Usually this is the part where you cringe, skip over, or even close your eyes when you get to the KTM’s suspension evaluation. Well do not fret, as the KTM 450 SX-F’s suspenders are not frightening in 2017. Is the WP AER fork as good as a KYB SSS fork? No, its not, but it’s actually the best air fork that comes on a production off-road bike to date. The 48mm WP AER fork actually moves in the top of the stroke. On acceleration bumps where the fork is light and in the top of its stroke the fork is plush and will not deflect. Mid-stroke harshness that plagued the WP 4CS is not as apparent with the AER fork. We ran the fork around 10.6 bars to start with and that left us with a fairly comfortable ride at the end of a longer 35-minute moto. When we say “mid-stroke harshness is not as apparent” as the 4CS, we are saying that there is a little harsh spot through the middle of the fork, but nothing compared to what we get with the KYB PSF2 or even the Showa TAC fork. We do however bottom the fork from time to time on steep jump faces or on the occasional over jumping situation. Most of our testers could live with this little bottoming nuisance versus having a fork that is so harsh; it would force you to ride slower lines, instead of just hitting the bumps. With the AER fork you can actually hit the sometimes rougher, shorter, faster line when entering a corner. The WP shock had a happy sag setting between 106-107mm and tracked very good out of corners. It too is a little soft for aggressive riders over 180 pounds, but stiffening the high speed compression a quarter to half a turn really helped hold the rear up on jump faces. With the front end improving on the 2017 KTM 450 SX-F it really helps the balance of the bike around the track. We are going to experience more with the fork settings as the week’s progress, so look for updated settings soon.