustable rebound damping improve handling on rough tracks
  • Rebuildable aluminum body
  • Keeps the damping more consistent on long rides and hot days

Bigger Front Fork

  • Large 40mm fork tubes for added rigidity
  • Four clicks of rebound-damping adjustment accommodate different riding styles and terrain
  • Longer Swingarm
  • Extended swingarm with a steeper angle improves stability and increases ride height
  • Rocker arm made from forged aluminum to reduce weight and improve durability

Front and Rear Disc Brakes

  • Light and powerful
  • Resist fading
  • Require less lever pressure

Aluminum Rims

  • Reduce unsprung weight for improved suspension action

Capacitor Discharge Ignition (GDI)

  • Produces the extremely hot spark needed to ignite the air/fuel/oil mixture of a two-stroke racing engine
  • Easy starts and reliability under extreme conditions
  • Requires no adjustment

Detachable Silencer

  • Silencer is removable from the exhaust pipe and the packing is replaceable
  • Redesigned system is shorter, lighter and more quiet
  • New oval shape mimics the styling of larger-displacement KX models


Engine: 2-stroke single
Displacement: 64.7cc
Bore x Stroke: 44.5 x 41.6mm
Compression Ratio: 8.4:1
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Mikuni VM24SS
Induction: 4-petal reed valve
Ignition: Electronic CDI
Transmission: 6-speed
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake/trail: 26.5°/2.4 in.
Suspension type, front: 33mm leading axle conventional fork
Suspension type, rear: UNI-TRAK® single shock system
Suspension adjustments, rear: Preload
Wheel travel, front: 8.3 in.
Wheel travel, rear: 8.7 in.
Tire, front: 60/100x14
Tire, rear: 80/100x12
Brakes, front/rear: Hydraulic disc
Overall length: 62.6 in.
Overall width: 29.9 in.
Overall height: 37.6 in.
Ground clearance: 12.0 in.
Seat height: 29.9 in.
Dry weight: 125.7 lbs
Fuel capacity: 1.0 gal.
Wheelbase: 44.1 in.
Color: Lime Green Newsletter
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