While Kawasaki may be late to the four-stroke 450cc motocross party, they clearly have such a bike in development. Whether the same bike is being jointly developed with Suzuki, or not, is up in the air. We have heard both rumors.
Nevertheless, Kawasaki is understood to be taking a close look at immediate introduction, along with the motocross model, of other bikes utilizing the new 450cc engine, such as supermotard, dual sport, and off-road/enduro versions.
Along with many of our readers, we have lamented the lack of investment in the street-legal, single-cylinder category, including dual sport bikes. Suzuki’s DRZ400 is just about the most modern machine out there, at this point. It is a good bike, but a 450cc version would be better. In any event, if Kawasaki (and Suzuki?) introduce a street-legal 450cc machine along with their long-awaited motocrosser, they could, ironically, get the jump on the competition.