We just got our brand new KTM 250 SX-F and took it to Glen Helen for the day to get low in the ruts, huck the jumps and rip around the track for countless laps. The Austrian brand tweaked on the ’12 a bit and some performance, as well as luxury items were added for a more than BNG year. Improved suspension settings helped balance out the overall ride. Electric start is the next latest and greatest update to the 250 SX-F… why don’t all dirt bikes have this? Other minor updates such as marine grade rubber caps on the wiring on the Keihin throttle body have been strategically placed to keep water out of the electronics. After one day on the bike, this is how we felt about the new KTM:
The new suspension settings balanced out the overall feel of the front and rear. Last year, I had trouble getting used to a low, soft feeling rear end, and a harsh front end. For 2012, the bike has a more aggressive shock and the fork isn’t as hard on the initial hit. By stiffening up the shock, the bike now rides with more weight on the front and we found it easier to point the front wheel into a rut. Acceleration bumps still had the fork feeling a tad harsh on the initial hit, but once in breaking bumps the suspension settled nicely. One characteristic that had me absolutely impressed was the lack of bucking coming from the rear end. Glen Helen’s big down hill sections were moderately rough and I never got hit in the rump with the seat. I’m excited to see if this stands true at other tracks and in different types of roughness.
The motor is as strong as it was last year and makes the majority of its power in the mid-range and top end. Whacking the throttle down low will leave you clutching but if you keep momentum and get on it while in the mid to high rpms, the response is great and you can feel the power. This engine caters to those aggressive riders out there who tear up the track on a regular basis. We came away impressed with how the ’12 KTM 250 SX-F handled on a rough track like Glen Helen and we can’t wait to ride each 250F back to back to see how they stack up against each other. Keep your eyes on Dirt Rider Magazine for a full test as well as the annual shootouts. Stay pinned!