APPLICATION: 2009 Kawasaki KX450F 

PRICE: $515


            Today's four-strokes are becoming increasingly more and more advanced with every year. Who would have thought that since the first modern motocross four-stroke hit dealer floors over 10 years ago, we would be able to plug our bikes into a computer and set the EFI mapping to suit a certain rider or terrain type like we can on the new fuel injected 450cc four-strokes?

            Recently, Kawasaki invited us out for a day of testing at Glen Helen to try out the company's new EFI mapping tool for the '09 KX450F. All told, the system has seven pre-set mapping curves to change the engine characteristics of the bike, and if that isn't enough versatility for you to properly set the bike up, the program—along with the seven preset maps—can also be custom adjusted.


            We know what you're probably thinking, though, how does this help and how does it work? Of the few mapping adjustment tools that we have tested, the Kawasaki one is probably the easiest and most user-friendly systems we've seen yet. All it requires is a computer and battery to power the unit while making changes when the bike isn't running. The entire package comes with all the necessary cables and plugs to attach it to the bike, as well as the program needed to load it onto your computer. All told, all it takes to attach to the KXF is simply plugging the new ECU Controller plug, which comes in the package, into the existing wiring harness.

One of our biggest complaints about this program, though, is that it isn't compatible with Apple computers, which is all we use here at TWMX. Needless to say, we've had to hijack a PC computer from a friend in order to properly play around with the program. In spite of that, the 3D graphs and maps along with the very visual interface of the program makes tuning the very complicated EFI system of the big Kawi much simpler than we expected.

            Not only can you adjust the FI system of the bike, but this program can also log numerous different performance aspects of the motor, allowing you to better understand what is going on during a moto with a specific mapping change.


Beginner: Aimed at a rider who doesn't want a strong hit and prefers a bike with easy-to-ride power. The ignition timing is retarded and the fuel mixture is richened 

Soft Terrain: For sandy or softer terrain tracks. This setting is generally a harder hit than the other curves and is accomplished by advancing the ignition and leaning off the fuel mixture

Hard Terrain: For hard packed tracks. This basically retards the ignition timing and richens the fuel mixture, but not to the extent of the Beginner setting

Lean: Leans the bike out much like leaning the jetting out on a carbureted bike does. Reduces the rate of fuel injection into the bike

Rich: Make the run richer much like doing so to a carbureted bike. This increases the rate of fuel injection into the bike

Advanced Timing: Advances the ignition timing

Retarded Timing: Retards/slows the ignition timing


            In our day of testing with Kawasaki, we ran through all seven of the pre-programmed EFI maps and we were able to tell slight variations between each one of them. Starting from the Beginner program, which didn't hit hard at all, and going up to the advanced timing and soft terrain programs that had a noticeable gain in over-rev and low-end hit. On certain track conditions, however, these two programs were a handful and tired out some of our testers quicker than the less explosive power curves of the other programs. Since the initial test day, we've been riding mostly with the Advance Timing program, and have loved the way it has performed on a variety of different tracks.

As for mounting an aftermarket pipe up to the bike after changing to one of the seven programs, you shouldn't have to worry. We've tested numerous exhaust systems with the Advanced Timing program installed on our test bike and have come away please with the performance. Thankfully, like we mentioned, the FI Calibration program is very versatile, allowing you to make minor changes if needed for an exhaust system.

            We still have some more testing to do before we reveal much more about the FI Calibration Tool, so be sure to check out an upcoming issue of TransWorld Motocross for the full scoop and our thoughts.

Visit www.kawasaki.com for more info. Or contact your local dealership with the part number listed above to purchase the FI Calibration Tool.