2023 KX 85 Dirt Bike: What You Must Know

Are you ready to kick up some dirt? This mean machine from Kawasaki, the KX 85 has some powerful features to get you started. If your blood bleeds green, then the KX 85 minibike is set to leave a trail of excitement. 

Young man on motocross riding his KX 85  dirt bike

This bike delivers top-end acceleration with mid-range power. Many test riders have ascertained the KX 85 top speed to be 80 mph (128.7 km/h). This speed is ideal for intermediate to advanced riders who are often between the ages of 10-13 years old.

Inexperienced motocross riders can also find confidence in the stability of the bike. Especially in its 19/16 big wheels. Also, the KX 85 seat height is 32.7 inches ( approx. 831mm). For the crispness of this 2-stroke engine dirt bike, the MSRP of $4,699 is a fair price. 

A Comprehensive Review of the Kawasaki KX 85

The KX 85 is one of the best motocross minis on the market. It delivers top performance even on a budget. All these without compromising the quality of components. But, it is not without some ups and downs. 

Man riding his KX 85 dirt bike

Let’s dive into what you need to know about this dirt bike.

Pros and Cons of KX 85


  • Improved gear shifting
  • Efficient engine cooling system
  • Inexpensive to maintain
  • Decent powerband range
  • Slim ergonomics


  • Can be cramped for taller riders
  • Rigid ride quality
  • Little delay in throttle response

Top Features of the Kawasaki KX 85

Whether you plan to only ride thrice a month or go all the way to motocross racing.

The hours spent at the track are awesome,”

Cody Johnston

It’s best to get a bike that has the design elements to support your riding experience. These features not only set it apart from competitors. But they are also responsible for its incredible performance.

Some of the top standout features of the Kawasaki KX 85 include:

1. Winning Ergonomics

Nobody takes the cake when it comes to rider-focused designs. It has been one reputation the Kawasaki brand has upheld for years. Rider comfort ergo control is important in their designs. The KX 85 features slim, minimalistic bodywork. This allows riders to maneuver tight spaces while maintaining optimal body positioning.

2. Adjustable Suspension

Man on motocross riding his KX 85  dirt bike

Jumps, bumps, and uneven terrain are a breeze to tackle with the KX 85. The suspension system puts the zing in the zinger. The inverted telescopic fork and Uni-Trak single-shock system can match your riding style. They can be fine-tuned to give exceptional handling and control. All the while matching the conditions you encounter.

3. Rugged Frame and Components

High-tensile steel perimeter and subframe member. The KX 85 comes with formidable chassis and components. The frame offers rigidity while the reinforced clutch and transmission ensure durability. This is especially useful during demanding conditions.

4. Power-packed Engine

For an impressive power-to-weight ratio, the KX 85 never fails. Its liquid-cooled engine provides great acceleration. It has the right punch to conquer any terrain.


The Kawasaki KX 85 is reckoned for its championship-winning pedigree. It has a robust history of dominating motocross tracks. This is many thanks to the superb handling and performance of this bike. 

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of the Kx 85 seat hp and handling.

1. Power

The KX 85 dirt bikes have an 84cc 2-stroke engine that doesn’t slack on power. Its acceleration is explosive with jaw-dropping speed. Little wonder it delivers an impressive top speed of 80 mph (128.7 km/h). The raw power flows through once you engage the throttle. But the throttle response can sometimes be delayed. It still doesn’t detract from the fact this bike is ready to launch like a rocket on the trails.

2. Handling

Man on motocross riding his KX 85 dirt bike

The Kawasaki KX 85 is a nimble ninja on two wheels. It’s sleek and agile. This design contributes to its capacity to weave through tight corners. Motocross champions understand how important cornering is to winning a race. Ricky Carmichael believes it’s key to focus on cornering

“many people get caught up in jumping, but that is normally not the deciding factor in the race”.

Ricky Carmichael

The KX 85 is no slacker in the cornering department. The handlebars and foot pegs also offer a sweet spot of control needed to tackle obstacles.

3. Braking

Speed off and slow down. The KX 85 understands this assignment. When it’s time to slow down, the braking system has got you covered. The front and rear disc brakes are dialed in for maximum stopping power to avoid surprises.

4. Shocks and Comfort

The superior suspension system of the KX 85 is goodbye to bone-rattling impacts. It eats ups and bumps, giving a smooth and controlled ride. This suspension is only rivaled by that of the KTM.

Also, comfort is important when tearing through the trails. Its compact design allows you to feel one with the bike. While many of the bike’s ergonomic features can be adjusted, taller riders can find the bike to be cramped.

