This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of Dirt Rider.
Although there is nothing inherently wrong with the stock 2017 KTM 250 SX-F’s radiators, I was excited to receive a set of aftermarket units from Moto Hose and put them to the test right away.
One of the things I noticed while removing the stock KTM units is they mount to the frame via plastic pieces that are riveted onto the radiators. I haven’t had a problem with these breaking but can see how they could be a weak point in a nasty crash. The Moto Hose units are beautifully hand fabricated and welded (I know because my nine-to-five job is as a welder/fabricator), with a factory-looking polished finish. The new radiators mount to the frame with aluminum tabs that are welded to the radiator itself, and the fit of the new units was impressively accurate. In fact, the holes where the radiators mount to the frame were so precise that they were a little snug going on and didn’t allow for much play to line up the plastics. Other than the slightly snug holes, the installation was very straightforward and only took about 25 minutes.
The new radiators reuse all the stock mounting hardware but come with a new 2.0 BAR radiator cap to replace the stock 1.8 unit. The main benefit to aftermarket radiators is that you get a little more coolant volume and much more aluminum surface area, which dissipates heat much more efficiently than the stock units that integrate plastic. Although we never had a problem with overheating with the stock radiators, we were happy to test these at the first round of the West Coast ISDE qualifier. Throughout the two-day event we had no issues with leaking or overheating after racing over 100 miles. Although the price may be close to boiling over, these radiators never did, and the old saying is true that “you get what you pay for” with the beautifully handcrafted Moto Hose radiators.