News 15 Jun 2023

New KX450 lures Empire Kawasaki back into MX1

Plan is to return with 2024 model from next season.

Image: Foremost Media.

An all-new 2024 model KX450 will likely lure Empire Kawasaki back to the premier class of Australian motocross after concentrating on an MX2 program this season.

The officially-supported team is currently only fielding KX250s in Penrite ProMX, with Haruki Yokoyama and Jai Constantinou in the MX2 category, alongside Cambell Williams and Taylah McCutcheon in MX3 and MXW.

The addition of a striking new KX450 for 2024 – due for a ‘late 2023 arrival’ according to Kawasaki – sets up the team for an MX1 comeback, even potentially entering SX1 in Australian Supercross this year.

“We’re definitely trying to be back in that 450 class again,” team owner Tyson Cherry told MotoOnline. “We could potentially field a 450 in supercross, but we’re definitely aiming for motocross next year. At this point I think we’d only run the one 450 rider, and obviously the 250, but it’s sort of unknown right now.”

Empire Motorsports took over as the premier Kawasaki team in 2019 and has since fielded 450 riders including Dylan Long, Lawson Bopping and Jayden Rykers in both the ProMX Championship and Australian Supercross Championship.

This season has marked the first year the organisation has opted not to enter the 450 class since becoming the official Kawasaki team, instead choosing to place their focus solely on the quarter-litre categories.