Kawasaki KX 85 Specifications

The KX 85 Specs are highlighted in the table below:

Engine and Transmission

Engine Characteristics84cc, liquid-cooled, 2-stroke with exhaust power valve
Final DriveChain
Bore x Stroke48.5mm x 45.8mm
ClutchWet, multi-disc manual clutch
Fuel system28mm Keihin Carburetor
EMS CDI with digital advance

Starter and Gas Capacity

StarterKick Starter
Tank Capacity4.9 l (1.32 gals)

Suspension, Brakes, and Tires

Suspension Front36mm Inverted telescopic cartridge forks
Suspension RearUni-Trak single shock absorber
Brakes Front/DiameterDisc brake, 220 mm 
Brakes Rear/DiameterDisc brake, 184mm
Tires Front70/100-17
Tires Rear90/100-14
Frame TypeHigh-tensile steel perimeter with subframe member


Weight of Bike165.3 lbs/75kg
Seat Height32.7 inches ( approx. 831mm)
Ground Clearance11.4 inches/ 290 mm
Wheelbase49.8 inches/ 1265mm

Price and Warranty

Extended WarrantyN/A

Rival Brands to Consider

In choosing a dirt bike, there are many variables to sift through. Besides the obvious ones like the specs of the bike and cost price, there are others as well. They include the brand and/or model of the bike engine class.

The reason brand is important is that different brands prioritize different functionality. Some speed while others try to maintain durability and handling. Also, the brand of a bike can determine how readily available its after-market parts are in the market. 

Some of the notable competitors to the KX 85 include:

1. The Yamaha YZ 85

The Yamaha 85 dirt bike boasts a great 85cc dirt bike 2 stroke engine. It delivers explosive power and acceleration. This makes it a top choice for competitive racers. 

The Yamaha YZ 85 is also renowned for its durability as a Japanese masterpiece. It is agile and responsive on the track. It can be quite forgiving too.

2. The KTM 85 (Small wheel or Big wheel)

Like the KX 85, the 85 KTM dirt bike carries a 2-stroke engine. Its ready-to-race components are one of the best in the dirt bike market. The KTM 85 is one bike that can give the KX 85 a good run for its money.

It also seems to be quite popular among many riders. The superior suspension system and ride quality have been instrumental in this choice. The bike also handles well. With the option of a big (19/16) or small wheel (17/14), the bike can be tuned to suit different riders. These can be riders of varying skill levels or heights.

Others include the Suzuki 85 dirt bike, Husqvarna TC 85, and GasGas MC 85.

KX 85YZ 85KTM 85
Engine84cc, 2-stroke85cc, 2-stroke85cc, 2-stroke 
BrakeDisc brakeDisc brakeDisc brake
Top Speed80mph65 mph85 mph
Seat Height32.7 in (830mm)33.1 in (840.7mm)33.5 in (850mm)
Dry weight165.3 lbs (75kg)161 lbs (73kg)147.7 lbs (67kg)
Electric starterNoNoNo


Man riding his KX 85 dirt bike in the trail

The KX 85 has an ERGO-FIT adjustable ergonomics. This features a 6-position handlebar mount. It gives riders a comfortable riding experience. Although a commonly held opinion is that the bike is too cramped for taller riders. But this dirt bike model has interchangeable small and big wheels, it is no challenge at all.


The 2023 KX 85 price is $4,699. It is priced fairly. Matter-of-factly, it is one of the most affordable bikes in the best 85cc dirt bike engine class. Considering the improvement in speed from the model sold six years ago, this price is a good bargain. This affordability is carried over to its maintenance. While the bike requires regular maintenance, its price point is fair. 

When you’re ready to move to a bigger bike, you can recoup a significant part of your initial Kawasaki KX85 price. This is owing to the great resale value of this bike. There is a ready market of buyers and while its parts are durable, they are also easily replaceable. 


The Kawasaki KX 85 comes highly recommended. It is comfortable with mid-range power suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. The 2023 trim has many improved features like the gear shifting. The KX 85 is durable, doesn’t crack like an egg, and is ideal for young motocross riders. It is the ultimate confidence booster for tearing through uneven terrain and obstacles.


Is the KX85 a good bike?

Yes, the KX 85 is widely regarded as a good bike. Its performance is crisp, the build is durable and it handles well. It has also won many championship titles.

Is a KX85 a 2 stroke?

Yes, the KX 85 engine is a 2-stroke engine.

How much does a KX85 cost?

A KX 85 has a base MRSP of $4,699.

How fast does a KX85 dirt bike go?

A Kawasaki KX 85 has a top speed of 80 mph (128.7 km/h).

What age group is KX85 for?

The KX 85 is ideal for riders between the ages of 10-13 years.